When our dear friend and coworker Willis was at the tender age of six, he took up paleontology as his first geologic interest. Another six years later, he went on a rockhounding road trip with his family to the Blue Ridge Mountains. As he approached his mid-teens, he found that marine biology had sparked his interest. However, upon attending college for marine biology, he found it too competitive and hesitated to pursue a career where his field of work would be narrowed to the study of any singular species or subject.
Looking to branch out, he found that Geology was more promising to pursue due to the many potential varieties of study as well as financial gain. He was going to pursue a career in the oil industry until the United States’ relations with oil producing countries changed. This resulted in the decline of the U.S oil market.
Searching for a geology based job where he would be able to both apply what he has learned as well as build on that knowledge is what brought him to Emerald Hollow Mine. He was referred by his former classmate, Drew, who is now the Lapidary Manager. He began his work here at the Sluiceway with full intention of one day working in the Lapidary. Aside from his astounding geological knowledge, Willis has also studied petrology and traditional mapmaking.