Carolina Suárez, a student of geology at the University of Costa Rica, spent two months volunteering in the Department of Mineralogy at the National Museum of Natural History, an experience she says “is the most spectacular I have ever had.”
As a research assistant she worked with pegmatites, igneous rocks with large crystal formations that are the source of many of the gems and minerals in the Geology, Gems and Minerals collections.
“What I liked best of my work was being part: of the most important institution in the world in scientific research, where I participated in an investigation on the classification of pegmatites with geologist Michael Wise—a person with a true passion for these rocks and an excellent teacher and mentor, ” Carolina says. “He had a lot of patience when I mixed my Spanish and English together in the same sentence!
“I learned to use highly technical equipment, I met important senior researchers, had wonderful colleagues and also had the chance to learn about American culture. I am grateful to the Smithsonian for opening these doors and letting me have this unforgettable experience.”
Posted: 8 April 2013