I was born and raised in New York
City, but I spent my summers in
the mountainous wilds of New
Jersey where I was free to wander the
wilderness of the Ramapo Mountains. I
spent most of my time along the brooks
(small rivers) constructing small boats
of twigs and watching them navigate
the currents and eddies of the flowing
waters, up-turning rocks to see what
creatures lay underneath and then
smashing the rocks to see the molds of
creatures that once existed.
When I was eight my mother took me
with her to spend the summer in Norway
with my grandmother. There I discovered
another world, the world of the rocky intertidal
and cold, shallow, crystal-clear marine
waters of the Norwegian coast. Pity is given
to all the creatures that, because of my
curiosity, gave their lives to become part of
my collection of marine life.
The spark first generated in the wilds
of New Jersey burst into flames – a
flame that still burns to this day: I knew I
wanted to be a scientist and explore the
wonders of our earth.
What are some of my other lifeinspiring
A big one is seeing the Grand
Canyon for the first time and then hiking
down it – and right then and there truly
contemplating the enormity of time and
the amazing evolution of life.
Another biggie was sitting wells (in
the wilds of Wyoming) and listening
to the singing of the drill string as it
encountered and cut through porous and
permeable hydrocarbon-filled pay: such
It seemed it always was in the middle
of the night – but that never diminished
the excitement of the experience.
I’m sure most of you could tell similar
stories about how you first fell in love with
geology and the geosciences when you
were young. Maybe it was hiking in the
mountains, or perhaps finding unusual
rocks scattered along a shoreline.
It mattered, to all of us. It’s who
we are. And it’s what still fuels our
During the several downturns that
have occurred since I first went to work
– and also sometimes during the upturns
when things weren’t going so well for me
work-wise – I have thought back to how
and why I became a geologist.
These memories always have helped
me through the hard times.
I use my memories to reconnect with
my “inner child” and all the “childish
joys” I have been fortunate enough to
experience in my life. Doing this helps
get me out of the doldrums, which in turn
helps me find the energy and motivation I
need to get through my difficult times and
Yes, times are hard now – especially
for those who have been laid off or for
those young people about to graduate
and need a job. And I don’t want to imply
that getting in touch with your “inner
child” will solve the problem of having
lost your job. Not at all.
Perhaps, however, being reminded
of the positive awe that we felt when we
were young can still have an impact.
Perhaps reconnecting with your “inner
child” may help you remember just
why you chose geoscience for your
It may reinvigorate your passions.
And perhaps it may help just a little to
get you through this roller coaster ride.
Another thing I keep telling myself is
“this too will pass,” and the boom times
will be back. History tells us this is true.
In the meantime, we all have friends,
colleagues and a great networking
community within AAPG that we can
reach out to for help and information
about job opportunities.
Your AAPG staff and leadership are
working hard to find ways and develop
programs to help us through – until,
during and after the next boom.
So stay connected – to AAPG,
because that’s where your professional
career can remain fresh and be
revitalized, and to your inner child,
because that’s the source of your inner
Believe me, the adult inside of you will