Alumni Notes


Jim W. Adams (B.S. ’51) writes, “Good to hear all the news from Geology at UT. I am 86 and holding. Enjoying retirement during industry’s greatest boom. I have taught the Boy Scout merit badge in geology in Midland at our excellent summer camp in the Davis Mountains of West Texas and at National Jamborees. Would like to hear from friends at 505 Lajitas Dr., Midland, Texas, 79707, or by email at God bless you all.”

Gene Ames, Jr. (B.S. ’55) resides in San Antonio, Texas, and can be reached at

Walter V. Boyle (B.S. ’54, M.A. ’55) writes, “Vada and I continued our travels with a Crystal Cruise in February this year to Tahiti, Bora Bora and the Society Islands in the South Pacific, and, in late summer, we plan to take a land tour to Eastern Europe. Walt stays busy attending his investment club meetings, men’s book club and working in the yard and the garden. Vada continues her volunteer duties with the Houston Symphony League. In June, Vada was elected president of the North Harris County AAUW. We continue to enjoy attending the Jackson School of Geosciences functions, meetings and dinners and seeing and visiting with old classmates and friends.”

Philip Braithwaite (M.A. ’58) writes, “Barbara and I are still enjoying retirement in Dallas, Texas. We have cut back on traveling the last few years. I spend my time working in the garden and house projects with a little part-time consulting. Barbara keeps up with all the bestsellers in her reading. We have been married for 56 years and hope to enjoy each other for many more years to come!”

Robert F. Brandt (B.S. ’57) is a retired geology professor from Houston Community College. Robert writes, “Still enjoying life in Houston despite the aches and pains to be expected at age 80.”

Jack C. Cartwright (B.S. ’51, M.A. ’55) writes, “Barbara and I are still enjoying our home in the Manor Park facility in Midland after 59 years of marriage. Our relationship began 60 years ago when I returned to UT for graduate school and she was working in the geology library. We both face some health issues, but we love being with family and friends here in our home during our retirement years. During the past nine years while we lived in this community there were four 1951-52 UT geologists—Pat Bolden, Laddie Long, Jim Adams and myself. Presently, Jim and I are the survivors. Though our ranks are growing smaller each year it is good to have notes from my classmates from the early 1950s. Best wishes to all UT grads!”

James M. Caruthers (B.S. ’56) writes, “Since my retirement from the USGS in 1986, I’ve had adventures ranging from Himalayas climbs to treks in Iceland, Greenland and most recently Patagonia. Also, hikes in the Navajo SS Rainbow Bridge, The Wave and Zebra Canyon Slot.”

Robert E. Doyle (B.S. ’55, M.S. ’57) writes, “I am now marketing a system I invented that will stop and contain the spread of major oil spills. This system was approved by the USPTO in a record seven and a half months. A description may be found in the August 2014 issue of the Journal of Petroleum Technology published by the Society of Petroleum Engineers. It was also presented in the May 2014 issue of Maritime Executive. I am also in the process of patenting several other inventions dealing with power generation and protection from wildfires. Drop in for a visit should you be in Houston or give me a call at 713-334-4464.”

Willard “Will” R. Green (M.A. ’55) writes, “Greetings from Midland, Texas—Boom Town, USA, thanks to horizontal drilling and fracturing technology. I continue as an independent geologist and oil producer trying to generate prospects in parts of the Permian Basin where thick ‘shale’ sequences are absent. Have been a member of the advisory council of the Geology Foundation for five years and it has been a learning experience to see the many things happening at the Jackson School. Congrats to Dean Sharon Mosher and the entire staff.”

George Mathis Harwell, Jr. (B.S. ’58, M.A. ’59) writes, “Linette and I moved to Round Rock in 2011. Being closer to UT, we have enjoyed participating in occasional activities at JSG. I continue to be grateful for the education and support I received from faculty and staff of the geology department in the late 1950s—Professor Deford and Drs. Folk, Young, Muelberger, Claibaugh, Wilson and Lundelius, to name a few. Each of these men taught me the science of geology and reinforced life skills which prepared me for a career in the oil and gas business. While serving on the Geology Foundation Advisory Council I witnessed the unique and extraordinary leadership of Sam Ellison, Morgan Davis, Peter Flawn and Bill Fisher along with the dedication and service of council members. I applaud the contributions being made today by Dean Mosher, the faculty and staff, and the advisory council. My hope is that all involved have a deep understanding of the tremendous influence they have on the future of each student and that each student has a deep appreciation for what is being made available at JSG. Thanks to all! I can be reached at”

Jack M. Howard (B.S. ’51) writes, “After 52 years on Enfield Road, we now reside in Westminster Retirement Community in West Austin, across Mopac from Camp Mabry. On July 23, 2014, Shirley and I quietly celebrated our 65th anniversary with friends and family.”

Ernest Lundelius (B.S. ’50) spent the past year continuing research on Quaternary vertebrate faunas of Australia and Texas.

Ernest Lundelius, Jr. (B.S. ’50) writes, “I spent the last year continuing research on Quaternary vertebrate faunas of Australia and Texas. Hall’s Cave in Kerr County continues to provide new information on the fauna, climate and soil erosion rates over the past 18,000 years. Chris Bell and I are investigating Pleistocene deposits in a newly discovered cave in Crocket County. Another fairly new locality north of Houston has produced the first record of a toxodont for the United States. This is another addition to the list of animals of South American origin that entered North America with the establishment of the Panamanian Isthmus about four million years ago. I attended the annual meetings of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology and the American Quaternary Association to keep abreast of developments in those areas.”

Wayne D. Miller (M.A. ’57) writes, “Still consulting full-time but planning on slowing down some in 2014. Hope to continue work, as I still enjoy the oil business. Sorry to see that Sam Sims has passed away. Look forward to the next Newsletter.”

George Pichel (B.S. ’51) writes, “After 36 years as a geologist all over the world and crossing the Pacific in a 36-foot sailboat, now 88 and existing.”

Floyd F. Sabins (B.S. ’52) writes, “After leaving UT I earned my Ph.D. at Yale and spent 37 years at Chevron’s geologic research facility where I introduced remote sensing and digital image processing for oil and mineral exploration. Upon retirement I continued remote sensing research and exploration with my company, Remote Sensing Enterprises, Inc. (RSE). In 2010 the U.S. Department of Defense tasked RSE to identify mineral exploration targets in Afghanistan. We digitally processed and visually interpreted images acquired by an array of satellite and airborne systems. The systems and digital processing methods are described in the third edition of my book Remote Sensing – Principles and Interpretation. Our 18 DoD reports cover 21 sites and define several hundred exploration targets for gold, copper, chromite, lithium and coal. The above image is a sample interpretation/target map derived from HyMap hyperspectral images of the Balkhab copper prospect and surrounding terrain in north-central Afghanistan. The deposit is hosted in volcanogenic massive sulfide rocks exposed in the gorge of the northeast-flowing Balkhab River. The digital data for 124 spectral bands were acquired by a NASA aircraft and provided courtesy of the USGS spectroscopy laboratory. The plan is for the USGS to include the 18 RSE reports in a data package for the Afghan Geological Survey, which will make the data available to the exploration community. The objective is to provide an inventory of exploration targets for follow-on evaluation. Because of uncertain conditions in Afghanistan we do not know when the data package will be available.” Floyd can be reached at

Floyd Sabins (B.S. ’52) recently conducted research in Afghanistan commissioned by the U.S. Department of Defense. The above shows an airborne HyMap hyperspectral image of the Balkhab copper deposit training site and vicinity. The yellow outline is the top of volcanogenic massive sulfide unit that hosts the Balkhab copper deposit and targets. Image courtesy of Sabins

Eugene Patrick Scott (B.S. ’57) is a petroleum geologist consultant in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Holmes A. Semken (B.A. ’58, M.A. ’60) writes, “I retired six months early in 1999 to order to expand a conference in South Africa into a tour with family and students of game parks and Zulu/Boer War battlefields and came home to continue work in ice-age vertebrates without the pain of committee and faculty meetings. I also continue working with archaeological teams on the examination of mammal bones, large and small, from archaeological sites on the High Plains. Almost all involve students so I am into the world of social media—to a point anyway. There are a lot of quick people out there and it is a pleasure to be associated with a younger group. Elaine and I traveled frequently worldwide primarily using public transportation. We had a goal of riding every kind and class of train, ferry and bus. However, it is hard to know when you are done. Life has not been dull even though our age is showing. We chose to stay in Iowa because we like having four distinct seasons and have come to better withstand cold Iowa winters than the long hot summers of the South. Also the association with the University of Iowa, especially its Museum of Natural History, has produced some great moments. We still have a soft spot for UT-Austin and enjoy return visits. We have recovered parts of three Jefferson’s giant sloths at one locality, a few remains of a short-faced bear at another and are now working on a site with three wooly mammoths present.”

Marriott Wieckhoff Smart (B.S. ’57) writes, “John and I continue to live in Centennial, Colorado. We revisited New Orleans so that we could visit the World War II Museum. That trip began our study of the D-Day invasion because in June we toured Normandy with the Flying Longhorns. Nice to be around Texans again. When one is fortunate enough to live in Colorado, one tends not to leave in the summer.  So we stayed home and went to mountains when we could. Wildflowers were especially beautiful this July. Best wishes to all from Colorado.”

Theodore E. Stanzel (B.S. ’56) writes, “There is no significant change in my life over the past 12 months. Enjoying life and planning new travel excursions. Wanda and I really enjoyed the Oceania cruise in the Mediterranean in April. It was a pleasant journey thanks to University of Texas Exes that traveled with us.”

Bernie Ward (B.A. ’55) writes, “I still maintain an office although I’m semi-retired. I visited my grandson at UT last semester. He graduated with a B.S. in biology and is now enrolled as a student at Texas Tech Medical School. Walked the campus to the geology building. On the south wall was a quotation, ‘Oh earth, what changes hast thou seen.’ Dr. Bullard would give five points if you recited it on his pop quiz!”

Billy D. Watson (B.S. ’58) writes, “Enjoying my 29th year of retirement playing as much golf as I can. My wife, Jean, and I are also enjoying our 13 grandchildren and looking forward to our third great-grandchild in November. Life is full of music. I still play my trumpet at church and with three other organizations. Staying active and looking forward to football season! I can be reached at Hook ’em!”

Leslie P. White (B.S. ’56) writes, “Dianne and I continue on enjoying life as grandparents. At this age no news is good news.”


Donald H. Campbell (M.A. ’62) writes, “Retired now after 35 years in cement and concrete industries, plus oil/gas and teaching … an enjoyable career. Now studying climate change and advocating various means of mitigating its damaging effects. Major tectonic events combined with catastrophic climate change—what a scenario!”

Chuck Caughey (B.S. ’69, M.A. ’73) writes, “Passed three years with Noble Energy and recently started enjoying a reduced work schedule of three days per week.”

Gerald Keith Ebanks (M.A. ’66) writes, “After 36 years in Carrollton, Texas, we moved to College Station almost two years ago to be close to our daughter and her family. I’ve gotten over the skin itch that I had contracted from being so deep here in Aggie country. I’m about 95 percent retired now, but I’m still doing a little bit of consulting work when it wanders in the door or off the phone or email. It’s been a great life. You can contact me at”

William H. Harris (M.A. ’61) writes, “Beginning my 16th year of retirement in wonderful south Florida. Hope to celebrate my 80th birthday this December, first with family and friends in the U.S. and then with family and friends in Israel.”

J. Phil Jones (B.S. ’64) writes, “Greetings from Edmond, Oklahoma. Marilyn and I have made numerous trips to upstate New York over the past several years visiting kids and grandkids in Richfield Springs, near Cooperstown. We have observed the political issues surrounding horizontal drilling and the impact on the local economy. I much appreciate the work of the Bureau of Economic Geology in their efforts to inform the public of the scientific facts surrounding energy exploration and development, and safe handling of the resulting products that grandly reward the economy of Texas and the University of Texas. Please continue the excellent work. You can contact me at”

Don Kirksey (B.S. ’60) writes, “In 1960, the University of Texas at Austin’s geology department gave me my ticket to a lifetime filled with all that I wanted in my career. What I hoped to do came true. I worked for Sinclair and Tenneco, two majors that were active, using all types of exploration for oil and gas. These included subsurface, photogeology, field geology, geochemical and even submarine geologic exploration. It was exciting to work and live in so many places: Alaska, Europe, the Gulf of Mexico and the mid-continent. Today, I am enjoying retirement with my wife, BJ, in Oklahoma City. The only geology I do now is studying outcrops as we travel in our RV (dangerous if I’m driving). I thank my Lord Jesus and the University of Texas for my wonderful career.”

Jereld E. McQueen (B.S. ’61, M.A. ’63) writes, “Still with Medallion Oil Company searching for hydrocarbons. Proud of the student center and how JSG is educating and training young people with field geosciences—as one of the best in the world.”

Tom S. Patty (M.A. ’68) writes, “After setting up the research geology and petrographic lab for the Materials and Tests Division of the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) in 1968, I spent 13 years sampling and examining portland cement concrete pavements and bridge decks throughout the state to determine the cause of distress, examining asphaltic pavements for composition and skid resistance characteristics, as well as studying the engineering properties of all commercial aggregate sources in Texas and nearby states. I retired from TxDOT in 1981. I opened a consulting office for Wiss Janney Elstner Associates, Inc., a forensic engineering firm doing concrete petrography and aggregate evaluations. I worked as a geologist, petrographer and construction materials consultant in the Austin office as associate principal until retirement in 2011 after 30 years with WJE. I now work part-time as an affiliated consultant and tend to our retirement home in Pflugerville. I enjoy being with the families of our three children, eight grandchildren who have grown up in and live around the Austin area. I provide for my wife JoAnn’s needs, especially going antiquing. I now have 62 volumes of the UT-Austin yearbook The Cactus that date from 1920 as well as copies of the Jackson School Newsletter that date back to the early 1960s. I can be reached at”

Robert Samson Singer (B.S. ’61) writes, “Retired now. Too much to do at the house. It is six Saturdays and a Sunday.”

Herbert “Sam” Travis (B.S. ’60) writes, “Currently I’m retired from work in the geologic field. However, I am still working on my real estate projects down on East Cedar Creek Lake, Mabank and Gun Barrel City, Texas. The surrounding geology of the area is mostly Queen City Sand Formation. For those who might want to communicate, I can be reached at”

Richard B. Waitt (B.S. ’66, M.A. ’70) writes, “Wife Cynthia and I still live in Vancouver, Washington, where I’m still a research geologist with USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory. My long-in-the-making popular book on Mount St. Helens’ 1980 eruption, In the Path of Destruction: Eyewitness Chronicles of Mount St. Helens, is scheduled for publication in early November by Washington State University Press. Recent or continuing fieldwork and writing includes: a gigantic 1980 landslide, monstrous surge and giant wave on Spirit Lake at Mount St. Helens; Pleistocene tephra in central Oregon; gigantic Pleistocene debris flows in southeast Utah; and colossal Pleistocene Missoula floods in central Washington. Our daughter Kristin lives in Seattle and we have three grandkids.”

William Feathergail Wilson (B.S. ’60, M.A. ’62) writes, “Working on deep desalination test well near Kyle, Texas. Working on South and East Texas deep injection brine wells. Finished an exploration job in Paraguay. Presented a paper to the Texas Archeological Society on Texas Hill Country on the ages of pedalfer and chernozem soils as they relate to Native American settlements. Found a rock shelter with 1577 carved at the entrance along with a Spanish silver adit near Tarpley, Texas. Working on a few other interesting pieces of geology at age 79.”

William C. Young (B.A. ’61) writes, “Still enjoying traveling and grandkids.”


Donna Balin (B.S. ’78) is a geologist with Altuda Energy Corporation in San Antonio.

Michael “Snap” Conger (B.A. ’72) served as the Antares Orb-2 mission NASA/GSFC/WFF Range Services Manager. The Antares rocket launched from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia on July 13, 2014, carrying the Orb-2 Cygnus cargo payload to the International Space Station.

Michael “Snap” Conger (B.A. ’72) writes, “As the Antares Orb-2 mission NASA/GSFC/WFF Range Services Manager (RSM), I and the NASA/Orbital team successfully sent another cargo flight to the International Space Station (ISS) on July 13, 2014. Three days later, the standard Cygnus cargo module docked successfully to the ISS docking port. Next launch for the Orb-3 mission is mid-October 2014. I’ll be there to enjoy the ride. I was just informed my two new world records in the Legend’s Division were validated from my performance at the World Flying Disc Federation (recognized by the International Olympic Committee) in Norrkoping, Sweden, in July of 2013.”

Frank Cornish (M.A. ’75) writes, “I continue to enjoy supporting the Jackson School as Corpus Christi’s FAN rep. With a house in Austin, we’ve been making numerous trips up there. I’ve been busy looking at all the Wilcox core I can at the BEG core facility. It’s been a slow drilling year, but it’s picking up, with one well completing now and another shallow one to drill. I’m still working with SV Energy in Corpus Christi and we are looking forward to drilling for gas again in the near future. In Corpus, we’ve downsized to a small condo and are cramped for space. I’ve picked up speed in the photograph area, winning some local recognition. I’m trying to build the hobby into a second career as retirement approaches. It is as fun as looking at rocks, but so far doesn’t pay as well.”

Ricky Ray Davis (B.S. ’76) recently returned to Colorado after 23 years working for Saudi Aramco in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.

Patricia Wood Dickerson (B.A. ’70, Ph.D. ’95) writes, “From bedrock in a desert canyon of the Big Bend to sea stacks in western Iceland, it’s been a fine year in the field, in the UT geology library and on the road with natural history excursions. It was gratifying to be study leader again for a Smithsonian tour in Iceland—a lively, inquisitive group of travelers—through glaciers, volcanoes and bouldery black sand beaches. Shortly after returning, I served in the same role for a Road Scholar excursion in New Mexico. We walked on young basalts there, too, though not as fresh as the Icelandic rift lavas. Other instructional action included helping to plan field training for NASA astronauts, although a dislocated knee knocked me out of the actual training exercise in the Rio Grande rift near Taos. Another project, sponsored by Brewster County in Texas has been the creation of roadside exhibits about the geologic and human history of the county. Collaboration with Jim Bones, a photographer and naturalist, has resulted in displays on Marathon Basin, Paisano volcano (Davis Mountains) and the Sunken Block rift basin (Big Bend National Park). Meanwhile, Joe Reese (JSG Ph.D.), Dennis Trombatore and I are converting Bill Muehlberger’s selected slides, taken by astronauts aboard shuttle and space station, into topical suites of digital images. Those teaching sets will be publicly accessible via the UT Digital Repository. Spring brought a return by canoe into Mariscal Canyon to sample and map a recently uncovered ignimbrite in the canyon floor (before the river and windblown sands buried it again!). Studying the thin sections now. It’s been a year of stimulating explorations with friends and colleagues at JSG, TCU, Texas Tech and in Edinboro, Pennsylvania. Rifting is a recurring theme—some of my Rio Grande rift research has been published in a recent GSA special paper. Our Marathon Basin work is yielding new data on Rodinia rifting in the region, and we’re eager to present that at GSA in Vancouver. Hope to see many of you there! Here in River City I’m enjoying GeoRef work for AGI—learning endlessly from that, from volunteering for Austin Classical Guitar and from dancing Argentine tango and blues!”

Shirley Dutton (M.A. ’77, Ph.D. ’86) received the 2014 Doris M. Curtis Award from the Gulf Coast Section SEPM for career contributions in the development of new concepts for understanding the geology of the Gulf of Mexico basin and other basins worldwide. Shirley is a senior research scientist at the Bureau of Economic Geology.

Abelardo “Lalo” Garza-Hernandez (B.S. ’75) has lived in Parral, Chihuahua, Mexico since 1976, owns his own mining consulting business, providing services to several major and junior mining and mineral exploration companies, as well as being involved in other mining ventures in Mexico. He can be reached at

Charles “Chip” G. Groat (Ph.D. ’70) continues as president and CEO of The Water Institute of the Gulf.

Charles “Chip” G. Groat (Ph.D. ’70) continues as president and CEO of The Water Institute of the Gulf, a not-for-profit independent applied research organization based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, that began operations in February 2012 under his leadership. The Water Institute’s program encompasses coastal, deltaic and water systems in Louisiana, the Gulf of Mexico and internationally.

Charles Kreitler (M.A. ’72, Ph.D. ’74) writes, “2013-2014 has been a busy time. Important news first. My wife Berf and I became grandparents. Our son Jason and his wife Susan had a little boy Henry, now 8 months old. Fascinating to see them grow so fast! I retired from LBG-Guyton almost three years ago. I still do some work for them. I also teach a course in the Energy and Earth Resources Program at UT’s Jackson School during the spring semester on water resource issues in the Southwest. Timely topic! We have become reverse snow birds, spending summers in the Adirondack Mountains (upstate New York) and winters in Austin. Can’t beat it.”

Ray Leonard (M.A. ’77) writes, “I continue to experience the uncertainties of a deepwater wildcatter in West Africa as president and CEO of Hyperdynamics. It is nice to be back in Houston after so many years abroad. I am very happily married and my three children work in Angola, Argentina and Alaska; they all have found suitable partners and I am delighted to have three grandchildren and fourth on the way! I can be reached at”

Robert A. Levich (M.A. ’73) writes, “Retired 10 years from U.S. Department of Energy’s Yucca Mountain Project. Working part-time with Arizona-based mining company with gold mining concessions in West Africa. Stella and I split our year between our homes in Las Vegas, Nevada and Senya Bereku, Ghana, where we have built a home on four acres of land above a 50-foot sea cliff on the Gulf of Guinea. Old friends are welcome to come over and spend time listening to the waves crash on the Pan African quartzites and quartz schists at the base of the cliff below our house, and wander along the adjacent coconut-lined beaches. I can be contacted at”

Robert Michael Looney (B.S. ’71, M.A. ’77) writes, “Still operating as Black Pearl Exploration, Houston, Texas. Primary areas of operation include Texas Gulf Coast and Louisiana with a couple of joint venture partners. Discussing merger possibilities with one of our partners. We spend a lot of time in Idaho during the summer on Lake Pend Oreille, site of the Missoula Ice Age floods. Lots of interesting geology. Continue to enjoy my time on the FANS Board and helping to get the message out about what the Jackson School has to offer.”

James P. McCalpin (B.A. ’72) writes, “For the past four years, I (and my company GEO-HAZ, have been very busy finding faults—active faults, that is. Mainly I do seismic hazard studies related to oil and gas pipelines, LNG terminals, nuclear power plants, nuclear waste repositories and hydropower projects. A lot of time in helicopters, and on the ground, watching for bears on field traverses. Using the helicopter/bear method, I’ve mapped/characterized active faults crossing the proposed Alaska gas pipeline, the existing TAPS oil line in Alaska and two proposed gas pipelines in British Columbia (Coastal Gas Link and Prince Rupert Gas Transmission). We even developed a protocol for real-time GPS/GIS fault mapping from helicopters (McCalpin and Carver, 2013). Also reviewed surface faulting studies for proposed Lelu Island, BC, LNG terminal. In the nuclear power world, seismic hazards have increased visibility since 2011 and the M9 Tohoku earthquake. Recent review projects include seismic source characterization for Thyspunt NPP (South Africa), Diablo Canyon NPP (California) and Embalse NPP (Argentina). In September 2014 I travel to the Shika NPP in Japan to advise on a suspected active fault near a reactor building. The ‘Fukushima effect’ also impacts siting and design of nuclear waste repositories, leading to my reviews of surface faulting hazards at the Forsmark and Olkiluoto nuclear waste repositories (Sweden and Finland). Seems like everyone is getting these, except the U.S. Meanwhile, in those countries without nuclear or oil and gas, hydropower projects are on the rise and require seismic risk studies. We analyzed surface faulting hazards and trenched suspected active faults for the Yesa Dam, Spain; San Pedro and seven Lagos damsites, Chile; the faults near Joes Valley Dam and the Chief Toquer damsite, Utah; and Penley damsite, Colorado. Closer to home, I continue to consult for Colorado ski areas on slope stability issues. Recent engineering geology projects were at Aspen Mountain, Buttermilk, Keystone, Eldora, Breckenridge and Vail. At least while mapping and drilling there, I don’t have to look over my shoulder for bears … normally. I can be contacted at”

Steve Brasfield (B.A. ’78), with his wife Carol, is an actor, writer and comedian living in Los Angeles.


Joseph A. “Joe” Medina (B.S. ’74) writes, “Working Permian Basin New Mexico in Houston. Hoping this finds my former classmates and other UT geo-friends happy and in good health!”

Harry W. Mueller III (Ph.D. ’75) writes, “Still enjoying being retired in Fort Collins, Colorado. Enjoy seeing all my old friends from UT at the AAPG annual conventions. Still participating in our local geological association here in Fort Collins.”

Kenneth E. Nemeth (M.A. ’76) writes, “I have begun my term as president of the Houston Geological Society. I have been serving on the AAPG IBA Committee for six years now.”

John W. Preston (B.S. ’70) writes, “Well, still picking squiggles after all these years and like the blind hog and the acorns, find a few drops of grease from time to time.”

David Henry Walz (M.A. ’74) writes, “Toddy and I both retired from teaching in the summer of 2013. Toddy taught junior kindergarten and kindergarten in our home county’s public school system for nearly 30 years and I taught geology for 37 years at Reynolds Community College in Richmond, Virginia. In May 2014 I was honored with the status of professor emeritus from the college. Our older son, Jonathan, teaches anthropology/archaeology at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. He specializes in East Africa, South Asia and the Indian Ocean. Our younger son, Kris (born in Austin), and his wife, Meg, live and thrive in Montpelier, Vermont.”

Steve White (B.S. ’78) writes, “Still enjoying prospecting in the East Texas Basin.”


Fred H. (B.S. ’83) and Teresa Harkrader Becker (B.S. ’82) write, “The oil patch has been good to us and we have fond memories of the GEO 660 field camp. Our daughter Lauren will be working in the oil industry in Houston soon and our daughter Lindsay will be working toward her Ph.D. at Stanford.  We enjoyed a Flying Longhorns trip to Machu Picchu and the Galapagos and plan to go on more in the future.” Fred plans to retire from Shell in 2015. Teresa has recently retired from consulting and is enjoying their new home in Marble Falls, Texas.

Alan Berryhill (B.S. ’81, M.A. ’84) recently relocated from Houston. He is president of Cross Point Environmental and Restoration Services in Austin.

Patricia Bobeck (M.A. ’85) returned to UT-Austin in 2011 for a Ph.D. in hydrogeology. Translation of Henry Darcy’s The Public Fountains of the City of Dijon and its publication in 2004 increased her curiosity about French hydrogeology, led to several summer vacations spent in France, and finally the decision to return to UT. She is conducting research on Jean-Baptiste Paramelle (also known as Abbé or Father Paramelle), a 19th century French hydrogeologist who began looking for water back when geology was called geognosy. Based on reading available books and his own observations, Paramelle developed a method of finding groundwater on the dry karst plateaux of Lot (France) in 1827. His fame spread to neighboring departments and by the time of his retirement in 1854, he had found water in more than 10,000 locations in 40 of the 80 departments of France. In 1856 he wrote a book called The Art of Finding Springs. This best-selling book popularized the use of groundwater in France. Henry Darcy favorably reviewed Paramelle’s method and book. Patricia’s project includes the translation of Paramelle’s book, an evaluation of his contributions to the history of hydrogeology, an analysis of his method and an application of his method to karst terrain in the United States. Prior to and during her Ph.D. work, Patricia has been teaching thesis and dissertation writing workshops in the geology department. She teaches separate workshops for native speakers of English and for international students. Teaching international students allows her to tap into her expertise in teaching English as a foreign language; prior to studying geology in the 1970s and 1980s, she obtained a master’s degree in linguistics and taught English in the Caribbean, South America and Hawaii. The Paramelle project and the writing workshops offer an opportunity to integrate all of her academic skills, including her bachelor’s degree in French. She writes, “I’m delighted that during my travels in France, almost every day a French person tells me that he or she wishes he or she spoke English as well as I speak French—I have achieved one of my major goals in life!”

Bruce Calder (B.S. ’81) works for TxDOT and writes, “I am only marginally involved in geology these days (at my job). On the side, I dabble some in the oil and gas world and occasionally perform City of Austin and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) geologic assessments on the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone.”

David Chow (B.S. ’85) writes, “My daughter, Carla, graduated from the University of Houston with a bachelor of business administration in marketing. She is working for White Picket Realty. I am still working for Marathon Oil in Houston. I completed my first triathlon this year. I also run in age group track meets and play soccer. I volunteer for the Houston Dynamo major league soccer team and the Houston Women’s Soccer Association.”

Michael Jamison Clark (B.A. ’89) writes, “Checked out Haleakala National Park on Maui for New Year’s. Yes, it does look like Mars there!”

Steven Crews (B.S. ’82) recently changed jobs, moving from Hess to Apache, where he is the petroleum systems analyst for the international New Ventures group. Steve and Bonny live in central Houston, spending as much time as possible in the Colorado Mountains. Steve can be reached at

William Demis (M.A. ’83) writes, “Mary (M.A. ’84) and I continue to live and work in Houston. We both enjoy our respective jobs, Bill at Southwestern Energy and Mary at CoreLab. The new twin peak in U.S. oil production brought on by fracking has been a renaissance to the industry and to our country. Both our children are in post-graduate education. Neither child wanted to major in geology after a lifetime of family driving vacations interrupted by constant stops at road cuts, where passersby give quizzical and annoyed stares at mom and dad waving their arms at nothing (to the non-geologist). Our son, John, is in medical school in San Antonio. Our daughter, Eleanor, is at UCLA for a doctorate in physical chemistry.”

Alan Dutton (Ph.D. ’82) is now the Amy Shelton and V.H. McNutt Distinguished Professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Kevin Frenzel (B.S. ’87) writes, “After almost 20 years away, I have finally returned to Austin and wow, has it changed! I was managing exploration activities for a uranium mine in South Texas, but unfortunately, the market crashed following the tsunami in Japan. So I am now with the Texas General Land Office, managing the Coastal Erosion Planning and Response Act program and enjoying life back in Austin.”

Tatiana Frierson (B.S. ’85) writes, “Retired Dell/Perot Systems after 24 years tenure, but retirement was short-lived. I have now joined Hewlett Packard in the enterprise services division, supporting the business process services organization. I’m in Dallas and would love to connect with old UT geodog folks. Don’t hesitate to reach out to me at”

Charles Goebel (B.S. ’80) writes, “Still drilling (mostly good!) wells near San Angelo. Saw a few outcrops recently while on vacation in New Mexico—beats working in front of computer screens by a long shot! Youngest offspring, Clara, will be a junior at UT this fall.”

Griffin Buchanan “Bill” Howard IV (B.S. ’82) writes, “I have a new company, Discover E&P LLC, doing exploration primarily in South Louisiana and the Texas Gulf Coast. We are looking for additional areas to explore. This after 23 years with a partner as Flare Resources Inc. My email is I would enjoy hearing from you.”

James P. Immitt (M.A. ’81) writes, “I thoroughly enjoy the amazing geology and the utilization of technology in exploration of the subsalt deepwater Gulf of Mexico for Eni in Houston. Recently ‘had to’ walk the beaches of Nova Scotia for a salt diapir field course—absolutely beautiful and a lovely change of temperature in July. Pam and I are still transitioning from Austin to Houston and finding lots of positives. It’s good to have many fellow Longhorns here. Our daughter Angela has joined the Navy as a hospital corpsman and is in basic training at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. We are very proud of her. Our son Adrian is studying psychology at Colorado University in Boulder and we are very proud of him too.” Jim can be reached at

Ernst H. Kastning (Ph.D. ’83) writes, “I am enjoying my ‘retirement’ years after teaching hydrogeology and geomorphology for 28 years at Murray State University in Kentucky, the University of Connecticut and Radford University in Virginia, and most recently after four years with the New Hampshire Geological Survey and Department of Environmental Services. I am now a geological consultant on karst processes and a freelance writer. My wife, Susan, and I live in Concord, New Hampshire, and in Radford, Virginia. I have been writing for magazines, speleological and historical journals, and my book on Natural Bridge (Virginia) will be available in October 2014 (Images of America series, Arcadia Publishing). Several other books are in various stages of preparation. While still an active karst geologist, my interests have drifted heavily into historical research and writing. I can be contacted at”

L. Scott Kelley (B.S. ’86) writes, “Currently, I am a manager of geology for Exxon’s Fort Worth Basin (Barnett) and mid-continent divisions. Because my area extends from North Texas to the Panhandle across Oklahoma and Kansas up into Michigan and Illinois, the geological opportunities are always changing. Dozens of plays and new horizontal targets give my teams a lot to process and discover. We are having a lot of fun—almost as much fun as we did in the Picuris Mountains of New Mexico back in the 1986 field camp! Please give my best to all of the folks at the Vertebrate Paleontology Laboratory.”

Richard Alan Kolb (M.A. ’81) resides in Cary, North Carolina, and can be reached at

David Lemke (B.S. ’82) writes, “Working for Halliburton, managing a few software test teams for the Landmark DecisionSpace products. It’s hard to believe I’ve been living in Houston for 32 years. I yearn to leave here and retire in northern New Mexico, catch fish and hike in the mountains.”

Bruno Maldonado (B.S. ’82) writes, “Hello fellow Longhorn rock hounds. I just finished six days of hiking up and down the Western Alps in France studying passive margin geology. I got up close to some amazing outcrops. I put my knees and lungs to the test. The longest hike was on the order of 6 miles round trip. Ugh! My lungs were put to the test on the way up and my knees hurt all the way down. I guess it is back to the gym if I want to continuing doing what I love best. As for work, I am now at Apache working offshore in the northern part of South America. On a more personal note, I became a grandfather since I last wrote in the Newsletter. I have a 2-year-old granddaughter named Sofia. Yes, it is the Spanish spelling, although her mother is Canadian. I will have to work on my knees (or get them replaced) in order to keep up with her. My best to the UT Department of Geological Sciences for instilling this love I have for geoscience. I will try to pass this on to Sofia. Adios for now.” Bruno can be reached at

Pete McMahon (M.A. ’84) is with the U.S. Geological Survey in Denver.

Robert Murray (M.A. ’85) writes, “This year we moved downriver and downstream from Pittsburgh and the headwaters of the Ohio to New Orleans and the mouth of the Mississippi, from carbon capture and storage to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, from sand and shale to salt, and from trying to put post-combustion carbon back in the ground to actually putting pre-combustion carbon back in the ground. Instantly charmed by the Big Easy, we are letting the good times roll even if it means gaining a pound or two. The only real question seems to be where to eat next. If you find yourself rounding this bend in the river, I can be reached at”

Deborah Susan Pfeiffer (M.A. ’88) writes, “Still working as an international exploration manager at BHP Billiton in Houston. Ron is working for Whitney Bank and our oldest daughter graduated from Texas Christian University in May with a degree in geology (and got married a week later!). Our other two daughters are juniors at TCU. One is working toward a double degree in environmental science and geology and the other is a nursing major.”

Nick Pollard (B.S. ’84) writes, “Been living and working in Tyler, Texas, for 24 years now. On second round of private equity money and enjoying the ride.”

Jerry Schwarzbach (B.A. ’83) writes, “Another child starting at UT in the fall! Wish it wasn’t so hard for a student whose father and grandfather both majored in geology at UT-Austin to get into a geology class. Still enjoying living in Tyler, flying my single-engine plane, raising cattle and working.”

Scott Simmons (B.S. ’87) writes, “We are still enjoying the good life in Fort Collins, Colorado. I have started my own business focused on integrated energy and sustainable products development, but still doing some consulting in the geospatial arena. This allows more time for the family, mountain biking, fly fishing and skiing—which is perfect.” Scott can be reached at

Stephen W. Speer (M.A. ’83) writes, “Blessed to have five grandsons now. After having moved here 11 years ago, Therese and I find that life is as good as ever for us in the South Carolina Lowcountry. Still engaged in New Mexico oil and gas production and also involved in a couple of hospitality and event ventures here in Charleston, so staying pretty darn busy but not so much that we can’t find time to play a bunch of tennis. Hello to all of our Dirty Dozen teammates and sure hope life is going well for each and every one of you. Cheers!”Burgess

H. Stengl (B.S. ’85) writes, “Wow, I can’t believe that another year has come and gone, making it 29 years since I graduated from UT. It’s been over 12 years since I started with Republic Services and I am enjoying life in Spring, Texas. Angela is now teaching her second year of fourth grade in Klein ISD after many years teaching second grade. Our son Kyle is a junior at Klein Oak High School and is now driving (please watch out while in the area). Kyle recently attended UT band camp in Austin and had a great time on campus. It’s amazing how many new buildings now exist where streets and eggroll vendors once stood. Our daughters reside in Hutto and Spring and are doing fine. With three grandchildren, Angela and I stay busy throughout the summer months. Hello to all my fellow 1985 grads, and hello also to Walt Boyle, Will Green and Jimmy Russell.”

Michael Stowbridge (B.S. ’82) writes, “I am working as consultant geologist in Abilene, Texas. I’m researching and mapping new prospects in the Abilene and Wichita Falls areas. It is good to work from idea to well completion. It was also good to hear from my friends from UT and their successful lives.” Michael can be contacted at

Peter R. Tauvers (Ph.D. ’88) writes, “After two years in Miri, Sarawak (offshore Philippines), and two years in the Hague (offshore Sub-Saharan Africa) I am back in Kyiv and now principal exploration geoscientist for Shell Ukraine E&P 1 LLC. I’ve now been with Shell for more than 25 years. Also, my wife and I run a small fine art gallery in Kyiv called Gallery Pete-Art (” Peter can be reached at

Joseph W. Versfelt (B.A. ’84) writes, “Now four years at Apache, with two years in Argentina and now two years in Egypt, both as region exploration manager. Drill and grow, fantastic field work. Absolutely love it. Returned to the UT campus in July to show our son, now a senior in high school. I can be reached at or”

Barry Wethington (B.S. ’85) writes, “Currently in India as vice president for BP. Retirement is just around the corner! Pleased to say my son graduated in May from the Jackson School and is headed to Oklahoma University to conduct his master’s program.” Barry can be contacted at

Gail Fisher Worrell (B.S. ’82) writes, “Hello Class of ’82! Still working for ExxonMobil doing environmental compliance for our pipeline operations. Danny and I are proud Longhorn parents with both daughters at UT-Austin! Sophie is in the Jackson School and Anna is starting this year at McCombs School of Business. If you are in Austin, please look us up! Go Horns!”

Susan Wygant Young (M.A. ’85) writes, “Still with ConocoPhillips, just passed my 30-year work anniversary! Now working with the Permian shale group and still involved with our Unconventional Reservoirs Network of Excellence to capture and share learnings and best practices. Located in Houston.”


Robert Blodgett (Ph.D. ’90) writes, “Life has been very full since I last reported in the Newsletter. For the past three years I have been one of four principal investigators for the National Science Foundation-funded Supporting and Advancing Geoscience Education in Two-year Colleges (SAGE 2YC) program. This has involved designing, organizing and leading six professional development workshops for two-year college (2YC) geoscience faculty, including two for Texas workshops held at the UT Institute for Geophysics. The program’s focus has been on helping 2YC faculty prepare students for geoscience careers and university transfer, on working effectively with all types of students in a single class and on developing leadership and community among 2YC geoscience faculty. In addition to workshops, I have helped build the SAGE 2YC website for 2YC geoscience faculty at Overall the SAGE 2YC program has been a very rewarding experience, although often it has seemed like working two jobs, since I continue to teach 12 to 14 classes each year at Austin Community College. My other recent professional achievement has been becoming a fellow of the Geological Society of America. This recognition meant a great deal to me since the other community college professor to become a fellow before me was one of my mentors, Dottie Stout. The great news in my personal life is my marriage to Jeff Hudson, my partner of 27 years. We were married this past summer at the Moose Meadow Lodge in Duxbury, Vermont, with the support of 70 friends and family. One of Jeff’s vows was that he now accepts that geologic field trips are a normal part of family vacations. Jeff is a group psychotherapist in private practice here in Austin.” Robert can be reached at

Laura Martin Dobson (M.A. ’90) writes, “Living in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Employed as marketing coordinator for St. Patrick Parish and School. Mom to Kelley, Chris, Courtney and Jon, the first two off at college and the last two still at home. Missing Texas but visit occasionally to see family and friends.”

Malcolm Ferris (M.A. ’93) is celebrating 21 years at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

Mark B. Gordon (Ph.D. ’90) writes, “The year started out a bit rocky at Shell, but now I am working in New Ventures and should be settled for the next few years. I enjoy working in tectonics and in diverse geology. Vacations are back to the norm: Hawaii, Romania and Reno.” Mark can be reached at

Doug Henderson (M.A. ’96) writes, “I reached the 15-year milestone as the leader of a mapping firm specializing in water resource management applications, including sediment mapping. The most fun of all though are my occasional ‘guest lecture’ opportunities at a local elementary school teaching the kids about geology. (This year was volcanoes, assisted by some excellent supplementary material sent to me by Leon Long.) The kids study far more Earth science than I was ever presented at that age and so a nice opportunity exists to amplify their interest in the fascinating topics and also make them aware that rather than being a doctor or lawyer when they grow up, they could be an earth scientist instead! A way more fulfilling career goal kids, even if mom or dad doesn’t think so. I can be reached at”

Russ K. Johnson (B.S. ’97) is senior project manager with Weston Solutions, Inc., in Austin.

Kaveh Khorzad (B.S. ’98, M.S. ’00) is president of Wet Rock Groundwater Services. The firm is busy developing wells in Houston, Central Texas and Val Verde County.

Kevin Pasternak (B.S. ’95) is senior hydrogeologist and project manager with URS Corporation in Austin. One of his projects is coordinating the background monitoring program on the Colorado River alluvium and terrace deposits east of Austin.

Alex Riter (Ph.D. ’99) is with the University of Maryland. She is researching the effects of the BP Macondo well failure on Gulf of Mexico ecosystems.

Christina Massell Symons (M.S. ’97) resides in Coronado, California, and can be reached at

Matthew Rodell (Ph.D., ’00), chief of the Hydrological Sciences Laboratory at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, spoke at a conference on extreme weather events held in September 2014 at the University of Texas at Austin and sponsored by the Jackson School of Geosciences. He spotlighted NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) mission and its potential to detect and help predict droughts and floods.


Samuel William Beckham (B.S. ’10) resides in Midland, Texas, and can be reached at

Rebecca Boon (B.S. ’08) has just published an article titled “Attribute-based fracture inference in a faulted carbonate play” in Interpretation. She is now with Newfield Exploration Co. in Houston.

Johnathan Bumgarner (B.S. ’02, M.S. ’05) will start as the chief of hydrologic investigations for the USGS Minnesota Water Science Center in June. John writes, “As the investigations chief, it’s a great opportunity to work with the scientists and technicians conducting USGS hydrologic studies across the state. Specifically, I’ll coordinate the scientific, technical and administrative direction of water resources investigations and communicate with federal, state and local cooperators and stakeholders. We’re going to miss our home state of Texas, especially our friends and family, but are looking forward to this next great adventure and will visit often.”

Joseph Coleman (B.S. ’07) resides in Houston and can be reached at

Matthew Davis (M.S. ’05) writes, “Back from Canada and feeling pretty glad to stand on American soil for July 4th.” Matthew can be reached at

Ron Dildine (B.S. ’03) recently took a position as regulatory coordinator at Uranium Energy Corporation in Corpus Christi, Texas. Ron writes, “My wife Tara and 3-year-old son Jack are greatly looking forward to becoming beach bums in our spare time.” He is also a new member of the Corpus Christi Geological Society and the local Society of Mining Engineers.

Anne Dunckel (B.S. ’09) graduated with her masters in environmental science from the University of Virginia in the spring of 2014. She has started a position as the monitoring program manager at StreamWatch, a local Charlottesville nonprofit that collects water quality data about the surrounding Rivanna watershed using a group of volunteer citizen scientists.

Blair Avant Francis (B.S. ’07, M.S. ’09) and her husband Luke welcomed their second daughter, Lily, in May 2014. She joins her sister, Molly, as the next generation of geoscientists!

Marcus Gary (B.S. ’01, Ph.D. ’09) and his wife Robin and son Jake announce the recent arrival of “Mac.” Collin “Mac” McKinney Gary was born on April 9. Marcus says that he is named after Robin’s great grandpa McClaren and an ancestor of Marcus named Collin McKinney. Mac weighed 9 pounds, 2 ounces at birth, earning him the title “Big Mac!”

Sally Holl (M.S. ’04) is with the USGS in Austin and she is the new desert landscape conservation cooperative geographic information systems (GIS) and data coordinator. Sally leads a GIS and data working group. She says the group meets monthly. Anyone with interest in GIS and desert climate science is welcome to contact her at to participate. Sally has been an enthusiastic and effective leader of the Austin-Adelaide Sister City Society for the past two years.

Roslyn Kygar (B.S. ’04) has been with the TCEQ for nine years.

Joel Le Calvez (Ph.D. ’02) is currently a geophysics advisor in Schlumberger, managing the Answer Product Center (processing and interpretation) of the Microseismic Services Organization.

Leslie Llado (B.S. ’07) is now the integrated community development program manager at the nonprofit A Glimmer of Hope in Austin. She manages the water programming with most of the projects in northeast Africa, particularly in Ethiopia. Leslie writes, “It’s pretty fantastic.”

Lauren Green Martin (B.S. ’07) and husband, Pascal Martin, are happy to announce that their son, Graham, was born Feb. 7, 2014. Jeremy Greene (M.S. geophysics ’84) is the proud granddad. Lauren is currently spending half her time working at Apache Corporation and the other half grooming Graham to become a third-generation Longhorn geologist.

Madelyn Percy (B.A. ’09) writes, “After teaching for five years in public high schools, I am returning to school to seek a Ph.D. in geology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.”

Hilary Strong Petrizzo (M.S. ’09) and her husband, Daniel, recently welcomed the newest addition to their family, Zoe Elizabeth Petrizzo. She was born on June 18, 2014, joining big brother Dominic Michael, born Dec. 3, 2012. Hilary currently works as a production geologist for Oxy Long Beach Inc., soon-to-be California Resources Corporation–Long Beach office. Hilary can be reached at

Wendy Robertson (B.S. ’06, Ph.D. ’14) was at the International Association of Hydrogeologists 2013 Congress in Perth, Australia, where she presented her research on recharge in the arid basins of the Trans-Pecos region of Texas. She has accepted an offer as assistant professor at Central Michigan University.

Kristina Shevory (B.A. ’03) won the Alicia Patterson Foundation Fellowship this year to write about the future of U.S. warfare in the wake of the war in Iraq and the drawdown in Afghanistan. The fellowship is one of the most prestigious in journalism, awarding $40,000 to eight reporters nationwide to write exhaustively for one year about their subject of choice. Shevory is a U.S. Army veteran and UT geology degree holder.

Jonathan Skaggs (B.S. ’01) writes, “Since graduating in 2001, I have worked as an environmental consultant performing subsurface characterization and cleanup projects. My wife and I moved to San Francisco, California, in 2003 and returned to Austin in 2012 to be closer to family after having our son, Asher. I can be contacted at Cheers!”

Jonathan Wells Snatic (B.S. ’02, M.S. ’13) has left the USGS and is with a consulting firm in Louisiana.

Nicholas Sommer (B.S. ’03) accepted a geologist position at FourPoints Energy in Denver.

Nataleigh Vann (B.S. ’09, M.S. ’13) resides in Houston and can be reached at

Roderick “Rick” Williams (B.S. ’04) resides in Dallas and can be reached at


Meredith G.L. Brown (M.S. ’12) writes, “This fall I started a Ph.D. at the University of Maryland to study the effect of climate change on agriculture and food security.  I can be contacted at”

Randy Caber (M.S. ’10) writes, “After over four years of working at Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, I have decided to pursue my MBA full-time at the University of Notre Dame in their accelerated one-year program. I am hoping to stay within the natural resources/energy industry but be more focused on the actual commodities, investments or business development side of the industry. I am slated to graduate in May 2015 from Notre Dame with an emphasis on investments.”

Brandee Carlson (B.S. ’13) will be pursuing graduate studies at Rice University.

Trevar Compton (B.S. ’14) resides in Kilgore, Texas, and can be reached at

Edward “Ted” Cross (B.S. ’11) has started work at ConocoPhillips in Houston after graduating with an M.S. from the University of Arizona.

Kara A. Dias (B.S. ’11) graduated in May 2014 with a M.S. in geology from Stony Brook University. She began working with Environmental Resources Management in Houston in June.

Tim Eischen (B.S. ’12) is employed at The Nature Conservancy and can be reached at

Rania Eldam (B.S. ’13) writes, “After finishing up my second internship with Occidental Petroleum Corporation in Houston, I will be starting my M.S. at Colorado School of Mines this fall. In this first year, I will begin the field work for my thesis project, a geochemical fluid flow study, and work as a teaching assistant for two geology classes. I will also be starting my tenure as a graduate research fellowship recipient, as awarded by the National Science Foundation. In addition to my studies, I am currently working with members of Association for Women Geoscientists to reinstate the Laramide Chapter in Denver and will act as the alternate AWG Rocky Mountain delegate for this upcoming year. I am looking forward to mentoring young students in the Denver area and expanding the network of the geoscience community.”

Caleb Jacobs (B.S. ’11) graduated from Texas Christian University with M.S. in geology in August 2014 and began work in June as an exploration and development geologist at Matador Resources in Dallas.

Tiffany Kocis (B.S. ’14) is working with Al Standen’s (M.A. ’87) consulting firm this summer. She will be pursuing graduate studies at the University of California-Davis next fall.

Daniel Le (B.S. ’14) has taken a position with GSI Environmental in Houston.

Alessandra Millican (B.A. ’11) writes, “I am coming up on three years of happy employment as an associate geologist at Environmental Resources Management and am being paid to travel the world to perform environmental consulting work. I’ve been very fortunate to work with all aspects of the oil and gas industry from site remediation, fracking, acquisition due diligence, site assessments, soil and groundwater contamination delineation and much more. ERM has served as a pathway to get involved in other practices, and I’m quickly becoming an industry expert in air quality and climate change’s leak detection and repair sector. I have even recently started up a small custom dessert business here in Austin and have taken up an apprenticeship under Stephen Jay Gould’s former apprentice. In my spare time, I actively enjoy whale watching, falconry and setting unrealistic goals for running marathons. I have no husband or kids yet, but I do have a cat with heterochromia iridum and a paddleboard.”

Frank Morgan (B.S. ’11) started work as a geologist for Devon Energy in Oklahoma City on Jan. 6, 2014.

Zachary Morris (M.S. ’13) writes, “Excited to be starting my Ph.D. at Harvard this year. I will be studying the evolution of vertebrate craniofacial development and building off my paleontology master’s degree from the Jackson School!”

Laurie Christine O’Neill (M.S. ’14) resides in Sacramento, California, and can be reached at

Brandon Okafor (B.S. ’12, M.S. ’14) is now a hydrogeologist at URS Corporation.

Brandon Okafor (B.S. ’12, M.S. ’14) has taken a position with URS Corporation in Houston.

Megan Franks Plenge (Ph.D. ’12) writes, “In the past year, I’ve gotten married and had a baby, a little girl named Ramona Jane. The same week the baby was born I accepted a visiting assistant professor position at Trinity University in San Antonio.”

Makoto Sadahiro (M.S. ’14) resides in Englewood, Colorado, and can be reached at

Audrey Sawyer (Ph.D. ’11) has taken a position at Ohio State University. She has been at the University of Kentucky.

Derek Sawyer (Ph.D. ’10) is now an assistant professor at The Ohio State University’s School of Earth Sciences.

Isaac Smith (Ph.D. ’13) writes, “After graduating in 2013, I spent nearly eight months in Paris funded by the Fulbright Foundation. While there I applied for a postdoctoral position at Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, and was hired. I moved to Boulder in May 2014 and I am enjoying my new home. Things are great, and I owe much to the Jackson School.”

Lindsey Sydow (M.S. ’13) accepted a position with Pastor, Behling & Wheeler, LLC, in Round Rock.

Nathaniel Van Oort (B.S. ’13) has taken a position with the Texas Water Development Board in Austin.

Barbara Wortham (B.S. ’13) has accepted an offer to pursue graduate studies at Boston College.

Syed Daniel Zafar (B.S. ’12) will pursue graduate study in civil engineering at the University of Colorado.

Armand Mikhail Zulfitri (B.S. ’14) writes, “I had an awkward moment at work where I realized I was basically doing homework eight hours a day. Fortunately I’ve had plenty of practice. I can be contacted at”

Friends of JSG

Marion DeFord (spouse of the late Ronald K. DeFord, professor emeritus of geological sciences) resides in Austin and can be reached at

Jack M. Sharp, Jr. (professor in the Department of Geological Sciences) writes, “There will be an indefinite hiatus in the UT Hydrogeology News of the University of Texas at Austin. I am signing off as the editor and writer, as I will be on a one-year leave of absence at the National Science Foundation. I believe I sent out the first monthly letter in June 2004 (my oldest on record) and it has been sent out monthly since then except for the six months in 2010 when I was with the USGS. It has been enjoyable being able to brag about the accomplishments of UT, the hydrogeology program and our former students. Keeping in touch with alumni and friends of our program has also been a pleasure. I shall return to UT-Austin in August 2015 and will keep my email and office mailing addresses in the interim. I will return to campus on an approximately monthly basis for a few days to meet with students, fulfill my duties with the Austin Geological Society and hopefully make one football game.”

William “Bill” Woods (administrative associate at UT-Austin’s IC2 Institute) writes, “Over Thanksgiving, Francisco and I went to New York City, my first trip. While there, we got married on my birthday (nice birthday celebration!) and took in a show, a musical and the Metropolitan Opera. In December we traveled with friends to Fortaleza, Brazil, for the Christmas holidays. Over spring break we went to Taos, New Mexico, with the same friends and got to hike in the Rio Grande gorge on a beautiful day and participate in their wedding ceremony. Next trip is in the works. I continue to work part-time with IC2 out at the West Pickle Research Building and enjoy keeping up with UT folks.”

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