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Alumni Newsletter: July '08 to July '09


COMMENCEMENT 2009

THE CLASS OF 2009

Watch a YouTube video of the day's events, courtesy of graduate student Uli Horodyskyj, or view the photo album.

Front row, l-r: Baird Langenbrunner, Alice Alpert, Anna Bengtson, Lesley Butcher, Zahra Hirji, Yadira Ibarra, Jena Johnson, Corporation Member Bruce D. Yeutter, '57; Back row, l-r: Ethan Levy, Hannah Begley, Jesse Farmer, Andy Nager, Marc Mayes, Kevin Neal, Sara Papamarcos, Shane Schoepfer, Joshua Stern, Marc Vankeuren, Ben Friedman and David Koweek. Not pictured: Molly Cohen.

»Alice Elizabeth Alpert graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Science in Geological Sciences and a Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Studies. Her involvement in geology began when she took GEOL 0220 as a freshman. She was lucky to work with Jan Tullis as an undergraduate TA for this course twice, as well as for GEOL 0240, taught by Professor Tim Herbert. Alice began working in Prof. Herbert’s paleoclimate lab in the spring of her freshman year, and has continued working in the lab through senior year. During the summer after her sophomore year, she was awarded an Undergraduate Teaching and Research Award to work with Prof. Tim Herbert studying orbital forcing of climate in the Arabian Sea during the Pleistocene. She presented her research in a poster at the 2008 AGU meeting. Alice completed the University of New Mexico field camp in New Mexico and Colorado during the summer after her sophomore year. She studied abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland at University of Edinburgh in the spring of her junior year. That summer, she completed an REU internship at the University of Minnesota studying garnet polycrystals in metamorphic rocks from New York state, and she presented her results in a poster at the 2009 AGU meeting. Alice switched back to paleoclimate for her senior thesis with Prof. Herbert, entitled “The role of atmospheric circulation in Northern Hemisphere glaciation 5.5-2.0 Ma: quartz as an aeolian proxy in North Atlantic pelagic sediments.” In addition to her involvement in geology, Alice played on the women’s rugby team for two years and participated in several volunteer teaching programs through the Swearer Center for Public Service. summer, Alice is working in Yellowstone National Park. She looks forward to carrying out oceanographic research on the Antarctic Peninsula this winter with a group from the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole.

Professor Jan Tullis (far right) congratulates the senior award winners (l-r) Alice Alpert, Jesse Farmer, Jena Johnson and Marc Mayes

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»Hannah Begley graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Geological Sciences and a Bachelor of Arts in Literary Arts. During her junior and senior year she worked at the John Hay Library as a Special Collections Archivist. Hannah took a year off between her sophomore and junior year and worked for a publishing company in California and interned for a coffee and tropical fruit tree plantation in Hawaii. Hannah attended Southern Oregon University’s field course in geology and hydrogeology in summer 2008. She plans to remain in Providence and work for the John Hay Library through the summer, at which point she hopes to pursue a farm internship in New Zealand or the southwestern U.S.

»Anna Bengtson graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Geology/Biology. The summer after sophomore year, Anna worked with Jerry Melillo and Seeta Sistla on the soil warming plots in Harvard forest on two different projects. The first was measuring changes in the ratio of above ground to below ground biomass (comparing leaf area indexes and fine root biomass) with warmer soil temperatures.  The second was a methodological “cold block” experiment that used a chilling device to shut off large plant (tree) metabolism/photosynthesis and measure the rate of soil respiration for a time period after the plant function stops.  Through this research, Anna learned a lot not only about the actual science but also about the engineering that is requisite for a large-scale research project like the soil warming plots. Anna also worked for Carolyn Shumway and Chris Littlefield at the Nature Conservancy with a URI grad student running an experiment in Quonnie and Ninigret ponds in southern Rhode Island.  During her senior year, Anna did an Independent Study with Jeremy Rich doing lab work for his project quantifying the amount and the rate of anammox reactions in marine water column samples from the Eastern Tropical South Pacific (off the coast of Peru) and also discussing and writing a research proposal to determine the relative strengths of archaeal vs. bacterial nitrification. Anna was on the Brown ski team for four years, Captain for two, was an Academic All-American all four years and this year received Academic All-Ivy. Anna plans to eventually apply to graduate school, but for now will do a little traveling before seeking a research position studying the biogeochemistry of marine ecosystems.  

»Lesley Butcher will complete a Bachelor of Science in Geological Science this December. During the summer, she will attend two summer field courses and will begin her research on river chemistry.

»Molly Cohen graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Geology-Physics/Math and a Bachelor of Arts in Science and Society.  She attended hydrogeology field camp at Clemson University the summer between her junior and senior year.  She worked with Environmental Studies and Sociology professor Phil Brown to complete a prize winning senior thesis in Science and Society, studying how social and political climates impact EPA workers.  At Brown, Molly played on and captained Brown’s Ultimate Frisbee Team, worked as a student manager of Faunce House and volunteered with a Deaf literacy program. Molly will be working with Abt Associates in Bethesda, MD as a research analyst in their environment and resources division.

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»Jesse Robert Farmer graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Science in Geological Sciences. He served as an undergraduate TA for GEOL 1240, taught by Professor Jim Russell, and GEOL 0240, taught by Professor Tim Herbert. Jesse studied abroad in Brisbane, Australia at University of Queensland in the spring of his junior year, and completed field camp in Australia in the summer between his junior and senior year. Jesse worked with Prof. Warren Prell over the summer between sophomore and junior year studying dissolved oxygen concentrations in Narragansett Bay. His interest in this topic led him to pursue a Senior Thesis with Professors Warren Prell and Tim Herbert, “Evaluating the use of organic paleotemperature proxies in Narragansett Bay”. During his time at Brown he served as co-founder and President of the Surf Club, participated in the Brown Investment Group, and generally caused a ruckus with fellow graduate David Koweek. Jesse continued research on his Senior Thesis topic over the summer, then began a research position with the US Geological Survey studying climate change and sea level rise along the East Coast of the United States.

»Ben Friedman graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Arts in Geology. He served as an undergraduate TA for GEOL 0010 and GEOL 0160, and a Meiklejohn advisor for Professor Yongsong Huang and Director of Financial Aid Jim Tilton. For his junior fall semester, Ben studied abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland. During the summer between his junior and senior year, Ben attended field camp at the University of New Mexico and had an UTRA with Professor Alberto Saal doing research that led to his senior thesis, “Volatile content of lunar volcanic glasses.”  Ben was a resident counselor, a member of the legendary intramural Frisbee team ‘Sailor Jerry’, and had the opportunity to speak to the Brown Corporation about undergraduate research opportunities. Ben hopes to work for the government next year studying natural hazards, either through USGS or NAS.

»Zahra Hirji graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Geological Sciences. She is deeply interested in geological science communication and has interned for both the Geology and Planetary Geology Department at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum and Air & Space Museum, respectively, during her summers. This interest extended to Brown through her participation as a docent for a traveling exhibit on Mars at the Natural History Museum in Providence, and writing for the online forum Today at Brown and the science literary magazine The Catalyst. She has also conducted research on craters on Mars with Peter Schultz. Zahra is a Joslin Award winner for her leadership in various campus student activities, particularly her role as head coordinator for Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE). In her double life, Zahra eats, drinks, and breathes Ultimate Frisbee. She has played with the Brown Women’s A team Disco Inferno and had the honor of captaining this magnificent team this past year. Zahra is launching her science writing career as an intern for EARTH Magazine in Virginia at the American Geological Institute (AGI). 

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»Yadira Ibarra graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Geology-Biology.  She is a NASA Science en Espanol scholar and was a recipient of the 2008 Barker Prize.  Yadi spent last summer doing research at New Mexico Tech in geomicrobiology and presented her research at the SACNAS national conference.  While at Brown Yadi was a member of the Rugby team and she was the co-captain in the Spring of 2008.  Over the summer Yadi did research at Woods Hole studying the effects of increased pCO2 on benthic foraminiferal survival and shell integrity.  Yadi will begin graduate work in Geology at USC this Fall.

»Jena Elaine Johnson graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Science in Geology-Biology. She is an Associate Member of Brown’s Chapter of Sigma Xi and served as an undergraduate TA for GEOL 0220 and GEOL 1240. As part of the NSF-funded REU program, Jena worked on the Triassic-Jurassic mass extinction at USC the summer after her freshman year. She attended a field camp run by Albion College in the Rockies the summer between her sophomore and junior year. In 2008, Jena was the recipient of the Sarah La Mendola award. After studying abroad in Tasmania during the srping semester, she worked with Professor Jessica Whiteside to complete her senior thesis, “Pleistocene-like orbital forcing of mid-Devonian ecosystems,” funded by an International Undergraduate Teaching and Research Award (UTRA and the Sarah La Mendola Award) allowing her to collect field data and samples in Scotland and a W. Gaston Scholarship (Research at Brown Award) enabling her to attend the American Geophysical Union last December. She was a member of the Brown Field Hockey Club team and will be volunteering in Nepal this fall to work with children before going to graduate school to study deep time climate.

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»David Andrew Koweek graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Geology-Biology with honors (pictured with Dr. David Murray). He served as an undergraduate TA for GEOL 0220: Physical Processes in Geology taught by Professors Jan Tullis and Karen Fischer. During the summer of 2007, David served as research assistant for Professor Warren Prell studying sediment oxygen demand in Narragansett Bay. That research experience led him to apply for a Royce Fellowship to continue work with Professor Prell in Narragansett Bay for his senior thesis, “Application of the chlorins productivity proxy to a productivity history of Narragansett Bay”. David was a four-year member of the Men’s Swim Team at Brown, specializing in the freestyle events. His immediate future plans are undecided, but long term goals include returning to graduate school to pursue a PhD in oceanography.

»Tsveta (Sveta) Volen Krumova graduated in December ‘08 with a Bachelor of Science in Geology-Biology, with a focus in oceanography. Sveta transferred to Brown from Mount Holyoke College in Fall ‘06.  She attended the “Oceans and Climate” semester in Fall ‘07 run by Sea Education Association, Woods Hole, MA, completing a voyage on the sailing vessel “Robert Seamans” from Mexico to Tahiti.  The data she gathered from this oceanographic cruise resulted in her senior thesis: “The relationship between heterotrophic bacteria and colored dissolved organic matter in the Eastern Pacific Ocean”, supervised by Prof. Kara Lavender, Chief Scientist at Sea Education Association. Sveta also participated as a sedimentologist in an oceanographic voyage aboard the German research vessel “Meteor”  (summer of 2007), investigating submarine landslides offshore of Nice, France.  She attended geology field camps in the Southwest (University of New Mexico), as well as in Iceland (lead by UMass-Amherst). Another oceanographic topic Sveta studied at Brown was “Metal deposition in the Narragansett Bay” with Professor Warren Prell.  Sveta was a member of the varsity ski team as well as one of the lead dancers of the Bulgarian Folk Dance Ensemble, participating in numerous folk dance concerts.  Since graduating last December, Sveta has been working on three sailing vessels - “Corwith Cramer” (Sea Education Association), HMS Bounty, and the Seaward (Call of the Sea). Currently Sveta is a deckhand-educator aboard the Seaward, based out of Sausalito, CA, where she teaches sailing, navigation and ecology of the Bay area to students in elementary, middle and high schools, including continuation schools with children at risk. Her plans for summer and fall are to work as a deckhand aboard the square rigger HMS Bounty, completing a trans-Atlantic voyage from the east coast of the US to Northern Europe and back to the US.

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»Baird Langenbrunner graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Geology-Physics/Math. He will be on campus this coming year continuing his research with Professor Meredith Hastings, and plans to apply to PhD programs in atmospheric physics and weather dynamics.

»Ethan Levy will finish his Bachelor of Science in Geology-Physics/Math in December 2009. Ethan took one semester off traveling and spent another semester studying in New Zealand. He plans to get started on his senior research project over the summer.

»Marc Thomas Mayes graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Science in Geology-Chemistry. His early interest in climate change led him to try out paleoclimate research work with Dr. James Russell in fall 2006, and participate in The Nyanza Project’s final field season (Summer 2007) at Lake Tanganyika in western Tanzania, where he completed an independent project to develop a diatom-based proxy for studying paleo river chemistry. Working further with Dr. Russell and grad student Jess Tierney, Marc completed a senior thesis that developed new records of temperature, precipitation and monsoon wind strength from Lake Tanganyika sediment cores, and presented portions of his work in a talk at the 2008 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting. Besides work in the Geological Sciences, Marc has enjoyed playing saxophones in the Brown University Wind Symphony, Jazz Band, and most of all The Smokin’ Reed Saxtet. Marc has also been an active writer on campus, serving as a Writing Fellow since 2006 (twice for GEOL 0240), and working with efforts to improve STEM and writing curriculum from spring 2007 through GISP-based projects in spring 2009. This summer, Marc did further lab ork on his senior research project and assisted Professor Jim Russell in Uganda. Next year, Marc will begin graduate school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, pursuing research on biogeochemical cycling, and water and energy use efficiency in urban and agricultural regions using satellite remote sensing-based methods.

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»Andrew Nager graduated with Bachelor of Arts in Geology-Physics/Math and a Bachelor of Arts in Engineering. He began his Brown geology experience with an initiation on the East Pacific Rise cruise with Alberto Saal and Don Forsyth in Spring 2006. Andy spent his first two summers interning in the Marine Physical Laboratory at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.  In the summer before his senior year, he created a turbine/generator design project for the Introduction to Engineering course at Brown in which he served as an undergraduate TA. During his time at Brown, he built a soapbox car, harassed professors, dreamt about shear wave splitting, played men’s volleyball, and was president of the Engineering Divisional Undergraduate Group. Andy will join the Peace Corps in February 2010 as a water sanitation engineer in Latin America.

»Kevin Michael Neal graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Geology-Biology. He is an associate member of the Brown Chapter of Sigma Xi, and he served twice as a TA for GEOL 0240 with Professor Tim Herbert. Kevin engaged in martian geology research with Professor Mike Wyatt concerning the effects of weathered surfaces on thermal emission spectra; he presented a poster of their research at the 2007 AGU Fall Meeting. He later began research with Professor Jim Russell to reconstruct glacier extent in the Rwenzori Mountains of Africa during the Holocene. Kevin also completed an independent study on vertebrate paleobiology with Professor Christine Janis (EEB). Between his junior and senior years, Kevin attended field camp in central Idaho through Idaho State University. While at Brown, Kevin volunteered twice in New Orleans, worked as a Resident Advisor for summer students, and assisted with training fruit bats for wind tunnel experiments in Professor Sharon Swartz’s (EEB) lab. After Brown, Kevin will do fieldwork in New Mexico to seek Triassic dinosauromorph fossils, with eventual plans to earn a PhD in paleobiology or a related field.

»Sara Papamarcos graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Geology-Physics/Math. During her time at Brown, she volunteered for the Physics DUG’s high school outreach program and was a member of the Brown University Women’s Ultimate Frisbee team during her freshman and sophomore years. Sara served as an undergraduate TA for GEOL 0010 and attended Clemson University’s Hydrogeology Field Camp during the summer between her junior and senior year. She worked with Professor Reid Cooper to complete a senior thesis on the thermal conductivity of salty ices relevant to Europa. Sara will enter graduate school at the University of Oregon this fall to work on glaciology.

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»Shane Degennaro Schoepfer concurrently received his undergraduate degree in Geology-Biology and his Master’s Degree in Geological Sciences. During his time at Brown, Shane has researched early mantle convection processes as a laboratory assistant, received a Rhode Island EPSCOR grant to study environmental genetics in Narragansett Bay, and conducted a dual-isotope study of nitrogen nutrients in the Bay ecosystem. He participated in an REU in Grand Junction Colorado, studying the origins of Unaweep Canyon, and helped guide a field trip through the area prior to the Geological Society of America 2007 national meeting. Shane received a NOAA Ernest F. Hollings Scholarship in 2007 and interned at the Hollings Marine Lab in Charleston, SC. He served for two years as President of the Brown Outing Club, and continues on the organization’s Executive Committee. Shane will be starting at the University of Washington in the fall as a PhD student, studying the biogeochemistry of mass extinctions.

»Joshua Gallant Stern graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Science in Geology-Biology. He is an associate member of Brown’s Chapter of Sigma Xi. Josh attended a summer field camp at the University of New Mexico as a rising junior. In the summer before his senior year, Josh interned in NASA-Goddard’s Astrochemistry lab under Dr. Jason Dworkin. Josh worked with Professor Yongsong Huang to complete his senior thesis, “Sulfur-bound biomarkers of a Monterey shale and a Greenland lake sediment.”  During his time at Brown, Josh co-founded the discussion group “Open House: Valuing diversity in middle-east education.” This fall, Josh will enter the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Ph. D. program in Biology to study the origins and evolution of the ribosome.

Post ceremony smiles: l-r Jesse Farmer, David Koweek, Marc Vankeuren, Kevin Neal and Billy D'Andrea

»Marc Vankeuren graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Science in Geological Sciences. During the summer between his junior and senior year, Marc attended field camp at the University of New Mexico and had an UTRA with Professor Jessica Whiteside doing research that led to his senior thesis, “Multi-proxy environmental changes of lake-level cycles in the Green River formation of Utah and Colorado”.  Marc will enter graduate school this fall at Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University to continue his studies in Geology.

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2009 PhD RECIPIENTS

Front row, l-r: Marshall Sundberg, Amandine Cagnioncle, Christine McCarthy, Gareth Morgan, Leah Roach, Joe Levy and Billy D'Andrea. Not pictured: Tina Calvin, Laura Cleaveland, and Juzhi Hou

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»Amandine-Marie Cagnioncle received her Sc.B in Physics at Brown University in May, 2003 and was recognized with the Bruce R. Lindsay Prize for Excellence in Physics. She came to oour department in the fall of 2003 and completed her doctorate degree with Professor Parmentier. Her research focused on numerical models of fluid migration and melt production at convergent plate boundaries. She received her Masters degree in May 2005. Amandine was a co-president of GeoClub from 2004 to 2005, a graduate student faculty representative from 2006 to 2007 and is a full member of the Brown Chapter of Sigma Xi. She is currently working at the ExxonMobil Exploration Company in Houston, TX.

»Christina L. Calvin received a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Occidental College. She spent several years working for a military contractor and the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of Natural History. She returned to graduate school and received an MS in geology from New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. While at Brown, Christina won a University fellowship as well as a GK-12 fellowship. Christina served as the Geology representative to the Graduate Student Council, the graduate student representative to the geology faculty, and the geology graduate student liaison to the Sheridan Center. She also served several positions within the graduate student body such as the graduate student liaison to the University Resources Committee, a teaching consultant with the Sheridan Center, and a graduate mentor with the Leadership Alliance. Tina is currently working as a computer modeler for ExxonMobil in Houston, Texas.

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»Laura Chandler Cleaveland received her undergraduate degree in Geology at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota in 2001. She came to Brown in the fall of 2003 and worked with Dr. Timothy Herbert on reconstructing and understanding sea surface temperature changes in the tropical oceans over the past several million years. Laura received a Masters degree from Brown in May of 2005. During her time here, Laura received grant awards from the Evolving Earth Foundation and the Geological Society of America. She also helped found a departmental science education outreach program at a local elementary school for which she was awarded the GeoClub Award. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.

»William Joseph D’Andrea received dual Bachelors degrees in Geology and Environmental Studies from Binghamton University in New York in 2001. He then did a masters at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln, where he began working on paleoclimate reconstruction using lake sediments from southwest Greenland. He came to Brown in September 2003 and continued working on lakes in southwest Greenland, focusing on the development and application of new geochemical techniques to extract quantitative climate information from lake sediments. Billy received a Master’s degree from Brown in May of 2005, and since then has received a Croasdale Fellowship, a Rose Provasoli scholarship, and a Dissertation Fellowship. Billy was a supervisor to seven undergraduate senior thesis projects, was a science outreach volunteer at Vartan Gregorian Elementary School in Providence, helped lead the 2007 undergraduate field trip to the Colorado Plateau, and serves as a science correspondent for the National Science Foundation’s Ice Stories website. Since October 2008, Billy has been a NOAA Climate and Global Change Postdoctoral Fellow working at the Climate System Research Center at UMass Amherst, and he was recently awarded an NSF postdoctoral fellowship to continue his research.

»Juzhi Hou received his Bachelors degree in Geochemistry at China University of Geosciences (Wuhan) in July 1998. Then he worked at the Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences. He came to Brown in the fall of 2003 and his research focused on applications of organic geochemistry in paleoclimate and paleoenvironment reconstruction in New England. Juzhi received a Masters degree from Brown in May of 2006. He was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship from the Program on Climate Change at University of Washington and started in UW in Jan 2009.

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»Joseph Sidney Levy came to Brown from the University of Chicago, where he received his B.S. in Geophysical Sciences in 2004. His research has focused on cold desert, glacial, and permafrost landforms on Mars, using three seasons of fieldwork in Antarctica to gain experience exploring analogous environments. He was awarded an Sc.M. by Brown in 2006, and has been supported in his research by a range of programs, including the Charles Wilson Brown Fellowship, a Dissertation Fellowship, TAing (Geo 5), and a year as a Rhode Island Space Grant Consortium Fellow. He has continued engaging in public outreach through RISG, presenting talks and programs for civic groups, libraries, and museums. He has served as a session chair at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference and as a book reviewer for the Journal of Geology. Joe served as a Geo-Club co-President, and was the Planetary Faculty Representative for two years. In addition to several papers, he has produced close to 100 gallons of homebrew, much of which has contributed to animated scientific discussions with his friends and colleagues in the department.

»Following careers in both professional dance and law, Christine McCarthy received her second undergraduate degree in geophysics from the University of Oregon. She then spent a summer at the USGS in Menlo Park on a NASA internship, during which she developed a love for Ice. Christine came to Brown in the Fall of 2003 to work with Professors Karen Fischer and Reid Cooper. She completed short projects in the areas of seismology and geopolymers before launching into her doctoral research on the mechanical properties of planetary ices with Professor Reid Cooper. She TA’d general geology courses both at Brown and Bryant Universities and was involved with outreach science teaching to 2nd and 4th grade students at Vartan Elementary School. She was given the Dwornik Student Paper Award for her first talk at the Lunar Planetary Science Conference and was asked to give an invited talk at the AGU meeting in San Francisco in 2006. This summer she and her fiancé moved to Japan so that she can begin a postdoctoral research project at the University of Tokyo.

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»Gareth Alwyn Morgan received his Bachelors of Science (Honors) degree in Geography at the University of Edinburgh (UK) in June of 2003. He completed a Masters of Science in Ocean Remote Sensing in 2004 at the National Oceanography Centre, University of Southampton (UK). Gareth moved from the United Kingdom to the United States in 2005 to begin his PhD at Brown, where he conducted research focused on cold climate (periglacial) landforms on Mars and their terrestrial counterparts in Antarctica. During his time at Brown, Gareth spent two field seasons in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica with the United States Antarctic Program. His field studies involved assisting ice core drilling projects and installing environmental sensors. Gareth was involved with the science teams of both NASA’s MESSENGER spacecraft and the HRSC instrument onboard Europe’s Mars Express orbiter. In 2008, MESSENGER made two flybys of the planet Mercury, and his contribution to the science team in the analysis of volcanic plains will be included in a forthcoming peer-reviewed publication.

»Leah Ellen Ann Hutchison Roach earned her undergraduate degree in Geosciences at MIT in 2004 and came directly to Brown to study with Jack Mustard.  Her research involved analysis of sulfates and other hydrated minerals of Mars from orbital spectrometers.  Leah received her Masters in 2006.  She was very active with the Sheridan Center, earning all three certificates and serving as both the Geology Department Graduate Liaison and a Sheridan Center Teaching Consultant from 2006-2009.  She organized the Remote Sensing event at the RI Science Olympiad in 2007 and 2008 and was involved in outreach as a Space Grant Docent and volunteer instructor at area elementary schools.  She recieved the Zonta International Amelia Earhart Fellowship in 2006, the AGU Outstanding Student Paper award in 2006, and the Dwornik Planetary Geoscience Student Paper Award for her oral presentation in 2008.  This summer Leah started as a scientist at Frontier Technology, Inc in Beverly, MA working on orbital spectrometer calibration and analysis.

»Marshall Isacc Sundberg received a B.A. in Geology from Carleton College in June of 2003 (pictured with his proud parents). Marshall came to Brown in the fall of 2003 to work with Prof. Reid Cooper. His research has focused on the mechanical properties of peridotite and its application to the dynamics of the Earth’s upper mantle. Marshall received the Best Student Paper Award from the Tectonophysics section of the American Geophysical Union in 2005 and received a Masters degree from Brown in 2006. He served as a T.A. for Structural Geology in the spring of 2006 and 2008. He recently received an Earth Science postdoctoral fellowship from the National Science Foundation and will commence postdoctoral study at the University of Minnesota in the fall.

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2009 ScM RECIPIENTS

Font row, l-r: Brendan Hermalyn, Debra Hurwitz, J.R. Skok, Angela Stickle, Kate Burgess and Heather Ford. Not pictured: Li Gao, Sam Schon, Qinglan Peng, Mariela Salas, Shane Schoepfer (see class of 2009), Susanna Theroux

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»Katherine Doreen Burgess received her undergraduate degree in Geology at Earlham College (Richmond, IN) in 2005 and came to Brown in the fall of 2006.  Her research thus far focuses on dynamic oxidation and the effect of open and closed system processes on the magnetic characteristics of basaltic glass.  Kate was president of the Geo Club in 2007-08, and has TAed GEOL 0230 and 1450. In 2008, she participated in the US-Japan Winter School on New Functionalities in Glass.  Kate is a member of Brown’s Ultimate Frisbee team.

»Heather A. Ford received her undergraduate degree in Geological Sciences with a minor in Physics from the University of Michigan in May of 2005 (pictured with her husband and Professor Karen Fischer).  Since arriving at Brown Heather's research has focused on constraining the morphology of the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary beneath Australia using scattered waves.  Heather was the Treasurer of the GeoClub during the 2008-2009 school year.  She will remain at Brown in order to pursue her PhD working with Professor Karen Fischer.

»Li Gao received her Bachelors degree in Environmental Sciences at the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC, China) in July 2007.  She came to Brown in August 2007 and started her graduate study towards a PhD degree, advised by Prof. Yongsong Huang.  She mainly focuses on organic geochemistry and paleoenvironmental sciences. Her master’s thesis is about the validation of organic geochemical proxies and their applications to paleoclimate reconstructions. Besides her own research, she has helped to train two undergraduates on their summer projects and senior theses. She TA'd for Limnology in Spring '09. Li serves as the vice president of the Chinese Students and Scholars Association (08-09) and played a big role in the management and events organization. Li plans to take her preliminary exam this coming fall.

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»Brendan O'Connor Pythagoras Hermalyn received his baccalaureate degree summa cum laude with a double major in Physics and Music from Fairfield University in January 2007, and earned a masters degree in Mathematics from Fairfield in August 2007.   He got his first taste of planetary science when he held an internship at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center during the summer of 2006, and was also the leader of the Fairfield University team for the NASA Reduced Gravity Students Opportunities “Microgravity University” Program in March of 2007.  Since arriving at Brown in September of 2007, he has been working on the application and development of novel high-speed imaging techniques to charecterize the ejecta velocity and mass distributions resulting from hypervelocity impacts, in addition to serving as Co-President of the GeoClub this past year. Brendan was awarded the Dwornik Award for Best Graduate Oral Presentation at this years’ LPSC.

»Debra Marie Hurwitz received her undergraduate degree in geology from Pomona College in May of 2007 (pictured with her proud parents). Debra came to Brown the following fall and has been studying the surface geology and geologic history of Venus, as well as participating in initial analysis of data collected during the first two MESSENGER flybys of Mercury that occurred in January and October, 2008.  In addition to research, Debra has also TAed an introductory planetary geology course, obtained funding to attend a volcanology workshop in Hawaii, and served as one of three GeoClub presidents for the 2008-2009 academic year.  Debra plans to continue her studies here at Brown in pursuit of her PhD, continuing with comparative volcanology among the terrestrial planets.

»Qinglan Peng received her undergraduate degree in Geology at Peking University (China) in June of 2006. After graduation she came to Brown and worked on modelling the role of high-Ti minerals during Lunar cumulate mantle overturn and partial melting in the Earth’s upper mantle. Qinglan was awarded a Brown Graduate Fellowship in 2006 and served as a TA for Mineralogy in the Fall of 2008.

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»Mariela Salas de la Cruz obtained her Bachelor in Science degree in Geology from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus in December 2004 and received the Harry H. Hess Geology Department Medal for Excellent Student at her graduation in June 2005. She came to Brown in the Fall 2005 and her research focused on understanding the origins of arc volcanism by applying Rayleigh wave tomography to waveforms to image the crust and mantle structure in the Nicaragua-Costa Rica subduction zone. Mariela Salas received her Masters in Science degree from Brown in December 2008. Mariela has participated in a wide range of leadership activities such as being the chair of the Student Advisory Board for the American Geophysical Union (2007-Present), student member in the Voluntary Contribution Campaign Committee for American Geophysical Union (2008-Present), student member in the Education and Human Resources Committee for American Geophysical Union (2006-2008), mentor for the ALANA (African, Latino, Asian and Native American) mentoring program at Brown University (2006-2007) and  Geo-Club co-president (2006-2007). Mariela received a first year Brown University Fellowship (2005-2006) and a National Science Foundation GK-12 fellowship (2007-2008). With a thirst for teaching Mariela obtained the Sheridan Center Teaching Certificates I and II, and worked as a teaching consultant for the Sheridan Center (2008-2009). She was very fortunate to be a teaching assistant for GEOL 0001 and GEOL 0007 working with excellent professors and students. 

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»Shane DeGennaro Schoepfer concurrently received his undergraduate degree in Geology-Biology and his Master’s Degree in Geological Sciences. During his time at Brown, he researched early mantle convection processes as a laboratory assistant, received a Rhode Island EPSCOR grant to study environmental genetics in Narragansett Bay, and conducted a dual-isotope study of nitrogen nutrients in the Bay ecosystem. He participated in an REU in Grand Junction Colorado, studying the origins of Unaweep Canyon, and helped guide a field trip through the area prior to the Geological Society of America 2007 national meetings. Shane received the NOAA Ernest F. Hollings Scholarship in 2007 and interned at the Hollings Marine Lab in Charleston, SC. He served for two years as President of the Brown Outing Club, and continues on the organization’s Executive Committee. Shane will be starting at the University of Washington in the fall as a PhD. Student, studying the biogeochemistry of mass extinctions.

»John Roma Skok received his Bachelors degree from Cornell University’s College of Engineering, majoring in Geological Sciences in 2007. That fall, he enrolled in the Department of Geological Sciences at Brown University to pursue graduate study in planetary sciences. Working with data from the CRISM instrument he has researched the mafic composition of Martian volcanoes and effects of atmospheric change. His work has been presented at CRISM team meetings, AGU’s Fall Meeting, at LPSC, and within the department. J.R. has also earned the Sheridan Center Teaching Certificate I and has been a TA for GEOL 0010: Face of the Earth.

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»Angela Marie Stickle received her undergraduate degrees in Earth and Space Sciences and Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering from the University of Washington in June 2007, and arrived at Brown the following fall (pictured with Professor Peter Schultz and his wife, Barb). Angela has been studying the damage and failure caused by hypervelocity impacts using a combination of laboratory experiments performed at the NASA Ames Vertical Gun Range and complimentary numerical simulations.  Alongside her research, she has been a TA for two introductory geology courses, and is currently serving as one of the department representatives to the graduate student council.  Angela plans to continue her studies at Brown, pursuing a PhD in planetary geology.

»Susanna M. Theroux is in her second year in the Brown Geosciences department and a student in the Brown-MBL graduate program. She received her bachelors degree in geology and biology at Williams College in 2005, and spent two years apprenticing with Linda Amaral Zettler at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole. Susanna’s graduate research focuses on phylogenetics of alkenone-producing haptophyte algae and an enigmatic algae that blooms in lakes of southwestern Greenland. While at Brown, Susanna received the Strominger Graduate Student Fellowship. She will continue her PhD research under the guidance of Dr. Yongsong Huang of Brown and Dr. Linda Amaral Zettler at the MBL.

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