Alumni Notes


Theodore Stanzel (B.S. ‘56) writes, “There was only limited travel for the past year. We made a tour of the monuments in South Dakota. One of many ‘should see’ places in this great country. Health is good. That is of great importance in my life.”

Leslie P. White (B.S. ‘56) says, “Dianne and I continue to ‘age in place’ in SW Austin. JSG — Number 1! — Again, Still, Always. We are so proud of our School. We are happy to see the increase in teaching and research at the White Family Outdoor Learning Center. I greatly enjoyed participating in the Final Feast of Hydro Camp. This summer’s weather has emphasized our need to continue our understanding of hydrology.”


Russell Harmon (B.A. ‘69) writes, “He and Karen Steinhoff Harmon ‘70 are both retired and still living in Raleigh (NC), but presently considering a move to New York’s Hudson River Valley to enter into an apple cider venture with son Jonathan, an Expedia executive in New York City. Jonathan’s twin bother, Brendan, is a 5th-year assistant professor of landscape architecture at LSU. Before Covid, we were traveling internationally, but haven’t yet returned to doing so. Karen and Russell are two of four partners in a small company that specializes in non- destructive chemical analysis by different field-portable spectroscopic techniques. Each spring term for the past four years, Russell has been part of a 3-person teaching team for the Junior Profe ssion Development Seminar in the Department of Marine, Earth, & Atmospheric Sciences at NC State University and has continued to be actively engaged in geochemical research, most recently applying field- portable laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (L!IBS) to real-time geochemical analysis in the field to study rock varnish formation in Owens Valley, CA and the elemental chemistry of mica in Carboniferous age Li-pegmatite mineralization in the Appalachian Mountains of southwestern NC.” Russell can be reached at

2021 10 26 15 47 25[1]William Feathergail Wilson (B.S. ‘60, M.A. ‘62) shares, “At the age of 87 I am still working as a geologist in groundwater and petroleum. I was a graduate student working under Dr. R. L. Folk. My latest project is an Ellenburger research well in northern Kerr County, Texas. We have just drilled 90’ into clastic filled sinkhole within the Ellenburger which was unexpected at 740’. I am involved with groundwater district working on a well field in the Carrizo in Caldwell County and several other projects. I owe my life long career to Dr. L. Folk and all of the other professors at UT. I graduated with a B.A. in English, B.S. in Geology, and M.A. in Geology – 1958, 1960, 1962.”


Arthur Busbey Iii And Janet Busbey Nilsson (1)Arthur Bresnahan Busbey III (B.S. ‘75, M.A. ‘77) (Instructor ‘82-85) shares, “He and Janet (B.S. in Zoology with Chemistry minor, ’76, B.S. in Geology ’77) live in Fort Worth where he is entering his 5th year as Chair of the Department of Geological Sciences at TCU. Art figures he has about two more years before retirement. They have started to do much more traveling, especially when trying to escape the heat. If anyone is in the Fort Worth area and wants to visit one of the best meteorite museums in the world, come by TCU and see the Monnig Meteorite Gallery – free of charge. Their eldest daughter, Sara, and her husband are permanent residents of London (both UK citizens) and provide a great base of operations for Art and Janet when they visit. Our youngest daughter Laralen lives in Fort Worth. Howdy to old friends and a special Howdy to Ernie Lundelius who was one of my 660 instructors when we did six weeks in the Marathon Basin.”

Roger Callaway (B.S. ’77) says, “I have identified a hitherto unknown to me, characteristic of time; it goes in jumps. My COVID vaccine trial was at the end of 2020. I got a positive test courtesy of an exposure from a family member, in 2021, and now way into 2022, I found the trial is soon ending. The additional testing for that positive test in 2021 clearly showed the Forces of Darkness being defeated by an alert but not hysterical immune system with no symptom except a runny nose. So a hop skip and a jump and I hope I’m pretty much through the first plague of the 21st century. My sort of emeritus involvement with the mine I first worked at in 1983 seems to have come to a final end. Through careful experiment I can report that when using a tablesaw, it is best when traversing near the saw blade, if each hand is manipulating its own push stick. All goes well and best wishes and gratitude to UT.”

Patricia Wood Dickerson (B.A. ‘70, Ph.D. ‘95) writes, “Field work in the Big Bend continues with gusto and visible results. A session in BBR SP with close colleagues yielded intriguing data that are now in press in a GSA memoir. Hoping that more will appear in an Elsevier text on world rifts (now in review). On the horizon — an exciting project to investigate tectonic/hydrogeologic relations along the Rio in Chihuahua (if the gryphon that guards NSF funds smiles on our bi-national proposal). In the meantime, no presentations at meetings during the CRUD-19 hiatus — have missed the stimulating repartee. Smithsonian trips resumed with a return to Machu Picchu and the Galapagos. To stroll and swim among all the winging, waddling, and paddling creatures in the Galapagos conjured a near-mythic world. Then June 2022 brought an early summer view of Iceland, as well as a deeply sobering vista of SE Greenland during the flight home — have never seen so much bare bedrock along the King Frederik VI Coast. In August 2023 I’ll gleefully migrate poleward to instruct on an Alaska trip, under the granitic gaze of Denali. Here in the conterminous US, my GeoRef bibliographic work in the UT geology library goes on, in collaboration with most congenial colleagues in Alexandria (VA) — discoveries for the research world at large and for my own studies. Always more to learn!”

Marvin (jack) Droddy Image Of His DaughterMarvin (Jack) Droddy (Ph.D. ‘78) shares, “I have been retired from Baker Hughes for three years now; still miss my XRD, SEM and core testing ‘gadgets.’ Our daughter just graduated from UT with a BFA degree and is pursuing a career in fashion photography; son works for an auto dealer in nearby Conroe. I enjoyed checking out the new and improved Jackson School, having a snack on the Stephen Clabaugh patio, and seeing the new BSM center.”

Murray Felsher (Ph.D. ‘71) shares, “It has been several years since I’ve provided an updated summary to JSG. I am happy to do so now. The years have flown by too quickly as I knew (but didn’t believe) that they would. Natalie and I have just celebrated our 61st wedding anniversary. Both of us are in good health. Our three children are married and all are pursuing successful professional careers. Our oldest grandchild is entering graduate school this fall. Our youngest is a high school sophomore. Newly married, I arrived in Austin in August, 1961, and defended my dissertation under Bob Folk in April, 1971. The intervening ten years were eventful, to say the least. A rather eclectic set of positions ensued. These included post-doctoral appointment, university teaching, Washington DC jobs at NSF-funded CEGS/AGI, Headquarters EPA (senior staff geologist) and Headquarters NASA (chief, geological and energy applications), newsletter publisher (Washington Remote Sensing Letter), consultant and contractor (satellite remote sensing) to federal agencies and aerospace companies, professional society and industry organization leadership. Following Dr. Folk’s death on June 4, 2018 I was honored to join with my good friend and fellow grad-student office-mate Miles O. Hayes in compiling ‘remembrances’ of Dr. Folk we collected them from his friends, colleagues, and former students, and making the resulting memorial available worldwide. Upon completion of that document I found myself still writing about ‘Luigi,’ unable to simply walk away from an overflowing fountain of memories. In many instances those memories spoke to the significance of my own life experiences as they were influenced by Robert L. Folk. And when Covid-19 hit, I used some of the resulting ‘down- time’ to compose a series of 75 short essays that summarized our continuing friendship over the years. So thus was produced, Just Plain Folk: A Recollection That Includes Several Of The Experiences And Communications Shared With R.L. Folk Between 1961 And 2018, Presented In Both His Words And My Words. As I write this note I am offering the completed manuscript for commercial publication. Hopefully, before too very long, it will be available at your local bookstore. (Note that I said ‘bookstore.’ I am neither a Luddite nor am I an atavistic troglodyte. However, I do relish my role as an 85-year-old who still ranks the printed word far above the ephemeral electron.).”

Robert S. Kier (Ph.D. ‘72) writes, “I am mostly retired; just working on a project or two for old clients. Still live in Austin, as do my children, their significant others, and grandchildren. Slip off to a cabin in Bandera when I get a chance. I have lunch with some ‘old geologists’ (and some not so old) a couple of times a month to talk about various subjects. Life is good.”

David Kirchner (B.S. ‘74) David lives in Phoenix, Arizona with his retired geologist wife, Kathy. Their two sons are out on their own and taking good care of themselves. Kory: a geologist. Kody: a mechanical engineer. David is consulting and providing technical assistance to law firms in support of environmental- related cases. David serves voluntarily as an elected member of the Advisory Council of the UT Geology Foundation. He founded his private consulting firm, BASIN & RANGE HYDROGEOLOGISTS, INC. in 1987. If you ever find yourself in Phoenix, please give him a call or text: (602) 840-3333. David can be reached at

Peter MegawPeter Megaw (B.A. ‘76, M.A. ‘79) says, “Missing my friends from Austin days and watching in amazement as the ‘little’ silver vein we found in Zacatecas, Mexico (it has blossomed to over 6 meters wide since the attached picture was taken) is moving into production as what should become the world’s largest primary silver producer. It’s expected to produce over 20 million ounces per year, with enough gold and base metals to cover the cost of operations. That’ll make a lot of solar panels! Almost as cool as becoming a grandparent! Take Care Everyone…and Hook Em!”

Gary Thompson (B.S. ‘75, M.A. ‘77) says, “I have been retired from ExxonMobil for 11 years now. I am still waiting for the ‘relaxation’ to begin. Always busy with the home, farm, ranch, and now our first grandchild. He recently turned one year old.”

Douglas ToepperweinDouglas Toepperwein (B.S. ‘74) shares, “I recently retired from Sage Energy after over 30 years and am now getting used to spending more time at home. My wife Mary Anne and I recently completed a remodeling project on our house in Fair Oaks, northwest of San Antonio where we have lived since 1982. I continue to periodically get involved with geological- geophysical consulting projects for Sage and other companies, but our current goal is to spend more time sailing, hiking, and traveling. I can be reached at dougt@satx.”

James Willrodt (B.S. ‘77) says, “All the family has been fine, no Covid issues since the pandemic. Our youngest, Alec, UT 2017, is getting married this December. Our daughter, Ericka, UT 2013, has left NYC to come back to Texas and continue her career at reasonable living prices. We have just returned from a fabulous France trip with a few days in Paris and a week at Castle Marouatte in the southwest of France. More fun with the Porsche group this fall in Arkansas. Retirement has been good. Hello to all the old classmates of 1977/1978.”


Patricia Bobeck (M.A. ‘85, Ph.D. ‘17) shares, “This year has been a hopeful return to normal. In addition to keeping my finger on local hydrogeology by swimming daily at Barton Springs, I have tried to keep in contact with national and international organizations. I wrote a Rock Stars article on Henry Darcy for the GSA’s monthly magazine, GSA Today. The History and Philosophy Division of GSA drafted me to serve as an officer and also asked me to present at the 2021 GSA meeting. I talked about Henry Darcy Locales in Dijon, France to highlight the sites where he made his major contributions. I was then invited to write up the presentation as a contribution to the Geological Society of London special publication entitled Geology’s Significant Sites and their Contributions to Geoheritage. The Association of Earth Science Editors (AESE) also asked me to serve as an officer and this activity has put me in contact with a new group of interesting geoscience/language professionals. In addition, I continue to translate and edit geologic literature, much of it for the French geological survey. With pandemic travel restrictions fading, I was able to go to France for the summer. My project this year is research for an English geologic guide to Paris. Several years ago, Dennis Trombatore suggested this project to me, in fact telling me I was the only person who could fill this hole in the geologic literature. He held up The Seven Hills of Rome, a popular book written by another UT alum, Grant Heiken, as an example. I spent much of the summer reading historical sources in Paris’ specialized libraries and photographing geologic sites such as artesian wells and abandoned gypsum quarries. I also continue to work on Abbé Paramelle’s contributions to geology by locating sites where he found water and bringing attention to them. Paramelle found water in 10,000 places in France between 1832 and 1854, without formal geologic training or a geologic map. He used knowledge he gained by walking – for years – on the limestone plateaux of the Department of Lot and observing where the rainfall went. In so doing he observed the basics of karst before that word entered the geologic lexicon. At the end of his career, he wrote a book explaining his observations and method. The book was published in 1856 and translated into German and Spanish shortly thereafter, but not English until I did it as part of my dissertation. Paramelle was famous, and the book was a best-seller. It was reprinted six times and was used as a textbook until the 1970s. As part of my dissertation, I visited archives in the 40 departments where Paramelle worked, and I located some of the 10,000 sites. To follow up on that work, I am collaborating with the U. of Bourgogne to study two sites in Côte-d’Or, analyze them with geophysics, compare geophysics to what Paramelle saw, write them up in both English and French journals, and give public lectures in the Dijon area. Within the project I also plan to set up an interactive map of France to show Paramelle sites, and perhaps eventually identify and characterize a large number of them. My goals are to focus public attention on groundwater, give Paramelle his due for finding water for his thirsty parishioners and many others, and honor the long and illustrious history of French water research.”

Steve CarlsonSteve Carlson (M.A. ‘84) shares, “I retired June 2021, after a full 37-year, 9-company career. I got to travel the world and work some very interesting basins. Working from home for over a year (COVID!!) before retirement allowed me to ease into having more free time. Now just relaxing, reading, smoking cigars on the back deck, riding my bike, shooting pool with my son, hanging with the grandsons, loving life. Ran/walked the Cap 10,000 this year, first time since ‘99.” Steve can be reached at steve_

Richard Carroll (B.S. ‘80) writes, “Still employed and working the Delaware Basin.”

David Chow (B.S. ‘85) writes, “I’ve started a second career after retiring from the oil industry. I am an Adjunct Physics Instructor at Houston Community College. My daughter and I are going to New York City for vacation before fall semester starts.”

Michael Clark (B.A. ‘89) shares, “For 2022…a new job and new adventures await!”

Fred Crawford (B.S. ‘83) says, “Maggie and I are enjoying retirement on our little farm in Western North Carolina. Our vegetable garden gives us great fresh produce, blueberries, and apples. Fresh eggs from the chickens and honey from the hives on a warm country biscuit are all I need these days. When I’m not on my tractor I’m hiking or whitewater kayaking. Life is good.”

Tatiana FriersonTatiana Frierson (B.S. ‘85) writes, “I have the pleasure of serving as CEO of Inspirus (a Sodexo Company). We help companies retain their most important asset… their people. We have the Inspirus Connects platform that helps connect, celebrate and recognize your employees with one unified platform to deliver an enhanced employee experience. Really enjoying the role … especially as our tag line says, ‘Bring Joy to Work, One Experience at a Time!’ Last month I also had the honor of being recognized in the Dallas Business Journal 2022 Women In Technology award. Hope all the 1980 geo dogs are doing well… ping me on LinkedIn and let’s catch up!” Tatiana can be reached at tatiana.frierson@sodexo. com.

Susan Williams Haas (B.S. ‘86) shares, “I moved from the PAC NW to Austin in 2020 and two of my three adult children live in Austin now as well. I’m also a grandma with two grandsons that live in NYC. I work as a full-time musician. I teach piano, group piano, and harp, privately and at Armstrong Community Music School, sing and play the guitar as a silly Early Childhood Music Teacher, record and perform publicly on the harp for pop gigs and also work as a music booking agent for hiring bands, DJs, solo acts or entertainers anywhere in Texas. My passion is in the field of vibroacoustic therapy, using various harps as tools of healing and in the service of well-being and peace. Having almost completed my internship/ residency hours for full certification as a Certified Clinical Musician, I look forward to years of playing in hospitals and hospices at the bedside of patients, including the tiniest ones of all in neonatal intensive care.”

Susan Hovorka (M.A. ‘81, Ph.D. ‘90) says, “I am still (since 1998!) working on Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) at BEG. The only change is that the topic has become popular!”

David And Pam Johns Yellowstone 2022David Johns (M.A. ‘83) says, “I retired in 2020 after 31 years with the City of Austin, and Pam retired last year after teaching special ed at Austin ISD. We are both enjoying our free time. Enjoying grandkids, swimming at Barton Springs, volunteering, and seeing local live music as much as Covid allows, and some traveling shows: Stones, Who, and hopefully Bruce in February. Traveling some: the Yellowstone Old Faithful geyser basin in winter was amazing and small boat cruising the Alaskan inside passage in August with the Traveling Longhorns.” David can be reached at

Richard (Rick) Kolb (M.A. ‘81) writes, “I retired July 15, 2022 after eight years in the oil patch and 32 years as an environmental and engineering geology consultant. For the past year I worked part-time and volunteered weekly by helping to build houses with Habitat for Humanity and driving a Red Cross truck to pick up and deliver blood. By the time you read this, I hope to be on a 3-month cross-country motorcycle trip (or have completed it) to clear my mind of work and think about what to do next. In May, my daughter, son, and I rode my motorcycles to Austin, where they live, and I rode back on the third bike, 3,800 miles over 16 days as a dry run for my upcoming 10,000-mile trip.”

Vince Kluth (B.S. ‘86) says, “Enjoying life as a full-time church administrator for Mission Bible Church (mission-bible. net). My wife and I celebrated 26 years of marriage. Our oldest daughter graduated from Liberty University with a degree in computer science, summa cum laude, this past May, and she’s getting married this fall. Our middle daughter is an accomplished pianist and is supporting the Authentic Scripture Foundation while completing her BS Business Administration degree. My son is a senior in high school, and still enjoys trapping raccoons; he just sold his first full-face Scottish Sporan to a bagpipe playing friend of mine. Look me up, would be good to reconnect with some folks.”

Bruno MaldonadoBruno Maldonado (B.S. ‘82) writes, “Hello Longhorns. While I spent many years working internationally, that all came to a halt in 2020 due to Covid. However, I continue to employ my geoscience skills consulting and prospecting in the Texas Gulf Coast. My current focus is defining and drilling prospects in the Austin Chalk utilizing seismic attributes to define microfractures. I have been involved in the drilling of a total of 5 wells, all successful in finding grease. On a more personal note, Patricia and I recently attended the 2022 SIPES Convention in Deer Park, Utah. Included is a photo of a guided field trip we took in the mountains of Utah. Patricia keeps telling me I should retire already. My response to her is that I enjoy employing geoscience technology and do not see it as a job. I am sure I will retire someday, but for now I am still having fun. Hook ‘Em.”

David Martens (B.S. ‘84) David can be reached at

Mark W. Martin (B.S. ‘84) writes, “Retired and looking for new pastimes!”

Anne Smith Miller (B.A. ‘83) shares, “Highlights of my first year of retirement included trips to Olympic National Park and Acadia National Park. If you would like to get in touch, please send an email to

Ginger Braswell Miller (B.S. ‘87) writes, “After 30 years of living out of state, we finally made it back to Texas. We have found a quiet place 6.7 miles from Blue Bell Creameries where we can see the stars at night. Enjoying the country, mostly empty nesters. Two are on their own, and two with one foot in and one foot out. Conveniently located between AUS and IAH in case the travel bug hits. We have a blessed life!”

David Charles Noe Drilling Site In North Alabama 22David Charles Noe (M.A. ‘84) says, “Greetings everyone, especially the Dirty Dozen gang and friends from the early 80’s at UT! In 2022, I have gone from leading tours in Colorado to working on drilling rigs in Alabama! I joined OMI Engineers of Huntsville AL as a staff geological engineer. We conduct geotechnical, geological, and environmental studies. I am learning a lot about residual red-clay soils and karst topography! Huntsville is a fascinating and beautiful place, and Jo Ann and I are enjoying our time here. We are also planning our wedding, which will occur in April 2023!” David can be reached at

Luke Brian Primrose (B.S. ‘83) says, “Settling in nicely after retiring from Marathon. We spent over three wonderful years in Africa before coming home for good. It seems we are busier than ever with six grandkids, one just graduated from college and one going into kindergarten. Debbie and I spend as much time as possible at the fishing cabin and have managed a couple Flying Longhorns adventures which we highly recommend. In the little spare time left, I do a bit of consulting which helps keep me engaged. Planning an excursion next year that will take us through my GEO 660 areas, Taos and Silverton – I think I missed a few minerals for my collection my last time there!”

Paul Kevin Smith (B.S., ‘84) says, “I’m an Adjunct Professor of Exercise Science and Student Development at Austin Community College, and also a Personal Fitness Trainer and Yoga Instructor at Allen’s Capital Fitness.” Paul can be reached at

Stephen Speer (M.A. ‘83) shares, “Life is good in the Lowcountry of SC…… despite all of the nonsense going on around the world. I hope this newsletter finds all of the Dirty Dozen and others in our class doing well. Cheers!!!!”

Burgess Stengl (B.S ‘85) writes, “I have successfully completed one year back in the Municipal Solid Waste Permits Section of the TCEQ. I began my career in solid waste in the same Section 28 years ago, so I have gone full circle. I plan to finish out my career with the agency in a few years, so retirement is in sight! My wife of 42 years, Angela, and my three kids and four grandkids are doing fine, and the kids all live within a few hours of us so we see them often. We usually all meet to enjoy Lake Somerville. Greetings to all my fellow grads from the Class of ‘85!” Burgess can be reached at

Ted Stout (B.S. ‘85) shares, “Retired from the National Park Service in October 2020. Look for my pictorial history of ‘Craters of the Moon National Monument’ coming out in November.”


Kenneth (Keg) B. Alexander (M.A. ‘90) Keg has recently moved to Perth for a job as Geothermal Resources Lead for Fortescue Future industries. He is pursuing geothermal energy opportunities worldwide to provide renewable power for green hydrogen and green ammonia production. Keg can be reached at

John Genuise (M.A. ‘91) writes, “After a fulfilling EHS career in industry, I am now enjoying academia again as the Director of Environmental, Health, and Safety at the University of North Texas in Denton. My geology passion is fulfilled these days through pre-travel research and field excursions during trips, diving reefs, and also locally with the Dallas Paleontological Society. Our Marine Biologist Daughter (UT ‘18) and Meteorologist Son (OU ‘21) patiently listen to my on-trail geology explanations during our hikes, and my fishing friends feign interest in the geology around them. My best to all, and if you find yourself near Lake Lewisville, or just to connect, look me up on LinkedIn. I guarantee there is only one John Genuise on there.”

Mark Graebner (Ph.D. ‘91) can be reached at

Img 6243Daniel McConnell (B.S. ‘95) says, “Well, they say you can’t go back…. not entirely true. I lived in Baltimore when the Brood X cicadas emerged two cycles ago (34 years!). I remember it as amazing. The waves of sound pulsing across the city in the evenings were so loud and eerie. Once we were vaccinated, we booked a nice AirBnB row house across from a big park on the backside of Johns Hopkins U. for the last part of May 2021 for a working vacation. I somehow convinced Beth that this was a good idea! She liked it. It was a good idea and was great to go back. Waves and waves of intense cycled sound would roll across the treetops. It was surreal. As for the family, our daughters are doing well. They have chosen Los Fusiles, ‘future upstanding sons-in-law,’ and show their beaus what successful strong women are each day. The young men don’t know how lucky they are! As for work, I have come to the time in my career when I have been turned out by the company where I created quite a bit of value for many years. That’s the nature of large companies. There will come a time when one will be cycled out, but I can’t complain. I’ve had a good run managing a successful marine site characterization consulting group and later, traveling the world on the technical talk circuit for marine geochemical surveys for oil and gas exploration, gas hydrates, and marine minerals. So, like many proud, unemployed, geologists in Texas, I have set up a consulting company for technical contract or business development work. I consult in areas such as marine CO2 sequestration site surveys, high resolution marine geophysics data acquisition and interpretation for offshore windfarm developments and oil and gas, gas hydrate exploration, and marine mineral resource surveys. I continue to be active in the professional community representing the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration on the Board of Directors of the Offshore Technology Conference, the Offshore Site Investigation and Geotechnics Committee of the Society for Underwater Technology, and with advisory roles for NSF and the US Department of Energy.” Daniel can be reached at d.mcconnell@

Warren Wiemann (B.S. ‘98) is working in the Semiconductor Manufacturing, Engineering and Design, Technical Manufacturing, and Materials Science fields. Warren can be reached at


Paul Kirby (B.A. ‘02) writes, “I’ve been with DBS&A for over 16 years. I am still enjoying working with public water systems and groundwater conservation districts. I recently went to Italy for the first time and had a short tour of Pompeii – AMAZING. Can’t wait to go back, see more, and climb Vesuvius!”

Cda30e1c A6f0 43f3 B22d 44f648379f6dChris Lauer (B.S. ‘05) says, “After spending seven years as an environmental consultant, I am about to celebrate 10 years at Plains All American Pipeline in Houston, TX as an Environmental Remediation and Compliance Specialist in the HSE group. In addition to remediating oil impacts to shallow soils and groundwater from current and newly acquired assets, I also help with environmental liability reviews and risk analysis on acquisition, divestitures, and existing assets. I am helping to modify the expectations of what an acceptable environmental risk is at a large oil and gas company.” Chris can be reached at

Img 4620Tip Meckel (Ph.D. ‘03) Tip continues working at the Bureau of Economic Geology – Gulf Coast Carbon Center, where he has been for 16 years. His offshore geologic carbon storage work was featured recently in WIRED Magazine. He spent part of the summer acquiring marine seismic data at the Chicxulub impact crater in cooperation with UTIG scientists.

Edflabmx0aa3j63Alessandra Millican (B.A. ‘11) shares, “After 31 years in Texas, I moved to a cooler climate, and I’m proud to call Denver, Colorado my new home. I have stepped away from the oil and gas industry to be the Renewable Energy Lead for Esri and manage the industry globally, working with renewable energy companies of all shapes and sizes around the world. In my spare time, I actively enjoy summiting 14ers around the great state of Colorado, falconry, whale watching, and reading any novel I can get my hands on. This year I was honored to be chosen as the International Keynote Speaker for the prestigious OLGENAS International Geolympiad for the Universitas Gadjah Mada in Indonesia. I am considering an MBA program with a Renewables focus at OU, but will always be a proud longhorn at my core.” Allesandra can be reached at

Thuan Phan (B.S. ‘06) is residing in southern Norway.

Jonathan Skaggs (B.S. ‘01) Jonathan has been in the environmental consulting industry for 21 years and is currently a senior geologist with GSI Environmental Inc. in Austin. He enjoys helping clients solve complex environmental problems and is a professional geoscientist in both Texas and California. Jonathan can be reached at


Margaret Marie Behnke (B.S. ‘12) Maggie can be reached at

Benjamin Thomas Breeden III (M.S. ‘16) says, “I received my Ph.D. in Geology in August 2022 from the University of Utah, where I studied the reptile fossils and chemostratigraphy of Lower Jurassic shallow marine strata in Shimonoseki, Japan for my dissertation research. I was awarded a National Science Foundation Earth Sciences Postdoctoral Fellowship and will continue to study the early Mesozoic vertebrate fossil record in western Japan under the mentorship of Dr. Makoto Manabe at the National Museum of Nature and Science in Tsukuba, Japan.”

Ted Cross And Naomi SosnerTed Cross (B.S. ‘11) shares, “I am happy to announce that I married the lovely Naomi Sosner in December 2021! The two of us have lived in Austin over the past couple of years, and it is great to be back in the old stomping grounds. I have been applying my geoscience and petroleum industry knowledge as Director of Product Management at Novi Labs, a data analytics and machine learning startup in town. I would love to hear from you! I can be reached at 210-385-9631 or



Thomas Hundley & Bridget (pettit) HundleyThomas “Hal” Hundley (M.S. ‘17) and Bridget Pettit Hundley (B.S. ‘15) share, “After experience working with Eagle Oil & Gas and Oasis Petroleum, Hal graduated with an MBA from the UT McCombs School of Business in May 2022. Bridget spent four years at ExxonMobil, first in the Exploration Company working on international unconventionals, and most recently at XTO as an operations geologist in the Midland Basin. Our son, Beau, was born 12/29/2021! We have relocated to Denver as of this summer, where Hal will start work as a Business Consultant with EY-Parthenon. Hal’s email is Bridget will be starting the job search for openings in January 2023. Please contact if you know of any Denver-based or remote geoscientist openings. Hook ‘em!”

Darby LeeDarby Lee (B.S. ‘19) writes, “I have been promoted to Controller and Geophysics Associate of Forensix Consulting.”





Frank MorganFrank Morgan (B.S. ‘11) says, “Enjoying life and great food in Houston, TX. My wife and I, along with our dog, Little Larry, moved to Houston within the past year to continue my employment with Century Natural Resources, focusing on oil and gas exploration in the Powder River Basin, WY.” Frank can be reached at

Esben Pedersen (B.S. ‘18, M.S. ‘20) Esben can be reached at

Andrew Stearns (B.S. ‘18) Andrew can be reached at Andrew.Stearns@TGS. com.

5375f0eb 0224 4fde 8ea4 Bb43ab5828c6Kelsi Ustipak (M.S. ‘15) says, “I’ve been in Minneapolis, MN since 2017. After working in environmental consulting for three years, I started working for the state at the Minnesota Department of Transportation. There’s more geology going into building infrastructure than one might have imagined! I oversee contaminated soil and groundwater investigations on future road projects and help manage contaminated materials on active construction projects. It’s complicated and interesting and I learn something new every day. I have recently been recognized by the American Institute of Professional Geologists with the John Stewart Early Career Professional Award. I credit the amazing career advice and networking opportunities provided at the Jackson School with helping me gain the confidence to direct my career and help others along the way. My husband Peter and our dog, Bigby, are so fortunate to be comfortable, happy, and together with family and friends. I am grateful to a great many people at JSG. Thank you all!” Kelsi can be reached at

Jackie (Jaclyn) Watters (B.S. ‘15) says, “I participated in undergraduate research with Dr. Joe Levy at UTIG. After graduating, I worked in sales for one year in El Paso and then in the environmental engineering industry for two years in New Jersey as a geologist. There I was part of the effort to clean up superfund sites and other contaminated groundwater sites in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. This led to my interest in developing skills as a hydrologist. As of Fall 2020, I am now a graduate student at Rutgers University Department of Earth and Planetary science. Here I am contributing to projects studying the hydrology of ancient Mars, modern New Jersey, and the Brazilian Amazon.”


Tomas Fuentes AfflickTomas Fuentes- Afflick (M.S. EER ‘22) Tomas is an Electric Vehicle Advisor at NRG Energy in Houston. He can be reached at




Richard Buffler says, “We continue to enjoy living in Santa Fe and still traveling some. Come see us.” Dick Buffler and Christine Boss, B.S. in Geology, 1959.

Tom Patty shares, Field studies searching for sand, gravel and crushed stone has slowed over the past two years, giving me more time to visit grandchildren and my two great grandchildren. So traveling to Denver and Dallas has been often. Trips to California to visit younger sister with health issues have now halted with her passing in early August. Hopefully, the drought will end for the Central Texas area and yard watering can be reduced. Meanwhile, I’m still active with the WJE petrographic laboratory with new hires and building expansion has been a result in office growth after 41 years. I can still be reached by emails (tspgeorockl@gmail. com or or cell phone 512/438-9129.”

Professor Emeritus, James Sprinkle writes, “2021 was 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 three joint papers that were in- press in the fall of 2020 were published this spring, including a surprise use of our new, little, fossil 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 in 2021 and two boosters in November and April, 2022, I’ve been coming in on Wednesday and Sunday afternoons 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. 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 was published in the Australian paleontological journal Alcheringa, based on two enigmatic Middle Cambrian echinoderms with fused basal cups and thousands of newly- etched, silicified plates from higher in the theca. We tried to reconstruct how these now more complete specimens would look as living organisms. Two new stalked echinoderms that were attached to the sea floor were also found in these new plates, and were described and illustrated. In the fall of 2021, Sprinkle and Jell presented a talk on this now-completed project at the 2021 GSA Annual Meeting in Portland, OR. In the spring of 2022 (my 9th year of retirement), Tom Guensburg and I published another medium-sized paper on the oldest simplified crinoids known from the Early Ordovician. In May, G.K. and I drove up to southern Oklahoma with members of our local fossil club, to revisit some of our best collecting localities, including the spot where the complete starfish was found in April, 2019 (no luck this time). I also have abstracts submitted with two other authors for a talk on Cretaceous crinoids from south Texas at an international meeting, and for a talk about how I taught a newly proposed paleobiology model at the 2022 GSA Annual Meeting in Denver, CO.”

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