Geology Alumni Newsletter News Notes 1998
A Newsletter for Alumni, Students and Friends of the Geology Program - Winter 1998
Many alumni responded to our request for information. Bruce has summarized your written responses, e-mail messages, and phone conversations below. Thank you for updating us and telling us what you are doing. If you haven't already, please take a moment to tell us what you're doing and how you view the quality of your education at Western. Information from alumni helps us assess the Geology Program. We do listen and appreciate your comments, whether critical or complimentary. In addition, your news may be included in future newsletters unless you request otherwise. Addresses of all faculty, friends and alumni are listed in the Alumni Directory.
Graduates by Year:
Merrie McCory reports living a quiet life in Grand Junction.
William (Roger) Miller went to Michigan State and got his Masters degree in geophysics working on a Precambrian project. How that led to a career with the Water Resources Branch of the USGS is somewhat of a mystery but that’s what he did for over 15 years. He then moved into the oil industry during the boom and consulted for several years and is now working for the BLM in Casper doing reservoir characterization as a part of the federal government’s Wyoming Reservoir Management program. I had a nice talk with Roger on the phone about the old days (before Bartleson and Prather) in the WSC geology department after Connie Dodge McKnight (‘70) passed through his office to talk about her PhD thesis.
Gilbert Noice reports that he is a senior land surveyor for the National Park Service in Lakewood, CO whose main responsibility is topographic mapping.
Gary Christopher sends his greetings all the way from 3 miles north of Gunnison -Stop in some time Gary! It’s been a long time.
Richard (Rick) Bemis worked as an Alaskan bush pilot for a number of years. One day near the end of his tenure flying he had a client on board who turned out to be a big shot with Magcobar Mud Co. That was in 1980 and Rick has been with them ever since as a mud engineer commuting to Alaska on a 2 week on/2 week off schedule mostly working the Prudhoe Bay field. He was in Portland for a while but in 1991 moved near Grand Junction. He recently bought 40 acres near Palisade and he and his wife will raise some horses along with their 2 kids.
Dan (Danny) Pavey walked into my office one day about 10-15 years ago and surprised me since I hadn’t seen him for about 20 years. Hi Bruce, remember me??? Dan has been in Alaska practically ever since he graduated. In Sept. of 1968 he married Linda Ashbaugh, (WSC, 1968) went into the Army Combat Engineers and served 2 1/2 years with the Alaska District Corps of Engineers. He started working with the state of Alaska in 1972 as a field geologist with the Division of Aviation conducting geotechnical investigations for new airports and upgrading old ones. He is now Chief Geologist at the State of Alaska Department of Transportation Headquarters Materials office and is involved in geotechnical studies for bridges, buildings, harbors, etc. Dan has also served as secretary/treasurer, chair and vice-chair of the Assoc. of Engineering Geologists in Alaska. Dan and Linda have two boys, the oldest 23 and working as a (guess what?) video game computer graphics animator and another aged 11. Hope to see you again soon, Dan - don’t wait 20 more years!
Linda (Powers) Barrett has been in Grand Junction ever since graduating and except for a brief “sabbatical” has been teaching high school earth science all this time while raising two boys. She has recently retired. Linda and husband Bob (formerly an engineer with the State Highway Department and now consulting) come by now and then.
Paul Ching was long-lost, but became a triumph of one of the search engines on Netscape, which shows you can’t get away. After graduating from WSC, Paul got a Masters in engineering geology at CSU and went to work building dams, airfields, drilling water wells, etc. in various foreign ports such as Iran, the Indian Ocean and Germany. He started out with Dames and Moore in Hawaii and ended up at the Hanford Nuclear Site in Washington as Project Engineer for the Corps of Engineers. He is one up on Tom and Bruce because he already retired and is living in the Seattle area. Paul, do you still chew tobacco? We get to Seattle now and then - might look you up.
Mike Deming has spent the last 27 + years in the engineering geology business mostly for the Bureau of Reclamation in such garden spots as St. George, Yuma, El Centro, Duchesne and Farmington. Mike relates that despite the heat (105 at 2 AM) he enjoyed the hell out of the work when they were doing geothermal exploration in cooperation with UC Riverside in the Salton Sea area. Mike also worked 5 years for the Soil Conservation Service in Salt Lake City and worked with Gary Dow (‘72) for a while. He went back to work with the BurRec and spent some good years in Duchesne, Utah as geologic director of the Central Utah Project. He was transferred to the Durango area (Bayfield) in 1988. Mike established a BurRec office in Farmington, NM (commuting 60 mi/day) and has worked on the infamous Animas-LaPlata project, the Navajo Indian Irrigation Project and more recently on the mother of all mining disasters, the Summitville Mine superfund fiasco near South Fork Colorado. Whew! That’s one hell of a career Mike; when are you going to retire? Mike and Lois have 3 boys, two of whom are already college graduates ( an engineer from CSU, a biologist from Ft. Lewis and one going to Ft. Lewis next year. What happened to Western State Mike?? We went to Summitville last year for a field trip and would like to go again next spring - Maybe we can get together then. And before we both get too old we ought to do some commemorative tree-bashing at Crested Butte or Monarch.
Howard Fishman completed a graduate degree at the Univ. of Utah and worked for Conoco as a geophysicist from 1974 to 1976. He has been with Chevron since 1976 and is currently a group leader for geological work station applications in Midland, Texas. That’s where I started out, and that’s where you end up - there must be some deep cosmic significance to that Howard! Howard has been married for 22 years and has two children aged 17 and 12. I’ve seen Howard off and on over the years as he periodically comes to ski at Crested Butte. It’s been a while - Give us a call next time you’re in town!
Dr. Gordon Richard (Dick) Jones has had a long and colorful career since graduation. He taught and coached in Cedaredge from 1971-1975; taught and administered in Weisbaden, Germany (tough duty) from 1977 to 1985; retired once; became director of academic computing at Western State from 1986-88 and directed the computer operations in western Colorado for the census in 1990-91. He has finally retired for good and is living happily (and currently engaged) in Cedaredge, where he started out. Dick took us on some great dinosaur-hunting field trips when he was back here in the 80’s and you might be aware that his family actually found the famous Dry Mesa site near Delta, which has produced the huge Sauropods Ultrasaurus and Supersaurus. Good luck Dick - still hunting dinosaurs ?
Jon Untiedt sent a nice, long letter outlining his career in the oil business. He broke in as landman for Shell in 1969 and switched to Union Texas in Midland and became Division Land Manager in 1974. Jon went out on his own in 1977, somehow managed to survive the great crash of 82-83 and folded his company in 1991 and now does some consulting work. His daughter Marin went to Western, graduated in 1989 (no geology!) and is now following in her dads’ footsteps. Jon leaves us with the advice that “there is still a bright future in the oil business if you come into it well grounded in computer applications” Amen Jon - Let’s do some fishing some time - I know a few places------
James Brown was in the oil business for a long time but the last I heard was trying landscaping? He has just reappeared on email and we find that he is still in Evergreen, remarried, but no word on his latest enterprise. He attend Homecoming here this fall but we missed him.
Connie (Nuss) Dodge Knight is still in school, believe it or not. Connie got a Masters at Arizona in 1973 and then went to work for Amoco, becoming the first woman for the Denver office to sit on a well. (Ask her about that one sometime!) She became a successful independent in the boom of the late 70’s but then got so desperate that we worked on a subsurface project together (and published too!) in the summer of 1981 in the Eagle Basin. After the crash, Connie reinvented herself as a hydrogeologist, getting a Masters at Mines and working in the environmental business in such places as Rocky Flats with Mike Arndt (‘66). Her heart not completely into hydro, she is now working on her PhD, back in good old petroleum geology and doing a thesis on reservoir characterization of the Mesa Verde type stuff up in the old LaBarge field, near Big Piney, WY using some hot new logging technology.
Dennis Krasowski is a mining consultant out of Salmon, Idaho after spending many years with Newmont and FMC. Rumor has it that he and his wife have a pretty good little rock/mineral/jewelry shop in Salmon. As I recall, Dennis was the first to establish the Western - CSU mining geology connection and get his Masters there.
Dan Larsen After graduation, Dan started a high school/college level academy, the “Academy of the Rockies” in Bonners Ferry, Idaho but after 4 years decided that was not the life for him. Since then he has been involved in a number of recreation/land sales enterprises including managing a small ski area at Sand Point, Idaho. He is now the director of a start-up organization known as Foundation for the Conservation of Nature (FCN) whose goals are to “provide to the public organized, reliable information about environmental issues and develop action for the conservation of nature.” See website ---fcn.org - Sounds interesting Dan, especially the Costa Rica plan - Tom and I were down there in February, 1997 on a bike tour - really liked the country, the people and the food!
Roy Brace has been in the beverage can manufacturing industry for over 20 years and his company (Omnitech International) is currently installing equipment in Poland and Czechoslovakia and hoping to get involved in China. Roy, I have 2 questions for you - How did a geologist get into the can business and do you get to go to these foreign places?? Best of Luck!
Gary Dow has been with the BuRec for many years as an engineering geologist and worked with Mike Deming (‘69) for a while. Gary has two teen-agers who will both be in college soon - Good Luck!
Stephen Taylor is alive and well in Idledale, CO (where the hell is that?). Steve had a 10 year career with Union Pacific (Rocky Mtn. Energy) mostly in uranium out of the Denver office but then regrouped after the uranium crash, started a degree in computer science, got married and had a son. However, he got an offer and then spent the next year in Chloride, New Mexico, a silver mining ghost town with no TV, no newspapers and only a Mexican radio station at night (XELO from Juarez, I presume - it’s big - right Steve?). He finally finished his degree and got a job as a programmer but then got back into mining in 1989 with Amax Gold (Cyprus-Amax later) and bumped into Warren Butler (‘80) also with Amax, but unfortunately was exiled to the engineering department for 3 years. Just last year Steve was able to escape the shut-down of Cyprus Amax and landed a job with Newcrest Mining Ltd. of Australia and has had great trips to Chile, Peru and Australia. What a deal! Some people always land on their feet.
David Westhoff is our first winner of the RMAG hammer for outstanding, graduating geology senior. David started out with Magcobar doing mud logging and engineering in the fall of 1972 and did this till the fall of 1975. He then went back and got his Masters from the University of Nevada, Reno in hydrology and has been involved in that enterprise for some time. He worked as a hydrogeologist for a couple of consulting firms in Reno for many years and then went to Seattle in 1990 working for Boatent & Assoc., an environmental consulting firm. In 1992, he went to the Sultanate of Oman to work in the Ministry of Water Resources and stayed there for over 3 years. How do you find these jobs?? After a 16 month sabbatical in Wiggins, CO (hometown) he has just moved to Indonesia where he is the hydrogeologist at Freeport’s Grasberg Mine. This area was just covered in the Feb. 1996 issue of National Geographic - great country according to Dave, with glaciers and great limestone mountains.
Tom Farrow - recently resurfaced and is working with natural products at Univera Pharmacy. No more geology for him. He has a son that will be in college soon - Do you have $40,000 saved, Tom?
Dr. David Lageson - We have kept in touch with Dave frequently including a great talk he gave here on the thrust belt of Montana to our students. A few years ago he gave Deirdre and me a guided geological tour from Bozeman to Calgary and just 3 years ago he led a great field trip for our students along the Wyoming overthrust belt for our annual spring field trip. Dave got a Masters in carbonate petrology (a noble cause) from Wyoming and then deserted the soft rock field for the glamour (and big bucks) of the overthrust belt in Wyoming. He got his PhD also at Wyoming and reinvented himself as a structural geologist supreme. In case you don’t know, Dave has probably published more stuff on the structure and tectonic evolution of the Northern Rockies than anyone (not quite, but close) and is in high demand by oil & mining companies for consulting. Dave has been at Montana State in Bozeman for over 17 years and served as Dept. Chair for 5 years. He has a daughter starting college next fall, a son (a hot skier) in high school and 2 step-children.
Phillip Petty recently returned to his home town of Cedaredge, Colorado for his 30th high school reunion - you guys are getting old! Many of you will recall that Phil was a Smokejumper for the Forest Service for many years, fighting fires all over the U.S. and Canada and worked at ski areas or taught school in the winter. In 1980, he wrecked his knee and had to stop jumping, so he wisely went back to school and got a BS from Western Montana College in resort management. For the next few years he ran ski areas in Montana and Idaho, spending some time in one of my favorite towns, Choteau, MT, near Glacier National Park. and McCall, Idaho (Brundage Mtn.). He then returned to teaching school and taught everything from Earth Science to Physics. He even taught a course in Environmental Geology in Orofino, ID but had to change the name to Natural Resources due to objections to usage of the “E” word. Becoming disillusioned with teaching, Phil went back and got a Master’s in Computer Science and GIS from Eastern Washington Univ. He is now teaching computer applications to adults in private industry (no more of the little #$%^&*** in public schools! - I know how you feel, Phil). He is now getting network certified and trying to develop some database applications. Phil is married to a wonderful lady who runs the public health division of a clinic on the Coeur d’Alene Indian Reservation, lives on a farm near Spokane and raises Norwegian Fjord horses for a hobby. He still spends a lot of time fishing and canoeing. Phil, I would love to have you show me some of the fly fishing in your neck of the woods - maybe next year!!
Charles Ponchak, after years of mining and other geological enterprises has, believe it or not, become the dry cleaning king of the Western Slope - Kilbane’s in Montrose! Charlie has been married to Debbie since 1973 (silver anniversary this year, Charlie!) and has 1 son graduating from West Point in 1998 and another working in Glenwood Springs. Way back, Charlie started out with Cities Service Oil Co., switched to Pioneer-Uravan in 1977 doing uranium exploration in western Colorado and then became the chief mine geologist for the famous Camp Bird gold mine near Ouray, CO from 1980 to 1989. When the mine shut down he entered the dry cleaning business. He continues to do consulting for gravel pit operations and loves working with the environmentalists and government bureaucrats.
Gay Preator has resurfaced after years of MIA and would really appreciate anyone helping her get back into geology. Gay worked over 16 years in the oil business for Champlin and Mountain Fuels in Denver and Billings and then went to Seattle with Weyerhauser. She’s consulted, and I have it on good authority, is an excellent draftsperson, but is now stalled in Grand Junction. Help!
Marty Wittstrom I believe Marty was the first WSC geology graduate to go to Colorado School of Mines for a Masters. He worked on the Leadville Lm. around here for his thesis and then went into the oil business where he has been ever since. Marty started out with Gulf Oil in Casper and then when Chevron bought out Gulf moved to Oklahoma City, then Midland, Tx., Bakersfield, Ca. and now has been moved to Calgary. Marty and old buddy Charlie Ponchak (’73) got together for hunting in the Spring Creek area for years, but not so much lately.
Steve Biesmann has been back to Gunnison off and on and visited once or twice, but it’s been a long time. Steve taught in Boulder public schools in 1975-76 and then attended graduate school in Boulder in philosophy ( I think Steve has been our only geology major with a minor in philosophy here - for what that’s worth). Steve then wanted to do more with his hands and got into construction, becoming a foreman in Palo Alto in 1979 and then moved to Bend, Oregon in 1980 where he’s been ever since. He’s in the residential construction carpentry business and an active member of the Metanoia Society (a prize for the proper explanation for this one, but don’t kill yourself trying to figure it out). He was married in 1994 to Tricia. I believe Steve was the pioneer who brought us about 4 or 5 geology majors from Deerfield, Illinois high school. What happened to that connection, you Deerfield folks??
Ray Hensley sends the message that he is “still crazy after all these years”. He and Adrian have 3 children including a boy who is at U.C. Santa Barbara and 2 teen-age girls. Wow! Ray is now the Vice President and General Manager of the Snowcrest Snow Park and Ski Area in the San Gabriel Mountains just north of L.A. Ray also does general contracting including building and maintaining TV transmitters and is currently remodeling a Beverly Hills mansion. Sounds like he is having fun! The mansion wouldn’t happen to belong to OJ, would it Ray?
June (Galvin) & Bob Just have been a team so long that we’re including them together. You two must be close to your 25th anniversary - Right ??? June worked for 16 years for Marathon Research Center in Littleton but they relocated the staff to Houston in 1994 so June regretfully bailed out and landed a job with Geographix, interestingly enough, where Bob is also working. Bob spent many years in the natural gas business, then converted over to environmental for a while in the 80’s (who didn’t?) and spent a lot of time traveling to the San Francisco area. Now he is teaching the database and mapping software to oil and gas folks for Geographix. June is the technical support person for the seismic interpretation software that Geographix sells. I just might mention that the geology department has Geographix software (thanks to Joe Sweeney (‘79) and a computer mapping exercise is now a required part of Stratigraphy. The Justs take their kids to Steamboat annually to ski with Mark Lance and occasionally run into Fred Conrath (’75). June ends her letter with “Our best to all the “old folks” and if in Denver they would love to see you. They work a block from Coors Field and live near the Tech Center.
Rich Snyder worked for several oil companies including Occidental in Oklahoma City, but got caught up in the great crash in the 80’s. He went back to school and reinvented himself as a water commissioner and is now with the State of Colorado in Colorado Springs adjudicating water problems. Sounds pretty intense Rich!
Mark Thomas continued the WSC - Colorado School of Mines link and got a Masters working on the Dakota Sandstone in the Gunnison area working under the famous Bob Weimer. Mark was in the oil business for quite a while, as I recall and is now a geologist with EG&G in Morgantown, WV. Mark stops by periodically and maybe we’ll see him again soon.
Peter Bergmann has been in Craig, CO teaching high school earth science for a long time - like 20 years. Pete went back and got a Masters in Educational Administration at CSU and is now a principal of an elementary school. They have two children. Pete was another of the Deerfield high group mentioned above under Steve Biesmann (‘74). Pete, we ought to set up a geo-educators network for all you people in earth science teaching and talk about the changes coming in the next few years brought on by the Standards movement. More later!
Mike Carr worked in the oil business for a year or so (with Bruce Benson??) and after ski racing and climbing most mountains in the world, Mike went back to school and got a Masters degree in environmental science in 1991. That’s a long time in between drinks, Mike! He is now a Project Manager for environmental assessment & remediation for URS Greiner, the 5th largest infrastructure company in the U.S. Not surprisingly, Mike still skis and climbs but is now mostly into paragliding.
Fred Conrath had his life saved in a bar in Fairbanks when he met Karen, who (mostly) straightened him out. To his credit, he came back to Western in 1978, re-took some classes and did quite well. Fred has had an interesting career working in mining and with the BLM. He started out with Resource Associates of Alaska in the late 70’s, then worked with Microgeophysics doing geothermal exploration in Nevada, California and Oregon, worked at the Homestake mine at Marshall Pass for a year and finally ended up with the BLM as a resource geologist. Fred has been in Alaska and Vernal, Utah but has been in Craig, CO since 1986. Fred and Karen aged about 10 years when they had a very premature, undersized baby girl who is now healthy and doing just fine. Karen works for an environmental firm in Steamboat Springs.
Elliott Crist went to the University of Idaho for his Masters and worked for FMC Mining Co for over 14 years in such places as Denver and Reno. He is now consulting for Fairmile Mining Co out of Reno and has 3 children including 2 teenagers. Among many notable accomplishments, Elliott is, we believe, the co-holder of the highest, (at that time) unassisted (no lift) streak from the top of Mt. Emmons. Who was the other participant?? Guess!
John Danahey has done about everything in geology but is now working in the environmental industry for Morrison Knudsen in Denver and involved with the Rocky Mountain Arsenal remediation (isn’t everyone ?- a lot of people from WSC have been involved at the Arsenal at one time or another). He has also been involved in DOE projects and RCRA investigations at refineries and coal mines. Prior to that John worked in both the hard rock and sedimentary minerals industries and even some oil exploration. John married a WSC biology graduate 15 years ago and has three kids..
Don Graham has been in a variety of places in various enterprises but is now living back in Gunnison, which he uses as a home base and we frequently pretend we are 30 again and go skiing or mountain biking together. Don got his Masters at Western Washington and worked largely in the minerals industry for years. Besides being deeply involved in the Gunnison dinosaur project as a volunteer Don has reinvented himself like so many of you and has been in the environmental business for about 7 years. He worked for 4 years on the Gunnison UMTRA project to relocate the old uranium tailings near the airport which were leaking contaminates into the alluvial aquifer of the Gunnison/Tomichi flood plains near Dos Rios. He is now on another UMTRA project near Maybell, which is up in the northwest corner of Colorado west of Craig. Don joined us for our spring field trip to Dinosaur last May.
Peter Herzberg has forsaken professional geology for the allure of the furniture industry in Seattle, although he still keeps his finger in by going to various geological conferences and field trips. Peter went to the University of Alaska after Western and got his Masters in mining geology and worked for several years in the mining business. He then went to Los Angeles and got involved in the furniture business but after 10 years or so in L.A. decided it was time to get out of smog city before it was too late. He wisely moved up to Seattle where he now has two furniture stores and is rapidly becoming the furniture king of the Pacific Northwest. Peter sees Kevin McAndrews frequently down in Mexico and has even been so good to host yours truly on several memorable trips including one to San Quintin, Baja.
Kevin McAndrews and his wife Pam are living the good life (country club set, etc) down in sunny Guadalajara, Mexico where Kevin has been exploration manager for Kennecott/Rio Tinto for the last 6 years. Kevin was another of the WSC/CSU connection for his Masters and has been with Kennecott for many years (and many changes in name). He took a sabbatical for a while and ran a ranch in Missouri but came back to mining. He was in Salt Lake City for a number of years as exploration manager and then set up the Mexico division when the political/economic climate became more favorable. Rumor has it that he has made several good discoveries. One of their daughters is at Brown University in Providence, RI (how did she ever pick Brown, Kevin ?- You’ve come a long way for a cowboy from West Texas!) and another daughter is in high school in Guadalajara. I worked for Kevin one summer about 7 or 8 years ago on a placer gold prospect and his final instructions to me were absolutely classic - “Just follow your nose, Bruce!” You can well imagine what kind of trouble that got me into.
John Murphy is the owner of John Murphy Millworks in Erie, Colorado which is just east of Boulder. His firm specializes in case goods, millworks (cabinets, showcases, etc.) for schools, hospitals and banks. John had the contract for the millworks in the renovation of the WSC student union a few years ago. He is married to Rose Mary and they have a son, Darshan, who is an ensign in the U.S. Navy.
Ron Thoreson spent his first summer after graduation working for Fred Menzer and Bear Creek Mining in southwestern Washington along with Elliott Crist (‘75) and Steve Craig (‘74). He then went to the University of Idaho and did a Masters thesis in Belize working on reconnaissance mapping and mineral evaluation (massive sulfides) of island arc Paleozoic rocks. Tough Duty, Ron! He then moved his wife and two boys to Elko and started out with Magcobar Minerals Division looking for barite for four years. Ron then went with Freeport Exploration in the spring of 1983 doing detailed mapping and geochemical evaluation of the Jerritt Canyon Project for three years before switching over to Newmont Exploration Ltd. in 1986 but staying in Elko. Ron has been with Newmont in Elko ever since doing a variety of projects involving gold. In June of 1997 he became the Chief Mine Geologist for the Twin Creeks Mine in Humboldt County, Nevada. The Twin Creeks deposit contains over 11 million ounces of gold and is mined at a rate of 300,000 tons per day and over 500,000 ounces of gold/year! Ron has been in Elko for almost 20 years and now has 4 sons aged 24 to 9, with one in the military,. one at the University of Idaho and the younger two still at home.
Dick Sweitzer is still in Gunnison, now managing Sweitzer Oil Co. after being involved in various enterprises for a number of years. Dick just lost both his brothers this summer; Bob in a tragic plane accident at Lake Powell and Bill to cancer.
John Brunel worked in the oil industry for many years partly with his dad for Teton Energy and did some consulting in the Piceance Basin where he gained a solid reputation as an excellent geologist After the crash, John went into the computer business in Golden for a few years and I wouldn’t know what happened to him except that I literally bumped into him at the Denver airport this winter. We had a nice 5 minute talk and found out that he now owns Golden West Commuter, a ground transportation business. If you want to go to DIA call John at 278 0241. John is another of those people who always lands on his feet. How it happened, we don’t understand, but he married a really nice young lady and they have three children.
Stuart Cohen was a hard guy to find but we finally tracked him down, thanks to Lauren Hart Wolfe (’77), hiding out in Bayfield, Colorado near Durango. If I remember correctly Stu came to geology late in his college career from physics and finished his geology major in a year or so. After graduation, Stu spent 6 years chasing coal and uranium in Wyoming. Since moving to Bayfield he has been a cadastral surveyor (we could have a contest for the most creative interpretation of what that means - prize winner gets a night in Bayfield) for the BLM, a computer programmer, a CPA and lately serving as a loan officer with an economic development district. Talk about a varied, multi-media career! Stu relates that “I still look at rocks, but wonder what they are.” Just to prove that he is not quite right in the head, he asked for Bob Dickerson’s (’77) address.
Peter Dea could fill his own book on his outdoor adventures - I’ll try to be brief - He climbed 5 of North America’s 7 highest peaks including Mt. McKinley and Mt. Logan; Nevado Huascaran in Peru (22,000”) the scene of an infamous debris avalanche; the world’s highest active volcano (Cotopaxi in Ecuador); he trekked the Khumbu region in Nepal; he did a 42 day ski traverse across Labrador; a 42 day climbing, hiking and kayaking traverse of Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska; kayaked Grand Canyon twice; kayaked in Costa Rica (including the famous Rio Pacuare, which Peter sent Tom and me to, in February) and finally sea kayaked in Baja. Whew! Somehow he finds time to work and after getting a Masters at Univ. of Montana, and teaching here for a year, he worked for a small consulting environmental firm for a few years, and then moved up to the big time with Exxon for many years mainly in Denver and Corpus Christi. Ask him to tell you his fire ant story sometime! For the past few years he has been with the highly successful (we hope - Tom and I are both stockholders) Barrett Resources Corp. in Denver with Paul Rady (’78). Peter is now Exploration Manager and Senior Vice-President for Barrett. His Cave Gulch Field discovery in Wyoming was the most significant gas discovery in the U.S. for many years. That last statement might be disputed by those who were in the weenie-wagon coming back from Taos after a big Mexican dinner in the late 1970’s with Dickerson, Brunel and McCabe - talk about a group!
Linda (Chermak) Glaxner was the first of the Chermak dynasty at WSC geology (See brother Rick, ‘77 & sister Janie, ‘79) and represents the largest single family group in our history. Linda has been in the uranium business ever since she graduated and may be one of the last uranium geologists around. She spent the first 5 years out of college working full-time for Homestake in Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico and Utah. After she got married and started raising a family she began to consult for Homestake part-time and has been doing so for the past 15 years, including a job this spring. Linda has two children aged 15 and 10 and operates a small stained glass business in Hotchkiss in order to retain her sanity. Nice talking to you Linda!
Denis Hall never really left Crested Butte after arriving in about 1970. After one summer of exploration with Mobil he has been employed in the newspaper business as reporter/part-owner of the Crested Butte Chronicle. In recent years he has taken a turn towards forest/ecology inventory (largely due to the influence of a lovely young lady, what else?) and seems to have found a pleasant niche for himself. He climbs lots of peaks, visits old mines and still collects minerals. His message is “Looking for rocks in all the right places: Looking for love in all the wrong places.”
Catherine (Hedin) McNeil is a rancher’s wife in the San Luis Valley near Monte Vista, Colorado raising organic beef and playing bass guitar and keyboard in a rock & roll band. She has recently become a massage therapist (that makes 3 with Nancy Wharton (‘83), and Kathleen Kelly (‘93) being the others). She worked as a geologist for quite a while at Creede, Platoro and at the infamous Summitville mine although she left before it got ugly. Cathy still skis a lot at Taos and Crested Butte. Cathy, do you ever run into Anthony (Doc) Doctor (‘89) at Wolf Creek? Look him up next time you’re there.
Fred Menzer III continued the WSC/CSU mining geology connection and has been in the mining business ever since. From January of 1979 to January of 1993 the was with Phelps Dondge at Morenci, Arizona, working his up the ladder till he was Chief Geologist He was involved with various responsibilities including mining and exploration geology, public lands issues and corporate water rights. From January of ‘93 till Oct., 1995 Fred was Manager of South America Exploration for Phelps Dodge based in Santiago, Chile. In Oct. 1995 he came back to the states and was the Manager of Geological Services for
PD for several mines near Silver City, NM, till December of 1996. At that time he was transferred to Johannesburg, South Africa as the Managing Director for Phelps Dodge mines in South Africa and duties include operations, marketing and sales for a fluorspar mine, representing PD at the board of directors level in Black Mountain Mining Company a joint venture that operates a lead, zinc, copper and silver mine with Gold Field of South Africa. I think Fred is in the Big Leagues. Fred and Vicki have two daughters, Valerie, 21 and Heather, 14 with Valerie a junior at the University of Arizona majoring in materials science and Heather in 8th grade in Johannesburg. Fred adds that for fun we travel and visit new, neat, exotic places. Fred, you've been everywhere, where could you go??? Never mind, I know.
Michael Miller went into Earth Science teaching in the Grand Junction area right after graduation, did student teaching under Linda (Powers) Barrett (‘68) and is now a counselor at Mt. Garfield Middle School.
Susan (Deleon) Monahan married Dennis Monahan many years ago and they have now resurfaced in Park City, Utah where they are in the throes of raising a 4 year old boy. Susan has been doing interior design for some time now.
Dawne (Miller) Pennell has been in the oil business ever since graduation with Dome Petroleum in Denver working with Nancy Molyneux (’77) & Freddy Frankel (‘77). She married and moved to Bakersfield, CA. I believe Dawne went back and got her Masters and is raising a family and still doing petroleum geology? She and her husband have 3 boys one of whom is entering the teen years. Good luck, Dawne!
William Quiggle is hiding out in Crested Butte where he does what he has to, to make a living. He has a wife and sweet little daughter.
Roger Semler has had a career that most would kill for. He started with the National Park Service in 1977 and has been stationed at such places as Katmai, Hawaii and Mt. Ranier National Parks. Didn’t you start out in Rocky Mtn. National Park, Roger? At any rate, the best is yet to come. Roger has been at Glacier National Park since 1986 and is currently serving as Glacier’s Wilderness Manager. How do you get all these great assignments, Roger???
Richard Chermak is back home in Hotchkiss after spending a number of years in southern California. Rick originally had a degree in microbiology from CSU, but upon hearing the good news about WSC geology from his two sisters, Linda (’76) and Janie (’79), got his geology major here and promptly got into the oil business doing mud logging in southern California. He designed oil well pumps for several years and then did general contracting. Finally, he left the bright lights of California and came back to Hotchkiss and has been with the Arco coal mine near Somerset and is now a supervisor there.
Al Clough has been around the world in the mining industry including working several years in Australia. He moved back to Alaska in 1985 and is now a “mining guru” for the Alaska Department of Commerce trying to promote and develop the mining industry in Alaska. He married a nice young lady, Jeffra, a ski instructor from Leadville a few years ago, while skiing in Utah. Al would be delighted to communicate with his old friends via e-mail or whatever.
Colleen (McShane) Cope Since graduating in 1977, Colleen has worked as a uranium exploration geologist, a hydrologist at the USGS, (mainly the Yucca Mountain Project) and for the past seven years as a hydrogeologist-project manager for an environmental consulting company (Foothills Engineering). From 1980-82 she was in the Peace Corps and was sent to a small island country in the Central Pacific called Tuvalu. She came back to Western to pick up a few courses after the Peace Corps. Colleen and her husband Larry, have been very busy in the last few years with their two small boys, ages 4 and 2. Colleen plans to go back to school for an education degree next fall so she can spend more time with the family! They have just moved to Ft. Collins.
Gail (Case) Davidson and her husband spent several years in the uranium industry near Moab (LaSal, really), but came back to Gunnison many years ago where she works for the city.
Robert Dickerson , as you might expect, has had an interesting and varied career. Right out of Western Bob worked in uranium exploration and then mud logging for John Brunel (‘76). He then became one of the many WSC/SMU graduates, following Tom Pronold (‘77). He got his Masters mapping in New Hampshire for a thesis but also doing (of all things!) carbonate petrography for Mobil Research. Now it gets complicated. He bounced around between the USGS, Kennecott, the oil business again, this time with Eric Lipinski (‘81), a stint doing climate control studies with the USGS in Alaska, environmental work on the Leadville Superfund Site and finally was sucked up into that great vortex of despair, the Yucca Mountain Project. He has worked there for the past 5 or 6 years and is now pretending to be a structural geologist and volcanologist. In response to my remark in my opening letter about the instability of hard-rockers, Bob remarks that “your rocks aren’t really done until they are cooked.” Touche’.
Jim Douglas is another one who reinvented himself after leaving here and has quite a varied career. Jim originally worked in radio for 3 years after graduation including a stint here in Gunnison, in Steamboat and in Bozeman, MT. He then worked in the coal industry in the engineering department and ended up working for the Routt County (Steamboat Springs) engineering department. Showing considerable courage and foresight he went back to school in 1986 and earned a Master’s in Civil Engineering, (geotechnical emphasis) at CSU and then landed a job with the California Transportation Dept. (Caltrans) in Sacramento. He is now a Senior Transportation Engineer with a staff of 8 or so engineers and does highway design most of the time, but responds to emergencies like flood damage and has spent the past two years performing seismic retrofit design for highways damaged by earthquakes. -Sound like a lifetime job - Jim! We would love to get you out here some day to give a talk!!! Jim still likes to ski and got into telemarking, but is mainly involved in motorcycles in recent years.
Mike Ford is in Ridgecrest, Ca, which is out there in the desert 30 or 40 miles west of Death Valley. Mike, do you ever get into Butte Valley and Striped Butte? We spent a night there on a field trip at an old cabin and crawled all over Striped Butte a few years ago. Nice country in the winter!! I understand it was a hang-out of Charles Manson. Mike started out working in mining in Alaska for 8 years and then went back and got his Masters at the Univ. of Alaska in 1988 (a long time between drinks, Mike!) and has been in Ridgecrest since 1991 doing various exploration projects. He is currently working for Homestake.
Fredrick (Freddie) Frankel may be the only person alive with only a Bachelor’s degree to stay (and succeed!) with a major oil company throughout all these troubled times. (Hmm. Now I think about it, you might put Fritz Merz (‘80) in the same category - so there’s at least 2). Fred spent 5 years with Dome Petroleum and has been with Texaco for over 12 years now, starting out in the Mid-Continent region. Fred hit the big time in the Gulf Coast and found at least one gas field (named after him!) but has spent most of his recent years working out of London on Eastern European prospects. He is just starting as the Project Leader for Texaco’s Poland gas exploration projects, which I understand is an eastward extension of the North Sea rift system. Freddie, you’ve come a long way for a kid from Chicago!
Lauren (Hart) Wolfe has divided her past 20 years between teaching science and math, teaching skiing at Telluride and managing a trail construction crew in the summers. Lauren went back to school and got a Master’s in Environmental Science Education in 1995. Last year she was a sabbatical replacement teacher in Cortez and is in a state of transition right now. She has two children aged 11 and 9. She still skis a lot in the winters and rides horses all she can in the summers - some things don’t change. We ran into Lauren last summer in Telluride and had nice reunion. Last I heard she was traveling.
Kim (Perusek) McDonald has suddenly re-appeared after going underground for nearly 20 years. Kim worked part time for Mt. Crested Butte for a year or so as their environmental geologist/planner - was the Director of the Western Colorado Rural Communities Institute at WSC and then headed off for the L.A. area. Like most people she couldn’t stand it there and decided to go back to school at Berkeley and got a Master’s in landscape architecture/environmental planning in 1984. While there she took a great dory trip down the Grand Canyon and a sea kayak cruise in the Sea of Cortez to some islands offshore of LaPaz. Not bad for a kid from the Roaring Judy Fish Hatchery. After Berkeley she worked for consulting firms doing environmental planning and was associate producer for a documentary filmmaker who did environmental films. As if that were not enough, she also helped create “The Cultural Conservancy”, a non-profit organization that helps protect traditional lands and sacred sites. In her spare time she married Michael Kelly, an architect from Berkeley, and now has two kids, 8 and 4. Michael is the director of the Housing Authority of New Orleans. More recently, Kim has become interested in midwifery and has helped deliver 20 babies, including her own! She is currently taking a year sabbatical from New Orleans in Durango to be near her family. OK, Kim, what next??
Nancy Molyneux is still trying to be reclusive, but we keep on finding her! Nancy worked for Dome Petroleum for a number of years in Denver along with Fred Frankel (‘77) and Dawne Miller (‘76). In fact, I sat on a Minnelusa well near Gillette, WY one summer and reported to her every day. Students Revenge! Nancy got caught up in the great oil crash of the 80’s and moved back East - completely. Nancy got married and has been doing interior decorating for some time and now lives in an old house on an island in Portsmouth, RI near Newport and close to Martha’s Vineyard (Peter Dea’s (’76) old stomping grounds) and Cape Cod. Such a deal!
Brad Pendergraft worked in mining and lived up in Alaska for a few years. In typical fashion for him, he studied maps and statistics from all over the country and found the best place to buy big chunks of land and settled on upstate New York! Brad’s original intent was to renounce the bright lights of civilization and go back to the land and be a farmer. So that’s what he did for a while, raising beef cattle, maple syrup, some vegetables and honey not too far from the Canadian border near the St. Lawrence River. In fact, while visiting Mary Lou Bevier in Ottawa one year we stopped at Brad’s farm and he proudly gave us a tour. At any rate, Brad found that this was a tough way to make a living and started out supplementing by driving a school bus. Then one day someone in the environmental business found out he had a geology background and hired him for a job. Not satisfied with the way that guy was doing it (also typical), Brad started his own firm and got up to his elbows in the environmental industry and had a pretty big business going with a staff of 20. He recently dumped it and is now in a state of transition.
Tom Pronold may have started the WSC/SMU connection, since I believe he preceded Dickerson (’77). After his Master’s there, Tom was in the oil business for a number of years in the Denver area, married a nice young lady that he refers to as cow-pattie (or more affectionately as “the buffalo”) and says he has to discipline her regularly - we all know the real story there, Tom. Tom has been an independent consultant in the Wichita area for some time and is currently working on a basal Chester sand field in Seward County, Kansas where he makes lots of money but then blows it elsewhere. Sounds familiar. The grapevine has it that Tom has a very good reputation and has done quite well! Tom is also enjoying raising a teen-age boy, just ask him.
Gregg Smith pulled a fast one and didn’t really graduate in 1977. He was missing a course or so and (much to his credit) finally completed the degree in 1987. For our purposes he is still in the class of 1977. Gregg has persevered through the ups and downs and has been in the oil business ever since he left here, starting out in mud-logging. He has been an independent since 1982 and has recently been consulting for UP Resources in Cheyenne County, CO on their horizontal Spergen wells, which requires expert sample analysis and is quite tricky. Gregg married Gaye (WSC art major in 1976) and has 2 daughters one of whom just graduated from high school and will enter pre-engineering at CSU in the fall. Gregg, good to hear from you after all these years and keep us posted on your drilling activities.
Gene Urie is still skiing after all these years. Gene has had the best of both worlds ever since graduation, doing ski patrolling in the winter and consulting geology in the summers and making it work very well. He has been at various areas over the years but has been in the Reno area for some time, patrolling at Alpine Meadows in winter. Gene and Susan Cole (WSC, 1978) are married and she works for the U.S. Forest Service as a botanist.
Eric Bard has been processing seismic data for almost 20 years now. He’s worked mostly in Denver but has been in Spain, Columbia and Brazil and has picked up Spanish and Portuguese as a result. Eric relates that he has begun performing a solo act playing sax, drums and singing “beatnik” jazz in a humorous vein. “Will play for food and/or beverage”.
Lance Barker worked in uranium with Pioneer-Uravan for a while, then went with Charlie Ponchak (‘73) and Mary (Fritz) Bromirski (‘78) at the Camp Bird Mine for some time until they shut down. After that he did consulting for a Canadian outfit on an open pit gold mine near Tucson. He is currently involved in opening an old gold mine near Lake City (the Golden Wonder) and is enjoying working with environmentalists and lawyers. Lance and his wife Kim have 3 children.
Mary (Fritz) Bromirski worked up at the Homestake Mine at Marshall Pass for several years, worked at the Carter/Raymond Mine on Gold Creek above Ohio City and then did a stint at the Camp Bird Mine near Ouray (see above). She is now doing “Personal Services” in Ouray. Mary says to leave it at that, it sounds more interesting.
Mark Fernandes worked in the oil industry for a number of years - I believe it was Husky Oil in the Denver area, but got caught up in the great crash. He bumped around for a while selling swamp land in Florida but is now involved in a good-sized re-cycling business with 35 employees in Connecticut, which I believe is the fatherland for him. Mark and his wife have two kids and sail in the summers and ski patrol in the winter. Not bad. Mark, you ought to look up Molyneux (’77) and husband some time- you’re practically neighbors!
John (Mic) Friedel reappeared with this newsletter request after 20 years. Mic is “co-sharing” teaching and geology and spent last year teaching in Kuwait and hopes to go to either Shanghai, Thailand or Venezuela next year! Tough choices??
Jack Irvine kicked about in the mining industry for a while, struggling to find full-time employment and finally landed a good job with Barrick’s Goldstrike Mine in Nevada during their major growth period. After starting as a geologist he moved into development working on the heap leach process, mill design and construction. This lasted till 1995 when Jack and the family (Cindy and kids) moved to Denver to work for Bateman Engineering. He has designed a base metal refinery for Stillwater Mining Co. in Columbus, MT for platinum, palladium, nickel and copper and a diatomaceous earth plant in Vale, OR. Jack just returned from Australia where he is working on autoclaves for nickel/cobalt and copper. Jack, sounds like you’ve become a geochemist and an engineer. My limited knowledge of this tells me that working with platinum and palladium retrieval is very tricky. No? Jack and Cindy came back to Gunnison in fall of 1996 for the 25th reunion of the tragic jr. high football team bus accident at Garfield below Monarch Pass. You old-timers may remember the story - Cindy lost a brother in the accident.
Pam Klessig has also been in the mining industry ever since graduation starting out at Homestake’s Pitch uranium Mine at Marshall Pass, then near Canon City with Cotter and moving on from there. She has done a lot of on and off the job traveling to places like Alaska, Chile, Honduras, several trips to Mexico etc. She has been in the Reno area for a number of years, mostly with Kennecott.
Chuck and Ann (McDonald) McWethy have been in Kodiak, Alaska for quite a while, salmon and halibut fishing and teaching geology in local schools. I got the surprise of my life about 10 years ago, one summer day, when Allen Stork and I came back from rafting the Taylor and there was Chuck with the biggest salmon I ever saw, draped over both his outstretched arms. “Hi! he said, this is for you.” “ I caught it 2 days ago in Alaska and brought it on the plane on ice.” We had a hell of a barbecue for two straight days for a bunch of people - absolutely the most delicious food we ever had. Ann is teaching 4th grade in Kodiak and they have 3 kids; 12, 10 and 5. They come back to Colorado frequently for vacations.
James Miller was originally in the uranium business after graduation in Arizona and Colorado and later in gold exploration in Indonesia. He recently earned another Bachelors degree in Computer Science from the University of Colorado and is now employed by Vexcel Corp. developing remote sensing software in Boulder. How about that!
Larry Moyer is one of the last surviving independent oil geologists in Grand Junction. He went to C.U. for his Master’s degree under my old mentor, Bruce Curtis and had a sort of internship with Jim Rogers and worked with Connie Dodge McKnight (‘70). Larry was employed in the boom years with Chevron out of Denver, becoming an expert on Rocky Mountain structural geology, among other things. He then went independent, worked out of California for a while and finally came back to Colorado and has been in Grand Junction for about 10 years or so. He’s been involved in wells in Colorado, Wyoming, and Oklahoma to name a few. He occasionally works with his brother Don, who is a landman, also in Grand Junction. Larry was host to a WSC contingent last fall for a field trip around Grand Junction and we were treated to great chicken-fried elk steaks.
Bruce Norton started out in the boom years with Chevron and then moved over to Mobil and joined old buddy and handball co-champion, Rick Stefanic (‘78) from 1979 to 1985. Bruce got more and more into the computer end of things and was doing a lot of computer generated mapping, mostly for coal prospects and some uranium. Hanging on longer than most during the crash, he left Mobil for the San Diego area and decided to try real estate for a few years (you tell me how he thought of this!). Coming to his senses, he left San Diego in 1991 and found his way back to western Colorado in Montrose working for Colorado Ute, the power company, doing computer work again. Temporarily he is in a state of transition (you might call it a sabbatical) but hopes to get on with a new, alternate technology firm in Montrose. Bruce has a wife and three Huskies - no kids.
Carol Ostergren has had another of those interesting and varied careers. She started out with the USGS in Saudi Arabia for several years and has great tales to tell of what it’s like for an American woman in the Mid-East. She then came back to the U.S. and ended up in Menlo Park, CA with the Survey doing a variety of assignments including report writing, the mapping division and helping out with earthquake analysis. Carol gave Deirdre and I a great tour of the Loma Prieta earthquake epicenter region in the spring of 1990, a few months after it was over. She was temporarily laid off in the great Saturday night massacre of the USGS a few years ago but bounced back and was rehired in 3 months. She is now managing the digital orthophoto quadrangle program for the national mapping branch of the USGS. She is married and had a baby boy, Taylor, last spring. A few years ago Carol visited Annie and Chuck Mcwethy (‘78) in Alaska and came back with 150 lbs of salmon. Do you see a pattern there with Chuck? She also relates that she attended Carol Saget Jessee’s wedding in Montana last December.
Paul Rady has been about as busy and successful as one could hope for. Paul did a hard rock thesis for his Master’s degree at Western Washington University and then (of course) joined up with the oil industry with Amoco for a number of years, doing a lot of work in Oklahoma. Eighy years ago Paul left Amoco and became Chief Geologist for Barrett Resources, a highly respected and successful intermediate-sized company from Denver. Barrett is well known in Colorado oil circles as the company who became the leading player in the Piceance Basin by putting together a delivery system for the gas there. Interestingly enough, it was another WSC graduate, John Brunel (‘76) who along with his father (Teton Energy) made many discoveries in the same area a little earlier. Paul’s rise with the company has been meteoric and he is now President and CEO replacing the founder, Bill Barrett in July of 1997. Barrett Resources has progressed rapidly and is on the New York Stock Exchange, has production in many states and is now involved in exploration in the upper Amazon Basin in Peru. Paul was listed as one of the top 20 executives in Colorado in the Denver Post’s annual business review last December. See the announcement of the summer research scholarship program sponsored by Barrett (see above).
Steve Reynolds is another survivor of the great oil crash and has been able to hang in there against all odds. He has been in the oil business more or less consistently for almost 20 years out of a Denver office, but also does environmental work to fill in the gaps. I seem to recall a big project consulting for an Indian tribe not too long ago. Steve is married and has 2 sweet little girls
Robert Spencer worked for 10 years in the oil industry then switched careers and is now accounting manager for a specialty apparel company in suburban St. Paul, Minnesota
Rick Stefanic started out with Mobil in the good years but got laid off in the great crash of the 80’s - sound familiar? He then went back to school and got a Master’s in environmental geology at University of Colorado in Denver and somehow found his way up to Billings, MT and is now working for the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Rick is married with 2 kids and does part-time ski patrolling.
Dr. Jon Ake went to New Mexico Tech. in Socorro and earned his PhD in geophysics. Interestingly enough, we have 3 WSC alums who have PhDs from Socorro and several who got Masters. Jon worked in the environmental industry in geophysics for some time and is now with the Bureau of Reclamation in Denver doing seismotectonic research (earthquakes) and is, according to the grapevine, one of the leaders in the field in Colorado.
Huntly Boyce-Armbruster After dabbling in minerals exploration in Colorado, Huntly attended graduate school in Vermont and then taught science for a number of years at the Brunswick Academy in Greenwich, Connecticut, a private boys school. She applied for and was awarded a series of grants to travel during the summer months and collected information, rocks, minerals and photographs for use in her classroom. Most of her trips were focused on volcanology and she visited such sites as Hawaii, Italy, Sicily and Iceland and as a result her students are well versed in plate tectonics and igneous processes. Way to go Huntly! I must admit this is very creative and shows you what can be done in education. Huntly married Doug Armbruster, a WSC alumnus and they have two girls. Huntly and family recently moved to Stowe, VT where Doug is working for the ski area and Huntly is now concentrating on raising their girls. However, she is already getting itchy feet and is planning to put together various science seminars and market herself as a guest lecturer to the schools in Vermont. Huntly and Myra Vaag (’79) have remained close friends and have taken a number of international trips together and keep us entertained with post cards from exotic places and even dropped in to visit us one summer day a few years ago.
Dr. Steve Bussey continued the WSC/SMU connection for a Master’s degree and then went on to Colorado School of Mines for a PhD. While there he helped us out one day on a rare (for us) Front Range departmental field trip. He has been working for Western Mining Corp. out of the Reno office since 1988 and is now a senior geologist for that firm. He has been on projects practically everywhere foreign, including; Peru, Chile, Argentina, Nicaragua, Mexico and Nevada. He has also been sent by the company to learn more about mineral deposits in such places as Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines and Fiji. What a deal!
Janie Chermak has probably one of the most interesting and surprising careers of any of our alums and that is going some. She originally worked for Homestake in the uranium industry for several years and then for FMC out of Denver and also some time with Pacific Gas & Electric. Sounds pretty ordinary so far, but it gets better. She went back and got a Master’s at Colorado School of Mines and then in the late 80’s got a PhD in Mineral Economics also from Mines. Now it gets interesting - She then taught mineral economics, etc. at the U.S. Naval Graduate School in Monterey, CA and while doing so traveled all over the world (Asia, Mideast, even Romania) teaching short courses, workshops etc. to military and government personnel. She recently took a position in the Economics Department at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Indeed, she has come a long way for a country kid from Hotchkiss, CO. I’m impressed!
Ann (McDonald) McWethy See Chuck McWethy ‘78
Robert Messana graduated with Bachelor’s degrees in both business and geology. He went to work in the oil business for 10 years and then went on to earn a Law degree from CU in 1992 (where did we go wrong?). Recently Bob started his own pre-grind ready-to-drink gourmet coffee business, Cafe Fresco, Ltd. in Ft. Collins. Bob, my daughter and grandson live in Ft. Collins- we have to try your coffee and get together soon.
Ken Nibbelink was one of the first from WSC to work under Frank Ethridge at CSU and got his Masters there in sedimentology. Ken has been with Amoco practically since graduation, originally working on a Front Range uranium play for Rocky Mnt. Energy and then moving into oil. He has been in Houston for some time working the margins of the Cretaceous Seaway in the U.S., in Africa, and now in Venezuela. Ken has stopped by here several times to give talks to our students who are always impressed. Ken came through town last spring and this winter for a quick visit and we had a nice talk and catch-up. Ken is one of the world’s leading authorities on Canyonlands and was back there again last spring for vacation.
Mark Stewart is now in Houston with Schlumberger but spent a number of years in Bakersfield, CA.. Mark graduated on Aug. 10, 1979 and on Aug. 15 started work as a field engineer trainee. Since then he has worked as a manager, engineer and in sales in 8 different states including; CA, CO, NM, WY, WV, OH, OK and TX. He has been married for 12 years and has two beautiful daughters - that seems to be the rule Mark ! Mark comes to Gunnison when vacations allow. He stopped by just recently and we had a nice visit.
Kevin Taylor pops up in Gunnison several times a year on business and we usually get together. Kevin was one of our first grads to get into the environmental business and is still doing quite well in it. He worked with Industrial Compliance Inc. for some time along with Scot Donato (’81) and more recently started his own outfit, Geo-Recovery Systems Inc. out of Golden.
Myra Vaag started out at Amstrat running samples immediately after graduation. Afraid of going blind peering into a microscope all day, she headed off to the Univ. of Arizona and got a Master’s degree working on Permian carbonates in Arizona in 1984. Interestingly enough, Myra donated her thin sections along with quite an extensive library and we still use some of them in Seds. She started off on a temporary assignment with the USGS mapping in eastern Nevada, but then got into oil and gas consulting doing regional stratigraphic studies in the Denver and Williston Basins. (I think Connie Dodge McKnight (’70) was working with this group too). She then got married to an old high school friend, Bill Lugsch, in 1988 in Hawaii. With the temporary demise of the oil business, Myra joined the growing ranks of environmental consultants in 1990 and worked at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal and Rocky Flats. Currently she is investigating and cleaning up sites at old Lowry Air Force Base in Denver, which was closed in 1994 and is being developed for residential and recreational use. Myra and her husband enjoy fast cars, skiing, bicycling, golf and traveling.
Lindie Brewer started out in uranium exploration for Mobil Oil in Colorado in neat places like Berthoud Pass. However, as you all know the uranium boom subsided about the same time as the great oil crash so she wangled her way into the USGS in Denver working for the seismology group on earthquake damage information and mitigation. Lindie came up to Western one time a few years ago and gave a nice presentation about her work to our students. Unfortunately, she got caught up in the Saturday night USGS massacre in the fall of 1995, so she has been through 2 separate bloodletting’s. She worked for awhile in the environmental business closing down Rocky Flats and then doing technical writing for Dyncorp. She must be made out of rubber since she is now working for the State of Colorado as an Environmental Protection Specialist supervising environmental matters and has occasion to run into several WSC people in her new line of work.
Dave Colburn reports that after some ups and downs in oil shale, mining and the oil industry through the 1980’s, he got into the environmental business in 1990 with EnviroClean Rocky Mountain Inc. where he is co-owner. One unique aspect of his company is that they do emergency response to railroad derailments. Dave was married in 1983 to Carla and they have a 4 year old girl. They have a small irrigated farm and grow corn, alfalfa, and hay. Dave keeps busy with various activities including hunting, fishing, dirt bikes, T-ball, soccer, basketball, football, gymnastics and ballet!
Kent Dow went to work immediately after graduation with the Bureau of Reclamation as an engineering geologist as had his brother Gary (‘72) before him. Kent has worked on numerous projects including tunnels, dams and pipelines in Utah, Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico. He met his wife, Andrea in Montrose while working on the Ridgway Dam (I presume it was in church, Kent? I hope it wasn’t in the Stockmen’s?) and they have three children.
Peter Dwelley continued the WSC/CSU connection in economic geology and started work for FMC in 1983 and continues with them! Pete did primarily exploration for 8 years and then became Environmental Manager at the Royal Mountain King gold mine in California. Following the sale of FMC gold he became the Environmental Manager at FMC’s Princeton, NJ Research & Development center, a 700 person facility working with every chemical known and unknown. Sounds like a big deal to me, Peter - I’m impressed.
David Groy is working for Foothills Engineering in Golden along with Colleen McShane Cope (’77).
Rod Herd decided to go into teaching and got his teaching certification from Western in 1985 (there seems to be a missing 5 years here Rod - CIA work?). Rod and his wife, Debbie and daughter Tamara then moved to southern California where Rod has been teaching Chemistry and Physics at Ontario High School and Debbie has also been teaching. They both are very much involved in educational technology and staff development and were awarded several large grants for technology programs at their schools. Rod likes to go to Lake Powell every year to enjoy fresh water and the nicely bedded sedimentary rocks of the Colorado Plateau instead of the smashed mess one finds in southern California. Rod did you know that Allen Stork our “new” (since 1985) hard-rocker went to high school right next door to Ontario at Upland High.
Jeff Houchin owns a geotechnical engineering/soils testing business. Jeff is married with 2 kids and the family shows Appaloosa horses. Jeff is also a part-time ski patrolman at Copper Mountain It’s hard to get Crested Butte skiing out of your blood!
Brian Johnson passes through Gunnison several times a year and usually looks us up and relates his latest adventures. Tom Prather and I had a very educational breakfast this summer with Brian as he explained the ins and outs of the stock market to us. After the crash, Brian got smart and got a Masters at Mines in Mineral Economics and ended up working for the New York Mercantile Exchange as their oil and gas price analyst. He did that for some time but just last year went on kind of a sabbatical to act as a consultant to energy companies in Australia through the Sydney Futures Exchange Ltd. Brian the financial wizard, who would have thunk it! Again, I’m impressed.
Bob King is another one of the WSC grads who has spent some time down in Australia and has been around a bit, but always landed on his feet. Bob started out as party manager for a seismic crew with CGG in Colorado, Montana and North Dakota, where Bob reports it is almost as cold as Gunnison (used to be). Bob worked with both Eric Bard (‘78) and Kevin Taylor (‘79) in the Denver office of CGG. He then went to the Gulf Coast with Sohio doing 2 and 3D seismic interpretation from 1982 to 1987 and watched oil go from $30 to $12/bbl in a few years. Didn’t we all! So, Bob joined the Peace Corps and worked as a water engineer for two years in the Solomon Islands and loved it. From 1990 till this year he was in Australia with Santos Ltd exploring for Permian gas and Jur./K oil in the Cooper and Eromanga Basins “situated more or less in the red center of the bloody continent, mate.” In late June Bob and family moved back to Houston after he landed a job with Unocal and just recently hoisted a few with Fritz Merz (‘80). Bob married a young lady from New Zealand and they have a one year old boy. What a career!
Mark McMullen spent eight years as an independent well site geologist in North Dakota, Montana and Nebraska (Williston Basin, anyone). Shifting gears like so many of you had to do to stay alive, he got into the environmental business in 1988 with Industrial Compliance (now Terranext). He’s now manager of the solid waste program and is mostly involved with landfills doing design, permitting (fun!), operations, monitoring and construction. Mark married Anne Garbrick (WSC, 1980) in 1982 and they have 3 girls. Of course I remember you Mark!!
Walter (Fritz) Merz gave me the most interesting business card I ever saw, because one side is in Chinese. Fritz has been with Esso or its clones since graduation and has mostly worked southeast Asia, although I think he is more permanent in Houston now. Fritz (and Esso) gave a major contribution to get our dinosaur reconstruction project off the ground about 10-12 years ago and that money has been well utilized. Thanks Fritz!
Carol Mooney has had another of those interesting and varied careers that you folks of the 80’s have had to cope with. Carol started out with several oil companies in the Denver area until 1985, when she put together her own technical support outfit for oil companies called Star Tek. At the same time she started working on a Master’s in Earth Science education at Univ.of Colorado, Denver and subsequently got a job teaching at the Los Alamos, NM public schools in 1989. Carol was awarded an NSF grant one year to work with Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota teaching and putting together a carbonate field trip to Belize. In 1993 she left teaching and went to work with Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) in the Science Education and Outreach office coordinating the undergraduate student research program sponsored by DOE. She is currently working for the Human Resources Division of LANL where she is the coordinator of the Graduate program. She stays involved in geology by leading field trips into the Jemez Mountains working with small children, weekend fossil and mineral collecting and mentoring graduate and undergraduate students in various science programs. She has also helped us out on several WSC field trips to New Mexico. Carol was married on Oct. 12 in Los Alamos to Victor Hogsett.
Steve Ruffe is one of our local Gunnison boys and my former next-door neighbor. He has done several career changes, but is now back in Gunnison doing quite well with a water softening business with his brother.
Doug Dennison After graduating from Western, Doug spent a number of years in temporary jobs in the mining industry and finally gave up and decided to go to graduate school. He got his Master’s in 1986 at Eastern Washington University in geochemistry and then worked for several years at the Hanford site in Washington and at Oak Ridge, Tenn. for the D.O.E. Doug finally got back to Colorado in 1991 and is currently the manager of Denver operations for Advanced Sciences Inc., an environmental engineering and consulting firm. Doug got married about 3 years ago to Keri and they had a boy, Noah in June of 1996. Doug surprised the hell out of me in the summer of 1996 by popping up, completely un-announced, on a geological tour I was doing on Crested Butte Mountain. It was a nice surprise, Don’t wait so long between visits.
Roger Doak is in the Denver area working in the solid waste division of the Colorado Dept. of Public Health and Environment. Roger and his wife adopted a little girl from China a few years ago.
Scot Donato is also in the environmental business in Denver. He was with Industrial Compliance for some time with Kevin Taylor (‘79), but more recently made a change to do environmental work for an oil company?? according to my source, Doug Dennison (’81) , who keeps track of all of these derelicts.
Mollie Bee (Dozier) Lechman worked for 3 small oil companies in Denver from 1981 to 1993 (which was pretty tough to do in that era of cut-backs). Mollie got married and moved to a small town in southern Illinois and is now a full-time stay at home Mom for two small children! Wow Mollie, you may be the last one left in the U.S. (and that is meant as a compliment!).
Kyle Ernst was working for a wholesale food outfit for some time but has been with Entech Engineering in Colorado Springs for the past 6 years. Kyle has a 7 year old son and a 1 year old daughter.
Gary (Harv) Harvey is a surveyor with an engineering firm in Lakewood. He and Doug Dennison (’81) see each other on a regular basis.
Gregory Jarrell began working for Colorado Interstate Gas in 1984 and is still with them. Must be a record for your group Greg!! He worked in the Reservoir Engineering and Production and Storage Depts. in Colorado Springs for some time, but transferred to the Brush/Ft. Morgan area in 1994 to develop a new natural gas storage field just north of Ft. Morgan.
Bryan Roberts is another of you who was able to reinvent himself. Bryan originally worked as a mud logger in California in the early 80’s, but saw the writing on the wall and went back to school and got a Masters in 1985 in Hydrogeology at San Jose State. He then started in the hydro-business with Brown & Caldwell Consultants of Pasadena at the staff level doing the usual sorts of contaminated ground water remediation. In 1991 he left BCC for ICF Kaiser Engineers Inc. located in Fairfax, Virginia and has been involved in hydro projects such as an old army base in Tennessee having TNT and RDX contamination. He is now a project manager for ICF keeping 10-15 people busy with an operating budget of over $2 million mostly operating in the east and southeast. Bryan is married to Kathleen Rose and they have 5 children aged ten to one
Tom Shrake has had about as successful a career as one can in the mining business at his age (and stay honest). Tom got his Master’s at the University of Idaho, specializing in geochemistry, got a job immediately and has been on a roll ever since. He worked for several outfits and finally landed one of those stock option deals as VP for exploration with Gibraltar Resources in Reno a few years ago. They have been quite successful in South America in recent years and Tom has helped out several of our graduates with jobs, advice and other stuff. Now the plot thickens. Gibraltar was taken over by Westmin in October, 1996 and since they didn’t need another VP of exploration they had to buy out Tom and his shares of Gibraltar. What a deal - Why wasn’t I that smart? At any rate, in February 1997, Tom accepted the position of CEO/Director for Pacific Rim Mining Corp, an exploration firm that focuses on precious metals in Latin America. They have a big gold-silver mine in the Andes of Argentina. He also hired Dave Ernst (‘78) as his Chief Geologist. Tom and the former Anne Bouchet (she was a cocktail waitress at the Red Dolly for years, which I guess you all know is extinct) have 3 kids, 10, 5 and 3 and still manage to spend a lot of time together in places like Bonaire, etc. Tom and Anne keep up with several old WSC friends including Kathy Hedin McNeil (‘76).
Gary Skipp is with the U.S. Geological Survey out of the Denver office and judging by his name seen on several publications is involved in sedimentary processes. Rumor has it that he almost has his Master’s finished at Colorado School of Mines. Do it Gary!
Dr. Don Sweetkind continued the WSC/SMU connection and got his Masters there while working part time with the famous Hunt oil company. Don also took some time out during his Masters and came back to Western and helped us out one year by teaching Mineralogy, Petrology, Stratigraphy, Physical Geology and Advanced Structure (and sneak a little skiing in here and there) !! A true renaissance man! Don then went on to get his PhD at Colorado School of Mines, overlapping a bit with Steve Bussey (‘79). Don’s PhD thesis was involved with a USGS drilling project into the Creede caldera. Don is currently with the USGS and at least working part time on the infamous Yucca Mtn. Project along with Bob Dickerson (‘77).
Peter Thurston has been in the mining business ever since he was a pup. He got his Master’s in Montana and has spent much of his career in Alaska. Currently he is working in Chile and Argentina as Exploration Manager for Westmin Resources Inc. Peter was here a few years ago and gave us a good talk on some of his interesting prospects.
Ken Tornquist is a Geophysicist Supervisor in Oklahoma City with Western Geophysical. A couple of years ago I was having dinner downstairs at the Cattlemen’s (it’s still there!) when I noticed two guys in the booth next to me - Guess who? - Ken and old buddy Kevin Taylor (’79), who were up for the weekend to do some ice-fishing on the reservoir. We had a nice talk (and drove my Deirdre crazy since I left her sitting alone for 20 minutes or so).
Kristen Andrew Hoeser worked for two years in Colorado Springs for a geotechnical company, got married, moved to Telluride (quite a change!) and other places in Colorado. She then came back to Colorado Springs, had two boys (aged 9 & 6) and has been working for Entech Engineering for the past three years along with Kyle Ernst (‘81). Kristen writes Geologic Hazard reports for developers and also volunteers as a Naturalist for the Parks Department in Garden of the Gods and Cheyenne Canyon.
Dennis Beaver got a Masters at Washington State Univ. in ore deposits in 1986 and worked for a while at the Hanford site looking for a geologically sound disposal site in the basalt. He then went to work for Battelle as a research scientist doing computer fracture analysis, remote sensing and other stuff. Out of the blue he got an offer from a mining company and in 1989 went down to Albuquerque doing gold and copper exploration all over the west. Worried about the future of mining he went back to work for Batelle doing more remote sensing and started some environmental work. He finally was able to wangle a job back in Colorado about 2 years ago and is now with Mincom, a mining software company in Denver where he develops software and trains geologists to use it for geologic modeling and mine planning, mostly in the coal mining industry. Dennis did the Ride the Rockies tour and came through Gunnison last June. We had a nice get-together and reminisced about the good old days.
Ray (Cheeno) Cherniske is now in Petaluma, California- but life and jobs took him along a devious path to get there. Ray started out with Unocal Corp. in Grand Junction working on the oil shale project near Parachute, CO for 8 years and then was transferred to Los Angeles for various assignments including the Corporate Staff (big time - Ray!). He then was transferred to the Bay Area to work on the Richmond Pipeland and Terminal Facilty in 1996. Ray mostly worked as a health and safety professional, but in 1995, got an MBA degree at Pepperdine University supported by Unocal. However, with the recent acquistion of Unocal by TOSCO Ray was unemployed and took a 4 month sabbatical. He is currently employed by MedPartners, a doctors practice management firm as a regional safety manager but they are in process of an acquisition and Ray wants to know if anyone needs a health and safety professional. Ray married Lynn Rohrig (WSC) in 1987 and has a daughter and a son, 10 and 8 respectively. You might recall that Ray was the first recipient of the Val Mitchell award. This is given to the outstanding junior geology major every year to commemorate Val who died in a tragic car accident the night before graduation in May of 1981.
Richard Dickerson sent me 5 pages of biographical history, (which is much better than most of you did) so I’ll attempt to abstract it. After graduation he hung around Gunnison for a few years doing various jobs and met his wife, Glenda, a Gunnison local. He moved to Denver to seek his fortune and found not much going on in geology at that time (no surprise to most of you) but through the help of Scot Donato (‘ 81) Dick got started in the mud-logging business in North Dakota. Dick and his wife didn’t care much for 2 month long stints so he quit and got a teaching certificate in math but through a complicated series of perturbations, ended up in Bakersfield, California. There he started working for Epoch, a high class logging company and he has been with them ever since. He has been all over California including stops at the Salton Sea geothermal field and the Geysers geothermal field near Santa Rosa, in Nevada and Alaska with some offshore drilling platform experience. He is now in the office writing and maintaining data base programs that the loggers use and this summer started writing Epoch’s well logging program for Windows 95. Epoch has just been bought out by Nabors Industries and Dick may be transferred to Houston. Dick and Glenda have two boys, Sam 10 and Elias 5.
Nancy (McGee) McManus was able to land a job with an oil company right after graduation, but ended up teaching in Ft. Collins for 5 years or so. She is now in Seattle working at a high class restaurant (The Metropolitan Grill, for you folks in the Pacific Northwest) has one daughter who is 2 and one on the way. Nancy is married to a chef, Casey McManus (another restaurant).
Randy Menk started out doing electron microscopy for Honeywell in a semiconductor lab. After 5 years he joined Intel in Albuquerque as a (get this) “defect reduction engineer” where he runs experiments to identify sources of defects on silicon wafers. He recently finished his MBA in Technology Management at the Univ. of Phoenix in Albuquerque. Randy has two boys, 6 and 9 and has been married for 10 years. Randy’s brother Jim lives next door to the old Red Dolly, which, sad-to-say, has been defunct for many years
Eric Ruud worked for a geotechnical firm in Lakewood right after graduation, but then came back to WSC to take some courses preparatory for medical school. While waiting for his applications to be accepted he decide to work temporarily for Cone Geochemical in Lakewood. The rest, as they say, is history. Eric did so well with Cone in Denver that they transferred him to be the head of operations in Reno in 1984 just as the great gold boom of the 80’s was hitting Nevada. He stayed with them for 12 years doing mining assays. In 1996, he took a position as the U.S. General Manager for Bondar-Clegg Inc. another analytical service company for the mining industry that operates on a worldwide basis. Looks like Eric has hit the big time. Needless to say, there is another side to this story and that of course is Laura Nelson Ruud (see below) who married him in 1985 and moved with him to Reno and became his right-hand (maybe left, too) for many years at Cone all the while raising two children, Alex, now 9 and Erica who is 7. Eric and Laura as well as Tom and Anne Shrake (‘81) are the linch-pins of the WSC geology alumni in Reno. The group of up to 20, depending on the year, gets together periodically. Both Tom Prather and I have been out there several times for festivities.
Laura (Nelson) Ruud finished up at WSC in December, 1982 (so she officially graduated in 1983, but because of familial relations we’ll put her here). Laura started out as a junior geologist with an enhanced oil recovery company in Golden and worked for them for 2 years on projects in Wyoming and Kentucky. She then married Eric in 1985 and moved off to Reno with him, little realizing what she was in for. She worked as a geochemical lab technician for two years and then went to work with Eric for 7 years at Cone. She is currently working part-time at Sierra Mining and Engineering in Sparks, Nevada as office manager, which means doing everything. Anybody passing through Reno is warmly invited to call the Ruud’s at 702-626-9354.
Sue Barrett was probably our toughest alum to track down, but persistence and Kent Wheeler (’83) finally found her hiding out in La Salle, Colorado. Sue was in the airline industry for a number of years including doing selling and being a stewardess. She is now in land development up in Meeteetse, Wyoming where she and her boyfriend purchased an old ranch.
Brad (Bruno) Boshetto went to the University of Utah where he got a Master’s in Sedimentology. I know, because I just happened to be in Salt Lake (consulting for Kennecott) the day he had his orals and I knew his advisor so I was there to harass him still further. He defended quite well. Brad landed a job with Shell doing exploration for 5 years in Houston. When they started to downsize and eliminated his position, he was able to re-invent himself as an environmental geologist and moved to Los Angeles with Shell about 5 years ago- A pretty neat trick! He notes that he is finding more hydrocarbons in environmental than he did in exploration. Brad has been married for 9 years now and pretends to stay young by surfing 3-4 days/week. Not bad duty. Brad keeps in frequent touch with many of his old WSC buddies, and there is a sizable west coast chapter what with Brad, Bill Bazlen (’82) and Dale Marcum (’83) on the coast and Kent Wheeler (’83) and Elliott Lips (’83) in Salt Lake City only a stones throw away.
Dan Brookshire started out mudlogging with Columbine right after graduation and lasted 5 years with them working in southeast Colorado, Nevada and Utah. In 1988 he was hired by Parsons Engineering in Denver as a staff geologist. His duties include field work and report preparation for RCRA and CERCLA site investigations, remedial investigations, feasibility studies and remediation at federal institutions throughout the U.S. (Whew!) He is currently a project manager for Parsons and is working on remedial investigations at Fitzsimmons Hospital in Denver, Buckley Air Base in Denver and Fort Irwin Training Center near Barstow, California. Dan works with John Evans (’83). He is currently working towards an advanced certificate degree in GIS and hopes it will turn into a Masters degree. Dan was married to Kristi in 1994 who is a broker for Meridian Aggregates in Englewood (she sells rocks). They have no kids and one dog and windsurf, scuba dive or fish in their free time.
Bill Cathey I hadn’t heard a word from Bill in 15 years, so imagine my surprise on homecoming weekend 1997, when he and his wife walked into my office on Friday afternoon. We had a great visit, a considerable amount of reminiscing and he filled me in on his rather interesting and successful career in the oil business. Bill went to work for Amoco right after graduation (he never did explain how he pulled that off, since the crash had already started) and got trained by them in various specialties including geophysics. As Amoco downsized more severely in the mid-80’s he went off on his own and is now part-owner of a geophysical outfit called Earthfield Technology in Houston. They work globally and he has a picture of one of his 3-D seismic images on a recent issue of the AAPG. Looks like Bill is doing very well. Way to go!
John Evans started out mud logging for over two years and then went to CSU and got a Masters in sedimentology under Frank Ethridge. By this time Frank was getting pretty impressed with WSC graduates like Liz Robbins (‘80), Ken Nibbelink (‘79) and then John, all of whom were tops in Frank’s classes. John spent a year in Houston doing sedimentology, but then got into the environmental business in 1990 in Denver and is still there. He’s worked with several environmental outfits and played the standard tunes in the Denver area like Rocky Flats and Fitzsimmons (what a bonanza for geologists - and lawyers!). He’s been with Parsons Engineering Science for several years along with Dan Brookshire (’83).
Rod Graham went to Colorado School of Mines and got a Master’s in mining geology in 1987 (thesis: Blue Moon sulfide deposit in Mariposa Co. Calif.) and has been a global traveler ever since. I kept getting mysterious email and phone calls from him and we finally connected over Thanksgiving. Here’s his story: “After the Masters, worked as a mine geologist in Witwatersrand gold mine in So. Africa for one year, then did gold exploration in the jungles of Venezuela for three and a half years (and writing long, strange letters to Mary Lou and me) , then spent three years drilling a huge copper-zinc massive sulfide deposit in southwestern Spain, then a year and a half working on an arsenical gold deposit in far northern (where else?) Kazakhstan and for the past two years doing gold exploration in West Africa (Cote d’ Ivoire, Guinea, Male and Burkina). Still single, still love my work, no plans to change anything, anytime soon and can’t believe someone actually PAYS me to what I do. Of course, there are the occasional problems, e.g. malaria, dysentery, riots, extortion, etc. but, hey, that makes pretty good cocktail party blather!” Sounds like Rod hasn’t changed much - I hope not! In the last 10 years Rod has been in over 40 countries and every continent except Antarctica.
Craig Huff spent the first year after graduation doing field work and then got into the environmental business mostly doing geochemical stuff at superfund sites. Craig married Jennifer Rauen, also WSC class of 1983 and they have two children, frequently coming back to Gunnison to return to the scene of the crime.
Darrel Lamb has been working for Lockheed Martin/Martin Marietta for the past 12 years as a mass properties engineer. He’s currently working on the Titan IV launch vehicle. Now, how on earth did you get into this specialized, highly technical area, Darrel?? I assume you got an engineering degree somewhere after WSC. Darrel married his long-time sweetheart Susan Goetz in 1986 and they have two beautiful children. I ran into Darrel and Susan at an alumni reception at the Museum in Denver a few years ago. They look absolutely identical to the way they were in 1983.
Elliott Lips got his Masters at CSU in environmental geology and has been in that business ever since. I seem to remember Elliott got a summer job with the USGS and worked on the great Thistle Slide near Provo, Utah and came here and gave an excellent talk on it. However, he is probably more famous for being a part-owner of the Poplar Place (a nice drinking and eating establishment in Moab). Elliott is married, lives in Salt Lake and keeps in touch with a lot of his buddies of the class of 1983.
Dale Marcum worked as an engineering geologist for a few years after graduation and then went back and got his Masters at Cal-Berkeley in Geotechnical Engineering in 1987. Dale is now working for Wm. Cotton & Associates in Los Gatos, CA , a small, but highly respected engineering geology firm. I believe he is their landslide expert. One of the biggest surprises of my life (and probably his, too) was running into Dale in one of the more obscure corners of California, Lava Beds National Monument, while on a 1995 field trip investigating recent volcanic and earthquake activity in northeast California. I about fell over when he came up to me the first day and said; “Dr. Bartleson, I presume”? I was on sabbatical then in California. We had a great visit and reunion and he showed me one of his landslides he was working on near a power plant. Dale is married and has a 1 year old boy, Sam.
Graydon (Conan) Martz is in southern California and is Vice President for WGR Southwest, Inc. He supervises staff, project and senior level geologists, hydrogeologists and engineers in the design and implementation of Phase I and Phase II field investigations. And there's more!- Gray has over fourteen years of professional experience in environmental, geotechnical and petroleum exploration and participated in over 150 environmental assessment and remediation projects in southern California. As you can tell, this is from his professional rap sheet he sent me, but in other conversations he still sounds like the same old Conan.
Laura (Nelson) Ruud see class of 1982.
Jeff Stewart did mud logging in Utah and Wyoming for several years and then was able to land a position with the USGS National Water Quality lab in Denver in 1992. He’s involved in water quality investigations but says he really missed his calling as a ski bum.
Neal Stringer has worked in Boise, Denver and Houston for several years, but decided to move back to western Colorado “ because it’s a better place to live.” Amen!
Kent (Wheels) Wheeler got his Master’s in Watershed Resources at CSU in 1986 or 87. He’s been in the Salt Lake area more or less, ever since, in the environmental business.
Mark (Nanook) Winters recently resurfaced after being underground for many years - another victim of Netsearch! Mark went to Western Washington University in Bellingham and received an M.S. in geology working on a copper-moly breccia pipe in Oregon for his thesis. Mark credits Mary Lou Bevier with influencing him to attend graduate school. Mark then went to Reno to work in mineral exploration and spent some time working with Eric Ruud (’82) at Cone Geochemical and doing contract work. He then found a job with Groundwater Technology in the San Francisco area and entered the world of environmental consulting. He was transferred to Seattle in 1988 and met his wife-to-be at work (JoAnne) whom he married in 1990. After 5 years there Mark and JoAnne left Seattle because of the crowding/urban stuff and went to Eugene, Oregon where he works for EMCON, another environmental consulting firm. He says he does a lot of landfill analysis. He became a Registered Professional Geologist in 1996. He is currently living in a small town (Monroe, pop. 480) north of Eugene on a mini-ranch where they tend to their “kids”: over 30 llamas, 4 horses, 6 pygmy goats, 2 dogs and 3 cats and no humanoids.
William Wyatt writes from Amarillo, Texas that he is impersonating a chemist and has been a semi-professional mountain bike racer for the past 15 years. It’s a long ride to the nearest mountains, Bill!!
Andy Allen worked in the local City Market store here for many years and finally decided to go to law school and did it! Andy is now an attorney in Crested Butte. Most of you who knew him back in 1984 would barely recognize him now - dark gray pin-striped suit and shaved head! But, it’s still Andy.
Gayle (Sanderson) Gallegos has recently resurfaced (after her letter got lost in the depths of the post office for 6 months) and was able to supply us with addresses for Rick Graff (’84) and Joe Spiegel, (’84). Gayle is working for the University of Colorado Foundation, which raises money for CU, in the Human Resources (Personnel, for those of you over 40) Department. She was up here at Thanksgiving for boarding-dude. Thanks a lot Gayle!
Hal Schlicht went back to school and got a B.S. in Civil Engineering at CSU in 1989. That takes a lot of grit! He is now Senior Project Engineer and Vice President for Northwest Colorado Consultants, a small geotechnical-environmental consulting firm in Steamboat Springs. Hal says he really enjoys Steamboat and the slow winters usually give him plenty of time for powder skiing. I don’t remember you being a ski nut, Hal, but you’ve got the right idea.
Kathi Baechtold is a research chemist with M & M Mars company where she serves as a trouble shooter for their products. She also travels for the company and puts on seminars, training courses etc. In other words she is a big shot! A few years ago Kathi came back through town on the way to L.A. and we spent an enjoyable evening with her and her old buddy Gail Bindner (still at Monarch Ski area) as well as with Rick Jagger and his wife. Kathi has a little girl. I believe Kathi got a Masters in chemistry at CSU.
Wilson (Liv) Bowden is working in Glenwood Springs with CTL/Thompson, Consulting Engineers as a staff geologist doing environmental work. We ran into Liv at a special environmental geology conference of the Western Slope a year ago in Montrose.
Vic Brice spent the first 9 years after graduation in the Army, his first choice for a career. Vic and his wife Kim lived in Georgia, Washington, Alaska and Texas (an interesting mix!) and Vic traveled to such foreign ports as Thailand, Egypt, Israel and Japan. (I thought it was the Navy where you see the world!). He spent a 6 month peace keeping tour in the Sinai Peninsula where he learned to deep-sea dive in the Red Sea. When the Army started to downsize Vic got out and he and Kim now own a cattle ranch about 90 miles east of Colorado Springs near Wild Horse which is a bit on the small size, but they like it that way. Hope you guys didn’t lose too many cattle in the blizzard of October, 1997!
Andrea Heller bopped around Crested Butte for a while designing cross country ski clothes and working at Le Bosquet after graduation. (They have moved Le Bosquet just recently and it is now in the new "mall" near a movie theater at the south end of town). In 1986-87 she worked up in Alberta at the Canmore Nordic Center as they were preparing for the Winter Olympics. Andrea cam back to the Boulder area and did some teacher certification stuff and then came back to Western and did her student teaching here in Gunnison in the Middle school earth science classes. She got a job teaching science in Salt Lake but got more interested in Special Education and got a Masters at the University of Utah and a certificate in Visual Impairment and Blindness Orientation and Mobility. She has specialized in visually impaired
students and taught in the Provo, Utah school system for several years after her Master's. She is currently in Fruita, Colorado (just west of Grand Junction) and travels throughout the school district working with the blind
kids at various schools. She likes being at the edge of the desert and the mountains and invites everyone to look her up if in the area.
Cindy (Klinker) Jenkins got a job with Chevron directly after graduation which was a pretty good trick in those days. She worked for Chevron for 4 years and then went to graduate school at the University of Colorado in Denver and got a Master’s in Accounting in 1991 and passed the CPA exam the same year. In the meantime she married one of her Chevron cohorts (Steve Jenkins) and they transferred to Indonesia in 1992, where two children were born, Anna-Marie, 3 and Benjamin,1. In August of 97 they moved again, this time to Nigeria. Cindy and Steve and kids were here for a visit last spring when she just popped in one day out of the blue - A nice surprise!
John Lamborn has had a rather varied and colorful career. After graduation John was working as a roughneck in the oil fields of Oklahoma. It so happened that I unexpectedly needed a field assistant for a stratigraphic study for Amoco in the Chama, NM. area. To make a long story short, since he was desperate to escape from Oklahoma, he quit the roughneck job and came to work for me for just a few weeks, but the rest, as they say, is history. This led to a contact with USMX, a small mining company working in Nevada where he quickly established himself as a major leaguer in the gold business. John has been in that business ever since although he did take a brief sabbatical running a tire shop in Durango. John is now in Alaska working on the Illinois Creek project. John and Kit have two children, Molly and Jaci, who are growing up fast. Just before John left for Alaska last spring, we met his family in Canon City along with my daughter Lynne, who had just had a baby boy. It’s frightening to have my grandchildren talking (not exactly) to Lamborn’s children, when just a “few” years ago we were measuring sections and drinking Bohemia beer together in Chama - What a concept! Time marches on.
Dan Vogel says “Hello” from Anchorage, Alaska, via John Lamborn (’85). According to John, Dan works a little and plays a lot, somehow maintaining his college life-style long after graduation. Dan is in the Boone & Crockett record book for a huge Kodiak bear.
Lisa Cole-Starkebaum has worked in oil & gas since 1988 and for the past 2 years has had her own consulting business out of her home. She is now in the process of starting a digital mapping service, called MapInteract, with an associate that would provide base and geologic maps to clients in both mining and the oil business. Lisa married Neal Starkebaum (native Gunnisonite) in 1988 and they now have two boys aged 3 and 10 months.
Clint Crowell sent a nice email letter detailing a rather interesting career. After graduation Clint got a job with Groundwater Technology in Cleveland, OH where he conducted groundwater and soil remediation studies. Within a year he opened a new office for them in Iowa and then switched jobs (undoubtedly for a huge raise !) with another environmental firm in Chicago and Iowa. Tiring of the consulting life, he became a partner in a remediation equipment manufacturing business in Minnesota (Product Level Control) making remotely operated equipment and had some large projects. All this time, Clint had a secret desire to be a writer and after opening an office in California he decided to stay there and try his hand at a different career. Since then he has acted in several national commercials, has done marketing and public relations consulting for environmental and high tech. projects and is actively pursuing a writing career.. He recently finished his first novel. Clint will be getting married next year and just returned from a long vacation through northern California and Oregon with his fiancee. That is nice country. Sounds like the good life to me - Way to go., Clint!
Dr. Robert Fillmore got his Masters degree at Northern Arizona University in 1989 working on Cretaceous syntectonic conglomerates near St.George, Utah. He then went to Kansas University for his Doctorate, working part time for the Kansas geologic survey with the famous Don Baars. He also spent the summer of 1992 in Houston working for Exxon doing 3-D seismic imaging in the Gulf. He completed his thesis in 1994, working on Tertiary extensional tectonics and sedimentation in the Mojave Desert He has been a part-time instructor at Northern Arizona several times and filled in for me as a sabbatical replacement at WSC in the fall of 1995. He is currently here at Western filling in the hole left by Tom Prather’s transitional retirement and Allen Stork’s department chair duties. He is currently writing a popular book and road log for the geology of the Colorado Plateau and has a publisher in the University of Utah Press. Rob married Hilary from Flagstaff & NAU in 1995 who has recently landed a job doing GIS work for the town of Crested Butte. Chubs died several years ago and has been replaced by Kaya. Rob and Hilary are expecting a humanoid type in March.
Mike Luksik works for Jacobs Engineering in Atwater, CA. Best of all, he is still rafting and has a private permit for the Grand Canyon from April 26 through May 17, 1998 with the possibility of positions open. Contact Mike!
Dr. Kurt Panter worked for the USGS the summer following graduation doing research on fluid inclusions and liked it so well he continued this program for his Master’s degree at New Mexico Tech. in Socorro. His thesis dealt with some mineral deposits in the Dragoon Mtns. of Arizona. He then shifted gears and worked on volcanism in Antarctica for his doctors thesis and has continued this research for a post-doctoral fellowship. Kurt came here in the spring of 1993 when Allen Stork was on sabbatical and taught the hard rock courses for us. It was fun to have him back. Kurt is married with a little girl, Sage, around 6 and recently had twins. He is very actively looking for a teaching position.
John Axelson worked in mining for three years after graduation in Cripple Creek. In the past seven years he has been consulting in the environmental sphere and has pretty much kept employed the entire time. He is now with Brown & Root Environmental. John was married in 1993 to Dorothy and lives in Arvada, but still makes it up to Gunnison at least once a year.
Doug (Sluggo) Holzman You might recall the last we all saw Sluggo he was heading off with his mother, Jim Peak (Christine’s (’89) husband) and Tom Prather on a cross-Atlantic voyage. You might be happy to learn that they all survived, more or less. After this, Doug worked in the mining industry for about 3 years in Nevada and Montana for USMX with John Lamborn (‘85). Doug says that after weeks in the field at a time and other problems, his dog was starting to look inviting, so he decided to move on to something else. He spent a short time windsurfing in Hood River till his money was gone and then got into the aviation business. Since 1990 he has been a flight instructor, corporate pilot, Alaskan bush pilot, freight pilot and finally an airline pilot for Horizon Air out of Portland, OR. He married Deanne Kafka (WSC, 1988) in 1995 (never knew her in Gunnison) and they now have a baby boy.
Jon Kaminski went to Idaho State and got a Master’s in Geohydrology and worked for EG&G at the nuclear disposal site west of Idaho Falls, ID. Jon came back to WSC in the fall of 1991 as sabbatical replacement for Tom Prather and taught a course in Hydrology which Allen and I both “took.” It was done really well and as a result got me off my posterior and we have been offering a course in hydro (mixed in with petroleum, so it’s really “Subsurface Fluids”) ever since. After the sabbatical Jon went back to work with EG&G for a while but then got married and when last seen was in Tacoma, WA trying to consult and raise a baby. No news for a while - What’s up Jon??
Gregg Smith - See the class of 1977
Steve Spalding I must relate the sad news that Steve Spalding was killed June, 1996 in an accident while he was biking. He was riding to a graduation party when he was struck from behind by a pickup truck. He was 4 days away from graduating with a masters in educational counseling from Northwest Nazerene College in Nampa, Idaho. He was 33. We got a letter from his parents who live in Evergreen.
Dan Zadra has managed to hang on in Gunnison and make a living. Despite my best efforts to get him into the mining industry, Dan worked as a ranch hand for a number of years around here. He is now a local field officer with the Department of Wildlife and almost arrested me last spring when I took a class a half mile up Beaver Creek when it was supposedly closed for big game protection. We were measuring a section of West Elk Breccia. P.S. He let us off the hook and even gave us a key to come back the next day.
Scott Effner finally decided to give up bicycle racing, grit his teeth and become a bona fide geologist (which of course, you all knew he was going to do anyway). Scot worked for Tom Shrake (‘81) in the Nevada mining scene for a while and got talked into going to graduate school. However, while there Scott had a change of heart and decided that the mining industry was not quite for him and instead got a degree in hydro. He also met his wife, Susan Wyman, while in graduate school. They both work in the environmental industry in the Denver area for different companies - Susan for Jacobs Engineering and Scot for Hydro-Geo Consultants. They have become somewhat yuppified with a house out in Lakewood, complete with pets, but no kids and Scott still gets a few miles in now and then. Scott and Susan dropped in on us at the department last summer and we had a nice visit.
Carol (Gallatin) Bieniulis has been a geochemist for Ebasco (now Foster Wheeler Environmental Corp.) for over 8 years, which must be a worlds record for continuous work with an environmental firm. Carol has presented papers at conventions in Vail and is published in various environmental publications including the Journal of Soil Contamination and Journal of Exploration Geochemistry. Trying to keep busy as possible, she also works as a volunteer for the Friends of Dinosaur Ridge in Morrison leading field trips on the Dakota hogback and is now into the business of making fully-jointed mohair teddy-bears and other soft toys for children for fun and relaxation. She is guest chef once a month at a local brew-pub specializing in low-fat ethnic, vegetarian food. Carol was married a few years ago (as the name implies) and inherited a teenager.
John Gamble stayed on here for several years as the first director of Wilderness Pursuits, an outdoor activity club for all campus. He dropped out of sight about 5 or 6 years ago but responded to our letter and informs us that he now has 2 boys aged 3 and 6 months. John married Nancy Madden (WSC, 1988) and recently moved to Batavia, Illinois, to be near his extended family, after living in Nederland for several years. That’s quite a change, John. He is currently finishing renovation of an older home and is in the real estate business.
Gerald Gust is still living up above Cotopaxi along the Arkansas River Canyon. Last I heard he was doing a variety of skills and crafts including making high class walking sticks that he sells at fairs, etc. He kindly donated one to the department a few years ago to help us aging faculty get up the slopes.
Mark Owens After catching all the fish in Cochetopa Park, Mark is currently employed as a field archeologist with New Mexico State University. He also works as a lithic analyst for Western Cultural Resource Management and for Moore Anthropological Research of Farmington, NM.
Mark Templeton has been working for Gunnison County in various positions ever since graduation. He was County Sanitarian for a while but is now in Titles and Abstracts or something like that. Mark and Shary have been married for many years now and raised some very successful children.
Anthony (Doc) Doctor As you might recall Doc was quite an accomplished river guide and he took great delight in trying to drown Tom Prather and me several times whenever we were so foolish to get in a raft with him. Actually we had a great trip with him in Brown’s Canyon on the Arkansas the summer of his graduation, as I recall, as well as the alumni raft trip on the Green River. Doc is still at good old Wolf Creek Ski Area where he is the assistant director of the ski patrol in winter (We’ll really try to make it this winter, Doc) and does architectural design work in the summers in the Pagosa Springs area. He is talking about going to a physicians assistant school in Montana. Mike Warner informs us that Doc is the entrepreneurial king of Pagosa. Doc is married and has a daughter who is going on 2.
Ann (Annie Clements) Eckman has been in the environmental business since the beginning (Didn’t you get a summer job with Chevron doing water quality due to the efforts of Cindy Klinker (‘85)? Annie moved to Connecticut and worked there while her husband was getting his Masters degree. They are now back in Denver and she is working for EnecoTech where several other Western Staters have passed through such as Tim Kelly (’72) and Rick Graff (’84). No one who was on the alumni raft trip down Gray and Desolation the summer of 1989 will forget Annie, nor will I forget the time she threw a pencil at me (it was probably justified) and almost took out my eye. I still have the mark; Annie!
Christine Peak is living it up in Montrose being retired, and volunteering for work with people who are needy, but is talking about going back to college to refuel her brain cells. Christine and Jim just got back from a trans-Atlantic crossing, sailing from England on their 35 foot ketch, Blue Pearl, all the way down the French and Spanish coasts to Morocco to the Canaries. Then a tough trip across the Atlantic in November to St. Lucia. where they spent 5 months cruising around the Caribbean. She took a break from the voyage and spent the summer in Colorado at their vacation cabin up Ohio Creek and then off to Australia to see her folks. Her daughter Kara just graduated from School of Mines and is working for an engineering firm in Denver doing alternate energy (wind) research. Her son, Jefferson, whom some of you will remember from the San Juan River trip of 88 or 89?, finished a year at D.U. but is taking a year off doing salmon fishing in Alaska. My daughter Lynne will never forget finding herself alone in the boat with 12 year old Jefferson after Scott Wilson and I got bumped out in the 8 foot rapids on the San Juan River.
Doug White had an internship with the U.S. Geological Survey doing fault cyclicity analysis along the San Andreas Fault in California the first summer after graduation. However, the lure of gold brought him back to Colorado and he has been working in the Cripple Creek area ever since for the Pikes Peak Mining Company.
Norman Yoast is teaching Earth and Environmental Science in the Craig Middle school in Craig, Colorado, more or less going back to his roots. Norm married Deb Gaswick in 1990 and they have 2 kids, Lindsey 5, and Colten now over one year old. Roger Spears (‘84) is in the same school.
Julie(Clarke) Coleman-Fike After majoring in practically everything at the college including Geo-Anthropology, Julie went to CSU where she got a Masters in History, of all things (and a little graduate work in Archeology). Somehow she parlayed this into a job with the Bureau of Land Management, originally up in the Big Horn Basin of Wyoming. She got transferred back to Gunnison where she is now the geological and archeological resource manager for the Gunnison district of the BLM. In other words, she is now our supervisor for any BLM land field work. Sweet revenge! Julie commutes from Montrose (sound familiar Christine? - But, I’ll bet she hasn’t beaten your world land speed record!) where she lives with her husband Rich Fike, who is the state archeologist with the BLM.
Mark Larson is another one with a varied and interesting career. After graduation Mark worked for Tech Resources of Canada on the Powderhorn titanium deposit and then alternated seasonally between contract archeology and ski area work for a few years. Mark then went to CSU and got his Masters in Anthropology in 1995 working on opal phytoliths and bison teeth geochemistry He started his PhD work at CSU in Interdisciplinary Ecology. He has most recently spent a year at Western teaching the WSC Archeological Field School at the Tenderfoot site, managing the WSC Archeology Lab and teaching GIS. He is now continuing his doctorate by exploring light stable isotopes in arctic food webs at the University of Wyoming while managing the plant ecophysiology lab there. Mark and Anne now have three children aged 7, 5 and almost 3.
Greg Hill got his Masters in mining-type geology at New Mexico Tech. and immediately went off to Nevada to seek his fortune. He worked for a few years for Santa Fe Resources but after the Newmont buy-out he joined Cambior Exploration USA. He is doing exploration in the Great Basin and works out of the Reno office.
Greg Tovrea started out doing asbestos analysis work for a few years, working with the same outfit that Jeff Wingerter (‘78) was with. He moved into work with the USGS and is now hanging out in Parachute, Colorado with Jill and 2 kids doing oil well sample analysis for Barrett Resources and consulting. I still owe Greg a bottle of Southern Comfort from the Delta, Utah field trip - I don’t think any of us will ever forget the night’s festivities at our campsite near the trilobite quarry.
Duane (Ken) Kenlon is the office manager and first Vice-President for one of the up-and-coming businesses in Gunnison, Jan’s Hair Salon. Ken has had several short-term jobs for local government agencies including working for the Park Service at Curecanti National Recreation Area (Blue Mesa Reservoir) as a museum technician, and two separate stints with the Forest Service doing archeological surveys for proposed timber sales and doing an ecological inventory for the Gunnison National Forest. He stays busy with various church-related activities and lots of fishing and hiking with Jan.
Tom Woosley worked for the USGS in the summer of 1992 and then got a job with a solar home construction company. Jon Kaminski (‘87) arranged a summer job for him at the Idaho National Engineering Lab (nuclear disposal site) in the summer of 1983. Tom is now working as a geologist for Parsons Infrastructure and Technology in Idaho. He was married in February of 1997 to Lori Johnson in Coeur d’ Alene.
Mark Brown got married and is living in Parker, Colorado. Stiger thinks he may be taking classes at Metro towards a teaching degree.
Dave Lazorchak has been doing contract Archeology work off and on ever since graduation. He had a notable job down in the Phoenix area excavating Hohokam skeletons. Dave surprised the world and got married to Jennie Ellis of Gunnison in September down in Las Vegas.
Bob Richardson went with the Park Service after graduation and spent time in various places including a stint in Los Angeles working with movie companies filming in a National Recreational area. He finally gave up on that for a career (partly for romantic reasons) and came back to the Denver area, bought a house and married his long time, suffering, girlfriend Melissa. Bob is now with the Arapahoe County Sheriff”s office mostly working with high school kids on the D.A.R.E. program. Bob and Melissa were up here for Homecoming this fall and we had an enjoyable evening with them and Tom Prather. His message is “Hello, you little b--------s.”
Eric Dillenbeck has been in the mining business ever since graduation. He got a job working with Peter Thurston (‘81) on Prince of Wales Island one summer and then Tom Shrake (‘81) hired him for a big copper project in Chile. Eric is now with Recursos Americanos Argentinos, a subsidiary of Northern Orion Explorations and having a great time on a large porphyry copper, gold, moly deposit in Argentina. Seems he has met an Argentine lady!!! Eric gets back here periodically and usually visits and gives us his latest fishing, hunting, etc. stories. He spent last Nov./Dec. hunting with Paul Jacobson (‘93) with whom he keeps close touch.
Jason Eckman is doing contract work with Alpine Archeology out of Montrose, but still commutes from Grand Junction at least some of the time.
Kirsten (Forkner) Sanders has been working full-time at Six-Points in Gunnison ever since graduation. Two big changes have recently occurred. One, she finally bought the house she has been renting for years here in town (the big, old brick and cinder block place near the high school) and two she got married in June to Mike Sanders from WSC. That’s big news.
Chris Lawson is still young and already has had a varied and colorful career. If you recall Chris and Pete Stelling (’94) both worked for the Colorado Geological Survey the summer after graduation. Chris got married in the fall or early winter that year. He recently landed a job with Bentley Systems Inc., in Exton, Pennsylvania and is becoming a computer geek explaining geo-engineering software to clients. He and his wife have had a second child, a boy, just recently.
Suzanne (Schauer) Carmody has been teaching in junior high school in Colorado Springs ever since graduation and is really enjoying it. She is now the department chair (due to her “bold” personality - her own words) for her school and gets to teach a little earth science as part of a “blended” science curriculum. She has started work towards her Masters degree at Univ. Colorado, Colorado Springs. But the really big news is that Suzanne and long-time boyfriend Shaun Carmody, were married last summer.
Pete Stelling After working with the Colorado Survey mapping in the Glenwood Springs area, Pete is now working on his Ph.D. at the University of Alaska with the Alaska Volcano Observatory “I’m working on a thesis trying to determine the difference between main vent eruptions and flank vent eruptions using seismicity, geochemistry, thermodynamics and geodynamics. Anyone is welcome to visit, but give me plenty of notice.”
Brian Cellura kicked around Gunnison after graduation for many months waiting for a mining job to open up in Africa - It never happened, but old reliable Tom Shrake (‘81) came through again and found out about a position for a grunt level job with Uranerz out of Reno. He seems to have taken to it like the proverbial duck to water and has taken off! He’s already co-authored a paper on Paleozoic stratigraphy on the north Carlin trend and hopes to enter graduate school fall of 1998 and may get funding from the USGS to continue that study. Way to go, Brian! Brian and Beth were married after graduation and are making their home in Reno.
Rosemary (Hart) Carroll was awarded a great scholarship at the University of Nevada in Reno and is working towards a Master’s in hydrogeology. According to unbiased sources she is, no surprise, “kicking butt” in graduate school. She is working as part of a team on an NSF grant program that is studying the transport and fate of mercury within the Carson River and Lahontan Reservoir system. Her main contribution involves running a very complicated computer program (WASP) for hydraulic conditions and sediment transport. She hopes to get into contaminant transport upon completion of her degree. Rosemary accidentally bumped into Pete Stelling (‘94) at an AGU convention.
Eric Jordan worked on a drilling project in southwest Utah for Kennecott for the summer after graduation. He has since returned to Gunnison and is driving a bus for Alpine Express and writing a book on the geology of hiking trails in the Gunnison Country.
Kelli McKeon worked for Julie (Clark) Coleman-Fike, (’90) with the BLM after graduation here in Gunnison on a temporary basis. She then was able to find work with a local surveyor, Jim Furey, and has been with him ever since. Kelli was married last year.
Catherine (Morgans) Fisher and her husband built a cabin in Pitkin and have opened a retail store selling outdoor products there. She was working seasonally as a surveyor for the BLM and is considering graduate school in geology.
Renee Brekke took the summer field archeology program in France last summer and is planning on getting married soon.
Kurt Feltus was hanging out in Gunnison for a while but is now in Florida working for (get this!) Palm Beach Water Sports.
Alan Wartes is a living model of how you can scramble at 3-4 different jobs and support a family in Gunnison. He is singing at the Gunnison airport lounge, starting a writing career, driving the school bus and teaching Physics labs at the college.
Rebecca (Becky) Biglow got a job in northern California in environmental geology.
Richard (Rick) Butler is teaching Physical Sciences in a private academy in Connecticut, which is exactly what he always wanted to do.
Amy Crawford has made the U.S. Nordic Olympic team! She spent the summer training in Alaska and is now in Park City, Utah working with her old WSC coach, Miles Minson.
Sean Hlousek started out with a recycling firm in Denver, this summer, but it didn’t work out. He is currently seeking other employment in the environmental business.
Sonia Hutmacher is working on her Master’s degree in archeology at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales. Usually reliable sources say that she is enjoying graduate work and is a T.A. for a Dendrochronology class. Her thesis will be on Paleolithic fragments in high altitude regions in the southwest.
Lynn Padgett spent the summer on an internship with the USGS in Denver doing hydrogeology. She started out doing absolute, bottom-of the-line grunt work (like washing trucks) but slowly worked her way up to doing real hydrology at the infamous Rocky Mountain Arsenal. She is now working on well evaluations and ground water contour maps and the good news is that the internship has been extended through next September. Lynn took some classes this fall like Calculus 3 in preparation for graduate school.