John grew up in Minnesota along the Mississippi River at Lake Pepin, and picked Lake Superior Agates that were then easily found. His interest in the science of geology took root while a teenager, and later attended Yale majoring in geology. Recently, in 2013, he earned a M.S. in geology from California State University – East Bay. While a student at Yale, he worked for major mineral exploration companies in the summer, and assisted in the excavation of a fossil sauropod for the Peabody Museum at Yale. He has been employed as an exploration geologist by BP Alaska and spent parts of a number of winters on well sites in the Alaskan Arctic. He retired in 2001 from teaching high school chemistry and earth science.
John has amassed an extensive collection of specimens from America and abroad. He spent time collecting at Nowy Koscial in Poland, and then visited all of the well known thunderegg localities in Germany with Dr. Gerhard Holzhey. He also collected in New Mexico, Arizona, and California with Dr. Holzhey and Dr. Peter Woerner, author of “Agates in Thundereggs”. More recently, he has visited my localities in Oregon and Washington with Dr. Woerner. He has given talks at the “Symposium on Agate and Cryptocrystalline Quartz” at the Colorado School of Mines in 2005, “The Wonderful World of Agates” show in 2008, and “A Celebration of Agates” show in 2012.
John is a member of the Northern California Geological Society and of the Geological Society of America.