Alumni Notes


Eugene L. Ames, Jr. (B.S. ’55) can be contacted at

Richard T. Buffler (B.S. ’59) Dick says “I am still living in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I recently sold my home in the hills after my wife Patricia passed in 2013. I have now moved into a wonderful retirement facility, El Castillo, located on the Santa Fe river close to downtown. Here I have a small but great apartment, many new friends, nice activities, and good food. My good friend and partner of 5 years, Christine Boss, who lives across town, and I share a wonderful life together. This past year we have been able to travel quite a bit, mainly short trips exploring New Mexico. It turns out to be a wonderful state with great history, culture and geology. Please come see us when you can.”

Jack Cleveland Cartwright (B.S. ’51) shares, “Barbara and I are fully qualified retired senior citizens. We are blessed to be living in a wonderful retirement facility in Midland. We met in 1953 when I returned to graduate school. Barbara was working in the Geology Library. We married in 1955. Our marriage has been blessed with a large family of children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and even some great-great-grandchildren.”

Connie Mayes Dyer (B.A. ’58) says, “There have been many changes in my life in the past few years, but I’m eagerly looking forward to attending this Fall’s Advisory Council meeting. It’ll be my first in several years. Thanks to JSG for keeping me up to date. For those who knew him….Byron, my husband of 60 years, passed away in April, 2020. He was a geology alum of Lamar University, but a good friend of the Jackson School! Three weeks after his death, I had a hard fall on my driveway and I am still working on recovery from that. I’m a little gimpy with a good bit of metal in my left leg and hip, but very very lucky. Probably the end of my tap-dancing days, however. The best family news is that I will be a great grandmother of a baby boy in January, thanks to the first of my 8 grandchildren, Blaine Gabrisch Mooring and her husband Gage! As if my loyalties were not already spread all over Texas through my children (UT, SMU, TT, UH), my grands have spread out to TCU (3 grads), A&M (1), NYU (1) and finally this summer, a UT grad. No geologists among them! All my best to you late 50’s grads.”

Jimmie Russell (B.A. ’52, M.A. ’54) writes, “SAD!! This Time-Period personally has been a very sad one! Several close friends and colleagues passed away. There were several reasons why that happened. All were sad. One had been told, by his doctor, only the month before, that he was “in the bloom of health.” Although I was unable to attend their memorial services, their widows and families are “chatted” with by telephone. I almost became despondent, because of dwelling excessively on all of the foregoing difficulties. However, knowing that “when you have caused yourself to be at the bottom of a hole, QUIT DIGGING!” Therefore, I said to myself, “SELF, Cut out the ****, and GET WITH IT!!” Heeding the advice to “SELF,” and persevering, I conjured-up a positive attitude, and lowand- behold!!, the world looked more like a pleasant place, AND, I could SMILE!! I became 90 years-old, WOW! During that time, I have marveled at the things I have observed, primarily changes. Not all are good. There are many more people. Fortunately, it would appear that society has “mellowed”, but maybe not! Hope for the best. Best regards; I will enjoy your contacting me, and HOOK ’EM!” Jimmie can be contacted at 512-454-7498,

Theodore Stanzel (B.S. ’56) shares, “Paying attention to the important, significant issues confronting our lives in retirement. As travel opportunities return our plans are focused on a short trip to Black Hills Badlands of South


Charles A. Caughey (B.A. ’60, M.A. ’73) says, “Amid the pandemic crisis I was able to escape to visit friends in the mountains of Utah (August) and then with a friend to Key West and Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas (November). Work with the AAPG Publications Pipeline, which collected donated geoscience and related books and journals for shipment to universities in need of library materials, finally ended after 19 years and 239 tons of publications delivered around the world. With international campuses closed, we cleared the warehouse by sending books to smaller colleges across the US and then staged book giveaways to professors and students. But good news in 2021: funds awarded from my GeoFORCE scholarship, and the first recipient of the Pak Chuck fellowship arrived from Indonesia for MS study at the Jackson School in August.”

Joe Norman Meadows (B.A.’62) says, “Got a new aortic valve replacement. Does this mean I have to take calculus again?” Joe can be contacted at

Jereld E. Queen (B.S. ’61, M.A. ’63) writes, “Glad that JSG is thriving during this latest downturn in the petroleum industry.”

Rubin A. Schultz, Jr. (B.S. ’61) shares, “Not much new. COVID virus kept Nancy and me around home last winter although we did take a short trip to Branson during veterans week in November. Had another great granddaughter added to the family in June and another one due in November.”

William C. Young (B.A. ’61) writes, “Still have the same agenda: Travels, museums, family and friends. My health is about the same and I’m still trying to empty my bucket list. I wish all of you the best life has to offer.”


C. Elmo Brown (B.A. ’76) says, “As with most folks, we have been weathering the COVID storm by hunkering down at home here in Kerrville; although, we did take a couple of trips out to Big Bend to enjoy the desert beauty in the past several months (it is really easy to isolate there since our most frequent visitors are javelinas). We have also had some Texas-ex geologists pass through this year. First, it was Denverites Bill and Jackie Bath (Jackie is a past recipient of the AAPG Teacher of the Year Award) who visited while on their way to the Gulf Coast for a family outing. Then Scott and Suzy Gorham dropped in for a quick visit later in the year. I also visited Ted Flanigan and Paul Garrison while Paul was passing through on his way to Florida from Wyoming. So, we are not totally isolated from the world! And, we look forward to seeing a lot more geological compatriots while at the AAPG meeting in Denver in a few weeks and hope to get more involved in the South Texas Geological Society as the virus winds down.”

Roger Q. Callaway (B.S. ’77) shares, “Now, let me see,” said the blind man.. it must be 2021 and I’m here at the wire again, writing for my audience of 1, or 2. Once again, perhaps my major accomplishment for 2020/2021 was.. not dying! This past December, it looked like my best bet for surviving the COVID 19 plague was vaccination. The MD conglomerate that serves my medical needs was also hosting a branch of the J&J phase 3 trial and at the last minute, I slipped under the wire and was accepted into the cohort. It was a blind study with a 50/50 chance of getting stuck with the vaccine, but, better than nothing, right? Very slight reaction, but some. About 6 weeks later, my wife got sick, fever, aches, etc. She got tested and turned up positive so the family got tested, and I turned up positive, but with almost NO Symptoms; just a runny nose. So did I get the Real Vaccine? March 15th the trial was unblinded, and I had gotten the vaccine. So What Happened? Beats me. In June, it seemed like the plague was loosening up its siege, and with vaccination papers in hand, my daughter and I made the delayed annual pilgrimage to see my brother in New York. Successfully navigated the perilous roads, a brilliant trip where I demonstrated my brisket skills, and also introduced the New York branch to Oaxacan refried black beans. Somehow, I have parlayed my 35 year old memories as mine geologist into a tourist visa at the old mine, which is in the process of reevaluation. It is just as confusing as it was, lo those many years ago. I still feel fortunate to have graduated from the U of T College of Natural Sciences with my B.S. in Geology clutched in my hand. It has served me well. Somehow, a review of last year’s notes had me as graduating in 1970. No. It was 7/7/77.” Roger can be contacted at

Frank G. Cornish (M.A. ’75) writes, “When I was a young teenager my Dad took me on a trip that I made the call on, based upon my rock collecting guides. From De Ridder, LA, we swung through Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas. I collected moss agate, quartz and boxes of Cretaceous fossils from central Texas and still have those rocks. When my Dad came back from deployment in Libya, he brought me dark brown desert polished petrified wood from the Sahara. My mother was the driving force in pushing me academically, but Dad reinforced my geological leanings. He passed away this summer, his petrified wood sits on my office desk. Thanks Dad for supporting a rock collector that turned a hobby into a profession that I still love.”

Robert A. Levich (M.A. ’73) can be contacted at


Carol Swenumson Baker (B.S. ’84) says, “After 36 years working at ExxonMobil I have retired. I’m loving having more time to travel and reconnect with friends.” Carol can be contacted at

Jim ClarkeJim Clarke (B.S. ’84) writes, “Hello to the Class of ’84! While my career path took me into air quality science, I’ve at least been a tourist level geologist all along; never forget your roots. A few years ago I re-visited the lepidolite mine near Dixon NM where we did a plane table mapping exercise in summer field camp, and have recently been back to Lake Brownwood State Park where Jim Sprinkle had us all scouring the ground for crinoids – good times! I’m getting close to logging 40 years with AECOM, managing air quality measurements work around the US, and recently moved out of Austin to an old farm in eastern Burnet County, seeing retirement just off in the distance. The photo is of me and my grandson checking out our recently rebuilt pond last year (it’s full of water and catfish now – yay!) I hope all are doing well, and as always Hook ’Em!”

Donald Wayne Downey (B.A. ’82) shares, “Enjoying retirement from Chevron! Family oil company Roxanna is drilling wells in the Saratoga Chalk in Louisiana. I keep busy working with WWII Veterans, mainly Pearl Harbor Survivors. We record their entire life story and give them and their families video recordings and published books for free. Chevron pays for half of the costs. We have distributed hundreds of DVDs and books at no charge. We also make extremely detailed maps of their personal WWII experience. The veterans use our posters of their photos and maps when they speak at schools and other meetings. We also get the veterans entered into parades including making magnetic signs with their names and WWII stations for the doors of the military jeeps they ride in. It really is a pleasure to work with the WWII (and Korean War and Vietnam War) vets who had not yet told their story. This is quite a change in careers from working at Chevron international E&P research, but I use the book-writing and computer skills learned writing MS thesis and Chevron reports, plus I did attend two years of RTF at UT before switching to a science major. Thanks to everyone who helped me get an undergraduate degree, and especially everyone who worked at the BEG back then. JSG is the best soft-rock school in the world. I graduated with 91% on the Geology subject GRE in 1982.”

Tatiana FriersonTatiana Frierson (B.S. ’85) writes, “In July 2019, I joined Inspirus (a Sodexo company) as their CEO. Inspirus is a software and services firm in the employee recognition space. It has been a real transformation challenge with the pandemic. However in less than two years I am happy to say we have a bonafide turnaround improving underlying Profit (UOP) by 85%! Hope everyone is staying safe and healthy! Looking forward to an even better 2022. Cheers.” Tatiana can be contacted at

Karen Havholm (M.A. ’86, Ph.D. ’91) shares, “Retired from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire at the same time as the pandemic started. Had a good experience judging at the Jackson School virtual student research presentation event. Hoping to be able to begin retirement travel soon. First stop, once borders open: Yellowknife, NWT, Canada, where our daughter works at the Geological Survey.”

Charles Graham Johnson (B.S. ’83) says, “Still working old legacy fields for mostly stripper-type production. Been with the same outfit now for over a quarter century. Ellen and I had our first grandchild (Sam) in 2019, and our second is due in January 2021. Life is good, but it will be better when oil gets back over $100 per barrel.”

Richard (Rick) Alan Kolb (M.A. ’81) shares, “I retired from SynTerra Corporation on August 10, 2021 after 31 years of working as a consulting geologist, preceded by 8 years with Mobil Oil in New Orleans. I had planned a cross country motorcycle trip to celebrate and start my next chapter, and until July 1st everything looked fine, but then we slid back into Covid times, so I will defer the trip. I will remain in Cary, North Carolina but hope to eventually live in the Rockies, where I have many friends and can see rocks that aren’t covered by trees. Both of my kids live in Austin, which has always been too hot of a place for me to thrive.”

Anne Smith Miller (B.A. ’83) writes, “After 30+ years of service, I retired from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Both of our sons graduated from UT Austin. It would be great to hear from old friends!”

David Noe Your Guides Jo Ann And Dr DaveDavid Noe (M.A. ’84) says, “Hello to the “Dirty Dozen” and other early 1980’s grad school alums! I am doing well, living in the North Fork Valley (the organic-farming cornucopia of Western Colorado) where I co-own and operate a guided tour business. If you’re ever in the mood to escape the resort-area crowds and take a wine-tasting tour, a geology tour, or a nature tour, please contact me at Colorado Detours or Western Colorado Wine Tour!” David can be contacted at info@coloradodetours. com.

Robert Mark Reed (B.S. ’85, Ph.D. ’99) shares, “I am still working at the Bureau of Economic Geology and will probably stay until I am strong-armed into retirement. Very happy to have a job that consists mostly of telling interesting stories using microscope images. The pandemic has been a struggle, but with help from higher ups (thanks Deans!) we have managed to keep the SEM lab open most of the time. One of my current projects is a fascinating study of central Texas Cretaceous volcanic reservoirs. I recently had an outdoor mini-reunion at the Posse East with alumni Marc Wink and Ted Stout. I hope to catch up with more former classmates at AAPG/SEG in Denver and GSA in Portland this fall.”

Jerry SchwarzbachJerry Schwarzbach (B.A. ’83) writes, “Still enjoying ranching, flying & doctoring. Attached is picture of my Longhorn. Proud to be President of Tyler-Smith County Texas Exes. Class of ’83.”



Stephen W. Speer (M.A. ’83) says, “Life is good……doing a bit of traveling this year with Therese looking for a nice spot to hang out for extended stays. Costa Rica and SW Colorado this year…saw fellow alum Dave Noe at his hangout in Paonia, CO. He looks great and is doing quite well being “retired” doing local geological and wine country tours for the lucky people who search him out. Mount Pleasant is still a great place to live but is growing rapidly and becoming much more hectic. Guess that’s the price ya pay for living in such a nice place. Opening a new bar/gastropub here this August…was supposed to open in May, 2020 but COVID had other plans, hopefully it does fine. That’s about all for now. Come see us and I’ll buy you a beer eh? Cheers to all of the “Dirty Dozen,” pray you all are doing well!”

Burgess Hagan Stengl (B.S. ’85) writes, “It’s been a couple of years since I submitted anything to the Newsletter, so it’s good to be back. I am still in the solid waste industry, however, after a 20-year hiatus, I am back working for the State. I accepted a position with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality in late July, and am looking forward to working in the Municipal Solid Waste Permits Section. We still live in Spring, so since my new job is in Austin, working remotely is something good that has come from the pandemic. My wife and I were scheduled to take a trip to Germany in 2020 to celebrate our 40th anniversary, however, we were forced to delay the trip until our 41st anniversary. We will be visiting our former exchange student and his family, and I will let you know how the trip turned out in the next Newsletter! Our daughters and their families are living in Hutto and Spring, and my son recently graduated from UT San Antonio with a degree in Geographic Environmental Sustainability. By the time the Newsletter is published, I am hopeful he has a full-time job! In closing I would like to say hello to my fellow graduates from 1985. It’s hard to believe it was so long ago. Everyone stay safe!” Burgess can be contacted at texbirds@

William “Barry” Wethington (B.S. ’85) shares, “After spending 30+ years in this fantastic industry (Oil and Gas), of which 27 were overseas, I retired in Dec. 2020. I then started an advisory firm and I am an active board member for an energy funding platform. I do this part-time to stay engaged in the industry. More importantly, I just celebrated a 36 year anniversary, my three children are doing well (one followed in my foot steps and works for EOG) and so far they have blessed us with three beautiful grandchildren. We split our time between Smith Mountain Lake home in Virginia and a home in the DFW area. One thing about the industry, it continually changes and at present the energy transition is exciting. The rise of clean energy is needed as is the ability of the traditional business models to operate in a more environmentally-friendly manner. The oil and gas industry will figure out how to do this (it has met every challenge in the past) and the industry will play a key role in the energy mix for decades going forward. I would enjoy a conversation with anyone from the class of ’85 (Roger, Brian, Monica, Tracy, etc…).” Barry can be contacted at


Donald Andrew Bowen MarbleonarmoireDonald Andrew Bowen (B.S. ’91) says, “My time in the geology program and my career in hydrogeology were some wonderful times. In 2022 I will return to graduate school to pursue a degree in Social Work to become a counselor using faith as the modality. In my very little free time I garden and use the herbs in my cooking and baking. Until I am married I take care of town “furry kids” named Marble & Miracle.” Andrew can be contacted at bowen.andrew@

Christi Gell (B.S. ’96) writes, “Hi everyone! Charlie and I are still in Houston and enjoying working from home. We both had job changes in October – Charlie joined AWS and I joined Eliis. It was a fun job move for me because I have reconnected with some old classmates like Dallas at the BEG who uses our PaleoScan software! Really great catching up. Whenever I get to Austin I stop by Westminster to check on Dr. McBride and Dr. Lundelius. We even got EFM to Zoom call with us, which has been a hoot. The kids are growing like weeds of course. We took a summer vacation to California to escape the Houston heat a bit, and of course enjoy some geology not seen around these parts. Hook ’Em!”

Brian Hunt Field WorkBrian B. Hunt (B.S. ’96, M.S. ’00) says, “After 19 years as a hydrogeologist for a central Texas groundwater district, I am so very excited to have accepted a job at UT’s Bureau of Economic Geology in the Environmental Research division. Working with such brilliant scientists at the BEG and UT was a real draw to change jobs. One of my primary tasks will be making geologic maps for the Bureau. I finished two maps this year, the Grit Quadrangle in Mason County, and a compilation of four quadrangles along the Pedernales in Blanco County. It was an honor to co-author the Grit map with my field geology field instructor and mentor Mark Helper! My other job tasks presently include two hydrogeology characterization projects, one along the Devil’s River in Val Verde County and another centered on Hamilton Pool in western Travis County. Getting back to basic geologic mapping has been so fun, and I think is the key to hydrogeologic understanding.” Brian can be contacted at

Christopher Marshall 1Cristopher Marshall (B.S. ’97) says, “My last semester at UT Austin (1997) I was able to take Dr. Barker’s coveted “Volcanology” class. It was only offered every other spring at that point. Since that time I have dreamed of summitting Kilimanjaro–Africa’s highest point at 19,341 feet. This summer that became a reality! After dreaming, and then planning, and finally preparing, on June 23rd, 2021 I climbed and successfully summitted the monstrous dormant volcano. It was all I had hoped it would be and was even more epic than I had ever imagined! On a professional note, I will start my 24th year of teaching high school Earth/Space Science. I have been blessed to be able to teach the subjects that I hold near and dear to my heart for the entirety of my career. I continue to try and make students very aware of the need for future geoscientists. As I tell all of them, “If you want your WiFi and your iPhones, you better have plenty of clean water and reliable energy. Geoscientists are the most important people in helping keep our digital way of life sustained!” Thanks to all the people at UT JSG that have helped me to get and be where I am today. Much Love and God Bless!”


James McguireJames McGuire (M.S. ’03) was unanimously elected by his peers to serve a three-year term on the Executive Committee of the State Bar of Texas’ Environmental & Natural Resources Law Section (ENRLS) on August 6, 2021. In that capacity, he will help ENRLS educate and collaborate with environmental lawyers across the State of Texas, coordinate scholarships and paid internships, and promote an upcoming 2022 symposium on climate change and the law. James is currently the Regional Counsel for EPA Region 6, where he leads a 60-lawyer office covering Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and 66 federally recognized tribes. Petros Papazis (B.S. ’03, M.S. ’05) can be contacted at p.papazis@

Sunny Simpkins (B.S. ’00) writes, “My family and I moved to Bend, Oregon last September from Portland to enjoy more outdoor activities. I took a remote position with the National Association of Flood & Stormwater Management Agencies (NAFSMA) as the Director of Government Relations and Member Programs. We represent public agencies around the country by advocating for effective public policy, securing essential funding, and promoting innovations that help flood and stormwater government agencies better serve their communities.” Sunny can be contacted at sbsimpkins@


Kaitlin Buzzetto (B.S. ’13) can be contacted at Randy Caber (M.S. ’10) exited the oil and gas industry over 2 years ago to begin a career with Amazon in Operations Management. After only 16 months, he was promoted to senior Operations Manager, having launched a building in his home area of Pittsburgh, PA in September 2020. Randy is now about to open the first fulfillment center in New Mexico in Albuquerque for Amazon as a member of the senior leadership at that facility, and provide over 3,500 job opportunities for the local area. Randy can be contacted at

David ConwellDavid Conwell (M.S. ’15) married Liz Dewey on October 27, 2020 in New Orleans.






Tian Y. Dong (B.S. ’13) says, “My wife and I moved back to Austin in July, 2020. I returned to the Jackson School to work as a NSF Earth Science Postdoctoral Fellow.” Tian can be contacted at

Autumn Eakin Isla 10moAutumn Eakin (M.S. ’11) shares, “The Eakins welcomed a baby girl last summer while working remote in Wyoming. Isla Eakin joins her brother Aksel (almost three!) in bringing joy and a fair bit of crazy to our lives. Dan is gearing up to begin a Chevron-sponsored program at Rice University where he will work toward a Master’s in Data Science. We’re grateful for the health of our family and friends and looking forward to the adventures ahead. Best wishes from Autumn & Dan.”

Laura PommerLaura Pommer Fidler (M.S. ’13) has recently started as CEO of EnergyFunders, an online platform for investing in oil and gas wells. Formerly, she was CEO, founder, and geologist at a Private Equity backed portfolio company called Century Natural Resources, exploring for Turner sands in the Powder River Basin. In May, she was presented the opportunity to head EnergyFunders. This was a compelling pivot to the future of oil and gas investing and deal financing. She is thrilled to be leading the team revolutionizing democratizing (crowdfunding) investing in oil and gas, and especially excited to be able to connect prospectors and deal makers with everyday investors, opening the path for even her father (a wannabe geologist) to have access to wellhead economics. She still lives in Houston, Texas, but makes it home to Colorado to visit her brother, Max Pommer (UT JSG MS) and sister in law, Rania Eldam Pommer (UT JSG BS), and their new baby Nailah (future UT JSG alum!). Laura can be contacted at laura.

James (Jake) Gearon (B.S. ’19) can be contacted at

Saygin Ileri (M.S. ’15) can be contacted at

Darby LeeDarby Lee (B.S. ’19) says, “I am returning to UT to pursue my MBA through the McCombs Working Professional program in DFW.” Darby can be contacted at


Justin Mauck (M.S. ’17) shares, “Pivoting from oil to gold and heading to the mountains.”

Will McCullick (B.S. ’17) can be contacted at

Frank Morgan (B.S. ’11) says, “After a wild 2020, I have settled in as VP of Geology at Century Natural Resources along with marrying my beautiful wife, Annie. We’re currently looking forward to the next thrilling chapter in the oil & gas industry.” Frank can be contacted at

Katherine Newman Well TestingKatherine Newman (B.S. ’15) writes, “I am the Geothermal Reservoir Engineer for the highly anticipated Tauhara Power Station development in New Zealand. I am primarily involved in the capacity testing and data analysis of newly drilled geothermal wells that will power our new 152MW power station. This $580-million investment is going to provide a renewable and low emission energy source that will greatly help New Zealand transition towards a 100% renewable energy future, and it is one of the largest geothermal developments in the world right now. My path since graduating from JSG in 2015 has been unconventional (oil and gas, sales, marketing, and now this), but I couldn’t be happier to have landed in a career that allows me to use my geoscience education on a daily basis. This has been the most thrilling, challenging, rewarding and inspiring experience of my life so far.”

Evan Zachary PearsonEvan Zachary Pearson (B.S. ’10) finished law school in 2020. Evan clerked for Judge Alan D. Albright in Waco, Texas. Now that he’s finished his clerkship, he is back in Austin and working at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP with a focus on patent litigation. Though geology is no longer his focus, his degree at the Jackson School has proven invaluable to where he is today. On a personal note, he married his soulmate, Carley McCaw, on October 24, 2020 in a hotel room in San Antonio. Evan can be contacted at

Nicole (Hart) Wagoner (M.S. ’15) moved to Reno, NV to pursue a Ph.D. in Geology at the University of Nevada, Reno. Nicole will join the team at the Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy at the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology to work on the Innovative Geothermal Exploration through Novel Investigations Of Undiscovered Systems (INGENIOUS) project awarded to UNR by the U.S. Department of Energy in 2020. Nicole can be contacted at


Eiji Kawai (M.S. ’21) can be contacted at


Tom Patty (M.A. ’68 in Botany) says, “Covid-19 continued to reduce field time this year. Major fossil finds include an Edwards Fm. Rudist reef deposit in a limestone quarry in Lampasas County. Another was a strata of Lopha travisana in the Austin Fm. in northern Williamson County. Finally, this summer I was able to get a flight to Los Angeles to visit the LaBrea Tar Pits. Hopefully the 2021-22 school year will allow us to visit our friends at the BEG as well as offices on campus. I can still be reached at”

Professors Emeriti

James Sprinkle (Professor Emeritus) writes: I’m now in my 8th year of retirement, and this was mostly a quiet stay-at-home year without much travel to conventions or trips for field work. The two joint papers that were in-press last fall were published this spring, including a surprise use of our new little starfish on the cover of the Journal of Paleontology 2nd issue. Typically, I would come in to UT on Sunday afternoons to check e-mail and work on research projects or send back manuscripts I had reviewed. More recently, after getting Covid-19 shots early this year, I’ve been coming in twice a week on Wednesday and Sunday to get more work done.

Last fall I wrote a Presentation of the 2020 Paleontological Society’s Harrell Strimple Award (Best Amateur Paleontologist) to Linda McCall, who was a UT undergraduate and Geology Major for a few years in the mid-1970s, and a long-time member of our local fossil club. This award Presentation has now been published in a late 2021 Journal of Paleontology issue this fall. My colleague Tom Guensburg and I (plus three other authors) had a medium-sized paper just published in the Russian Paleontological Journal on the diversity and distribution of Early Ordovician crinoids. Finally, another long-term joint project with Peter Jell in Australia has now been published in the Australian paleontological journal Alcheringa, based on two enigmatic Middle Cambrian echinoderms with fused basal cups and thousands of newly-etched, separate, silicified plates from higher in the theca. We tried to reconstruct how these now more complete echinoderms would look as living specimens. Two new echinoderms that were attached to the sea floor were also found in the new plates, and have been described and illustrated. Sprinkle and Jell are presenting a talk on this now-complete project at the 2021 GSA Annual Meeting this fall.

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