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Alumni Newsletter 2011-2012

UPDATES: From the Class of '53 to the Class of '10

Class of 1953:

Larry Lundgren, A.B. writes:I put up front an Environmental Geology question to call attention to a situation in the United States that puzzles me. Pursuing this question during my annual six weeks in New England is one of my passions and the only one that is connected to the Geological Sciences. The question is phrased in what may seem to you, the reader, as odd language but try it.

THE QUESTION: If you are a homeowner I ask why in the world would you use oil-burner heating or natural-gas heating if a renewable energy alternative (specifically GSG see below) were available? (If you have read this question I would be most grateful for an Email-see blog address below, and blog has contact information).

Here is Perry Hall at Champlain College, heated and cooled entirely using Ground Source Geothermal (GSG). The photo is cropped so that the source well and return well are visible at the lower right and lower left corners of the photo. Water up, water down-that simple. The oil burner became extinct here.

Perry Hall cropped with wells R and L.jpgIn Sweden, where I have lived since retirement in 1996, the oil burner is extinct (as it became at Perry Hall) and natural gas was never significant. This extinction was brought about by the development of two technologies, one of which solves a basic American environmental geology problem and the other of which reduces the fossil-fuel demands one installation at a time.

The first system, perhaps the major source of space heating in every Swedish city, is based on the high-tech incineration of municipal waste to heat water that is then distributed to every dwelling in the city. The other system is Ground Source Geothermal (GSG) or bergvaerme in Swedish (rock heat). In my city the two systems function beautifully, with my house heated by the former and that of my neighbor by the latter.

If there is a copy of my long-extinct second edition of Environmental Geology around, you can read there about the first system. The environmental benefit is the end of the landfill as you Americans know it.To read about the Perry Hall system, go to my blog (November 23, 2010: Ground source geothermal or Why do Americans love oil burners? and July 23, 2010 Even in Burlington, Vermont). There you can see pictures of a system in operation.

I pursue this passion by writing countless letters to the New York Times, but for the Times and the President’s advisers the only renewable energy sources are wind and solar. The Times will not publish. I also try to create a network of professionals in New England and that task has now been partly taken over by NEGP (Google and you will find). Where are Brown geologists on this frontier? Where is Brown?

Annika and Larry Fathers Day Fairhaven MA 2011.jpgI reported last year about another passion, running, so I need not say much about that here except to note that my Swedish-American daughter Annika and I will be running again in the same race reported last year, the Gothenburg Midnight Race (10 km starting at 22.00 h. She as a near elite runner starts in an early group and I as one of the two oldest among the 14,000 start in the last group an hour later). Here we are at Fairhaven, MA Father’s Day Race 2011.

Three other passions are playing trumpet, working with and writing about refugees, and doing editing and translation for medical researchers at three leading medical schools. I beg anyone reading this who is near retirement to consider helping immigrants whether refugees or others. This work with people especially from Somalia, Iran, Iraq, Eritrea, and Lebanon has led me to research the strange American practice asking you to check a box indicating your “race”. The most recent fruit of that research has been to be in contact with Ann Morning, author of the just published book The Nature of Race-How Scientists Think and Teach About Human Difference. My reviews are at and Very likely the next blog post also.

Please somebody, reply to my question about Ground Source Geothermal!”

Larry Lundgren

Geology, Class of 1953

Linkoeping, Sweden


Class of 1956:

Peter Rona, A.B.  continues as professor of marine geology and geophysics at Rutgers University. With partners at Rutgers and at the Applied Physics Lab-University of Washington, he reports (Eos, volume 92, number 20, 17 May 2011, p. 169) their development of an innovative new Cable Operated Vent Imaging Sonar (COVIS) system that quantitatively images seafloor hydrothermal flow (photo attached), connection of the system to the NEPTUNE Canada seafloor cabled observatory in the Main Endeavour Field on the Juan de Fuca Ridge, and acquisition of spectacular time series imagesof black smoker plumes and surrounding diffuse flow. Peter is credited with leading the exploration and discovery in 1985 of the first black smokers, massive sulfide deposits and vent ecosystem found in the Atlantic Ocean. This discovery for the first time made all slow-spreading ocean ridges prospective for such hydrothermal systems. He is lead editor of AGU Geophysical Monograph 188, Diversity of Hydrothermal Systems on Slow Spreading Ocean Ridges, released at the December 2010 AGU Meeting, which reports the subsequent discovery of hydrothermal fields as he predicted on slow-spreading ocean ridges in the Atlantic, Indian and Arctic oceans. Photo: Peter Rona (right) with partners Vernon Miller and Russ Light (Applied Physics Lab-University of Washington) in front of their Cabled Observatory Vent Imaging Sonar (COVIS) on deck of R/V Thompson for the deployment cruise in September 2010.

Class of 1958:

Harold Taylor, A.B. Harold is the Task Force Chairman for ASTM WK31671 "Standard Practice for Calculating the Resource Depletion Potential for Mineral Commodities" for the E60 Sustainability Committee.  Anybody who wants to join ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) and/or work on the document is welcome. Please contact Harold at if interested.

Class of 1963:

Robert Salter, A.B. writes: “In late July and early August of this year I took a trip to Tanzania and Kenya to climb Mount Kilimanjaro (successful thank you very much) and view EARS (East African Rift System). (I) Have given a couple of talks about the trip, including one to the Daisy Mountain Geology & Rock Club, which four of us geologists and a lawyer from Boston formed about a year and a half ago.  (I am) looking for someone to share a trip to Patagonia in early February to view the glaciers in Fitz Roy, the granite monoliths in Torres del Paine, visit Tierra del Fuego and Buenos Aires as well.” Contact Bob at if interested.

Class of 1964:

Tomas Feininger, Ph.D. In the summer of 2011  (August 17-31) Tomas led a field trip of 12 petrology students from Université Laval to Iceland. Knowing that Icelandic is the mother of all Scandinavian languages, he was optimistic (being fluent in Swedish). False hope! It turns out that linguistic ties across the North Atlantic have thinned markedly over the past millennium. Icelandic is largely unaltered, but Swedish has changed greatly, including a major language reform in 1905. Nevertheless, Tomas looks forward to putting his left foot on America, and his right one on Europe. More to follow in next year's Alumni Newsletter.

Class of 1965:

Bernard Boylan

Charles Shabica, A.B. See story by James Carew in the Class of 1966

Class of 1966:

James Carew, A.B. Jim has recently been involved in the development of a new natural history museum at the College of Charleston, mostly comprised of fossils from a local collector. They currently have about 3000 square feet of display space, plus a prep room/office. The fossil displays include Oligocene North American Mammals, Mosasaurs, Pleistocene Mammals of the Carolinas, Ocean Life through Time, Dinosaurs, Cave Bear, Crinoids, and a reconstructed “Megalodon” shark jaw using actual fossil teeth.  Jim is the Director and Curator of the Museum. For his role in the development of the museum, in May 2011 he was given the College of Charleston School of Sciences and Mathematics second annual Noreen Noonan Award (given in honor of a former Dean of the School of Science and Math).

Also, this past year Charlie Shabica, A.B. 1965 and Jim became reunited when Jim learned that Charlie had opened a branch of his coastal geology company in Charleston. He visited the new museum, and as a result he is putting together a display (for Jim) of Mazon Creek fossils from the museum that is being decommissioned at Northeastern Illinois University (where he was a faculty member until his recent retirement). Charlie studied the Mazon Creek fauna for his PhD dissertation, and is co-editor of Richardson’s Guide to The Fossil Fauna of Mazon Creek.

Class of 1967:

Norman Smith, Ph.D. Norman received his MS in 1964 and PhD in 1967; Tim Mutch was his advisor for both degrees. Norman’s subsequent career has been entirely academic: 1967-1998 at the University of Illinois at Chicago, 1998-present at the University of Nebraska (retired 2010). Norman was a department chair for six years at each institution and now lives with his first and only wife, Judy, in Denton, NE, a few miles outside of Lincoln. Judy is a Rhode Island girl whom Norman first met while in grad school at Brown. Norman is a sedimentary geologist and geomorphologist. His field work over the years has been interesting and scattered around the globe (e.g. Antarctica, Alaska, Iceland, Philippines, India, South Africa (including the geologically famous Witwatersrand gold mines), Botswana, Guyana, Chile, New Zealand, and all over the USA and Canada.  Norman will receive the SEPM Pettijohn Medal at the 2012 spring meeting  in Long Beach, CA.

Class of 1972:

Walter Greenberg, A.B. Walter writes that he hadn't done anything Geophysically for many years until last year. Then for a week he worked in Frederick, Maryland doing a micro-gravity survey along Interstate 70 to check for sink holes before they redid some ramps. A few months later he did a small resistivity survey to check to see if some test wells were best located,to track ground water pollutants. Walter did this working for a friend of his, Andy Forrest, who has an environmental company out of Herndon, VA called Forrest Environmental. Non-geophysically, Walter has signed up for FEMA to help with disaster relief but has not been deployed yet due to some scheduling conflicts.

In other news, Walter says: “I recently went to Ireland which is beautiful and the people are extremely nicebut economically, it is not doing so well.To let you know how the mighty dollar has fallen, even in Ireland – which is just behind Greece and Portugal for money problems – it is, I would say, about 30 or 40 per cent more expensive than in Peoria, Illinois,where I live.Still, seeing the countryside dotted with Norman fortresses, and drinking and eating in pubsisn't allbad, eh?I went inside of King John's castle.This is the King John as in Richard the Lion-heart’s brother that was forced to sign the Magna Carta. Also, Errol Flynn didn't care too much for him in Robin Hood! I kind of like Basil Rathbone, nonetheless.”

Class of 1973:

Margaret Power, Sc.B. See story by Ken Jones in the Class of 1974

Robert Thunell, A.B. Bob was recently appointed Associate Dean for the Natural Sciences at the University of South Carolina. His son, Thomas (Brown, 2010), is working for EOS Climate in SanFrancisco, the world’s leading producer of verified emission reductions from the destruction of ozone depleting substances.

Class of 1974:

Ken Jones, Ph.D. writes: “I have now completely retired from both science and motion pictures. Margie (Margie Power, Sc.B. 1973 ) is still a proposal manager usually working with clients in the aerospace industry. Our son, Chuck Jones, graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston last year. He is the bassist with the music group Dopapod and is currently touring up and down the East Coast.

Since my last update about two years ago, I have continued with my photographic explorations around the United States photographing "ghost signs" - the faded ads on old brick buildings. I have now photographed close to 3,000 signs in almost every state, including Rhode Island. It has been adventure to visit hundreds of towns - small and large - and meet as wide a variety of people as one can imagine. I am trying to photograph as many signs as quickly as possible since they are being over painted, torn down, and "restored" almost as fast as I can get to them.

Each of my final photographs consists of dozens to hundreds of individual digital photos stitched together to create a single image as though I am shooting the sign straight on. (The)signs are usually blocked by all sorts of foreground clutter such as utility poles and wires, as well as other buildings, I shoot from multiple camera positions and distort the images to appear straight on and remove the clutter. Because I shoot from multiple camera angles, I also need to replace the backgrounds behind the buildings as well. I have shot around 150,000 separate images that are combined into the 3,000 signs. The resulting high resolution allows me to print the photos at mural sizes and maintain the fine detail.

Besides being attractive, the signs are historically fascinating. This wonderful Mail Pouch Tobacco sign is in Cleveland, Ohio. It is in both English and the Czech language. It can be dated to 1898 thanks to an artist name and date at the bottom. It is nicely preserved because it was protected for most of its lifetime by another building, which abutted this building. One can see the tar line at the top of the roofing material from the now demolished building.

Some of the signs consist of many layers of sign upon sign, preserved because the old paint tended to stain the bricks, much like a tattoo. Unscrambling the multiple layers is sort of like stratigraphy, as in the Tom Moore Cigar sign in Hot Springs, Arkansas. One can also see ads for Coca Cola and Selz Shoes.

Some of the signs are in narrow alleys and passageways. I have worked out methods to shoot these signs using a camera on a pole that I can adjust to multiple heights to shoot swaths of images at each elevation. An example is the Harvard Cigar sign in Butte, Montana, with me at the bottom of the pole. In many cases, I am able to obtain access to private property and rooftops to photograph the signs.

If anyone is interested, many of the signs are on my website at

Most people don't include places like Hope, Arkansas, or Sprague, Washington, in their travel plans, but trust me, these towns are far more interesting than one would think. See the town, meet the people, spend money ......”

Class of 1975:

Ross Stein, Sc.B. see article composed by Ross in the class of 1988 section

Rich Thayer, Ph.D After 15 years in exploration and 20 years as an organization consultant with Shell, Rich Thayer [PhD-‘75] has set up his own change management consultancy in Baltimore. He’d love to hear from you at

Class of 1976:

Joel Scheraga, A.B. Joel is the Senior Advisor for Climate Adaptation in the Office of the Administrator at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  In January 2011, he was appointed the leader of EPA's efforts to develop and implement a Climate Change Adaptation Plan to ensure its programs, policies, regulations, and operations are effective even as the climate changes. As a result of Joel’s initial efforts, EPA released its first-ever Policy Statement on Climate Change Adaptation on June 2, 2011. Joel also represents EPA on the Federal Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force, established by Executive Order in October 2009 to develop recommendations for President Obama on how the nation might adapt to climate change impacts.  The Task Force delivered its first report to President Obama in October 2010 outlining recommendations for how Federal Agency policies and programs can better prepare the United States to respond to the impacts of climate change.

In addition to these responsibilities, Joel was Lead Author of the Human Health chapter of the State of Maryland’s Phase II Strategy for Reducing Maryland’s Vulnerability to Climate Change, released in January 2011. He also was a member of a federal Interagency Working Group on Climate Change and Health that received a 2010 GreenGov Presidential Award. During a year-long effort, the group assessed the implications of climate change for human health and identified areas where further research was needed under 11 categories of disease, in addition to other health consequences that are occurring, or are likely to occur, as a result of climate change. The GreenGov Presidential Awards are given for outstanding efforts to promote and improve the goals of President Obama's Executive Order on "Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance."

Class of 1981:

Christina (Tina) Neal, Sc.B.  writes “I am still employed by the USGS in Anchorage Alaska. I've been working as a volcanologist at the Alaska Volcano Observatory since 1990. Ilove living in this vast, spectacularnorthern state. This last year I have been part of a strategic planning team preparing a road map for USGS hazard science. I've enjoyed learning more about other parts of my agency and trying to articulate critical priorities for the future.

During a recentoffice cleaning; I have enjoyed leafing through "Dynamic Stratigraphy" and "Earth" textbooks from my Brown days - yes! - with scribbled notes that brought back memories of my discovery of geology in college. Whata thrill it was and how grateful I am to my professors and TAs and fellow students for sparking my love of thinking about the planet. How fun to see the now mostlydated pages on volcanism! Atthe time, listening toTim Mutch, Terry Tullis, Jim Head, Mac Rutherford, Jan Tullis, Paul Hess, Robley Matthews, I had no idea I would spend my life on the topic!”

Photo: summer 2011 at Brooks Camp, Katmai National Park, pointing to the 1912 Novarupta/Katmai ash horizon

Class of 1982:

Ruth Bernstein, Sc.B. On May 15, 2011, Ruth received her Doctorate, however, it was not in Geology, but in Management! During the past 5 years she returned to school. Ruth began by getting a Master's in Philanthropy and a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management at Indiana University and then spent the last three years on her Doctorate at Case Western's Weatherhead School of Management. Ruth says she feels like a kid again; ready to take on the world, and sitting through her first interviews in years. Currently, she plans to teach Nonprofit Management at Seattle University and Pacific Lutheran University.

Class of 1984:

Michael Wysession, Sc.B. Michael has begun installing a 2-year seismic deployment in Madagascar. He has also been working this year as a leader for Earth and Space Science in the National Academy's efforts to createa new set of national K-12 science education standards.

Class of 1987:

John Humphrey, Ph.D. This is John’s sixth year as Head of the Department of Geology and Geological Engineering at Colorado School of Mines. He is co-PI on a very active research consortium (28 companies) focused on the Niobrara petroleum system, an unconventional hydrocarbon system in Rocky Mountain basins.

Student field trips, other fieldwork, and meetings and conferences in the past year took John to Indonesia, Morocco, Colorado, Cozumel, the Pyrenees, San Diego,

Kazakhstan (twice), and London. In summer 2011, John once again led a field program in the western Tian Shen mountains of south-central Kazakhstan, studying stratigraphic equivalents of the supergiant oil and gas fields of the Devonian-Caboniferous in the Precaspian Basin. Photo: Humphrey (center) teaching a group of Kazakh visitors aboutPaleozoic geology of the San Juan mountains, southwest Colorado.









Jeffrey Yuhas, Sc.B. Jeff has been teaching Earth Science and Physics at Concord-Carlisle High School for the past twelve years. During this time, he started Concord-Carlisle Weather Services (CCWS), a group that does forecasting for the local access TV station and the campus radio station, goes to the elementary schools to work with younger students, and has presented for three years running at the American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting. The group took second place in the Student Chapter Poster contest last year in Seattle and will be presenting four more posters in January 2012 in New Orleans. All this by what are the only high school students attending the AMS Annual Meeting. 

This fall, Jeff is co-teaching a Climate Policy seminar class. It is an evening class with twelve students from CCHS, Weston High School, Concord Academy, and Middlesex School. Jeff says the class has opened his eyes to the type of teaching that he would really love to do: small groups, engaging discussions about current issues, chances for him to learn a lot, and teaching a class that has real world implications. Unfortunately, these opportunities are rare in today's public high schools. AbovePhoto: Jeff and students in Seattle during their trip to the AMS Annual Meeting. The Olympic Mountains over Puget Sound in the background. The "CCWS" logo on the jackets stands for Concord-Carlisle Weather Service

Class of 1988:

Jian Lin, Ph.D. Article composed by Ross Stein, Sc.B. 1975 Jian Lin, Ross Stein and Shinji Toda (Kyoto Univ.) taught a short course on their earthquake interaction and deformation software, Coulomb 3.3, at Peking University on June 5. Although we have taught the course in several countries, this was our first effort in Jian's homeland. The classroom was filled to the gills with 85 participants, 20 over our absolute cutoff level because Jian could not say no to anyone. The 90° outside temperature and modest air conditioning system was no match for the combined heat output of the wall-to-wall bodies and laptops, but the students did not seem to notice. In fact, we had never held a class in which the students not only arrived early, but were back in their seats early after every break. I taught in English, and when Jian was not racing around to attend to individual student needs, he broke in to explain things to everyone in Chinese.

Teaching software is a lot like teaching a dance class: no one feels adept and everyone feels exposed to what they imagine is the withering view of others. But when it works, there is the pleasure of 85 people moving in unison, each supported by his neighbor, and all feeling a part of something larger than his or her own screen, like a well-rehearsed dance troupe.

What was remarkable was to watch Jian hold the class in the palm of his hand. He had them laughing and crying, always in rapt attention. Or course, I couldn't understand a word he was saying, but it must have been good because it felt more like a seance than software. At the end of the class, he asked for questions, and they pummeled him for an hour. Jian had created a course completion certificate that the three instructors had to sign individually (255 signatures!). I thought this was nuts, but it turned out to mean a great deal to the students. He has started a class blog, where he urged the students to get to know each other, share data and results, ask questions and build a community of co-explorers.

What I saw more than I could have appreciated before was Jian's intense desire to give back to China the gift he had received at Brown, and later, at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution where he works. He wants to enable Chinese scientists not just to learn—but to lead. And so he has hosted numerous Chinese post-docs, receives a mind-numbing number of Chinese delegations to WHOI, served as co-Chief Scientist on several Chinese research ships, and convinced China to join InterRidge when he chaired its program office and steering committee. China is now welcoming its accomplished ex-pat scientists back with open arms, creating new opportunities for collaboration and discovery.

Who would have thought, when Brown accepted Jian into the Geophysics PhD program shortly after the end of the horrific Cultural Revolution, that he and his cohort would end up leading his country back into the forefront of science and education.     Photo: Jian Lin, Ross Stein, and Jian's colleague, Zhen Sun, at the Emperor's  Summer Palace in Bejing

Class of 1991:

Daniel Britt, Ph.D. Daniel was elected Chair of the Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) of the American Astronomical Society. The DPS is the largest international professional society of planetary scientists. He was also elected a Fellow of the Meteoritical Society.

Scott Miller, Sc.B. Scott is an associate professor (watershed hydrology) at the University of Wyoming. Last year, he was named Chair of the MS and PhD programs in hydrology & water resources, which are cross-disciplinary grad programs. Scott has slowed down on international research aside from some small projects in Panama and Nepal while focusing more on regional hydrologic issues, including being part of a high performance computing consortium for hydrologic modeling of the upper Colorado River basin. This summer, he participated in a teacher training grant in which he worked with Wyoming elementary school teachers to build place-based learning about water into their curricula, which was very enjoyable and will hopefully build better links between the University with local schools. Scott’s main research focus is on field-based hydrology in support of developing spatially explicit models of the fate and transport of water (

Class of 1992:

Betina Pavri, Sc.M. Betina hopes that everyone is doing well and writesI have spent the past few years working on the integration and test of the science instruments on NASA's Mars Science Laboratory rover mission. Now that all of the instruments are integrated onto the rover, we have moved on to system-level testing to simulate "sols" on Mars. It's been a challenge, but we are looking forward to seeing the Rover explore Mars' Gale Crater starting in August of 2012. In family news, Randy continues his work on Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2, which will study the Earth's carbon cycle; our son Jason now has his driver's license and is starting to think about college. Best wishes to all!”

Class of 1994:

Edward Gonzalez, Sc.B. In May of 2010, Eddie’s wife completed her seminary program in Berkeley, California. Over the summer, they made the move back to Washington, DC. Eddie has joined the education staff at National Audubon Society as manager of the TogetherGreen Conservation Fellowship program (, a program that provides fellowships to leaders in conservation education to support their efforts to get more individuals involved in conservation.

Eddie was also recently elected to the Board of Directors of the Association of Partners for Public Lands (APPL,, a DC-based non-profit that represents the non-profit partners of the state and federal land management agencies such as Park Service, Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, US Fish and Wildlife, and Army Corps of Engineers. This is in addition to serving as Secretary of the North American Association for Environmental Education (

Eddie continues to scuba dive as often as he can and has increased his work in getting more youth engaged in marine conservation through scuba diving. He recently became a certified divemaster and plans on getting his dive instructor license at some point. Every March, Eddie helps chaperone a group of high school students to Roatan, Honduras for a week of diving and marine education. He has also started to volunteer with a group in Nashville, TN called the Tennessee Aquatic Project, a program that provides leadership skills to urban youth through scuba diving. Under a partnership with the National Park Service, their goal is to get the youth certified in NPS underwater archeology protocols to aid park staff researching and documenting wrecks located within park boundaries--especially the wreck of the Guerrero, a slave ship know to have sunk near Biscayne National Park. They are still waiting on our next big grant to get that program off the ground. Anyone wanting to help us out can contact Eddie directly.

After three amazing years in Berkeley, Eddie and his family have settled in Falls Church, VA. He can be reached at 703-868-2333 or

Above Photo: Eddie, wife Betsy and daughter Ruby, Halloween 2010

Class of 1996:

Charles Magee, Sc.B. Chuck is still working as a geochemist for Australian Scientific Instruments.

Thisinvolvesbuilding,commissioning, and running the SHRIMP mass spectrometer. The travel and communications part of the job is also challenging; Chuck gave his first talk at a Chinese-language geological conference in 2011. Chuck invites anyone at an instrumentation-poor institution who wants access to one of his institution’s instruments to email him at He hopes to make the AGU meeting this year.

Class of 1998:

Matthew Fouch,Ph.D. and Michelle Minitti (Ph.D. 2001) recently relocated to the Washington, DC area for Matt's new position as a staff scientist at the Carnegie Institution of Washington's Department of Terrestrial Magnetism. Michelle is looking forward to exploring Mars via the Mars Science Laboratory mission, on which she is a Co-Investigator on the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) science team. Kids Sydney (6) and Zachary (2) (pictured with Michelle and a model of the Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, at the Air and Space Museum) are enjoying riding the Metro and visiting all the great Smithsonian museums.

Class of 2000:

Emily Lakdawalla, Sc.M. In November, Emily has the cover articles in both
Sky & Telescope and The Planetary Report, both of them about the
Curiosity rover. They're complementary; the Sky & Tel one details the
capabilities of the rover, and the Planetary Report one talks about
the landing site and what the mission will look like there.

Class of 2001:

Michelle Minitti, Ph.D See story in Class of 1998

Lauren Vigliotti (graduated under the name Lauren Wincze), Sc.M. Lauren writes: “Since earning my Master's in 2001, working with Tim Herbert, I pursued a career in environmental consulting. I found a great fit at Woodard & Curran, Inc. in Dedham, MA, via Brown's career fair. After four years of interesting work, I longed for a change of scenery, specifically, the San Francisco Bay Area. Fortunately, during the prosperous economy of 2006, I was able to find a position with ease. I continued to work in the environmental consulting field and eventually realized (after nine years) that I wanted to continue my education and pursue a PhD. I am very excited to be starting as a Graduate Research Assistant in the Hydrologic Sciences program at the Desert Research Institute/University of Nevada - Reno. I will be working on ice core and atmospheric chemistry with a focus on global climate change. Reno is a gorgeous place and I am thrilled to be a part of the the lively culture of the Desert Research Institute!”

To stay in contact, or to reconnect with Lauren, email her at

Class of 2005:

Sarah Milkovich, Ph.D. Sarah’s son, Marko Milkovich Sekanina, was born on April 8, 2011. The whole family is doing well. Sarah is back at work at JPL, working on science operations for the Cassini and MRO spacecraft. 


Matthew St. Peter, A.B. Currently, Matthew is in his final six months of medical school at George Washington University. He is applying to Emergency Medicine residency programs and has been invited to interview at Brown in December! Matthew has also applied all over the U.S. but keeping his fingers crossed that maybe he will be back in Providence again for residency.

Class of 2006:

Brian Yellen, Sc.B. writes: “Marcie and I are settling into Western Massachusetts. I am working at a geothermal energy company in Northampton and I am very passionate about geothermal. I also recently had the opportunity to do some post-Hurricane Irene geomorph work in off-channel ponds along the Connecticut River with Jon Woodruff. It looks like the sediment inputs from Irene far exceed those of typical spring floods, even though peak discharge from Irene was similar to that of spring floods.”

Class of 2008:

Corinne Myers, Sc.M. Cori is pleased to announce that in February 2011 she married her long-time boyfriend, Mike Andersen.

Class of 2009:

Marc Mayes, Sc.B. has been studying land use impacts on soil carbon and nitrogen biogeochemistry in south-central Turkey. He has researched satellite remote sensing methods for mapping arid agricultural landscapes, and methods for using geospatial data to inform sampling and study of soil properties at landscape-wide (500 km2) spatial scales.  During summer 2010, he organized a field season in the Konya Basin, a region cultivated in some places since 7500 BCE, to collect soil samples to study if and how long-term agriculture and range land use practices have affected soil carbon and nitrogen stocks differently across different soil parent materials.  While pursuing this work for his M.S. thesis at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he has enjoyed interacting with other professors and graduate students at Cukurova University (Adana, Turkey) and Wagenigren University (Wagenigren, The Netherlands).  Marc graduated with his M.S. from the Environment and Resources program in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies (UW-Madison) in August 2011.  He will began work on his his PhD in Geological Sciences in the Brown/MBL program in September 2011.

Above Photo: Marc Mayes and M. Akif Erdogan sampling volcanic soils in the Konya Basin, Turkey, August 2010

Marc Mayes recovering a bulk density core on lacustrine soil terrain in the Konya Basin, TR, August 2010.


Class of 2010:

Bethany Ehlmann, Ph.D. Bethany is an Assistant Professor of Planetary Sciences at the California Institute of Technology.

Tyler Lucero, A.B. In August 2011, Tyler completed the Master’s program in Science Education at the University of Rochester. After a year student-teaching in the Rochester City School District, Tyler has a new job as aseventh gradescience teacher at Rochester Academy Charter School in Rochester, NY.