Why did you want to become a paleontologist and how did you become the paleontology collections manager?
I was inspired by a great high school science teacher, superior science mentors at the University of BC and the University of Victoria, a family of artists, and a very supportive husband whose computer expertise has been a lifesaver. During my career, I worked for over 17 years at the Geological Survey of Canada followed by 14 years as a geoscience consultant. When I joined the Royal BC Museum at the beginning of 2011, I set my goals to further develop an on-site paleontology facility and collections representing the diversity of fossils in BC and to combine arts and sciences to explore different approaches to learning.
What does a collections manager do?
I work at the most amazing job that has activities almost as diverse as the fossils themselves. I call it my dream-come-true-job where I have the opportunity to work with many talented staff, volunteers, and researchers, where we aim to put together a collection representing examples of the province’s best fossils. Each day has surprises and many a day I now come in expecting to do one thing and something totally different happens that day. Flexibility, enthusiasm and an open mind are good survival tactics!
Marji Johns, Paleontology Collections Manager (Retired) , explains type specimens.