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Tracy Diane Jones Biography

Tracy Diane Jones, Geologist, Founder of Giverny/Mini Me Geology
I started my career as a hydrogeologist in Greenville, South Carolina after a short stint during graduate school in the oil industry in New Orleans. I went to college thinking that I would be a business major, but one geology class and one economics class later and I headed toward a career in science.

College Field TripThe Beginning

I was originally born and raised in Princeton, West Virginia where I graduated from Princeton Senior High school in 1987. A swimmer through most of my childhood, I left to attend college at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, and join the varsity swim team. (Go Paladins!) Four years later, I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Geology and headed to Columbia to attend the University of South Carolina as a graduate student. (Go Gamecocks!) At USC, I studied hydrogeology,  focusing on groundwater modeling. In between my first and second years,  Mobil Oil Corporation offered me the opportunity to work in New Orleans,  Louisiana for the summer. So, being a smart graduate student,  I jumped at the chance to live in New Orleans for three months! Then, in 1993, I graduated from USC with a Master of Science in Geology.

My Hydrogeology Career
After graduate school, I took a job as a hydrogeologist in an environmental firm in Greenville, South Carolina. I worked there for about 18 months before deciding to move to Charleston, South Carolina to be near the beach. In Charleston, I worked for another environmental firm where I performed groundwater modeling, soil and groundwater assessment, remediation system design for contaminated sites and managed other hydrogeologists in the office. After my kids were born, I started to realize that working 8:00 am to 6:00 pm in an office was not my dream. I still loved geology, but needed to work from home because of the kids and because I wanted to find work that was more fulfilling than working for corporate clients.

Mini Me Geology

When my son, Noah, was in kindergarten, the teacher asked that the parents come speak to the class during career week. I took a bunch of rock samples and the kids when crazy! Later I went to the store to trying to find some rock kits for Noah, and there wasnít anything on the market that I really liked and thought would not only teach him about geology but also make him interested in science. Thatís when the idea for Mini Me Geology was born. My goal with the business is to develop products that will help children learn to love science. Even if they donít become a scientist in the future, I want kids to enjoy science because it affects every aspect of their lives.

New Chapter BeginsÖLiterally!

When I was at Furman, I took some fascinating English classes. One that I loved in particular was Poetry, Plays and Short Stories. The professor introduced me to the works of John Malkovich. Okay, he isnít a writer but an actor who I just LOVE! Anyway, because of this class, I became interested in writing. While Iíve written several geology books that go along with the kits for Mini Me Geology and to help teachers in their classroom lessons, I also branched out and wrote a non-fiction book, Launch It Quick, about how I started Mini Me Geology and how you can quickly launch a business too.

My latest series is a ďscienceĒ fiction series for kids ages 8-12, called the Crystal Cave Adventures, all published under the pen name, Tracy Barnhart. Blue John's Cavern book is the first book in the Crystal Cave Adventures tween series. Blue John's Cavern also has a companion activity book. Book #2, Rusherís Gold, and Book #3, Blackís Opal are also out now. The activity books for Rusherís Gold and Blackís Opal will be released soon as well as Book #4, Egeranís Mountain, and its activity book companion. A free prequel novella, Viktor's Ice, is also available on the Mini Me Geology website and all major book retailers.

The Family
I reside in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina my son Noah (who is away at college), daughter Piper, 100-lb Great Pyrenees, Brutus, and 12-lb cat, Brooks.

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Founder Information

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