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Alumni Newsletter: July '08 to July '09

UPDATES: From the Class of '43 to the Class of '08


»Richard G. Ray, ScM, writes: “After nearly 40 years of work for the U.S. Geological Survey, the National Science Foundation and the National Academy of Sciences I retired to more mundane activities such as landscape painting and involvement with tournament bridge. I was very active in arty affairs until family health problems dictated otherwise. I do, on occasion, see Dan Krinsley (ScM ’49) and we reminisce about our days at Brown. I still have fond memories of my tenure as a teaching assistant in the old Department of Geology and often think of the wonderful friends I made on the Brown campus.”


»Don Potter, ScM, writes: “After leaving Brown and good friends like Alonzo Quinn, Dick Acker, Joe Birmann, and Dan Krinsley, I got a PhD from Caltech, and then taught at Hamilton College for 34 years. During this time, my wife, Jane, and I raised six children (three are geologists), and I did extensive fieldwork in the Taconics, Big Bend NP and the Valles Caldera. I have fond memories of my days at Brown and all who were there at that time.”

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»John J. Little, AB, writes: “I graduated in ’51. I was not one of Prof. Quinn’s better students.  Dave Freedman ’51 and I sort of stumbled through our geology major together. After a stint in the Air Force and Columbia Business School ’57 I got a job in Colorado where I communed with the geology by hiking many 14000’ peaks and skied on others. Moving back east I passed the Chartered Financial Analysts exam and spent many years on Wall Street as a Security Analyst. I have retired to Vermont with my wife of 56 years and love it. Although I have never done anything professionally in the field of geology, I have found it to be a wonderful major, if not a bit frustrating.  Wonderful, because it opened my eyes to the world about me and has made every day an interesting experience. Frustrating, because my knowledge was limited and I could only go so far in my understanding of what I was looking at. But I love it.  I am now pushing my 81st birthday and got 75 ski days last season and already have my season pass for next season. I am a member of the Green Mountain Club which has hikes every weekend throughout the year. My geology major at Brown has truly enriched my life.”

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»Glendon E. Collins, ScM, writes: “After getting a Master’s Degree from Brown in ’53, I worked for the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) in New Mexico for four years as an uranium exploration geologist; then transferred to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in ’57 to examine gold mining claims in northern California. That led to a career with the BLM, first in southern California as a Lands and Minerals Officer, and then in Phoenix, beginning in ’65, as Land Office Manager and Operations Director.  I retired from BLM in ’84, and spend 10 years with the Arizona State Land Department as Deputy State Land Commissioner. Retired since ’94, my time is busy with golf, and volunteer activities in churches and public land advocacy groups.  It’s been a good life, and I hope to get a few more years of it.”

»Larry Lundgren, AB, writes: “Writing this in Westport MA after having returned to the terrain where it all began - Vermont. Here on top of Camels Hump Mountain 5/29/09 (left), from which, on a clear day, I can see the Worcester Mountains to the east where my life as geologist began while still a Brown University geology student - summers of ’52 and ’53 mapping serpentine bodies for Vermont Asbestos Company. My home since retirement is in Linköping, Sweden where two central elements of my life are spending every afternoon at the Red Cross helping people from all the war-torn places – especially Iraq and Somalia – learn Swedish, English and even geology. I also get to dance with them at Kurdish Newroz 3/09. This has been a high point of my life; my closest friends are all from Iraq, Iran, and Eritrea. Another high point is playing trumpet in the Ansgars-Missions kyrkans wind orchestra – big band charts dating back to my university days. To top that off is following the intricate path of Swedish daughter Annika Frodi-Lundgren through life – psychology student at universities on both sides, and teacher of English in St. Jean du Gard in the Cevennes in southern France where I get to study the limestone while she climbs – fantastic geology. Last but not least the intellectual stimulation in my life comes from all of the above but also from serving as translator and manuscript reviewer for a wonderful gang of medical researchers. Never a dull moment – in my 6 weeks in New England there is a 5 km race every weekend, in the top age category, having reached age 77 – see e.g., Day of Portugal results 6/14/2009.”

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»George Ulrich, AB, writes: “As one of the U.S.G.S. old-timers from the Apollo missions, I participated in a NASA workshop at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston in April 2008. The workshop was convened to review the geologic training of astronauts during the Apollo program in the late 60’s and early 70’s. Its purpose was to assist in developing a geology and geophysics curriculum for the next manned missions to the moon. The first of these, planned for 2020, is expected to work on the lunar surface for extended periods, and the first group of astronauts that may be assigned to these missions is to be selected in 2009. It was a pleasant reunion with the Principal Investigators of the Apollo 14 through 17 Field Geology Experiments and some old NASA colleagues including Alan Bean and John Young, who brought their own perspectives on how to prepare for doing geology on the moon again.”

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»Peter Rona, AB, writes: “I continue as professor of marine geology and geophysics at Rutgers University. I am co-editing an AGU Geophysical Monograph, Diversity of Hydrothermal Systems on slow-spreading Ocean Ridges. As part of the NSF Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) I am working with partners at the Applied Physics Lab-University of Washington to develop a sonar system, connect it to the NEPTUNE Canada seafloor cabled observatory at a hydrothermal field on the Juan de Fuca Ridge, and acoustically image hydrothermal flow to determine how oceanic (tides) and geologic events (volcanic and tectonic) control heat and chemical fluxes. My main cruise this year continues exploration of the giant Hudson Canyon offshore New York and New Jersey and the state of gas hydrate deposits cut by the canyon.”


»Robert Tatem, AB, writes: “After graduation in 1957, back when the Geo Department was upstairs in Rhode Island Hall I served 2 years active duty in the Navy. Then in rapid succession I married, had a son, worked for the telephone company in CT and divorced. Then I got a Master’s in Education, taught for five years, remarried, and had a daughter and two sons. Then I went to UPS for 25 years and retired, after which I did some substitution work in the Fairfield schools. Since I retired, I had a bout with cancer and now spend my time relaxing in CT, Florida and Vermont. Retirement is wonderful; I highly recommend it.”

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»David W. Clough, AB, writes: “Whilst I have not followed a geological career since my graduation from Brown in 1958, I have continued my love affair with our beautiful earth. My studies at Brown have enriched my awareness of the physical world around me and play a major role in my avocation as a watercolor artist, photographer and creative person. In conceptualizing my paintings, my geological background allows me such a deeper awareness of subject matter. When you look at landscape or coastal scene...knowing its origin can’t help but give you greater understanding of it.

I will always be grateful for my years of learning at Brown. And living in Maine, is a perfect place to observe our earliest geological happenings; from incredible, massive granitic formations; to wonderful paleontological specimens; to rich mineralogical deposits of beryl, tourmaline,etc.; not to mention the great glacial periods that shaped our world here. Thank you Brown.”


»Eugene Bouley, AB, MAT ’63, writes: “I retired from teaching Earth Science in 2000 from Winchester, MA. I now spend my summers in the White Mountains of New Hampshire where I volunteer as an AMC hut naturalist. In the winter I live in Florida where I am active with Florida Trails and maintain a section of the Florida Trail. I have started a Nature Center in PEAR park in Leesburg, Florida. I would love to add to our rock, mineral, and fossil collections. Any contributions from fellow Brown alumni would be appreciated. They could be sent to me after September at 25228 Waterbridge Court, Leesburg, FL 34748.”

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»Dennis Erinakes, AB, writes: “1962 doesn’t seem so long ago. Newly married, and heading for grad school at the University of Maine, the great adventure was beginning.

Our first son was born in ’63 and the second, in ’66. Both are Maineacs. I finished grad school in Orono, Maine. Passing on a career in commercial flying, there I immediately entered what was to be a wonderful career with the USDA Soil Conservation Service as an engineering geologist. The Service figured I needed more education and sent me on to post grad work, in ’74, at Penn State with Dr. Richard Parizek. A fully sponsored year to work in a program I designed. The only hitch - I would accept assignment to anywhere. Anywhere was Fort Worth, Texas. I’m still here 35 years later. That position evolved into one that took me around the world to some exotic places. Does the Swat Valley ring a bell? I even traveled near the area where Dr. Tim Mutch (Brown geology professor) lost his life. He and Alonzo Quinn were my prime mentors during my stay at Brown.

I took an early retirement in ’92 after several years as the Services’ National Groundwater Geologist. This was prompted by the requirement of having to move from Fort Worth due to administrative changes. My boys were married and living here, so I stayed. I went to work for the Blackland Research Center, Texas A&M. After a couple of years I went out as a private consultant, and here I remain. To take up the spare time, I started several businesses, business level computer service, real estate investment and management, and some real fun stuff, I operate a waterfowl hunting lease on the coast of Texas and two rice farms. Hunting, fishing, flying, and raising Labradors have been my passions since Maine. My house and several properties sit on the Barnett Shale Natural Gas play and so I have also jumped into several new opportunities. Horizontal drilling and fracing are related to skills developed in the groundwater profession. Life has been, and hopefully will continue to be, one exciting learning process. Never a dull day.

Sadly, my wife passed on a few years ago. She was a graduate of the Roger Williams School of Nursing in Providence, and continued her career here in Texas, only taking a break as a work-at-home mom until the boys made it through high school.

Both boys and their families live nearby. Five grand kids, from 4 to 16, are a joy. Both my boys have done well enough to “retire”, and so we all are about doing what we want to do. Life is good.”

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»Tom Parr, ScM, writes: “After 28 years working for TASC in Reading, MA, in remote sensing and image processing, I was finally laid off, thinking that this was how retirement starts. Surprisingly, a phone call just a year later got me started with BBN Technologies in Cambridge, MA, now working almost exclusively with hyperspectral imaging on a research program for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. I’ve been here about 2.5 years now, and it’s the best company for which I’ve ever worked. I started the day after my 65th, and will likely stay here, at least on a part time basis, for a few more years.

My wife Mary is a pediatrician, and we have three daughters and a son. Fortunately, we’ve now paid the last of the undergraduate tuitions, so it’s time to start enjoying ourselves. We did that last year with a trip to Moscow and St. Petersburg, and are now about to leave for a few weeks in Alaska. I’m still reasonably active – try to do quite a bit of hiking, a little rock climbing, and lots of skiing. I’m also a pilot and do have my own plane, so whenever possible I try to combine my own flying with some fun travel. Fortunately, my job also takes me to some interesting places, the best of which was an expedition to the Skaergaard area in east Greenland. More recently, I’ve had to endure several weeks in Hawaii, groundtruthing one of our remote sensing test areas. It really has been an exciting career, beginning with seven years on the Apollo Program followed by continual participation in the evolution of Earth remote sensing technologies, virtually from the inception of satellite imaging. I’d love to hear from any of my old colleagues, classmates, etc.”

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»Nick (Ian) McCave, PhD, writes: “I have been awarded the Lyell Medal of the Geological Society of London. Although technically retired (the University doesn’t pay me any more), I retain an office and working facilities in the Department and have been awarded an Emeritus Fellowship by the Leverhulme Trust to work on the glacial Antarctic Circumpolar Current.” (Photo: Nick McCave (left) with Professor Jim Head during 2008 AGU Brown Alumni Reception).

»Kay Wilson Henry, AB, writes: “I have used my geology degree from Brown in very different ways…After graduation I headed for Columbia University and Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory to work for Dr. Neil Opdyke in paleomagnetism. Great field, however, the big city didn’t fit the lifestyle so in 1970 my husband and I moved to Vermont and started a canoe manufacturing company, Mad River Canoe. After growing that business and finally selling it in 1998, new husband and I started a non-profit organization to create a paddling resource for the Northeast, the Northern Forest Canoe Trail: ( It is a 740 mile water trail that runs from the Adirondacks of New York to the tip of northern Maine following historic Native American travel routes and is an eco-tourism driver for the small rural communities. So much for retirement…”

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»Michael Mallory, ScB, writes: “After graduating from Brown in ´69 I got a ScM in Geology from Vanderbilt University in ’74. While working on my thesis I worked in groundwater for the Tennessee Department of Conservation’s Division of Water Resources, first as a student assistant and then as a geologist, from ’70 to ’74.

In ’74, I accepted a position with the U.S.G.S. in Tampa, Florida, in what was then the Water Resources Division. In Tampa I worked mostly on wellfield siting, both through field studies and simulation modeling.

In ’77, I transferred to the U.S.G.S. office in Laguna Niguel, California, where I worked on modeling studies of the impact of groundwater development and feasibility of artificial groundwater recharge.

I moved to Jackson, Mississippi, in ’80 to serve as the project chief of the Mississippi/Alabama subproject of the Survey’s Regional Aquifer System Analysis (RASA) of the Southeastern Sand Aquifers, a band of mostly Cretaceous age sediments extending from South Carolina to Tennessee. At the end of that study, I served as the Groundwater specialist providing technical guidance for groundwater projects in the Mississippi District and later in a three state area consisting of Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana. My final U.S.G.S. project was as the project chief of the Mississippi Embayment study unit of the Survey’s National Water Quality Assessment (NAWQA). This area includes agricultural areas in Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas and Missouri that have some of the largest pesticide use in the U.S. and, unfortunately much of that eventually winds up in the areas rivers and thence into the food chain. DDT, which had been banned for 20 years at the time of the study, is still found in surprisingly high levels in the fish tissue that we tested. Although the NAWQA was an important program it’s exclusive focus was water quality, which was only peripherally within my area of expertise, so that I was more of an administrator than active researcher on the project. Since I didn’t particularly enjoy the administrative work, when the opportunity arose in ’97 to take an early retirement during a reduction-in-force I took it.

Since ’97 I’ve been an independent consultant in groundwater hydrology. As a consultant I have been contracting back with the U.S.G.S. to provide maintenance for groundwater computer simulation models that I had developed while working there. However my bread and butter for a good while was using those models, which are in the public domain having been funded by taxpayer money, to provide impact assessment for small cogeneration electric power plants as part of their water use permit applications. With the recession that activity has greatly subsided so now I actually am more or less retired.”

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»Ross Hoffman, ScB, writes: “I am working as part of a group led by my postdoc mentor Eugenia Kalnay of University of Maryland on data assimilation for numerical weather prediction on Mars. This is a new project and we are working with simulated observations to develop our ensemble Kalman filter system, but will soon turn to the actual TES observations, which contain information on the atmospheric temperature structure.”

»Judith Skinner Huyett, ScB, writes: “No, I didn’t really fall off the edge of the map. After Brown, I spent several years at MIT in a PhD program, then Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary. I married, worked for a civil engineering consulting company for a time, had three daughters, and have been teaching high school sciences and AP Calculus at a small private school outside Pittsburgh. My husband passed away about a year and a half ago from a particularly quick and aggressive form of cancer. However, I am still teaching and having a blast. I’ve taken up a new hobby of flameworking with a tabletop torch and an annealing kiln. My husband (nicknamed by many as “Crash and Burn” for good reason) would love the idea that I’m “cooking with gas” using propane and a 150 lb tank of Oxygen. I turned 60 this last spring, but I don’t think it has sunk in yet...Maybe next year.”

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»Dave Eby, ScM, writes: “I am starting my 20th year of having my own consulting firm in Denver, CO which specializes in petrography and core studies of rock materials for oil and gas firms as well as state agencies, especially the Utah Geological Survey. Part of my time is also devoted to “volunteering” for my daughter Becky (Williams) who is a planetary geologist specializing in the study of sedimentary processes on Mars. (Mostly, I just baby sit her two lively young daughters!)  I re-married a lovely retired librarian about six years ago, as my first wife died in ’99 of cancer. My son is an aerospace engineer in L.A. and I now have two wonderful stepdaughters. Mostly, I keep close to my microscopes these days - and travel with my “new” wife to visit our kids. I also stay in touch with the old family farm in central PA.

My graduate education at Brown during the period of 1969-1972 was a “game changer” for me, and I use things I learned then nearly every day in my work. Thank you Brown!!”

»Walter Greenberg, AB, writes: “I am alive and well. I don’t have any geophysical news. The company I was part owner of and vice president, was bought out last year so I have been semi retired for a year. I substitute teach in Peoria and am looking for a new horizon. Right now, because it is summer, my work is restoration of our 1908 house.

A fun anecdote is that I emailed back and forth with the Harley Davidson Company about how all their boots are made in China. My persistence paid off. They now have one boot made totally in the U.S.A. It is made at the Wolverine factory and they named it the “Walter” in my honor. So Brown has an alumnus with a Harley Davidson boot named after him, and it is the only one made in the U.S.A. Neat huh?

Politically, I feel that sun spot activity over the past several hundred years pushing away the cosmic ray background from the big bang, is the cause for global warming, not industry, internal combustion engines, rain forest cutting, and animal excrement. The Danish geophysical institute agrees with me. So we'll see.

I have many pictures but nothing that is Geological or Geophysical. I could send one anyway if you’d like just for people to see my smiling face albeit with gray hair and not as much of it. I used to have very long hair back in my Brown days.”

»Phil Lu, AB, writes: “After graduating from Brown in 1973, I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Senegal where I was the national wrestling coach (it was a simpler age back then). While at Cornell getting an MBA, I was part of the exchange program with the Catholic University of Louvain, so I picked up a Masters in Applied Economics. I worked as a grain merchandiser with Continental Grain, then as a commodities trader, then my wife and I had a money management business. I retired from money management and went back to school and got my M.Ed. in Special Education from Edgewood College in Madison. I just completed my third year as a special education teacher. I love the teaching, but the paper work is pernicious and tedious. With continual budget cuts, we are continually asked to do more with less.”

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»Jack Breig, AB, writes: “Over the past 5 years, I have been living and working in Tulsa, Oklahoma as a geologist, geophysicist, and part-time petroleum engineer at Newfield Exploration (NFX) on unconventional natural gas exploration and production. What started out for me as a research project to explain several anomalous natural gas fields in Texas and Oklahoma that produce hydrocarbons from seemingly impossible situations has turned into one of the most significant developments in the energy industry.

Now, I’m pursuing similar projects in central China, the Rocky Mountain states, and, of all places, New York and Pennsylvania. My old textbooks describing the stratigraphy and structural geology of the Appalachian Mountains are back on my desk.”

»King Dietz, ScB, writes: “I am still working as a Senior Drilling Fluids Engineer, in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea, and Norwegian Sea. The Norwegians view the work/life balance as being very heavily weighted to the “life” side, and as I result I have been working a 2 weeks on, 3 weeks off rotation since 2003. This will probably change to 2 on/ 4 off this year. We have ongoing challenges that include drilling in deep water (>1200 m), high-pressure reservoirs (>550 bar), and depleted reservoirs. It gets trickier as the easy reservoirs reach maturity.

The off time is great - it gives me plenty of time to do home maintenance, which is a never ending task when one lives on the cliff top 30 m above the North Sea in Scotland. My hobbies have changed somewhat since we sold our boat in 2005: I am a devotee of clay pigeon shooting, and still continue to cycle (in nice weather only) and (learn) to play the piano. Also, at this time of the year my home brewing skills are put to the test, but I still have not killed anybody with my beer - in fact, many friends drop by more often when the weather is warm.”

»Henry Martin, ScM, writes: “I left the oil business in the early 1990's. I received an MS in Finance from CU Denver and worked for 10 years as a financial advisor. Last year I returned to the oil business, and am infinitely happier. I commute to Corpus Christi, Texas several times a month. I work for Wallis Energy; we exploit old abandoned oil fields looking for wells that were abandoned prematurely.”

»Harvey Sachs, PhD, writes: “I remain fully immersed in my “demand-side” career in building science and policy research. Last year, I shed my management responsibilities, and am now a senior fellow in the Buildings Program at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy <>. I focus on advanced technologies and systems, especially heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC). I have been leading efforts to establish regional efficiency standards for residential furnaces and air conditioners. I also work on development of advanced standards and building codes. This includes ways to reliably attribute carbon emissions and savings to buildings, and to fully integrate “green” and “efficient” thrusts. The “efficiency resource” in buildings remains much less expensive than renewables or new power resources, hence my focus on the demand side. My wife, Susan, and I continue renovating balky old houses, and I ride a dozen vintage racing and touring bikes. I generally commute year-around by bike, when the weather allows. Round trip is 18 - 25 miles, depending on route. At age 64, it’s not as quick as it used to be, but it still feels good.” (Photo: Richard Sachs (on shirt) is not a cousin, but a friend and the builder of some of the most coveted hand-made bikes in the US.)

»Connie Sancetta, ScM, writes: “I am doing research once again, although in a very different field: the rather limited topic of social history of Italian immigrants. No publications yet, but there is the possibility of a book some day. Working at the Western Reserve Historical Society of Cleveland, Ohio, I’ve been producing about two internal reports per year on various topics. The current project is the history of a small community of Italians on Cleveland’s west side, which existed between roughly 1910-1930 and has since disappeared.”

»Randolph Steinen, AB ’62, PhD, writes: “I am still enjoying retirement (from the University of Connecticut). I volunteer part time and get paid part-time (from grants that we write) for the State Geological and Natural History Survey of Connecticut. One of the things with which I keep busy is writing EarthCaches for various state parks in CT (see An earthcache is a geological lesson (or several) written for GPS users who must find the site and hopefully learn a little geology from it. We hope they take their kids out and tell them about the rocks or beach or whatever. Please, any of you living in the area, look them up. If you know of any potential sites let me know (”

»Robert Thunell, ScB, writes: “My son, Thomas (Class of 2010) has been selected co-captain of the Brown men’s soccer team for the fall 2009 season."

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»Ken Jones, PhD, writes: “Margie Power, ScB ’75, and I have been married 25 years and live in Altadena, California. Our son, Charles, is in his final year at Berklee College of Music in Boston. He is also performing with several groups that perform regularly around the northeast

Margie is a proposal manager for SM&A, a consulting company that helps other companies write proposals. She is usually assigned to companies preparing bids for large government aerospace projects

After many years at JPL, and many years working as a visual effects supervisor in Hollywood, I have now embarking on my own photographic adventures.

My current project is photographing “ghost signs” - those faded advertising signs painted on old brick buildings that everyone sees but nobody notices - that are rapidly disappearing. They are being destroyed by the fading of paint, being painted over, buildings being torn down, or worst of all - being restored. I am trying to preserve them by photographing them in high resolution. I use from ten to a hundred separate digital photos mosaicked together to create a single very high-resolution result. Most require shooting from a variety of positions to shoot around existing buildings, power wires, and other obstructions.  I’m using techniques that we used on the Viking Lander Images and in the motion pictures industry. That requires mosaicking, rectifying, painting out junk, color blending, etc. So far, most of the signs are from the Western U.S., primarily Colorado and California.

My web site - - includes samples of these photos,plus some additional fun photos and some biography stuff.”

»Louise Levien, ScB, writes: “Was recently back at my 35th reunion, and had a great time. After Brown I got my PhD and then did a postdoc. I’ve been in Houston working for ExxonMobil upstream research since. I have a son in physics grad school on the east coast and a daughter in college in California, so we find ourselves all over the country visiting. Celebrating my 25th wedding anniversary this year. Life is good.”

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»Suzanne Mahlburg Kay, PhD received a chair and is now the William and Katherine Snee Professor of Geological Sciences at Cornell University.

»Richard Nopper, ScM, writes: “Following Brown, I received a PhD in physics (modeling magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling and auroras) at Boston College and taught exploration geophysics at BC for a couple years while doing post-docs at Air Force Geophysics Lab. Then I went to Conoco Exploration Research in Ponca City, Oklahoma, for eight-plus years. I worked in electrical methods (controlled-source EM, magnetotellurics), shear-wave seismic, and modeling sedimentary basin processes, and we developed an environmental geoscience offering. Then came an opportunity to transfer back to the east coast with Conoco’s then parent company DuPont. Now at DuPont’s Experimental Station in Wilmington, Delaware, for twenty years, I’ve been fortunate to work as a math modeling guru on a wide range of length and time scales and topical areas, from nanoscale porous media to aquifer/reservoir flow, from electronic devices to rock mechanics.

The family (wife Ellen and children Katie, Joe, and Andrea) are doing well and grandchildren are coming along nicely!  I also enjoy playing keyboard in jazz and Latin bands.

I was pleased to see fellow grad student Bob Wintsch (PhD ’75) mentioned in Jim Skehan’s recent “Roadside Geology of Connecticut and Rhode Island.” That book brought back many great memories of my time at Brown.”

»Margie Power, ScB (see Ken Jones, 1974)

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»Janet MacFadyen, AB, writes: “I am a poet, which I admit is not a conventional path for Brown Geo graduates, but nonetheless is the one I took. This year I had a book of poetry published called A Newfoundland Journal. Newfoundland is a geologist’s paradise, and geology certainly found its way into the book. I have also authored a chapbook, In Defense of Stones, and my poetry has appeared in many journals including The Malahat Review in Canada, and The Atlantic Monthly and Poetry in the U.S. When not writing, I make my living selling reference-grade meteorological and atmospheric radiation measuring instruments. I live in Shutesbury, Massachusetts.”

»Charles Messina, ScM, writes: “I am now in my ninth year as a staff attorney with the Rhode Island Disability Law Center. Despite the change in careers, my interest in the geological sciences has not flagged, and I enjoy “geologizing” while I am outside at some other task. I have, however, over the past several years led some field trips to Purgatory Chasm in Sutton, Massachusetts, in connection with my son’s Boy Scout troop, and I helped about five of them earn their Geology merit badges. It was great to be out and doing some field work again. I am hoping to hear from other alums.”

»Dan Murray, PhD, writes: “Short version: I retired, and then unretired. Currently I’m the PI (needless to say, with lots of co-PI’s) on a 5-year, $12,500,000 NSF grant, the goal of which is to effect change in the STEM culture in K-12 science classes in RI and elsewhere in the country." (Photo: Dan Murray and Ellen Syracuse, AB '03 at the 2008 AGU/Brown Alumni Reception.)

»Joel Scheraga, AB, writes: “This has been an exciting year for me as the National Program Director of the EPA’s Global Change Research Program. Our primary mission continues to be to assess the impacts of global change – particularly climate variability and change – on air and water quality, ecosystems, human health, and socioeconomic systems in the United States, and to provide timely and useful information and decision-support tools to policy makers and resource managers to help them adapt to a changing climate. More recently, the Congress expanded the scope of our program by providing additional funds to investigate the environmental and human health implications of different approaches for reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases.

The Program released three major reports during the past year. In July 2008, we released a report that focuses on the impacts of climate change on human health, welfare, and settlements. In January 2009, Discover Magazine named the report #25 in its list of 100 Top Science Stories of 2008. The report concludes that climate change poses real risks to human health and the human systems that support our way of life in the United States. It contains timely and useful information for state and local policy makers already coping with a changing climate, in places like Alaska. And it identifies many opportunities for actions that could minimize the adverse impacts of climate change. It also emphasizes the challenges to adapting effectively, while recognizing the inability to adapt at all in some cases.

At about the same time, we released an assessment of environmental management practices that will help managers reduce the impact of climate change on sensitive ecosystems and natural resources. The report demonstrated that climate change can exacerbate the impact of traditional stressors, such as pollution or habitat destruction, on ecosystems. Many existing best management practices to reduce these stressors can be applied to reduce the impact of climate change.

Most recently, in April 2009, we released an assessment of the potential impacts of climate change on U.S. regional air quality. The report concludes that climate change should be considered by air quality managers as they develop air pollution control strategies. Climate change has the potential to produce significant increases in ground-level ozone in many regions, particularly for the highest-ozone events. This conclusion has important policy implications. Air quality managers in areas just below or not in compliance with the ozone standards should begin to consider the potential effects of climate change. Also, climate change has the potential to lengthen the ozone season, suggesting that air quality managers may need to extend the time over which they monitor ozone concentrations and be prepared to issue air quality alerts earlier in the spring and later in the fall.

I was fortunate to receive two honors during the past year. On June 23, 2008, I was named as an inaugural Fellow of the Institute for Science, Technology and Public Policy (ISTPP) in The Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. The ISTPP Fellows program recognizes individuals for distinguished accomplishments they’ve made in their disciplines, and for significant contributions to the development of the Institute and to its mission, aims, and objectives.I was also honored with an EPA Bronze Medal (photo, I'm right front) for Commendable Service on September 17, 2008. The award cited my contribution “playing a leadership role coordinating and integrating climate change activities across EPA, and increasing awareness of the implications of climate change to the Agency’s mission.”

Aside from work, I’m happy to report that my passion for cycling continues. In June 2008, I went on a bike tour around Ireland. It was one of the best cycling trips and best vacations I’ve ever taken. And in October 2008, I finished the Sea Gull Century in Salisbury, Maryland, for the fourth time. I finished in a personal best time of 6:11:02.”

»Christina Schoen, ScB, writes: “After graduating from Brown, I did some oceanographic cruises with Woods Hole and traveled in Europe, returning to the U.S. to work for the U.S Geological Survey in Reston, VA and Washington, DC. Graduated with an MBA from the Sloan School at MIT in 1985 and started my first job in commercial banking in the natural resources division at Chemical Bank. There I learned banking and to lend money to companies in the mining, oil and gas and agricultural industries. Being a geology major really helped me get that first job, and it was fantastic touring mines and oil and gas operations all over the U.S. and Canada. Since then I have worked in general corporate lending at 3 banks in the NYC metro area, the last being Citibank’s Private Bank, where I am part of a group that lends money to companies owned by high net worth clients of the Bank. I love what I do and hope it will continue!

On a personal note, I got married in 1997 (but still use my last name). We have lived in Greenwich, CT for 13 years and have one girl, almost 11, who is rapidly growing up and assuming teenager ways! My husband also works in NYC, so we juggle a lot, including all the school stuff, vacations, time on our power boat, working on the house and yard, and trying to stay in touch with family and friends. We are members of a local church where we both volunteer to teach Sunday school (not very seriously); it’s been a great way to get to know more people and news in our town. I also volunteer teach full business courses for women entrepreneurs each winter, which has led me to a third career plan for when I retire from banking. There’s always too much to do and too little time! Best to everyone!”

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»Barbara Baughman Berke, ScB, writes: “I had a brief career in the movie business after leaving Brown, working in research at Polaroid Corporation, once a mighty tower of technology and now circling the drain as a sadly outdated brand name. While being assigned to work on the ultimately bad idea to create instant movies, I met my husband with whom I share a patent on novel methods of noble metal colloid synthesis, two offspring, and an African son from South Sudan. As video killed the chemistry star (Edwin Land), I extricated myself from the sciences and began riding my bicycle in a different direction along the Charles River. 

Two years later, with an MBA in hand, I started a two-decade-plus career with the Boston Consulting Group, then a small but influential group of international, corporate strategy consultants but a more than billion dollar, privately held, global firm by the time I left. These proved to be interesting, demanding and rewarding years stretching from teaching U.S. manufacturers to compete with Japan (that seems really a long time ago); wrestling with strategy issues in businesses as far ranging as fine china, magazine publishing and paper machine clothing (that’s a real industry, look it up); to working with telecom and utility industries in the throes of deregulation. I never thought I’d leave or give up my road warrior status, but some pro bono work done for the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City and the Mayor of Boston led me in a new direction.

I almost deleted a voice mail from Governor-elect Romney, thinking it was a last minute campaign funding request (I’m not a Republican) but upon listening further heard an invitation to serve the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as the Secretary of Economic Development and Director of Business and Technology. Not a politician but interested in policy, I accepted and another interesting interlude in my life began. Many good stories here, but in the end, I ran six agencies and put in place soundly researched regional economic development strategies, a technology roadmap for the Commonwealth, an approach for accelerated permitting, assisted with an initiative to support low-income working adults, and launched a new department focused on small business and entrepreneurship along with a new life sciences initiative. But what you learn in government is that budgets come and go, even the best initiatives often disappear when the funding goes or the administration changes, and that politics prevail over policy. Happy to depart when I did, I nevertheless wouldn’t have traded that time for anything else.

My daughter’s now in her first year at Williams, my youngest son just finished his freshman year at Brookline High School and my African son is working at Children’s Hospital while getting started at Bunker Hill Community College. My husband is one of the founders of the Partners Innovation Fund at Partners Health Care (day job) and of Massachusetts Medical Angels (MAMA). I’m now serving Boston’s Mayor Menino as his senior strategy and policy advisor. Carl and I are both having a lot of fun following our life strategy: 0 to 30 learn, 30 to 50 earn, 50+ learn again (while wishing that some of our early investments have a prayer of hanging in there is this economy!). 

I’ve made it to a good selection of Brown reunions but haven’t come across too many folks from the Geology department. The best geo reunion proved to be an event held in honor of Dr. Tim Mutch a few years ago. I brought my daughter to learn more about the Viking Mars expeditions and was pleased to introduce her to professors who’d done their best to give me a decent education. Mac Rutherford even remembered my name. I’d love to hear from old friends and teachers. Anyone in Boston is welcome to drop by: (617-277-4047).”

»Robin Hazard Ray, AB, writes: “I attended the June 2009 meeting of the Association for the Study of Marble and Other Stones in Antiquity (ASMOSIA) in Tarragona, Spain. ASMOSIA is an international and interdisciplinary group of geologists, archaeologists, and art historians who meet to exchange information about ancient quarries, marble finds in shipwrecks, the ancient trade in high-value stone, etc.

In addition to visiting the Roman quarry of El Medol outside of Tarragona, the source of the city’s warm yellow building stone, we traveled to nearby Tortosa to visit the tiny quarry that yielded brocatello di Spagna (Italian for “brocade”), a fossil-rich yellow limestone breccia larded with red marl, much prized in the ancient world. (Photo: me standing in front of Roman-era chisel marks (don’t mind the hat-hair!). There was great excitement when members of the group found what appeared to be 1st-century BC Roman potsherds; with further research and confirmation, this may for the first time yield an approximate date for the opening of the quarry.)”

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»David Cheney, ScB, writes: “I’ve been doing science and technology-related policy work in Washington for the last 25 years(!), working at the Congressional Research Service, Council on Competitiveness, Department of Energy, and, currently, at the Washington office of SRI International, where I run our science and technology policy program ( We mostly do studies and program evaluations for Federal agencies, such as NSF and NIST, as well as for states and international clients, mostly in Japan, Korea, and the Mideast. For the last couple of years, I have been helping develop science and technology institutions in Saudi Arabia; we are currently doing strategic planning for what will be the world’s largest women’s university, in Riyadh. I live in Silver Spring, Maryland with my wife, Alexandra Fairfield, and two children. This spring I accompanied my son Alex who was visiting Brown as part of his college tour (above), and I was delighted to see Jan Tullis and talk to students about careers in science and technology policy.”

»Jim Conca, ScB (see feature "Interview with Jim Conca")

»Bo Garrison, ScB (see Gina Snyder Garrison, 1979)

»George Hogeman, ScB, writes: “After graduating from Brown in 1979, I served in the Peace Corps in Kenya from 1979 to 1983. I then taught geology, astronomy and physics at the Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, Connecticut until 1988 when I joined the Foreign Service. I have served as a consular officer in Nigeria, Canada, Tanzania, Taiwan and China and am presently working in the Office of Consular Systems and Technology. My family and I live in Falls Church, Virginia. Our son leaves for Peace Corps in Turkmenistan in September.”

»Jacques Lord, ScB, writes: “After 10 years of trying to be a “Do-er/Sell-er Group manager” I saw that my record was more one of a “didn’t-er/Sell-er” and I am out of the consulting business and back into environmental construction as an engineering geologist building hazmat landfill closure systems. In short, I got laid off, but found new work with the SHAW Group in less than 37 hours. Such is the power of a good education coupled with broad experience. I am happy. I did not like marketing and Business Development and I do like screening potential quarries and performing large-scale construction QA, as well as closing SUPERFUND sites.

We are replacing the home that burned up in the 2007 San Diego wildfires with a LEED-certified Platinum-level green home designed by my brother and his wife (the architects) and by my wife Marcyn and I. We are one of the first Green homes built to the Platinum level for under $200/square foot. This has become such a hot topic I am getting some speaking gigs in the U.S. and Canada to talk about our ups and downs in the process of building a LEED-compliant home. A book is in the works as well. This entire recovery process from the wildfire disaster is called making lemonade out of lemons; sort of like when I flunked freshman engineering and became a geology student…”

»Adam Schultz, ScB, writes: “As of the end of July 2008 I returned full time to Oregon State University, College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences following a rotation as Program Director for Marine Geology and Geophysics at NSF. In research terms I am continuing in my work in imaging the electrical conductivity structure of the crust and mantle, as well as work in the physics of hydrothermal circulation. A particular emphasis in recent years has been EarthScope, where I manage the U.S. Array magnetotelluric program and operate a national electromagnetic instrumentation facility for IRIS Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology. My wife Donna, son Jeremy and dogs Kira and Haley are situated in bucolic Corvallis Oregon, in the wine growing region of the Willamette Valley about an hour and a half south of Portland. While I was at NSF I had frequent interactions with GEO faculty at Brown, both through their proposal activity and through their service on NSF panels. It is clear that Brown continues to punch above its weight. It may be a relatively small department, but it has a big impact. The current conundrum I’m wrestling with is whether to accept a senior executive service appointment to run part of a federal agency in DC, which would be a permanent career relocation. Watch this space!”

»Gina Snyder Garrison, AB, writes: “I’m still living north of Boston in a town that straddles the headwaters of three separate watersheds. I am currently working on projects involving wastewater and water infrastructure, some of it in Rhode Island ( It has been interesting to be back in Rhode Island; one particular project is with the Narragansett Bay Commission, addressing energy use at the publicly owned wastewater treatment plants in Rhode Island: I also volunteer with my town’s climate protection committee and recently was elected to Town Meeting. My husband, Bo Garrison (ScB ’79) works for a start up company that manufactures biological sample preparation equipment and recently began putting together a website for people who might be interested in building a Norwalk Islands Sharpie like our sailboat. Our daughter, who plays the saxophone (a total puzzle for her two non-musical parents), just completed her sophomore year in high school.”


»Jack Huebschmann, AB, writes: “Not much has changed personally. However I just returned from a medical mission to South America and in addition to the medical experiences, I was able to visit some interesting places including Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands.”


»William Osborn, ScB, is still working in the field of oil and gas law in his hometown of Austin, Texas but now is also doing some wind power project work. In recent years Texas has become the number one wind power producing state in the nation, far surpassing any other state. His oldest child was accepted at Brown last year but chose Yale instead, for its residential college system.  He can be reached at

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»Ruth Bernstein, ScM, writes: “I am still a student! Having completed another Master’s degree in Philanthropy and a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management, both at Indiana University this year, I found I was not done studying. I have just completed my first year in the Doctorate in Management program at Case Western Reserve University where I am also a fellow at the Mandel Nonprofit Center. I will let you all know where this takes me after I complete my degree. I can be reached at”

»Roy Christoffersen, PhD, writes: “I’ve been a “silent” alum for longer than I would have liked, so here is a long overdue update. About 10 years ago I left an eclectic research career in mineralogy and materials science to join a technical management team in the International Space Station (ISS) Program at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. It was enlightening to join a massive NASA flight program trying to get research investigations integrated into the biggest structure in space ever assembled.

In 2005, a curious set of past connections and luck yanked me back into the science game in the Astromaterials Directorate at JSC, where I get to manage a top notch transmission electron microscope lab while doing hands-on research directed at lunar science.

Having snuck into the lunar research community by a back door, I naturally started crossing paths with “next generation” Brown planetary types, such as Sarah Noble (PhD ’04, below), who ended up as my office mate and research collaborator during her NRC postdoc.

With Sarah and others, my recent work has included a study of the effects of lunar soil particles on the original Apollo spacesuits, and other more fundamental work on “space weathering” processes.

Overall, I am tickled to have found that the science-to-management phase transition is actually reversible, even after age 50. But even more fun are my children Peter, 18, headed off to college at my alma mater, St. Lawrence, and my energetic basketball-playing daughter, Anna, 15, and finally my wife Sue, who teaches English-as-a-second-language to pre-school kids and amazes me with her also-after-50 devotion to running the Houston marathon (twice!).” (Photo: Sarah Noble and I hovering over Jack Schmitt’s space suit.)

»Patrick T. Clark, AB, writes: “My son graduated Quinnipiac University in May 2009 (right) with a 3.8 GPA. In April 2008 I went before the City Council of Cranston, RI and helped a group opposed to building a concrete plant in a middle class neighborhood. They had spent over one year looking for legal issues which could stop it from being built, but it took just four minutes for me to explain in detail the several levels of pollutions it would allow run amuck in our area and the approximate prices those would then cost the city in health benefits and cleanup costs. The mayor was the next speaker, and he switched sides after spending thousands of dollars against our group. Within a few months, it was all wrapped up. A 2.5 GPA student beats a mayor and ten lawyers worth hundreds of thousands. Imagine if I had been a good student? They might have paid us.”

»James Ferris, ScB, writes: “I live in the tiny town of Alford, MA in the Berkshires and work as a naturalist in water resources and environmental conservation. Our firm, Green Berkshires Inc, is in downtown Great Barrington, but there is plenty of fieldwork to be had on our lovely rivers and ridgelines. I’ve been here for eight years now, after nearly twenty in northern California. Providence is in my life again as my girlfriend lives there; it is imbued with a wonderful nostalgia for me.”

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»Geoffrey Abers, ScB (see Colleen Dalton, 2000)

»Jim Burnell, PhD, writes: “I’m the Senior Minerals Geologist with the Colorado Geological Survey. After many years in the consulting business, it is great to be back in the realm of real geology again. I’ve gotten great play with my talks around the state, especially concerning the resource requirements for alternative energy technologies. Part of that appears in a paper in the April/May edition of The Professional Geologist, titled “So You Say Alternatives are the Answer – Let’s Talk. Resource Constraints on Alternative Energy Development.” The paper and talk discuss the mineral commodities necessary for the various technologies, our dependence on imports for these commodities, and the supply and price difficulties we will surely encounter as “green” energy technologies increase in use. In short, the idea of achieving energy independence is not possible without a robust American mining industry. Always happy to hear from fellow geologists and other old chums. Now that Rhode Island Hall has been renovated, I feel I’ve lost a psychic connection.”

»Bill Ehmann, ScM, has been named Associate Provost at Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry (Westchester Co.), NY. His interests in space science have continued through work with comet-discoverer David Levy on several educational and technical projects, and with astronomy writer Daniel Pendick who has recently been hired to work with Brown planetary alum Jim Garvin (PhD ’84) at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center Sciences and Exploration Directorate. Bill remains active in ecological field research, helps promote online citizen science through partnerships at Cornell University, and is working on a book project in environmental ethics.

»Mary Garren, ScB, writes: “I’m still at the EPA in Boston and changing up my job occasionally. I’ve left hazardous waste site remediation and am working on preserving the water quality of the lakes, rivers and shorelines of New England. Science at EPA is fairly interdisciplinary so I still work with enough geology to keep me happy! I’m always glad to talk with students about careers at EPA. My partner Marie and I married a few years ago after 22 happy years together. Life is good.” (Photo: Our Massachusetts marriage license. Marie Rousseau, left and me on the right.)

»John Kwok, AB, writes: “I was a volunteer at the second annual New York City World Science Festival during the climate change and paleobiology session. I heard Brown biology professor Ken Miller speak at a WSF session on Science Faith and Religion, sitting near actress Cameron Diaz, and said hello to someone I hadn’t seen since high school, WSF co-founder - and Columbia University physicist - Brian Greene.”

»Peter-John Leone, ScB, writes: “The last eighteen months I have been in graduate school, and in May 2009, I received a Master of Accounting degree from Chatham University in Pittsburgh. In June, I started a new job as Finance Manager for Children, Youth, and Family Services, Inc., a nonprofit company that serves disadvantaged and at-risk children. It is based in Charlottesville, VA, so my family and I are moving in July. I’d be happy to hear from any Brunonians who live in the area or who are passing through:”

»Peter Wang, ScB, writes: “I am still persevering through the peaks and valleys of the oil and gas extraction industry, as a Senior Geophysicist for WesternGeco in Houston, but the future may bring dramatic career & location changes. My wife Leslie Wang (’83) and I will celebrate our 25th anniversary this year, and our son is going to college in 2010. Please seek me out on LinkedIn or Facebook and keep abreast of the latest news.”

»Marcia Wiley, AB, writes: “I have followed my love of molten material by founding my own line of beautiful blown drinking glasses called Wileyware. My creations can be ordered online at I live in Seattle with my son North Sparks and enjoy gardening and bringing play into my community.”

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»Robert Edrington, ScB, writes: “Since I last wrote, I have been “transitioned” to a new contractor, CH2M Hill PRC, and have been relocated out onto the Hanford site. No longer in my palatial in-town third floor cubicle, I am now in an office with a window and door in the middle of the Sage-Steppe of Southeastern Washington. Though the window only has a view of the mobile office 50 feet away, it’s still nice to be able to see the sky and have the natural light. I have also “transitioned” to a 4-10 schedule with an hour commute. But the important part is that I still get to do Hydrogeologic testing and monitoring for the Soil and Groundwater Remediation Project and get out into the field occasionally.

On the home front, Esther is getting ready to turn three and as of July 4th will have been a U.S. citizen and with us for two years. She has been adjusting well to her forever family and the rest of the kids love her something fierce (kids in photo). We are in the process of adopting again. The little boy is less than a month younger than Esther.

On a personal aside, this year I volunteer to interview local students who had applied to Brown through BASC. It was a great experience and I was excited to be a part of the five students’ journeys. There were nine total who applied from the Tri-cities. One of the five I interviewed was accepted and two were on the waiting list. The one who was accepted decided for Brown and I was very excited to welcome her to the Brown community. The two on the waiting list I have not heard back from but both were very much wanting to go to Brown. I was very impressed with the high caliber of students we have in the relatively small community. So, if anyone is swinging through the area, feel free to give me a ring and I can probably point you to places of interest to visit here on the dry-side of the Evergreen State.”

»Hugh Hurlow, ScB, writes: “I have some rare time at home to myself while my family (wife Marilyn from Bellevue, WA; son Evan, 14, and daughter Rose, 12) are on an Alaska cruise with Marilyn’s mother, so I’ll take the opportunity to update you all. 

We have been in Salt Lake City for nearly 14 years. I am a Senior Geologist at the Utah Geological Survey, where I combine structural geology, geophysics, and hydrogeology to investigate regional- to local-scale ground-water flow basins. I arrived here after a fairly typical tortuous path of degrees, temporary positions, and uncertainty: M.S. at University of Wyoming, PhD and post-doc at University of Washington, Visiting Assistant Professor at University of Montana. My lifeline to my present job was sitting in on a groundwater course at Montana while technically unemployed (the person I replaced survived mountain climbing in Bolivia, but they graciously allowed me to stay on and try for grants etc...); before that I had scrupulously avoided all things surficial, hoping to do research on tectonics and mid-crustal faults and squishy granites. So, I have enjoyed learning about ground water and don’t intend to head in a significantly different direction, though one never knows.

I am currently winding down a large (time and $$$) project to establish a regional ground-water monitoring network in west-central Utah, in response to Las Vegas’ plan to export large amounts of ground water from all of east-central and southeastern Nevada; some of that withdrawal will significantly impact Utah. I have learned more about well drilling, contracting, and purchasing supplies within a state government bureaucracy than I ever hoped, but have also learned much about hydrogeology and have enjoyed spending time in a very remote part of the country that I have wanted to work in since a field trip in 1987. You can find out more about the project at, go to the groundwater section’s menu and look for Snake Valley. If you toggle through the photos note that I am responsible for the stuck vehicle and dejected co-workers nearby.

We love Salt Lake City; it is a good place with decent schools and great mountains and desert nearby, though we are fairly far from our families in Washington and Oregon. In our off time we mainly camp locally or travel to the Pacific Northwest.

Best wishes to all and to all a good night...”

»Garth Klimchuk, AB, writes: “Since graduating from Brown I spent over twenty years on Wall Street focused on energy and utility corporate finance. In between, I completed an MA in Energy Management and Policy and an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania (’87) and the Wharton School (’89), respectively. Most recently (2003) I started my own firm focused on providing investment banking services to the renewable energy sector and we also have a separate business developing biodiesel facilities in the Northeast. We are very active in all these areas and are excited to be playing a role in helping the renewable industry grow.

On a separate note, my brother Glenn Klimchuk (AB ’88) is a partner at Booz & Co. where he focuses on providing strategic planning services to the oil and gas industry. He plays a critical role in helping these companies reduce costs and increase efficiency in their oil & gas exploration and refining activities. His geology education at Brown has been important to him. He also received his MS in Petroleum Geology from the University of Texas.”

»Michael Ravine, ScM, writes: “Long after leaving Brown, I went back to grad school at UCSD and got a PhD in geophysics in ’97. I’m now working for Malin Space Science Systems in San Diego (, managing the development of spaceflight imaging systems. Our three cameras on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter just started taking pictures of the Moon ( We’re finishing up three cameras we developed for the Mars Science Laboratory rover, while just starting on building a camera for the upcoming Juno Jupiter orbiter mission. And our two cameras on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have been sending back outstanding images of Mars for three years now.

My wife, Laura, and I have twin six year olds (Jim and Anna) that otherwise keep us pretty busy--I keep waiting for that to slack off, but it hasn’t really yet.

And for something completely different, I was an executive producer on the movie NOBEL SON, which was in theaters late last year and is now out on DVD. Below is a picture of me introducing my wife to Bill Pullman, who’s in the movie, on the red carpet at our Hollywood premiere in December.” (

»Michael Wysession, ScB, writes: “I am still teaching geophysics at Washington University and doing seismology research into Earth’s mantle structure. I am gearing up for a broadband seismic deployment in Madagascar and Mozambique, designed to investigate the connection between intraplate volcanism and deep mantle plume structure. I have been very active with community service work, heading up the NSF-sponsored Earth Science Literacy Initiative (, Chairing IRIS’s Education and Outreach program, starting a training program to teach geology to NASA engineers, creating a 48-lecture video course on “How the Earth Works” for The Teaching Company, and co-authoring Pearson Prentice Hall’s K-12 national science textbook program. I just attended my 25th Brown reunion this year with Margaret Farnon (’84), my Freshman-year sweetheart. Yes, we are wonderfully back together after taking slight detours in our lives.”

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»Lauris C. Davies, ScB, writes: “Since graduating in 1985, I’ve been working for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency both in Washington DC, and for the last 20 years, in the Seattle, WA regional office. I haven’t had much opportunity to use any geology expertise (such as it is) after the first few years at EPA, having spent most of my time at EPA on policy and program management. The geology and general science background has been invaluable, however, in understanding the technical underpinnings of environmental policy. I recently cleaned out a storage unit and found a box of all my Brown Geo notebooks and not surprisingly, found I no longer remembered much of what was in them. Nevertheless, I’ve been appointed the Geology Merit Badge Counselor for my son’s boy scout troop and look forward to putting a bunch of teenage boys through their geology paces during a 10-day semi-wilderness canoe trip on the Upper Missouri River in Montana this summer. The whole family (sons aged 12 and 9 and daughter aged 5) will be coming along so perhaps I’ll be planting some early seeds for a future geology major. We continue to love the Pacific Northwest and spend as much time as possible in the mountains, on the ski slopes and on the rivers (when we’re not managing homework, jobs, scouts, and sports).”

»Robert M. Gailey, ScB, writes: “I continue to consult as a Hydrogeologist in the San Francisco Bay Area and Western U.S. Happily, business is pretty good. I have projects (both water supply and contamination) through my own consultancy and also as a subcontractor to larger firms. In my spare time, I’ve taken on being President of the Board of Directors for a small private elementary school in Oakland that my children attend. Also, with my seemingly infinite supply of spare time (I wish), I’ve begun to learn guitar. Hope all my old friends are well. I can be reached at:”

»Sarah Hokanson Medearis, ScM, writes: “Since graduating from Brown, I’ve been working in the environmental consulting field, mainly studying and cleaning up contaminated groundwater from past industrial operations. I enjoy working with industrial and government clients, environmental organizations, and the public to solve tough water pollution problems. Recently, I joined a Dutch-based engineering firm of 13,000 employees named ARCADIS, whose name derives from Greek mythology of Arcadia, the finest place on Earth, and whose symbol, the salamander, connotes lasting quality and ecological balance.  

I’m happily married to a fellow geologist from the West Coast also working in the environmental field and, together, we have two dogs and one son, age 13, who enjoys ice hockey, soccer, tennis, and music, as well as political discussions (it’s the main sporting event in the DC area). I volunteer my time on my city’s Planning Commission reviewing development projects, zoning laws, and city/neighborhood master plans guiding future development. I also lead a group of Brown Alumni who volunteer their time by interviewing students applying to Brown.

I periodically work with fellow grad student alums Tim Bechtel (PhD ’89) and Felicia Kegel-Bechtel (ScM ’85), who together started and run a successful geophysics firm named ENVIROSCAN in Lancaster PA.

I look forward to catching up with my fellow Brown Geology grads who either visit or live in the DC area and encourage them to contact me via email at”

»Felicia Kegel Bechtel, ScM (see Sarah Hokanson Medearis, 1985)

»Collin Roesler, ScB, writes: “I have been living in Maine for over ten years after a 5-year stint as a professor in the Marine Sciences Department of University of Connecticut. I worked for 9 years at the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences as a research scientist and moved recently to the University of Maine Darling Marine Center. However, just this year I was offered a tenured faculty position in the Geology Department of Bowdoin College teaching the oceanography curriculum. It has been my dream to get back to teaching and so I am looking forward to the fall semester. My research has focused on understanding ocean ecology on a range of time and space scales spanning individual cells to ocean basins and minutes to decades. This has led me to explore in situ techniques for detecting components of the ecosystem on relevant scales along with environmental conditions. I am currently using arrays of instrumented moorings to quantify the natural variations in ecosystem structure with the goal of understanding how plankton responds to climate change. This work has taken me from the Gulf of Maine to the Arabian Sea and beyond, including the polar oceans. It makes for an exciting workday.

On the personal front, I met my husband while at the University of Connecticut. He is a microbiologist working in the water resources division of the U.S. Geological Survey. After 3 years doing the long distance thing, we were fortunate to find gainful employment here in Maine. We have four-year-old twins, a boy and a girl. We live on a farm where we grow and raise our own food and enough for a few friends. The kids love the chickens, goats, lambs, pigs, turkeys and horse, some of which we eat some of whom are just pets. We are preparing for a big trip to India next spring where I will be working in the Arabian Sea and the family will be learning Hindi and eating wonderful food.”

»Patricia Yager, ScB, writes: “Now an Associate Professor at UGA, I continue my research on carbon cycle feedbacks between climate and the marine biosphere. I was funded by NSF this past year to study climate-active gases in Antarctic sea ice. The expedition onboard the Swedish Icebreaker Oden traveled between Montevideo, Uruguay and McMurdo Station, Antarctica from November 29, 2008 - January 13, 2009. The team of U.S. and Swedish scientists investigated the sea ice microbial communities in the South Pacific sector of the Southern Ocean, particularly with respect to physical and biological controls on fluxes of carbon dioxide and organohalogens (ozone-depleting compounds). I had three UGA students onboard with me. Despite the news that the total amount of sea ice is not changing much in the Antarctic, there are significant areas where it is disappearing fast (and others where it is growing). Biology and biogeochemistry operate on these smaller scales, and we are looking to see if these sea ice changes matter to the net flux of climate gases. This project follows on the heels of our 2007-2008 research project on the oceanography and carbon cycling of the Amundsen Sea polynya (an open water feature in this same area of the coastal Antarctic). Both expeditions had PolarTrec teachers onboard and you can read their blogs at:  I’m holding a data workshop in Athens, Georgia this September to summarize findings and prepare for a special issue in Deep Sea Research. I really love working in the Antarctic, but also look forward to a project in the Amazon River plume next year. Interested students can visit my website ( or contact me at (Photo: me and my new friends.)"

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»Robert Breynaert, ScM (see Nikki Barratt, 1988)

»James Gaherty, ScB (see Colleen Dalton, 2000)

»Jonathan Overpeck, PhD (see Julia Cole, 1995)

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»Nick Hastings, ScB, writes: “Just had a geologist’s dream vacation with the family: a “canyon tour” of southern Utah and northern Arizona. We hiked Zion, Bryce, and Grand Canyons (among other stops along the way). I hadn’t been to the Grand Canyon since field camp in 1986 when we hiked down & up on our “day off” from mapping. I couldn’t resist a little Brown Geology promotion on the hike down, wearing a Brown Geological Sciences t-shirt.

The family favorite was a much less-frequented canyon, Antelope Canyon (above), located on the Navajo Reservation just outside Page, AZ -- a beautiful slot canyon cut into the red Navajo Sandstone formation.

Next trip is a backpacking trip up Mount Washington in late June -- probably not warm enough to show off the Brown Geo t-shirt that time of year! Maybe some fleece pullovers should be the next item for sale?”

»John Humphrey, PhD continues on as Department Head of Geology and Geological Engineering at Colorado School of Mines. What little time he has left for research is oriented toward carbonate geology (sedimentology, stratigraphy, diagenesis, geochemistry, reservoir characterization) and stable isotope geochemistry (isotope hydrology, environmental geochemistry, paleoclimatology). He runs short courses in carbonate diagenesis and dolomitization and leads carbonate field trips worldwide. CSM carbonate field trips this past year have been to San Salvador Island in the Bahamas, Ireland, and Kazakhstan. Students interested in graduate studies in petroleum geoscience, mineral deposits, hydrogeology, or geotechnical engineering are encouraged to apply to Mines (

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»Nikki Barratt, ScM, writes: “Been reading through my latest alumni newsletter and decided it was time to fill in, any of you who are interested, on what I’ve been up to since graduation with an ScM from Brown in ‘88. It was so great to hear all about Greg Hirth, John Mustard, Peck, Robin Webb and to know that John Farrell has not lost his sense of humor!!

It’s been quite a journey, so I’ll just give you a brief outline. Right after graduation, I headed out to California and cleaned up hazardous waste in Silicon Valley for 2 years (with help from Bob Breyneart, ScM '87). Got quite ill so headed to Key West Florida, where I worked nights at Margaritaville and got involved with a non-profit called Reef Relief by day. Headed back to California and got a PhD in Environmental Engineering at UC Berkeley, working on restoration of aquatic habitats such as lakes, wetlands, rivers and streams. Moved up to Sonoma County, lived in the redwoods, helped found two local non-profit watershed restoration groups, saved some salmon, worked at two local colleges, got married (Jeff Heitmann, American University, ’90) and had two kids (Jackson, born ‘96 and Hawkins, born ‘99).

Got an itch to travel and we all ended up in Bahrain, with Jeff and I teaching at an Arabic National high school in 2000. Learned Arabic, a lot about Islam, the Persian Gulf, just how hot hot can be, collected some beautiful carpets and had another baby (Gabriella, born ‘01).

Got another travel itch and moved to Zambia in ’02. Taught high school science, did lots of safaris, collected some great art, did some good research and work on sustainable cassava production, drinking water quality and conservation of open space and had another baby (Michael, born ‘04). Got my tubes tied and also got involved with recruiting for Brown from Southern Africa!

Got itchy again and moved to Madagascar in ’06. Taught high school math and science, spent a lot of time with lemurs, sat on some fabulous beaches, learned French, bought some great gemstones, did some research on water quality and heavy metal pollution in a heron reserve, built composting latrines, did some recruiting for Brown and managed not to get pregnant!

Got a bit tired of travel and decided to move back to the US. We’re living in our beach house at the Jersey shore and in June I started teaching at a Burlington County College here in New Jersey. I’m supposed to begin helping out in their new NASA center so I might be calling on some of you for help!

Looking back on the past 8 years, I will keep in my heart the empty white sand beaches, the morning cries of the Indri indri, chameleons walking slowly with eyes in all directions, winding roads through misty mountains, zebu in the rice paddies, mangoes and litchis, bougainvillea and hibiscus, jacaranda and flame trees, the red soils and dust, the amazing game parks of mother Africa with lions, giraffes, rhino, hippo, leopard, cheetah.

But it is also the people, thousands of smiling children of all ages, mostly in tattered clothes, barefoot, a little snotty, running wild, climbing, playing football with anything even somewhat round, carrying little brothers and sisters on their backs. The women wrapped in bright, colorful chitenges or lambas or sarongs and the Arab women all dressed in black. The bowler hats of the Malagasy and the covered heads of the Muslims. The drumming, dancing and wailing into the wee hours of the dark, smoky nights. And people walking, walking everywhere; carrying anything and everything on their heads.

Would love to hear back from fellow alums at

Terry Quinn, PhD '89 and John Farver, PhD '88 get caught up during the 2008 AGU/Brown Alumni Reception in San Francsico.


»Sarah (Faulkner) Hugenbeger, ScB, writes: “I am teaching in the computer studies department at Concord Academy (Concord, MA), as well as coaching lacrosse and working in their communications department as a Web Editor. We live in Arlington, MA.”

»Glenn Klimchuk, AB (see Garth Klimchuck, 1984)

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Noam Izenberg, ScB '89 and Tracy Porter Gregg, ScB '90 attend the annual AGU/Brown Alumni Reception in San Francisco in December of 2008.



»Timothy Bechtel, PhD (see Sarah Hokanson Medearis, 1985)

»Jian Lin, PhD, writes: “I continue to conduct research around the world. In 2007 and 2008 we discovered and investigated the first deep-sea active hydrothermal vent fields at the Southwest Indian Ridge, east of Africa, and at the equatorial East Pacific Rise, using a deep-sea robot. With Ross Stein (ScB ’75) we studied the May 12, 2008 magnitude 7.9 Wenchuan earthquake in China as well as earthquakes of northern Algeria. We are also planning a summer 2010 research cruise in the Mediterranean Sea to map active submarine earthquake faults and archeological sites along the ancient maritime trade routes. My other info includes being recently awarded a Henry B. Bigelow Chair for Excellence in Oceanography by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).”

»Andrew Schmeising, AB, owns two companies based in Lakewood, CO. Talus Environmental Consulting is a full service environmental consulting company specializing in soil and groundwater assessment and remediation. Geothermal Systems is a full-service ground-source heat pump heating and cooling company.


»Karen Kohfeld, ScB, writes: “Photos? Did someone say photos? Here (right) is my latest favorite of Katherine Eleanor Kohfeld Rathe - the other several gigabytes are at”

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»Rosa Gwinn, PhD, writes: “I am lucky that I have a career as an environmental consultant for URS Corporation that I enjoy, with friends and colleagues who make working a pleasure. The job meets a basic requirement that Paul Hess set forth for me years ago: 'Stick with it as long as you are still learning something new.' I’ve had opportunities to travel for work across the country and abroad, and deal with toxic materials, including (!) munitions, a lot more than I suspected would be the case. In 2008, I spent 10 weeks (off and on) working in Frankfurt, Germany, on a U.S. Government site in Poland. The Bush Administration felt we needed missiles there to protect us against rogue nations (Iran, Iraq, Canada?), and URS defined the geological and baseline environmental conditions. When I returned from that stressful gig, I started drafting a hazardous waste clean-up program for the so-called Multi-National Coalition in Iraq. I don’t think I would have predicted doing either of those tasks when I studied Geology at Harvard and Brown. So, the job is good, the work is challenging and (on some days) even requires knowing something about rocks. I’ve not been back to Providence in too long, despite having a couple of classmates on the faculty now!”

»Gabrielle Katz, AB, writes: “I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography and Planning at Appalachian State University, located in the Blue Ridge of western North Carolina. My teaching and research are focused on physical geography, particularly biogeography and hydrology. For more information, you can take a look at I am married to a botanist, and we have a son, Micah, who will be four in August. All three of us love the outdoors, and travel to Arizona annually for riparian fieldwork.”

»Scott Miller, ScB, writes: “Greetings from Laramie, WY where I am an Associate Professor (Spatial Processes Hydrologist) in the Renewable Resources Department. I have 3 kids now; Sam is 7, Keegan 5 and Maggie 2, so my wife Jennifer and I have our hands full for sure. My research blends field research and GIS-based hydrological modeling in areas that have been affected by human development. I’m finishing up research in Kenya and South Africa and staying a little closer to home by establishing projects in Wyoming. My research group ( is now digging into the fate and transport of water in the Snowy Range, which is currently experiencing a huge die-off due to Pine Bark Beetle, trying to understand impact of extensive oil and gas development in the Upper Colorado River, and looking at the controls on river morphology in the Little Laramie River. I have an additional research focus on the use of RADAR and LIDAR for both ground-based erosion and runoff measurement and larger-scale modeling. I greatly enjoy teaching both undergraduate and graduate students, primarily in the fields of hydrology and spatial analysis. Best wishes to all!”

»Richard W. Vorder Bruegge, ScB Engineering, PhD, writes: “I have just been named the FBI’s Operational Technology Division “Senior Photographic Technologist”. In this position, I am responsible for identifying and developing imaging technologies for law enforcement and intelligence applications. Chief among these areas is developing face recognition technologies and improving the scientific basis for the identification of human beings from images (photographs, videos, etc.).”

»Mara Yale, ScB, writes: “I’m expecting my second child any time now so the best blurb will be to share the news of my new arrival. I’m not sure how that will fit with your deadline though! My 2-year old daughter Zoe is very excited about becoming an older sister. Baby’s due June 14…”

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»David Herrick, ScM, writes: “I have just earned tenure at a community college in Maysville, KY, where I teach introductory courses in physics and astronomy. The astronomy is usually taught on-line: the population base in this area just isn’t big enough for an on-campus class to make, but on-line we get hundreds of students per year from across the state.

One of the physics classes I teach is a dual-credit high school course, which requires me to drive twice a week to a neighboring county and immerse myself in a very alien high school environment. The county school board reimburses the students their tuition if they earn at least a B, so they’re always reminding me that if their parents kill them, their blood will be on my hands.

The most challenging class for me is a thermodynamics course for technical students interested in working at a local power plant. It’s impossible to find a thermo textbook that doesn’t go beyond basic algebra, so that course really had to be constructed from scratch.

While I was at Brown, I began to dabble in writing song parodies. (My contemporaries may recall “My Favorite Rocks”, to the tune of “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music.) I’ve now written about two dozen song parodies dealing mostly with the various frustrations of teaching. Someday I’ll release a CD and make a million bucks…”

»Betina Pavri, ScM, writes: “Best wishes to all of my friends and colleagues from Brown! We are all doing well. Jason is starting high school next year, and Randy is working on a follow-up on NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory mission. I am now working on the Mars Science Laboratory project ( I am the science instrument payload integration and test engineer. I work with the science and engineering teams to verify that we will have a reliable system to collect the data needed to unravel Mars’ geological history. We look forward to the launch of the rover in 2011.

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»Christopher Starr, ScB, graduated with a degree in geology-biology. He received his medical degree with honors from the Cornell University Medical College in New York City, where he completed an additional year of advanced laboratory research. After an internship in internal medicine at Columbia University, St. Lukes-Roosevelt Hospital, Dr. Starr completed his ophthalmology residency training at the Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. He then completed an advanced fellowship program in Cornea, Cataract & Laser Vision Correction surgery at the Wilmer Eye Institute of Johns Hopkins University, where he was an honored recipient of the Walter J. Stark Research Award for his work on corneal dystrophies.

In addition to his busy practice, Dr. Starr is an active and accomplished researcher, lecturer, and teacher. As a recognized expert in Laser Vision Correction Surgery he is frequently asked to lecture and write on his area of expertise, recently speaking at Columbia, NYU, St. Vincent and the University of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Starr is also a valued educator, not only to his own residents and fellows, but also to physicians and surgeons from around the world. In 2006, he was the honored recipient of the Teacher Of The Year Award at New York University, Manhattan Eye Ear & Throat Hospital for his excellence in teaching and mentoring. Dr. Starr currently serves as the Director of the Residency Program in Ophthalmology and Co-Director of the Fellowship Program in Cornea, Cataract & Laser Vision Correction Surgery at the Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York-Presbyterian Hospital. 

Dr. Starr is an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at the Weill Cornell Medical Center and his practice interests include innovative laser vision correction (Custom bladeless LASIK, LASEK, PRK), restorative corneal surgery (DSAEK and transplantation), advanced cataract surgery including premium IOL’s (Crystalens, Restor, Toric) as well as general Ophthalmology.

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»Janice Bishop, PhD, writes: “I attended the International Clay Conference in southern Italy in June, where I saw some colleagues from Brown: Jack Mustard, Ralph Milliken, PhD ’06, and Bethany Ehlmann (current graduate student). Following the meeting I explored Mount Vesuvius and collected some rocks with my daughter, Katie (photo).”

»Jiajie (Jeff) Chen, PhD, writes: “After a busy but rewarding career with Core Lab for several years, I joined Marathon in 2001, as reported previously. I was part of the Marathon’s Upstream Technology group for several years, dealing with an extensive spectrum of projects such as tight gas and carbonate reservoirs in Canada, carbonate projects in the Middle East, deep-water reservoir characterization in Africa, coalbed methane, shale oil, and enhanced oil recovery projects in the U.S.A. For the last two years, I have been assigned as the project geologist to deal with one of Marathon’s key development projects in the Gulf of Mexico, responsible for reservoir characterization and modeling. We have been drilling several successful wells since 2007, encountering hundreds of feet of pay sands in each well. Hopefully we will see the first oil sometime early next year. The challenges of working the complex deep-water development project have been compensated by the excitement of finding thick oil zones.

My most recent activity related to the Department of Geological Science at Brown was a summer visit in 2006 with my older daughter, Connie, who now attends the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas. She spent her childhood from 3 to 5 years old in Providence and the visit to Brown helped to refresh her memory of the simple but beautiful life there. My wife Bing and I are very proud of Connie’s achievement. It was my great pleasure seeing Dr. Warren Prell, Dr. R.K. Matthews, Dr. Steve Clemens, and other faculty members and friends at Brown again during the visit. Our younger daughter Janet, a 9-year-old 4th grader, is quite an energetic swimmer. Bringing her to various swim meets in the summer has brought a lot of joy for me.”

»Teddy Keizer, AB, writes: “The big news here is the birth of our son Lincoln Keizer (photo). It is hard to believe that just a few months ago Ann and I were leaving the hospital with a new view of the world. Lincoln is doing well. He became the newest member of the Keizer family on April 29th. He is a good eater and has already reached eleven pounds. He is rosy red with a fairly decent hairdo. He has been adorable and keeps us on our toes. It has been a lot of fun.”

»Ben McBride, ScB, writes: “After graduating from Brown I went on to the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and received a masters in Geology. I left geology shortly after finishing my masters to work at Charles River Development. Most recently I completed a Masters degree in Computer Science from Boston University. I currently work as a Technical Team Lead writing C#/Java for Trade Order and Execution Management Software for Charles River Development in Burlington, MA.”

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»Julia Cole, ScB, writes: “I moved to Tucson from Boulder in 1999 and am now an Associate Professor (in Geosciences, and jointly with Atmospheric Sciences) at the University of Arizona. I’m working on paleoclimatic questions of societal importance, including understanding SW drought and trends in tropical climate systems. I recently completed training as a Leopold Fellow in Environmental policy, communication, and leadership - an amazing program! Peck (Jonathan Overpeck, PhD ‘86) and I have two boys, ages 4 and 6, who keep us running!”

»John Hays, ScM, writes: “For the past 9.6 years I have been the Floodplain Coordinator for Santa Cruz County Arizona Flood Control District.

Last year I was awarded the Larry R. Johnston Memorial Local Floodplain Manager of the Year 2008 Award (photo) by the Association of State Floodplain Managers.

In addition to my position with the District, I have also been teaching geology at the Nogales Campus of Cochise College. I am also the Cub Master for Cub Scout Pack 508, and serve on the Coronado RC&D Council (current President and former Vice-President). I have also served on the IBWC Southeastern Arizona Citizens Forum (former member, former Co-Chair), Arizona State Park Natural Area Advisory Council (former member, former Vice Chair and Chair), and the Arizona Floodplain Management Association Board of Directors (past Southern Region Representative, and past Associate Member at Large).”

»Benjamin Holtzman, ScB (see Colleen Dalton, 2000)

»Laurie McDonough, ScM, MAT: I am currently in South Dakota and heading east after driving from RI to San Francisco to pick up my daughter (she was on a co-op with an architecture firm there). We are now driving back via a number of national parks - Yosemite, Death Valley, Grand Canyon, Zion, Arches and Glacier. It’s pretty much a “look and see” trip - I’m sure Danielle and I will go back to visit some of these places for more extended stays in order to hike, raft, etc. We are traveling with our 14-1/2 year old Lab Ruby and an 8-month old Great Pyrenees puppy, Bacchus. Choice photos will be posted to a website after we return. You all would be very proud of the geology geekyness during this trip!

My son and daughter-in-law are homesteading on 270 acres in Maine. Danielle will be finishing up her architecture degree in May 2010. I am still teaching science at Dean College.

Please feel free to contact me at

»Allegra Hosford Scheirer, ScB, writes: “My husband Dan Scheirer (former research associate for 8 years in the Brown geo department) and I are still in the San Francisco Bay Area. I left the U.S. Geological Survey (where Dan still works) after our son was born 2.5 years ago. I was very lucky to be hired part time at Stanford University in August 2008 to help launch the new Basin and Petroleum System Modeling Industrial Affiliates Program ( This is a multidisciplinary research effort aimed at developing better-constrained, 4D (space+time) computer models of petroleum in sedimentary basins. As the only paid employee on the project, I get to do my own research, advise graduate students, and interface with industry scientists. Plus, I get to play with my 2 year old most of the time, so it is really the best of both worlds. You can reach me at:”

»Lee Silverman, ScB 1994, ScM spent 8 very good years in the Internet business.  When the tech bubble burst, he opened a specialty running & triathlon store in Brooklyn called JackRabbit. In 2006 JackRabbit expanded by adding a store in Union Square in Manhattan, and this past spring expanded again with another store on the Upper East Side. Lee currently lives in Park Slope with his wife and two children: Joshua, 6 and Rachel, 5.

»Josh Tappan, AB, writes, “I am a Property Manager for the non-profit Champlain Housing Trust, managing their commercial portfolio, in Burlington, VT.”

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»Rachel Bishop, AB, writes: “After finishing my PhD in Materials Science and Engineering in 2001 at Northwestern, I spent 7 years as a strategy consultant at McKinsey & Co. I’m presently an Associate Principal, focusing on sales and marketing strategy for consumer companies. During my time at McKinsey my husband, Ben Boer (Brown ’96, MS ’98) and I welcomed 2 daughters to our family: Charlotte Rose in June of 2005, and Mia Mae in April of 2008.”

»Jim Damian, AB, writes: “I am happy to announce that I am marrying Kimberly Keir (Mansfield University) on August 1, 2009 in Wysox, PA. We will continue to reside in Timonium, Maryland where I am employed as a performance analyst and she teaches string orchestra. You can contact us at”

»Eric Grosfils, PhD, writes: “It has been a busy and rewarding year. On the home front, we created more electrical energy than we used during our first full year of solar panel use, enjoyed some vacation time with family on Cape Cod, and put a back yard into place at long last, enabling us to enjoy some quiet time outside on a shaded porch overlooking fruit trees, a decent-sized vegetable patch, a bit of grass, and some experimental grape vines and blueberry bushes!  

Among the professional highlights, I’m pleased to report that papers with two of my former undergraduate students have just gone to press, one in GRL and the other in Computational Geoscience. Two other efforts with students are also well along in the review process, and I hope to hear good news about both soon. In addition, I am just wrapping up my third and final year as a Distinguished Lecturer for the NAGT. This spring I have greatly enjoyed a sabbatical as a Fulbright U.S. Senior Scholar in New Zealand, where I have been working with colleagues on numerical models of caldera ring fault initiation and related topics.

New Zealand is a wonderful country, and my family and I have quite enjoyed our professional and personal experiences here. If anyone is headed down for a visit, I can certainly recommend some “don’t miss” locations. Below is a photo of Linda and me with our son, who remains healthy and happy, on the shores of Lake Taupo.

To cap off a good year, I recently received word that I will be promoted to the rank of Full Professor of Geology at Pomona College as of July 1st. I expect 2009-2010 will be a quieter period, with much of my energy dedicated to another year of service Chairing my department (giving Linda a break as she’s performed this service over the past several years). Best wishes everyone!”

»Debbie Thomas, ScB, writes: “I’ve been an Assistant Professor in the Oceanography Department at Texas A&M since 2004 and am currently going through the tenure process. husband, Brent Miller (Associate Professor in the Geology Department here at A&M), and I are getting ready for the arrival of our son (our first child) in October!  Our dogs are not so thrilled about this though. Since Brent isn’t a Brown alum, Bruno didn’t make the cut for the short list of names...:)

I hope everyone is doing well and would love to hear from anyone (especially since I’ll be missing the alumni reception at AGU this year)! “

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»Elizabeth Cottrel, ScB, writes: “Bethany (Katz) French, ScB ’97, and I shared a bench in Mac Rutherford’s lab in the summer of 1995, now we share a nanny! Bethany and I both live on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Bethany works as an environmental attorney and lives with her husband Elisha (former geologist, current MBA student) and eight-month old son, Isaac. I’m a Curator at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, studying the long-term geochemical evolution of the Earth. I live with my husband David Stevenson (’96) and 11-month-old daughter Madeline. While we’re at work, Issac and Madeline have great adventures together!” (Photo: Madeline Stevenson (Liz’s daughter) and Issac French - Bethany’s son - playing together.)

»Bethany (Katz) French, ScB (see Elizabeth Cottrell, 1997)

»Genevieve Proctor Greene, ScB, writes: “Since graduating from Brown in 1997, I attended the University of California Berkeley and earned a Masters degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering. Part of my graduate work took me to Toluca, Mexico where I did research on the distribution of heavy metals in a contaminated reservoir/river that is used for irrigation.

From 1999 to 2006 I worked as an environmental consultant in California, primarily working on brownfields redevelopment, environmental due diligence and site remediation.

In 2006 I made a career change to teaching middle school science and math. I currently work at The Athenian School in Danville, CA teaching 6th grade Earth and Space Science and 8th grade Algebra.

I was married in July 2008 to Mike Greene in a vineyard in Livermore, CA. We spent our honeymoon in Honduras, diving on Roatan and traveling around the mainland to see several cities and the spectacular ruins of Copan.

My husband and I just bought a house in San Jose, CA and will have moved by the time of publication.”

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»Margaret Boettcher, ScB, writes: “After leaving Brown in 1998, I spent six months as a park ranger at Arches National Park in Utah before entering the MIT/WHOI Joint Program. I loved my time in Woods Hole and completed my PhD in 2005 on earthquakes on oceanic transform faults. Then I moved to San Francisco for a postdoc project focusing on very small earthquakes in deep (~4 km deep) South African gold mines, which I conducted at the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park. I’m now starting as an Assistant Professor at the University of New Hampshire, where I will be continuing my research on the topics above and will be teaching geology and geophysics classes. This past spring I gave a colloquium seminar at Brown, and truly enjoyed my visit with everyone in the Geology Department. I’m very glad to be back in New England and hope to spend more time at Brown in the coming years.”

»Anna Porter Johnston, ScB, writes: “My husband Brian and I would like to announce the birth of our daughter, Myra Juliet Johnston on May 31st 2008.”

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»Irene Antonenko, PhD, writes: “After a 5 year hiatus, I am doing planetary research again. I still live in Toronto with my husband and two boys (age 7 and 5), but I am working at the University of Western Ontario (in London, Ontario) as the Coordinator for the Canadian Lunar Research Network (CLRN), the Canadian NLSI node. I commute the 2 hours to London about 2-3 days per week, and then telecommute the rest of the time. The schedule can be really hectic, especially with young children, but I am so happy to be working in the planetary field and doing research again that I don’t seem to mind.”

»Matthew Fouch, PhD and his wife Michelle Minitti (PhD '01), were pleased to announce that Zachary Dane Minitti Fouch was born on Tuesday, June 16, 2009 weighing in at 7 lbs., 4 ozs. Parents and big sister Sydney were happy to welcome Zachery to their family.

»Kena Fox-Dobbs, ScB, writes: “In January 2009 I finished a postdoc in Wyoming and started as an Assistant Professor in the Geology Department at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA. I’m still settling into new life and job (hopefully the last move for awhile), and enjoying being back in the Pacific Northwest after a 14-year hiatus. My research on termites in Kenya will continue for another field season, and this summer for the first time I’ll be taking students into the field. Recent Brown Geo alumni sightings include Jen Kay (AB ’99) in Boulder (photo) and Bryan Shuman, PhD ’01 in Laramie!”

»Jennifer Kay, AB (see Kena Fox-Dobbs, 1999)

»Ali Tarbox Saperstein, AB, writes: “I have a little update. My baby son Salix Tarbox Saperstein was born November 30, 2008.
I left my work with the Student Conservation Association in order to take care of him full time for a while, and it is the toughest job I’ve ever loved!  He is already showing his Seattle roots-- very friendly to new people, loves being outdoors, and is happiest when listening to music!”

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»Colleen Dalton, ScB, writes: “I received my PhD in seismology from Harvard University in June 2007, after which I became a postdoctoral fellow at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. The Seismology group at Lamont is full of Brown alums (below): Ben Holtzman (ScB ’95), Jim Gaherty (ScB ’86), Geoff Abers (ScB ’83), and Liz Starin (AB ’01.5). In September 2008 I became an Assistant Professor in the department of Earth Sciences at Boston University, where my husband Paul Hall is also on the faculty. I am currently looking for graduate students, so please feel free to send any good ones my way:” (Photo, l-r: Jim Condor, PhD '01, Paul Hall, and his wife Colleen Dalton, ScB '00 visit during the 2008 Brown/AGU Alumni Reception in San Francisco.)

»Jeffrey Donnelly, PhD, writes: “We were pleased to welcome our new son, Nathaniel Brewster Donnelly, a year ago on 8-16-08. He was 8 lbs 3.6 oz and 22 inches long. Big sister Emi was heard to say: 'that’s our baby', 'I wanna hug ‘em', and 'baby Nate, chase me!'”

»Emily (Stewart) Lakdawalla, ScM, writes: “Since the last update, Darius and I have had another daughter, Sanaya Rose Lakdawalla, born April 23. We’re all doing well, and Anahita (who’s almost 3) is a terrific big sister. Also, I had my first freelance article, on Saturn’s icy moons, published in the June issue of Sky and Telescope -- it was the cover story!  I’m on maternity leave from my regular work blogging for The Planetary Society until August.”

»Justine Owen, ScB, writes: “I’m getting close to filing my dissertation at the University of California Berkeley, (hopefully this August), and I’m very curious to see what comes next! For my research, I studied the formation and transport of soils in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile (a great Mars analog).

If you’d like to see some photos and learn more, my website is Additionally, I’ve been running and doing triathlons a bit more seriously, and got to run in the Boston Marathon this past April (right after turning in a draft of my first chapter!). Onward!”

»Louise Prockter, PhD (see Victor Zabielski, 2001)

»Jordan Raddick, ScB, writes: “I am the Science Education and Outreach Director at the Institute for Data-Intensive Engineering and Science (IDIES) at Johns Hopkins University:“ (See "Careers Day" link).


»Michelle Minitti, PhD (see Matthew Fouch, 1999)

»Daniel Paduano, ScB, writes: “I still have my hands in the soil out in California. We’re raising avocados, citrus, pomegranates, persimmons and kiwis, as well as assorted hot-weather row crops, facing south/west on a sandy loam in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Our C-horizon, which starts 2-3’ below the surface, is straight beach sand from a different epoch. It provides great drainage, which is key to the crops we’ve chosen. They all like to remain on the “drier side of moist.”  The 7% clay in our soil also helps in this endeavor, locking in the moisture. We break up the surface to eliminate capillary action and use mulches to minimize evaporation as well.

We’re in a very interesting microclimate here. We’re about 15 miles inland from Monterey Bay at an elevation of ~1200’, and on most days we’re 10-15 degrees warmer than the coast. Monterey Bay is an extremely unique geologic feature. It is basically the head of a massive underwater canyon that cuts through the continental shelf to a depth of over two miles within 30 miles of the coast. The upwelling of cold nutrient-rich waters combined with land/sea temperature gradients makes for quite the fog layer along the coast. In the spring, this layer reaches us occasionally, and when it does, it drains down the valley by 9 AM. This drainage effect and our coastal proximity protect us from prolonged exposure to freezing temperatures in the winter. We have long hot summers and very wet winters, which keeps our trees happy.

On the domestic side of the equation, my wife Nancy and daughter Estelle (19 months) enjoy watching our five ducklings grow and learn to forage for food. They are all hens and will begin laying regularly by next spring. There are photos of them and much more on our website:”

»Bryan Shuman, PhD (see Kena Fox-Dobbs, 1999)

»Victor P. Zabielski, PhD, writes: “All is fine down here in DC.  Our new neighbors, the Obama’s, are settling in nicely. I have yet to receive a dinner invite from them, although Jill Biden did start teaching at my college campus. I was promoted to Associate Professor of Geology this year, as well as my position as Assistant Dean of Geology (lots of work, little pay). I was very honored to receive the Northern Virginia Community College Faculty of the Year Award this year. I keep in touch with several alumni. Louise Prockter (PhD ’00) will be joining us again for a vacation this year to hike some munros in the Scottish Highlands. That’s my life in one paragraph or less. Hope all are well back at Brown. If anyone is passing through DC, feel free to say hello.”

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»Elizabeth Starin (see Colleen Dalton, 2000)


»Sarah Garlick, ScB, writes: “My first book came out in April 2009: Flakes, Jugs & Splitters: A Rock Climber’s Guide to Geology, published by The Globe Pequot Press. The book tackles all sorts of commonly asked geology questions and covers the regional histories of popular rock climbing and mountaineering spots around the world. I’m continuing to work as a science writer, editor, and producer, most recently through The Geoscience Outreach Foundation, a nonprofit group that develops mass media and community outreach projects for the geosciences. I’m also continuing to serve as a science editor for the journal Rocky Mountain Geology. In other news, I’m getting married in September and am happily living with my husband-to-be in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.”

»Rachel Harris, AB, writes: “I’m currently a “Nutrition Education Site Coordinator” with the Hayward Nutritional Learning Community Project at a public elementary school in Hayward, CA. I teach garden-based nutrition to K-6 students full time. I am also in school full time getting a multiple subject teaching credential and Master of Arts in teaching through University of San Francisco (teaching garden counts for my student teaching hours!).”

»Rosalee Lamm, ScB, writes: “I lived in the English countryside (South Downs) for two years with my partner, Toby, who was studying to build baroque period stringed instruments. We moved back to the U.S. and got married in July, then moved to Portland, ME in November. I’ve been teaching math at Waynflete, an independent school in Portland, since March, and am looking into opportunities for science or math education for the next school year. Long term goals: start a zip-line treehouse science adventure camp!”

»Gabriel Pilar, AB, writes: “I’ve been bouncing around these past few years, finally landing last fall at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine as a first year med student. That pretty much encapsulates what my near term (and longer term) career plans are. Before this, I received an MFA from Columbia in creative writing in ‘05 (I think), and had been working in a basic science immunology lab between then and now. While I was in New York I worked as a cabinetmaker... something that I hope to return to a little bit this summer.”

»Carl Takei, AB, writes: “Since graduating from Brown in 2002, I can’t say that my geology education and my work have been very closely intertwined -- though I fondly remember the departmental field trips, still pull over for interesting roadcuts, and (much to the consternation of my passengers) always gawk out the side windows and ignore the road ahead whenever driving through interesting terrain. After working in Boston for two years, I enrolled at Boston College Law School and graduated in 2007. I then clerked for a federal judge in New Hampshire from 2007 to 2008. Since September 2008, I have been in Washington, DC, doing a two-year legal fellowship for the American Civil Liberties Union of the National Capital Area. My work involves a mixture of litigation (for example, suing DC’s Metropolitan Police Department over an illegal nighttime raid that the SWAT team executed on an innocent resident’s house) and legislative advocacy on local issues (for example, fighting against the DC mayor’s proposal to use “gang injunctions” against individuals accused of associating with gang members).”

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»Andrew Elmore, PhD, writes: “Jen, Graham and I moved to Cumberland, Maryland late in 2006 so that I could take a faculty position at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. My appointment is at our Appalachian Laboratory, in near-by Frostburg, Maryland. My colleagues are great and I continue to enjoy research and teaching in earth and environmental science with a focus on remote sensing. Cumberland is a wonderful mountain community with lots of outdoor activities. Graham is now 5, is learning to ride without training wheels, swim, paddle, and catch fish. Jen and I garden and otherwise maintain 12 acres of field and forest. In August we will welcome our second child, this time a daughter from Ethiopia, into our home.”

»Julie Trotta Kowan, ScM (see Jennifer (Rilling) Kuene, 2004)

»Matthew Mahoney, AB, writes: “I’m doing two things: music - published songwriter, guitarist, producer; and CEO of an independent record label (Groundswell). I also do strategy consulting on a freelance basis. I’d say I split time about 50/50 between the two. Both opportunities take place in Brooklyn, NY.”

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»Jennifer L. B. Anderson, PhD, writes: “Hello from Southeastern Minnesota!! Jeremy and I are still in Winona, MN, where I have recently been promoted to Associate Professor of Geoscience at Winona State University and have also been granted tenure. I will be starting my 5th year at WSU where I teach many different things including Astronomy, Geophysics, Planetary Geology, and Earth & Life Science for Elementary Education majors. I also advise and do research with undergraduate students, notably at the Rock Elm impact crater in WI, and continue my local outreach with K-12 students & teachers. Jeremy is an engineer at Thern Inc. in charge of their Theatre and Rigging Products – if you watch Conan O’Brian’s new show, the only reason you can see Conan is because the rigging and hoists that Jer designed and installed have successfully lifted the curtains and supported the lighting. We love this part of Minnesota – 700 foot tall bluffs along the Mississippi River. Make sure to call if you are in the area (which, in Midwest speak, means within 3 hours). Best wishes to all!!”

»Jennifer (Rilling) Keune, ScM, writes: “John and I finally tied the knot on October 4, 2008 in Seattle. It was a wonderful weekend full of fun, family, friends, and food. The weather more or less cooperated which was great (you never know in Seattle!). Julie (Trotta) Kowan (ScM ’03) graciously stood up as one of my bridesmaids. Married life has been great
so far!”


»Sarah Noble, PhD, writes: “After finishing up a fascinating year serving as a lunar program scientist in the Planetary Geology Division at NASA Headquarters, in February I moved to Huntsville, Alabama where I am now a lunar scientist at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.”

»Winfield Wilson, AB, writes: “I just finished my first year of a J.D./M.P.P. at American University in Washington, DC, focusing on environmental law and policy. Reconnecting with my dirty hippie side by interning with the Greenpeace legal department this summer, I can be reached at”

»Jasper Oshun, AB, writes: “The past year I have been working with my younger brother to establish and run an exchange program-Global Student Embassy-for high school students out of our home town in Sebastopol, CA. This past year, we raised enough money through private donations, fundraisers, and grants to support the travel to Sebastopol for 4 Argentine students and one teacher, and one Peruvian student. They stayed with host families from mid-January to mid February. We kept a full schedule, which included environmental restoration work, presentations at local schools of all ages, field trips to the Bay, the redwoods, and the beach, as well as two community development projects. We painted a mural on the side of the local high school, and built a community garden on public land next to a trailer park. Currently, I am in Cusco, Peru with a group of students and friends from the Sebastopol area. With funds raised over the past year, we are supporting the construction of a 2.5 km irrigation canal in a pueblo called Zurite. The canal will provide a year round source of agricultural water for 150 families. After our work is done in Zurite, we will be heading north as a group to Huaraz, where we will take a short trek through the Cordillera Blanca or Huayhuash.

My responsibilities with GSE will decrease in the next year, as I will be beginning a PhD in geomorphology at Berkeley this fall. I am very excited to be returning to school. I will be researching the movement of water in the subsurface, looking at the relationship between bedrock fracture, biology, and geochemsitry as water is held in the critical zone and then released into streams. My work will be located on the Eel River in Northern California.”

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Dayanthie Weeraratne, PhD '05 (right) and Wes Patterson, PhD '07 at the Brown/AGU Alumni Reception in San Francisco, December 2008



Jeb Berman, AB, writes: “After getting my Master’s of Public Administration in Environmental Science and Policy at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs last year, I’m spending 2009 as a John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellow in Washington, DC. I work for Congressman Mike Thompson, whose district includes the northern third of the California coast and is very close to where I grew up near San Francisco.

My work is generally related to activities of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and usually involves policy and management issues relating to fisheries, ocean governance, endangered species, marine protected areas, climate change and ocean energy.

But occasionally I get to do something a little different, like the weekend of June 27th when I flew to Cape Canaveral to watch NOAA and NASA launch GOES-O, the U.S.’ newest weather satellite in the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite series.

This image is of the satellite being launched aboard a Delta IV rocket (at 6:51pm on June 28th), which successfully carried GOES-O about 22,000 miles out into space. From its geostationary orbit, the satellite will track hurricanes, monitor space weather and provide search-and-rescue services for the Western hemisphere over the next 10 years.” (See "Careers Day" link)

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»Bethany Bradley, PhD, writes: “Ashwin and I have both accepted tenure track faculty positions at UMass, Amherst. I’ll be starting as an assistant professor in the Department of Natural Resources Conservation in September 2010. In the mean time, I’ll be a research fellow at Amherst College working on a special colloquium topic of environmental change and sustainability. A message to any dual-academic career couples in the department; I am (was?) the trailing spouse on this it can happen!”

»Ralph Milliken, PhD (see Janice Bishop, 1994)

»Carlos Eduardo Rincon Marquez, ScB ’05, ScM, writes: “Since 2006, I have been working for the world’s largest environmental consulting firm, Environmental Resources Management (ERM) as an environmental scientist within it’s Site Investigation and Remediation division. My first 2.5 years I worked for ERM-Southwest out of Houston, TX on various contaminated site management projects in Texas and mostly one large project in Barbados, West Indies. As of February 2009, I have transferred offices and now work for ERM-New Zealand strongly kicking off the Site Investigation and Remediation team here in Auckland. I hope to revisit Brown next graduation 2010 for my 5-year B.S. anniversary!”

»Brian Yellen, ScB, writes: “Marcie Muehlke (‘05) and I are moving from Hawaii back to the mainland this summer. We’ll be driving cross-country before our wedding and starting graduate school at UMass Amherst. I hope to reconnect with Brown geo folks now that we’ll be a little closer to home.”

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»Edith Moreno, AB, writes: “I graduated with a masters from UCSB in June, and I was very fortunate to have landed a job in this economy! I'm working for an environmental consulting company called Tetra Tech. They have offices throughout the U.S., but my office is located in downtown San Diego. I've been at work for over a month now and I'm enjoying my job so far. It's nice to be in a new city, although I would have liked to work in L.A. I still get to be involved in a lot of projects throughout southern California. Right now we have have a contract with L.A. county, where we are helping them with their total maximum daily load (TMDL) Implementation Plans for the L.A. River and Ballona Creek. I get to go to L.A. once in a while, which is nice. I'm a part of the water resources group and there are only three of us in the San Diego office. My boss and my co-worker who received his training as an engineer and knows a whole lot about best management practices. I get to work on a number of projects. In fact, I'm working on three right now that all have an urban water quality component. The L.A. county one I just described, a BMP/Low Impact Development (LID) implementation plan for the City of San Diego, and a Hydromodification Management Plan for the City of Santa Maria.”

»Scott Nelson, AB, writes: “I am currently working for Environmental Resources Management (ERM), a leading global environmental consulting firm, based out of Abu Dhabi, UAE as part of the Middle East office. I am involved in a wide range of work including environmental impact assessments, compliance assurance and environmental due diligence; unfortunately not much geology crosses my desk. I moved to ERM in November after splitting the previous 18 months working on water management projects in Egypt and gold exploration in Alaska.”

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»Alison Koleszar, ScM (see Corinne Myers 2008)

»Corinne Myers, ScM, writes: “I am about to start my third year in a PhD program at the University of Kansas. My research is in paleobiogeography, which is a subset of paleobiology looking at how changing environment affects organisms in the fossil record. More specifically, my research is looking at how environmental change influences the processes of speciation, migration, and extinction (which is pretty super cool! :)). Currently I am working on a project tracking vertebrate fossil distributions in the North American Cretaceous Western Interior Seaway. I am looking at mosasaurs (extinct giant marine reptiles), some sharks (including Cretoxyrhina--the Great White of the Cretaceous), and a few fishes (e.g. Xiphactinus, the up to 20-foot long tarpon!). This past semester I completed my prelims at KU and so am now an official PhD Candidate, which is exciting; and last year was my first year of a 4-yr fellowship that I was awarded from KU to provide professional training to future leaders in their scientific fields. The rest of my life has been pretty basic: a few trips to visit family in AZ, including a great vacation to Maui a few weeks ago (complete with two trips to the summit of Haleakala Volcano! :)); a short spring-break field trip to Puerto Rico/Dominican Republic looking at regional geology/paleobiology in the Caribbean...This year GSA is in Portland and I am looking forward to a great meeting of old Brown friends as this seems like a central location for a number of folks!” (Photo: me and Alison Koleszar, ScM '08 at Mount Hood, Oregon last fall.)

»Lillian Ostrach, ScB ’07, ScM, writes: ““As many of you know, this past year has contained many changes for me! I cannot believe that a year has passed since leaving Brown and beginning the PhD program in the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University. The changes began with a cross country road trip, and Jack (my fiancé) and I took a week to explore the remainder of Route 66, the Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas, and of course the geology of the U.S. We had lots of fun (I took over 1000 photos!) on the trip, and while we didn’t find any diamonds, I certainly taught Jack the GEO 22 version of the roadcuts and landscape we passed which was very fun for me (and I hope a little bit of fun for him, too).

While I still miss Brown and our department and am slowly getting used to the different way of doing things “out West,” I am taking advantage of many of the opportunities ASU and Arizona have to offer (as in fantastic geology 10 minutes from where I live!). In fact, I went on more field trips in my first year here than I did during my time at Brown! I took several trips to the Flagstaff area where we examined lava flows at SP and Sunset Craters, Meteor Crater, and explored a rover test site on the Navajo Reservation. I also traveled the Mojave Desert to study aeolian processes and to Canyonlands, Utah, where my Advanced Field class attempted to explore Upheaval Dome but were thwarted by a snowstorm and instead spent time in Arches National Park.

The launch of LRO on June 18 was very exciting; although I was unable to travel to Florida for the launch, in the LROC facility at ASU we were bouncing off the walls with exhilaration. The upcoming months will be very busy but we can’t wait to get the new images from the Moon.”

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