By Mary K. Armstrong / Photo by Susanna Gordon
Let me introduce you to Linda Tsuji, the Miller Museum of Geology’s new curator. Those of you who have visited this museum will understand why The Museum of Geology attracted Dr. Linda Tsuji. Dr. Tsuji earned her PhD in paleontology from Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany. Before coming to Kingston she was employed by Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum. There her duties were limited to a narrowly defined piece of work under the direction of many overseers. When the opportunity came to be a curator-paleontologist in charge of a whole museum, Dr. Tsuji decided this was for her. Young and energetic, the challenge of overseeing all aspects of a museum, appealed to her. Besides offering a wide scope of activities, here was something unusual in the world of geology museums: a geology museum in a university.
She laughs as she explains to me the breadth of her responsibilities. Besides teaching classes of school children who come here to learn, she’s in charge of the collection of mineral samples, fossils and displays like the sandbox of buried fossils. The whole little museum comes under her watchful eye.
“If some sand spills on the floor, I’m the one who gets the broom and sweeps it up,” she laughs.
The atmosphere of this museum is wonderfully refreshing. Linda plays it by ear. If a group shows up and it seems appropriate, she’ll pull out microscopes for them.
Imagine entering a museum and being shown around by a real expert in the field. For those who show an interest, this curator will explain that the limestone under Kingston is actually around 460 million years old. She’ll also tell you how the ice age is thought to have scraped over many of these rocks, forming the landscape (i.e. Lake Ontario) that we see today.
If you drop by the museum, you may find the curator explaining the Pleistocene Ice Age to visitors, then moving to the tiny gift shop to sell a fossil to a fascinated visitor.
Drop in and say hello to Kingston’s new curator. You’re sure to have a fascinating visit to this little gem of museums.
Location: Miller Hall, 36 Union St., Kingston
Hours: Monday to Friday, 8.30 a.m. – 4.30 p.m.