I ended up with a strong interest in chemistry and got my degrees in chemistry with a minor in geology. I found in graduate school that I might even have more interest in geology than chemistry, but I had little interest in the petroleum industry (that 's were most geology jobs were). Thus I took a job with a large Chemical Company and started in polymers and solid state catalyst to make polymers followed thereafter by ceramics and sol-gel chemistry. In undergraduate school, I was always tied to silicon chemistry. Silicon and organo-silicates have been a major part of my continued chemical work.
After 10 years of catalyst and ceramics work I developed a keen interest in personal computers, laboratory automation, and eventually scientific visualization. I presented about 100 times at Macworld Expos, Mactivity conferences and InterOp from 1988-2002. Networking, scientific computing, WEB creation, digital photography and beginning 3D animation.
Through all of this my main hobbies were collecting rocks, photography, and tropical fish. (The fish are no more.) I had a digital camera in 1989 that my company paid for, and it had a whopping 320x240 resolution, and only cost about $3000. I was hooked, with my purchase of a little Macintosh program called "PhotoMat" I was predicting the end of traditional photography. (OK it came about slower than I thought!) PhotoMat was later purchased by a little company called Adobe and they renamed it Photoshop. I opted for early retirement from my Dow carrier in 1999.
I started a WEB site (www.theimage.com) on the early Internet in 1996, it has always been non-commercial and tied to minerals, gemstones and photography. The combination search of "mineral and gem with photography" will almost always get a first page hit on Google. I have about 3000 photos of minerals and gems on the site.
Today I have two microscopes at home with my various camera set ups (virtually all Nikon now) although I used to be all Canon based until about 1997. I worked for a couple of years on producing the information and photos for a book on "Agates and Jaspers". It was published in 2009. I have sold about 1800 of the original 2000 copies.
I am teaching four sessions at the William Holland School in Ga., later this summer 2011 - on digital closeup photography. I am a current member of two Macintosh clubs, one gem and mineral club, and occasional magicians club. My wife and I have two curly coated retrievers, both are therapy dogs.