Geology Alumni Newsletter News Notes 2002
Bruce has summarized your letters, e-mails, and phone conversations. Thanks for updating us and telling us what you are doing. Please take a moment to tell us what you're doing if you haven't already. Information from you helps us assess the Geology Program. We do listen and appreciate your comments, whether critical or complimentary.
Graduates by Year:
Harry (Dusty) Vader ('78) (1955 - 2001)
We are saddened to report the death of Dusty Vader on September 14, 2001 who succumbed to bipolar illness. Dusty graduated from Gunnison High School in 1974 and came to Western determined to major in geology from the beginning. I remember going fossil hunting with him and his mother when he was still in grammar school. Many of you from the 60s, 70s and 80s will remember his play house "Davy Crockett's House" on the north side of Highway 50 at the Vader ranch about 8 miles east of Gunnison just east of the turn-off to Saguache. He graduated in 1978 Cum Laude and married Candy Caldwell whom he later divorced. Dusty worked in the oil industry (I believe it was Gulf Oil Co.) in Wyoming and Montana until 1986. He then moved to Denver where he started his own business, Omnicom Communications. He married Cheryl Cohen in May of 2001.
Gary Christopher reports that he is now retired and for a "hobby" is studying the North Italian Mountain Lapis Lazuli deposit. Gary came by our departmental open house on Homecoming and chatted with the geology staff.
Linda (Powers) Barrett and her husband Bob keep up a lively email correspondence with me. Like Michael Jordan, Linda has come out of retirement (the great ones come back) and is teaching Earth Science at Fruita-Monument High School again. This time it is just for a year as a sabbatical replacement. Their son Andrew was an eyewitness (living across the street) to the Sept. 11, World Trade Center attack and along with his girlfriend barely escaped without serious injury. They both were outside and close when the first tower collapsed and were knocked down and nearly suffocated by the dust and fallout before they could make it to the ferry at Battery Park. Their younger son Colby is in the Marines (after going to Berkeley and Oxford) as a rifle platoon commander and stationed in Hawaii, at least for now.
Paul Ching is still retired and doing well in the Seattle area. He is now working part-time as a volunteer with the local fire department doing emergency communications in conjunction with his ham radio hobby. Paul and I have had a vigorous email exchange in the past few days, which is fun! Hint to all of you!
Howard Fishman is still with Chevron in Midland, Texas in geological and geophysical support (you should really get hardship salary, Howard - I know, I spent 2 years hard time in Midland). He recently celebrated his 26th anniversary with Sheryl by going to Alaska, visiting Anchorage, Fairbanks, Denali and Prudhoe Bay.
Dick Jones has got a pretty cushy job (no surprise!) working on cruise ships as a bridge instructor. Dick, you really should stop by - it's been a long time!
Jon Untiedt and I just had a long, pleasant phone conversation and I find he is still doing contract land work out of his home as an independent consultant. Jon has been in the oil business one way or another since graduation and still enjoying it. I really do have some good fishing spots Jon! Come on up next summer.
Connie (Nuss) Dodge Knight has recently (1999) completed her PhD at Colorado School of Mines - Actually she has two (2) PhDs from Mines, one as a geological engineer and one in hydrogeology. Congratulations, Connie! She is now working for Baker-Atlas Corporation doing borehole image analysis. When she told me that - I said huh?? Turns out she is in on the cutting edge of a new logging technology that allows one to get an image of the borehole so you can see and identify sedimentary structures, enabling one to determine depositional systems and sediment transport directions. All of this in the borehole! Interestingly enough WSC geology has now had 4 of our students complete a PhD at Mines (aka "The Royal Academy"): Steve Bussey ('79), Janie Chermak ('79), Don Sweetkind ('81) and now Connie. Not Bad!
Dan Larsen is still in Puyallup, Washington and he is now consulting in the Health, Safety & Sanitation industry (sales), which is a practical use for his science education.
Glenn Lund reports in for the very first time - Welcome back Glenn! Glenn is in Loveland, Ohio, an exurb of Cincinnati, where he is the National Account Manager for Comfort Systems USA - Well, I had a clue what this meant, but I blipped it up on the WWW and was highly impressed (comfortsystemsusa.com). Comfort Systems USA is a very big-time outfit with over 11,000 employees nationally and designs, consults, etc. in energy efficiency, service and maintenance for commercial buildings. Glen is in the Major Leagues! After graduation, Glen started out building homes and doing commercial blasting in rural Woodstock, NY (which, as you trivia experts know was NOT the site of the famous concert- but is a very nice town!). While working on wastewater treatment systems he crossed paths with Dames & Moore and spent the next 10 years working for them in Annapolis, MD designing wastewater collection and treatment systems. The plot thickens: while skiing at Alta he "ran" into an old high school friend who owned a mechanical contracting company in Cincinnati and signed on with him. Shortly thereafter (1996), Comfort Systems acquired the firm, and Glenn looks like he moved up the ranks quite rapidly. He has 3 children, Erin, already graduated from college and Erica who is at the University of Alaska, Anchorage, while Erik is 11 and already a great skier.
Ken Snyder I saw Ken in Reno at a mining conference about a year ago. Ken has had success in the mining business and even has a mine named after him in Nevada. I also asked him if they gave him a cut of the mine profits? Very funny - Ken's response was characteristically terse - NO! Good to see you Ken!
Neil Brasel finally turned up after nearly 30 years and we talked on the phone a few weeks ago. I found out about him from a guy with (naturally) a drink in his hand at our Homecoming cocktail party. At any rate, Neil has had quite an adventurous career. After graduation he started out in the oil industry as a mud logger but working in rather exotic places such as Singapore, Indonesia, Iran, and Florida (how did that sneak in there?). At any rate, Neil got smart and out of the logging business and went to work for Dresser Industries as a drilling consultant and finally ended up doing a lot of training. After his mother died in 1991 he came back home to the Kansas City area, got out of the oil business and started up an insurance business, which he remains in to this day. However, in our discussion he expressed a desire to get back into the oil business - it does get into your blood, doesn't it?
Tim (TJ) Kelly was in town back in October and we had a very pleasant dinner at the Tomichi Inn (now called Josef's). Tim is now with the State Land Board and is the manager of leasing for these lands in Colorado. The State Land Board administers over 4 million mineral acres held in trust for the school children of Colorado. The revenue from the leasing of these mineral rights contributes to the state's education budget and amounted to some $17 million for fiscal year 2000-01. Since they know Tim was a geology major at Western, they keep a sharp eye on him!
George Podsobinski has been teaching high school earth science for 30 years now is finally going to hang it up in June of 2002. Congratulations, George - you have my utmost respect and admiration -high school teaching is a very tough and undervalued profession! By the way, my next-door neighbor was on an educational trip down the Green River (Labyrinth and Stillwater Canyons) last summer and George was the geological guide. I'm happy to report that (no surprise) my neighbor (a middle-school earth science teacher himself) was very impressed.
David Westhoff is now in Reno working in hydrology with Nimbus Engineers, which happens to be the same company Kirk Swanson ('83) is with. You might recall that Dave had been in Indonesia at the famous Grasberg mine for several years. What a change.
Roger Huffman has been missing for many years but finally turned up this year. He reports that he worked in the mining industry for most all of his career including stints with Magma, American Girl, FMC, Homestake, etc. He is now working seasonally with the Forest Service as a lookout. Roger phoned in that he was coming to our Homecoming bash, but somehow we missed him!
Charlie Ponchak and I have more or less frequent phone conversations despite the fact he drives here once a week to pick up the dry cleaning from his Gunnison facility to take to his headquarters (Kilbanes) in Montrose. Charlie recently moved from the Ouray area to Montrose and is still involved in a bit of geological consulting where he enjoys jousting with government lawyers. His son is a recent graduate of West Point and was probably in Russia recently, having to do with the Afghanistan stuff, but he's back now. Charlie, we really should get together for lunch, coffee or what have you, when you're in Gunnison. Give me a call; I've got a lot of free (sort of) time now! .
Steven Biesman recently completed an internship in spiritual direction at Mercy Center in Burlingame, CA and will soon be dividing time between construction -woodworking business and spiritual direction practice. He continues his activity on the executive board of the Metonia Society for the 25th year.
Ray Hensley checks in and says hello to everyone!
June (Galvin) and Bob Just - June is working with Geographix in downtown Denver. Her daughter Kelly is going to UNC in Greeley and is on the soccer team that advanced to the sweet sixteen in the NCAA Division 2 tournament. Bob is working for CamWest Exploration LLC as a senior exploration geologist. Bob and June kindly hosted me for a few days in Denver for the GSA convention 2 years ago and dropped by this summer with old buddy Mary Jean. Why don't you two (3?) come on up for skiing some time this winter - it's looking like it might be a good year after all. Monarch has lots of snow!
Elliott Crist - I saw Elliott in Reno last winter at an alumni party at Tom & Anne Shrake's ('81) house while recruiting for the college. The big surprise was meeting Elliott's very nice daughter (how did you do it, Elliott?) a few days later at her high school where she was a senior. I trust she went to UNR, Elliott? I was forbidden to try to recruit her for Western. I didn't!
John Danahey was up here for the Homecoming bash with his entire family. He is in the environmental business.
Don Graham and I are more or less geological consulting partners now, having done 2 projects together in the past few months. Our "big" contract was with the local Forest Service to find rocks! (How's that for typecasting - think we're qualified?) Actually the Forest Service wants an inventory of all construction stone ("dimension stones") and sand and gravel deposits on Gunnison National Forest land. Don is doing the final report as I type this - yes, he'll get more money! Thanks to Julie (Clarke) Coleman Fike ('90) of the BLM for setting this up for us. Don and I are also doing some geological site analysis work together up in Crested Butte. Don has about a half to two thirds time job working for a surveyor and is making a living (almost) as a geologist in Gunnison.
Peter Herzberg would have come to the Homecoming celebration but he had a previous engagement - tuna fishing offshore from New Jersey, which got cancelled at the last minute by high seas! Oh well-Their big news is that Peter and Tina have moved to Corning, NY after many years in Seattle. Tina got a very interesting job as the Curator of Contemporary Glass at the Corning Museum of Glass. (Corning Ware-get it?) Peter sold his furniture stores in Seattle and has been consulting for another museum, the Rockwell Museum of Western Art founded by Robert Rockwell from Paonia, CO. However, Peter is seriously considering taking a big leap into a totally new career - high school earth science teacher. Brave move, Peter - interesting how you and Colleen (McShane) Cope ('77) are both switching to this career in mid-life.
Kevin McAndrews spent four days up here during Homecoming and we had time to do some fishing together as well as the usual drinking and eating at the Cattlemen's along with Rick Milne ('76) and Lauren (Hart) Wolfe ('77). It was like old times and a lot of fun for all of us. Kevin was greatly impressed at how much Gunnison has stayed the same, which is not true of Crested Butte. He and the others got a complete tour of the new Hurst facilities and they came away shaking their heads at how state-of-the-art it is. Kevin is still in Austin, TX working with his brother in the electrical power brokerage business. Kevin and I have a lot of fun exchanging emails in a friendly dialogue (exchanging different points of view and new ideas) about global warming. If anyone wants to join in, email me (email@example.com) and we'll cut you into the program. We almost convinced Rick Milne about some of the data and got him to move a little to the left of Rush Limbaugh (but it took a lot of beer).
John Murphy was up here for Homecoming with his lovely wife Rose Mary. John is still in the custom cabinet business and does many big time contracts.
Peter Dea has had a very busy year that includes so many moves in 9 months that would be enough for most people in an entire career. Here's the rundown. Peter had succeeded Paul Rady ('78) as CEO and Chairman of the Board of Barrett Resources a few years ago and continued to grow the company - in fact - so well that two different companies, Shell Oil and Williams Production, started fighting over buying them out. At any rate, Williams finally won the bidding war and Peter was suddenly unemployed because Williams also had a CEO and there wasn't room for two. So Peter took some time off, starting building a cabin up on Cement Creek, near Crested Butte and romanced a young lady so well that he got married. About that time he also found a new job with Western Gas Resources Inc. as (guess what?) CEO, Chairman of the Board and Director. Western was a competitor of Barrett and also is a leading coal bed methane producer in the Powder River Basin as well as production in the Gulf Coast, the Mid-continent and southwest U.S. and also is involved in gas gathering, processing and transportation thereof. Peter recently pledged $50,000 to the Bartleson-Prather summer scholarship program (see above)over the next 10-years. A very generous commitment. How do you say thank you for something like that - Thanks, Peter!
Denis Hall is still up in Crested Butte writing for the local newspaper and working for environmental causes. Denis and his wife Nancy (Wallof) Nicolaisen were among the many celebrants at the Homecoming reunion. We recently had a great night on the town in Gunnison with dinner and then a classical recital starring that well-known flutist, Deirdre Fotescu.
Fred Menzer III drove up from Silver City, NM with his wife Vicky to enjoy the Homecoming celebration in Gunnison for the first time in many years. Fred has been with Phelps Dodge since 1979.
Rick Milne, who hasn't been back to Gunnison since the late 70s, showed up at my door on the Friday before Homecoming having driven all the way from Snohamish, WA. We had a great reunion. Rick is working with Boeing aircraft, but is considering coming back to Colorado.
Colleen (McShane) Cope is about to complete her Masters in Education from Regis College in Denver. She is currently interning at Rocky Mountain High School in Ft. Collins and will student teach there this spring in Earth Science. Colleen, Nancy Molyneux ('77) and Mark Fernandes ('78) and I all got together this June on the east coast, staying a night at the Fernandes summer home on one of the Thimble Islands offshore from New Haven in Long Island Sound. We had lunch at the famous Mystic Pizza (Julia Robert's first movie) went out to Nantucket Island, visited Cape Cod, went to a polo match (you must drink Pimms), visited the famous Vanderbilt summer home "The Breakers" in Newport, RI and had a fabulous lobster dinner at Nancy's parents house. Great trip!
Frederic (Freddy) Frankel survived yet another merger - this time as Chevron swallowed Texaco. Freddy will now be working Brazil for Chevoco or Texron (take your pick) out of Houston. Freddy was in London for 4 years working Poland for Texaco but was transferred back to Houston a few years ago. He has now been in exploration for 23 years. Freddy, wife Mary (Clay, WSC '79) and their 2 daughters (now 12 and 7 yrs. old) were up here 2 summers ago and we had a good time finding fossils and crossing a deep arroyo together.
Joyce (Chezem) Lamb is the art teacher for the Crested Butte school system grades K-12. Joyce and Eric are still in Crested Butte South and have an 11 year old boy who is (naturally) a good skier and hockey player.
Kimla McDonald is now in the Washington DC area where she is in the process of changing careers from environmental planning to becoming a midwife. Kim, we are sorry you couldn't make Homecoming, but we understand your hesitancy to fly out of DC in October. She would love to hear from any alum in the DC area. I'm afraid there's not too many geology alums in your neighborhood - Dennis Beaver ('82) is in Harrisburg, PA and Kathy Baechtold ('85) is in East Stroudsburg, PA.
Nancy Molyneux As mentioned above (see Colleen Cope), I saw Nancy this summer in Rhode Island. Nancy is now working as aide-de-camp to a famous sculptress who recently had an exhibit at the United Nations in New York. Nancy just missed the Sept. 11 attack. Nancy's husband Rich is involved in historical structure engineering and they have an absolutely beautiful, restored 1700s colonial house and very large garden.
Tom Pronold checks in (slightly belatedly) with the news that he is still functioning as a consulting petroleum geologist in Wichita, KS. However he is feeling the urge to move. His oldest boy is in college (you're too young, Tom!), his middle boy will graduate from high school this year and Tom is looking for a place to go. "Nothing is impossible and I am even investigating an overseas position - Western Europe or UK. Gunnison would be like a foreign country - for as long as I've been away from there!" Naw! You'd still fit in fine Tom, and there's lots of ladies who would like to find you.
Lauren (Hart) Wolfe was here in Gunnison for the Homecoming party and added to the general festivities. Lauren is now in Durango teaching high school dropouts and at-risk youths at the Adult Education Center helping them get a GED. She lives with her 13 year-old daughter Hillary, still has a horse and gets a ski pass every winter.
Eric Bard is still in Denver processing seismic data. He is married to Celia and has a 10-year-old boy, Nick.
Lance Barker is working hard shipping gold ore to a mill in Montana from the Golden Wonder Mine right off the Slumgullion Pass road near Lake City. As far as I know, this is one of the few working gold mines in Colorado.
Mark Fernandes was an absolutely perfect host for Colleen McShane Cope ('77), Nancy Molyneux ('77) and me in June as he took us out to his family's summer home on the Thimble Islands. The Thimbles are a series of granite knobs offshore from New Haven, CT in the northern part of Long Island Sound. We had a great time! Thanks again Mark! Mark is working as a construction foreman for a telecommunications outfit in Connecticut
Pam Klessig decided to leave the stockbroker business and surprised herself and won a competitive position as an engineer for the Nevada highway department. Pam now drives a daily commute from Reno to Carson City. We had a really nice visit and big night on the town with the Shrakes while I was in Reno in early December.
Chuck and Annie Mcwethy Rumor has it that the McDonalds are back in Colorado- Check in you two!
Larry Moyer stopped by a few weeks ago and we had a good, long chat. Larry is very busy in Grand Junction as a consulting petroleum geologist working in oil shale, coal bed methane and still drilling wells now and then.
Carol Ostergren is still with the U.S.G.S. in Menlo Park. She recently was at a meeting in Hawaii and then took her husband and 4-year old son on a helicopter ride around the rain forest and waterfalls and up the Hanalei River valley and around the Na Pali coast on the island of Kauai. She is looking at the Hanalei as a possible integrated science community driven watershed management project. In her spare time (when, Carol?) she is involved in an e-mentoring program run out of San Jose State University mentoring 2 women science students at Florida State University. If someone else is interested in such a program contact Carol and she will be glad to send information on this. Carol, I'm very impressed!! Sorry I missed you in Reno.
Paul Rady You wouldn't think there could be much more to say about Paul (see the first page) but, as usual, his wife has the last word - I quote from her letter to us: "Paul is now taking some time off before starting his next venture. Meanwhile, his wife is begging him to go back to work!" His two sons are at Western and he has adopted two daughters from China, with one more on the way.
Steve Reynolds was up here just before Homecoming and impressed our students with a talk about how to (and how not to) make a deal as a consultant. "I am continuing a 15 year commitment to exploring for unconventional and basin centered gas resources. My company, Infinity Oil & Gas Inc., has built its reputation in the acquisition of coal bed methane, fractured shale and basin centered gas accumulations. We presently have interests in over 450,000 acres of active and developing leaseholds in four Rocky Mountain States, Kansas and Texas. As VP I have utilized both my Business and Geology majors from WSC. Contracts and negotiations have been my life for the past 22 years, which I was well prepared for by my professors at WSC. I truly appreciate them now, more than ever. My thanks to them all!" Steve, we're all proud of you!
Myra (Vaag) Lugsch quit her job as an environmental consultant/project manager for Verstar in 1998, one week before she had twins (good timing Myra!). The boys are now 3 years old and she doesn't know when or if she will ever have time to go back to work. "Being a full-time mom is a nice change."
Jeff Wingerter is now working near Elko, Nevada as general manager of LeGarza Exploration, an outfit that specializes in mine reclamation of all types. Jeff is especially interested in reclamation of mine wastewaters. He has 4 children, including one who is already at UNC, Jeff, you're way too young to have college aged kids.
Mark Stewart has also been a frequent visitor to Gunnison and owns some property on lower Quartz Creek near Parlin (for those of you who have forgotten, Parlin is about 12 miles east of Gunnison on Highway 50 -remember?). He is still with Schlumberger in Houston in sales and engineering with the primary focus in well stimulation and cementing in south Texas and the Rockies. He has now been in the oil patch for 22 years! We all had a nice visit with Mark at Homecoming but it was too short!
David Groy is currently serving as Environmental Division Manager for RMC Consultants, Inc. in Lakewood. After leaving Western, Dave received a Masters degree of Environmental Policy and Management in 1995 from the University of Denver. Good for you Dave! I know how hard it is to go back to school after a few years off - I cannot imagine going back after 15 years!!
Rod Herd has been teaching chemistry, physics and earth science in California for 16 years now while his wife Debbie has been teaching elementary school for 13 years! Rod and Debbie have two daughters, 9 and 17 years of age and the whole family are avid skiers and snowboarders. Rod still needs his Colorado fix so they all came to Telluride for spring break last year.
Kim (Hunter) Mauch is "now working at a small environmental firm called North State Resources in Sacramento, CA. The owners are soil scientists that graduated from UC Berkeley, then moved to Redding and started a business. The Sacramento office was just started in 1999, with a current total of 6 people. It's a very low-key operation with a great supervisor ---The most exciting part is that I am doing a lot of GIS and have been designated as their GIS specialist. I am also going to a local community college at night working on a GIS certificate. The learning curve is pretty steep - I'm learning a lot as I'm working on various projects - but it's a lot of fun!" Kim tried to drive from eastern California to the Reno alumni party last February at the Shrake's but got caught up in a blizzard, waited 2 hours in traffic going nowhere and finally gave up. Sorry, Kim, it was a good party. You might have won a sweatshirt!
Walter (Fritz) Merz has been working for Exxon/Mobil for 21 years. He will be starting a new development in Chad where he will soon be visiting.
Carol (Mooney) Hogsett is still with Los Alamos National Laboratory but has changed jobs and is now the University Recruiting Coordinator. "I coordinate all campus recruiting for LANL such as our selection of universities where we will recruit based on the critical skill needs of the Lab, select which Career Fairs we will attend and line up the Lab staff members to go to the event, coordinate all on-campus interviews and information sessions with university career centers, assist our Lab recruiters in the pre-screening of all on-campus resumes/candidates, organize all internal recruiting events such as the recent "Candidate Showcase" where we presented the resumes of 75 of the top-hot-sizzling students from our fall, 2001 recruiting season. In addition, I have been working with an outside consultant to design and deliver a Recruiter Training Program for our staff members. --- So, my work is exciting! I get to travel to whichever universities, I would like to, attend diversity conferences across the US and meet some of the most incredible students. Plus, I also had an excellent opportunity to be a docent/tour leader for the Valles Caldera National Preserve. It now belongs to the American people, so the board of trustees for the Preserve did a call for volunteers to assist with tours --- I led the first public tour, talking about the geology, archeology, flora and fauna, and recent history of the area." She finally adds in response to my question concerning lab security (remember the recent FBI fiasco at the lab with the Chinese physicist?) that it has been beefed-up considerably.
Tom Shrake had an extremely attractive gold prospect in southern Peru go south at the last minute, but is still hanging on with Pacific Rim and has recently hired back Dave Ernst ('78) to work on prospects. Tom and Anne kindly hosted a great, well-attended Reno-area alumni party last February and November when I was in town recruiting for the college and Anne has kindly consented to help the college out with recruiting efforts in Reno.
Kristin Ann Andrew-Hoeser is still working at Entech as an engineering geologist doing Geologic Hazard reports, rock fall studies and slope stability. She also does ecology programs for the City of Colorado Springs Park and Recreation Department in the summer. Since graduation from Western, Kristen has added a degree in Biology and is currently working on her Masters at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs in Physical Geography and Environmental Studies. Her thesis is on differences in plant communities on geologic formations in the Colorado Springs area. She adds that the thesis allows her to do great mapping! Kristin is married to Tony and has 2 boys, Corey aged 13 and Aaron aged 10.
Dave Hill says - "After a yawning delay in starting my career in geology, I have settled into the environmental remediation business. I am currently working, as a consultant at first and now an employee of the Massachusetts National Guard, on a first-in-the-nation project cleaning up a 15,000-acre artillery training range and impact area. Gobs O'Fun, bombs away!"
Cindy (Nunez) McKnight has been married to Kirk McKnight since 1982 and has three boys, 15, 12 and 10 years old. They keep busy keeping up with baseball and ski racing for the boys. Cindy opened an office for AFLAC Insurance (the one with the quacking duck) two years ago and they have built a home at the start of the Colorado Trail in Durango. I believe this is the first report from Cindy since we started these newsletters 4 years ago and it is good to hear from her! Remember the San Juan River trip Cindy?
Brad Boshetto is now entering his 14th year at Shell Oil, the first five of which were in exploration and production in Houston and the last nine in environmental in southern California. "The two loves of my life are my wife of 14 years and my 3 ½ year old daughter. The passion of my life is surfing and I average at least 3 days a week catching the sunrise from the local Huntington Beach break. This passion has also taken me up and down the California and Baja coasts with one brief venture to Costa Rica." All right, Brad!!
Dan Brookshire '83 is living in Littleton and working in environmental geology for LT Environmental Inc.
Nancy (Wharton) Carpenter & Steve Carpenter Nancy reports in for herself and husband Steve. Steve is working at Rocky Flats and Nancy is a massage therapist for Bodyscapes Therapy on S. Kipling in Littleton. They have two boys, Austin, 4, and Logan, 2 years old.
Rod Graham continues his global odyssey as a mining geologist. The last time we saw Rod was in 1998 when he was briefly in Gunnison and he was working in West Africa for Placer Dome. I got this email message from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, "But, my luck ran out with [Placer Dome] in 1999 and was laid off after 7 years. Did a few months more in West Africa with another company, then in early 2000 I traded the savannah of Africa for the steppes of Central Asia. I've been working in Mongolia and Kazakhstan for the past couple of years, doing generative exploration (gold, copper and platinum group metals) for Harrods Natural Resources. It's a private company owned by Mohamed Al Fayed, owner of the famous department store in London (wasn't it the son of Al Fayed who was killed with Princess Diana??). Much of the work has been down in the Gobi Desert, chasing Landsat anomalies in a search for high-sulfidation gold deposits. Pretty extreme climate, with summer temperatures up to 125 F and winter lows down to -40F, and seasonal winds that cause sandstorms that'll strip the paint off the vehicle. Pretty extreme change of diet too, since they mainly eat boiled mutton, camel and horse over here, washed down with the ever-popular fermented mare's milk." What does camel taste like, Rod?? He will be back in the states over the extreme winter months. We hope to see him then! Rod and I have had a lively email exchange in the past few weeks and were wondering if anyone knows if the book "The Long Walk" by a World War II Polish Army officer who escaped from the Russians and allegedly walked all the way across Siberia, the Gobi Desert, the Himalayas and into India is legitimate. Sounds awfully extreme!
Andrea Heller had to leave Crested Butte/Gunnison after they cut her position here and she is now the Special Education teacher at the Carbondale Community School and the Aspen Community. She says she had to leave CB with deep regret and that it is exciting and awful all at the same time to have to move because of work. I saw Andrea this summer at a wedding on Cement Creek and we had a great visit and a nice hike together (along with Christi Ambrose) up to the old Pioneer ski area. She also relates she was in Canyonlands in October and picked up Rob Fillmore's book on the Geology of the Wildlands of Southern Utah (she loves it - there's a new one coming, Andrea!) and is now studying Spanish!
Elliott Lips reports in as follows: "I'm still married, have one daughter 7 years old and live in Salt Lake City. I'm currently an Adjunct Associate Professor in the geography department at the University of Utah. It's kind of strange, but at the U. of U., geomorphology is in the Geography Dept. I actually have quite a bit of contact with the Geology Dept. and am working on some research projects with two of their faculty. I am officially a Doctoral Candidate, PhD, ABD (all but dissertation). I finished all classes, passed my PhD qualifying exams and have written my dissertation proposal. I've done about 2/3 of the dissertation work and plan to have it written up and defend in 2002. It really has been (and still is) a fun project. I'm working out the chronology of the most recent glacial activity from the canyons in the Wasatch Range. At their maximum extent, glaciers extended into Salt Lake Valley and came into contact with Lake Bonneville!" He's not only working on the chronology but also on reconstructing the climatic conditions that existed at the time of the glacial maximum/lake high stand. Elliott is also teaching several classes in geomorphology and climate change, including two weeklong field classes (one to the Colorado Plateau and the other to the Great Basin). Some of the sites are the ones we went to while Elliott was at Western and he mentions that he got an "exceptional education" while here. Thanks Elliott, from all of us! But it was also an exceptional bunch of people we were working with - hard to screw up with a combination like that.
Jeffrey Littfin reports in from Whitefish, Montana, officially for the first time although we have had some contact over the years including the time he (or his company) kindly donated some software for us to use on a computer stratigraphy exercise. Here's the professional story: From 1984 to 1987 he worked for Daniel Geophysical Inc. in Denver designing software for oil companies. From 1987 to 1991 he worked for Graphics Information Inc. in Denver developing a digital database containing cartographic information which gave Section, Township and Range boundaries for of computer mapping systems (This is the program we got for our local area!). He was Product Manager and Technical Sales Rep. at this time and built a variety of stratigraphic maps for most of the major oil and gas fields in North America and offshore. In 1991 he worked for MINEsoft Ltd. in Lakewood developing a relational database and software package, which accommodates 3-D data as well as polygonal data for mining and GIS applications. He worked with slope stability, ground water modeling, open pit mining, strip mining etc. and was the International and National Sales Manager. In 1992, he left Denver and moved to Whitefish, Montana for a change of lifestyle and originally started out as an independent to run his own business marketing a variety of computer software, but since 1993 has been the Senior Technical Sales Rep. for The Computer Place in Kalispell, Mt. Personally he is having a lot of fun - this June he saw Peter Dea ('76), had a big motorcycle trip back through here biking around Crested Butte with Dave Myers and then up to Canada in July to Jasper and Prince George, BC and bagged a big elk with a bow and arrow.
Kirk Swanson is working with Nimbus Engineers in Reno along with Dave Westhoff ('72)
Joe Winston is presently a partner in the law firm of Winston & Winston, P.C. located in Colorado Springs and Pueblo.
Cindy (Klinker) Jenkins reports that husband, Steve is still with Chevron and we are in our fifth year in Nigeria. We will be leaving there in late May and Steve will start Working in Kazakhstan. Cindy and the kids, Anna-Marie (7) and Ben (5) will be joining him when the compound and school are finished. Steve will be rotating between Kazakhstan and Gunnison! We look forward to the change in climate and cultures!
Lisa Cole-Starkebaum is in Gunnison with husband Neil, but is pretty busy with 2 boys. She enjoyed the Homecoming party along with everyone else.
Dr. Kurt Panter landed a job teaching Geology at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, but has some research projects going around here with his students.
John Axelson replies that it's been almost 15 years since graduation but as Jimmy Buffet says, "I'm growing older, but not up." Me too, John! John is still living in Arvada and continues to work as a geologist for an environmental consulting firm, but with some interesting twists and perturbations recently. First and foremost John and wife Dorothy had a little girl, Sydnie, in March of 1999 who in John's words is "the light of my life." In 1998 John felt burned out in the environmental racket and quit his job to help a friend run a commercial landscape business. He found out the "grass isn't always greener on the other side of the fence" (his pun, not mine!) and that "the environmental field wasn't such a bad gig after all." John then decided to take a sabbatical of several months and went bowhunting and fly-fishing with the goal of writing it up for publication. He didn't get a taker but did get a contract to write a guidebook on big game hunting in Colorado. He finished the book and it will be out in June 2002 published by Wilderness Adventures Press. He's also the volunteer editor of The Colorado Bowhunter. He now works part time for TN & Associates out of Milwaukee, mostly looking at air force sites around the country.
Tom Claeys is currently employed as a chemist at Amgen in Longmont. He and his wife Christi have a son, Jake, who is 2 years old. A chemist Tom??
Doug (Sluggo) Holzman literally flew into our Homecoming weekend. Doug is now a pilot with Frontier Airlines and still up in Hood River, Oregon. Doug does a lot of recreational flying (like up to Alaska for a few days) with his wife and young son and of course, wind surfing.
Jon Kaminski and I had a nice phone conversation last fall after I ran into an old girlfriend of his at a geology conference. Jon is with Intel as a systems engineer and is a single parent to his young son in Tacoma, WA.
Joe Walker works for Twenty Mile Coal Company in Oak Creek, Colorado. After Western, Joe went back to get his MBA in Business and Finance at CSU. Joe and his wife Mickie, have two children, Meghan, 12 and Jake, 9.
Craig Boeckman - Craig has been working as an engineering geologist for the state of Alaska, Dept. of Transportation for a number of years. His supervisor (until retirement last year) was none other than Dan Pavey ('68). Small world - Craig reports that his 16 year old son is already taller than he is and still growing - If you recall Craig is not exactly a small person.
Scott Effner and his wife Susan took the big plunge, left the Denver area and opened their own environmental consulting office in La Veta, Colorado. La Veta?? They have rented office space over an art gallery, which overlooks the park and next to a dynamite bakery. Their company, Whetstone Associates, has managed to survive for over two years now and does mostly hydrologic and geochemical consulting, with active projects in Peru, Idaho, Utah, Arizona and Wisconsin. Susan became a Professional Engineer and a Professional Geologist while Scott is a P.G. Scott still has bicycle racing in his blood and still manages to thump the youngsters now and then.
Annie (Clements) Eckman was here for Homecoming and as usual, was one of the stars of the party. She and her husband John Eckman ('88) are the happy parents of Laurel, born 1/26/00. Annie is still working in Denver as an environmental consultant, but no longer with Enecotech.
Anthony (Doc) Doctor is in Pagosa Springs doing some architectural design in the summer but mostly he is full-time head of the ski patrol at Wolf Creek Pass Ski area. Doc saved a near-disastrous weekend for us after an abortive trip to a yurt (story emailed on demand) last December by treating me to a great day of skiing and being host to Deirdre and me in Pagosa. Thanks again Doc!!
Christine Peak came back to Colorado this fall for a visit and we were filled in on her life as an outback rancher in Australia. She and Jim run 1500 sheep and lots of kangaroos on 1800 acres of land that is mostly wilderness.
Norm Yoast has taught middle school science in Craig for eight years and was named to Who's Who among American Teachers in 2000!! Way to go Norm! He is married to Deb from Chadron State and they have two kids, Lindsey, 9 and Colten 5. Norm runs a little excavating business on the side for summer employment, and finds time for a little hunting, fishing and camping.
Julie (Clarke) Coleman-Fike continues her life as a world traveler (New Zealand, Ireland with her daughter, Yellowstone, etc.) and working for the BLM. Julie has been instrumental in a number of projects restoring old mining structures in western Colorado. Julie and friends, Deirdre and I did one of the great all-time hikes from Engineer Pass to above Ouray along the Horsethief Trail. Absolutely spectacular! She has recently transferred to the Montrose field office, which spares her the round trip commute from Montrose to Gunnison
Mark Larson has recently married Kathryn Long (WSC, '96-97) and is continuing to manage the University of Wyoming Light Stable Isotope Facility.
Eric Dillenbeck is finishing up his MS degree at the Colorado School of Mines and is now actively seeking employment. Although his previous 5 years of professional experience was in mineral exploration he would consider a switch to petroleum. I met Eric and his lovely Argentinean wife, Romina in Reno at a mining conference a year ago.
Kirsten (Forkner) Sanders is still in Gunnison and has now been married to Mike Sanders (WSC '92) for 4 ½ years. Kirsten is the Residential Program Manager at Six Points Evaluation and Training Inc. where she has been for over 10 years. She and Mike keep busy working on their old house near the high school and still spend a lot of time hiking, rock climbing and skiing.
Rosemary (Hart) Carroll is still in Reno working as a hydrologist for an environmental firm while raising a young son. Her husband Torrey Carroll is teaching math at the University of Nevada, Reno. Torrey's father, Don Carroll, of Carroll's Ltd., the well-known backcountry sports store of Gunnison in the 70s, recently passed away.
Brian Cellura is working on his M.S. at the University of Nevada in Reno. His thesis is on the stratigraphy and biostratigraphy (conodonts and radiolarians) of the Ordovician through Devonian rocks in the Roberts Mountain allocthon. He is also working part-time for Placer Dome doing mineral exploration in Nevada and in his spare time is one of the brew masters for Great Basin Brewery in downtown Reno. Brian is also helping us out this winter going to a few local high schools and recruiting for the college. Busy year, Brian!
Eric Jordan recently ran into an old C.U. buddy of Tom Prather and mine while applying for graduate school at University of Pennsylvania - small world. Eric is still working with Groundwater & Environmental Services as a project manager. His responsibilities mostly include managing compliance issues for large industrial clients. Eric was partially through with his Master's program at Drexel (while working full-time), took an Environmental Law course, and then his advisor resigned due to health. Eric is considering a Master's of Environmental Science at Penn. or traditional M.S. in Geology and eventually hopes to find his way back to Colorado in water resource management/research.
Renee Brekke-Liederbach is teaching high school in the Boulder school district and really enjoys it! She was up here this summer to visit her old buddy, Leslie Channel, who happens to be my next-door neighbor and we had a really nice visit along with Rebecca Bailey ('99)
Matthew Hohne is in Irvine, CA working as a Project Manager for an environmental consulting firm conducting environmental assessments, remedial projects and seismic assessments throughout the U.S. His wife Tracey got a Master's degree in Forensic Science and Advanced Crime Scene Investigation. They have a daughter, Alexis.
Rebecca (Becky) Biglow is working for the U.S. Forest Service in Salida (her hometown) as a GIS specialist. Becky, her significant other and I had a fine mountain bike ride near Sargents last summer. She is one tough up-hill biker!
Lynn (Padgett) Connaughton has had a few changes in her life since the last Newsletter. She got married, bought a house up on Log Hill Mesa above Ridgway and is now working for Biologic Consultants of Montrose. Oh yes, one more small item, it's a girl! Anza Grace Connaughton (class or 2024) was born just before Christmas with Julie Fike ('90) in attendance.
Casey Dukeman has finished his Master's course work and was planning on defending his thesis on Analytical Bias (are you talking about me, Casey?) this fall, 2001, so he should be done by now. He is in his second year as a high school science and anthropology teacher at Frontier Academy High School in Greeley. He is currently writing a new high school curriculum for national accreditation. He and wife Ruth (WSC '95) have a little boy, Jacob, who is now in First Grade!
Katye McConaghy finished her Master's degree in metamorphic petrology at the University of British Columbia in June. Her specialty is in skarn genesis and high temperature hydrodynamics. She is hanging out in Salida while seeking employment. Deirdre and I saw Katye in Vancouver last March while on the way to the Yukon. Katye was here for the Homecoming party and is teaching part time for Colorado Mountain College in Salida.
Rebecca Bailey reports "I am teaching, teaching, teaching at Glenwood Springs Middle School. Climbing regularly still. That pretty much sums up my waking activities." She taught in the same school as Andrea Heller ('83) for a while, but Andrea transferred to Carbondale.
Duncan Drummond is now working for the Forest Service as a hydrologist in Hayfork, CA and trying to pay for his education.
Ryan Murphy is in the first year of his Master's program at the Mackay School of Mines, University of Nevada, Reno. He has a research assistantship with the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology. His thesis work is in extensional tectonics and pluton emplacement in southern Nevada.
Betsey Wagner is still in Gunnison and says hi. She reports she is in the now in gold drilling business with Dr. Schlagel the local dentist and was recently engaged.