The Mineralogical Record
The Mineralogical Record - Join us on Facebook!  The Mineralogical Record - Sign up for our newsletter

Debra L. Wilson
(1957-    )

Debra Lynn Wilson was born in L'Anse, Michigan, on November 3, 1957, the daughter of Carol Alice Karvonen and Ronald Edward Richards, an elementary school teacher. She grew up in nearby Baraga, Michigan, and in 1980 earned her BA degree in Advertising/Public Relations and Art from Grand Valley State University. She spent the summer of 1979 in England studying at the Slade School of Fine Arts at University College London. Following her graduation from college she married Marc Wilson, and together they followed wherever Marc's employment took them, first as an exploration geologist based in Minneapolis 1980-1982, then on to Ann Arbor 1982-1986, Socorro 1986-1992, and finally in Pittsburgh 1992-present. While living in Socorro they had a son, Cedric, who today is an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Debra was first introduced to minerals by Marc when they started dating seriously in 1979. She received her first 35-mm camera as a gift from Marc after they married in 1980, and she soon developed a love of photographing minerals. This naturally led to learning more about them from Marc and from his mentor (Louis Lafayette), going to gem and mineral shows (first visit to the Tucson Show in 1986), field collecting with Marc in New Mexico, Arkansas, Michigan, Ohio and Arizona, and eventually working with the Carnegie Museum's great collection. Prior to Marc and Debra's work at the Carnegie she enjoyed collecting thumbnail specimens in particular.

When they first moved to Pittsburgh for Marc's new appointment at the Carnegie Museum, Debra served as a volunteer for the Section of Minerals; in 2002 she was put on the payroll as Collection Assistant part time, then made full-time in 2012 and promoted in August 2017 to Collection Manager following her husband's retirement.

Debra is a coauthor (with Marc and others) of "Tracing the Source of Native Copper Mineral Specimens with Copper Isotope Values" (Rocks & Minerals, 2016) and is the author of "European Classics from the William W. Jefferis Collection," (Mineralogical Almanac, 2015).

Her bibliography of published photos is extensive, including books (Mineralogy of Michigan and American Mineral Treasures among others), magazines (Annals of the Carnegie Museum, Attaché magazine – US Airways , Carnegie magazine, ExtraLapis English, JOM (The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society), Lapidary Journal, Lapis Lithographie, Mineralogical Almanac, The Mineralogical Record, Pittsburgh magazine, Rock & Gem, Rocks & Minerals), newsletters, 14 different newspapers, calendars, postcards, catalogs and websites.

When not spending her time working with and photographing minerals Debra is also a musician: player of multiple instruments, singer and songwriter.
To contribute more information please E-mail us at:

[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2019)
Mineralogical Record
Biographical Archive, at]
Click on thumbnail picture to see larger image.
Number of labels found: 4 | Labels being viewed: 1 to 4

The Mineralogical Record - Debra L. Wilson
The Mineralogical Record - Debra L. Wilson Copper, Michigan (Debra Wilson photo)
The Mineralogical Record - Debra L. Wilson Fluorapophyllite, India (Debra Wilson photo)
The Mineralogical Record - Debra L. Wilson Fluorapophyllite, India (Debra Wilson photo)
Contents copyright © 2019 The Mineralogical Record, Inc. All rights reserved.  
Graphic design of this website by Wendell E. Wilson. Website programming by