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Alumni Newsletter 2012-2013

UPDATES: From the Class of '43 to the Class of '12

Class of 1943:

Dick Ray, ScM writes: After receiving my degree in 1943 I  joined the U. S. Geological Survey spending that summer mapping areas of old copper/iron deposits in southeastern Alaska. Before the next field season rolled around I was considered too young and healthy not to be in the military service, so I volunteered for the U. S. Navy just before the Army draft could catch up with me. I spent my ocean time on Destroyer Escort 195 (USS Thornhill) both in the Atlantic and Pacific. On my release from the Service (Lt. jg) I immediately rejoined the U. S. Geological Survey working the summer field seasons in various parts of Alaska. I had always wanted to join the academic world but needed further academic credentials to do that. So I reentered the student world at The Johns Hopkins University, receiving my Ph.D. in 1950. The USGS allowed me to use a three-season study of gold mines and surrounding areas in southern Alaska for my dissertation. Because I was enjoying my USGS work I chose not to test the academic waters for employment. However, as with many organizations there often come management changes and by 1960 my work at the USGS was no longer as enjoyable as it had been earlier. So at this point in my career I moved to the National Science Foundation where I was Program Director for Geology for 15 years. I got to know the academic world  and the academic world got to know me because I had government funds to disperse for geologic research! My government work terminated in 1975 when I chose to take early retirement. I was now ready for the academic world. I thought I had arrived at the point where I always wanted to be – either in a teaching capacity or management role. On reflection, however, I decided that a move to the educational world after 40 years in the Washington, DC area would be a monumental one for my family. I felt such a move would not only be disruptive to their lives but very inconsiderate and unfair to them. So I opted to continue my career as a staff officer for Board on Mineral and Energy Resources at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington DC. I spent seven years in part-time employment at the Academy at roughly 2/3 time until 1982. After my “second retirement” I took up landscape painting as a hobby and also began playing a lot of tournament bridge. My painting activities essentially ended when my wife became ill. I am still playing a lot of bridge but in general my life is rather humdrum. I go to bed late, watch old movies on TV, get up late, eat a lot of frozen dinners and do a lot of thumb twiddling. My existence is pretty much humdrum but at nearly 93 I am not complaining. If there are still any other old fossils of the early 1940’s still out there I’d be pleased to hear from them.

Class of 1952:

Bill Outerbridge, AB writes: December 1, 2011; I was given an award for service to the Commonwealth of Kentucky, specifically for geologic maps done between 1960 and 1978 and landslide studies done between 1978 and 1981. It appears landslides I forecast actually happened. June 1, 2012; Outerbridge, W.F., 2012, Age Relationships Based on Single Crystal Zircon U/Pb Ages, Pennsylvanian, Central Appalachian Basin, Eastern Kentucky, USA: Southeastern Geology, v. 49, n. 1, p. 1-11. Several volcanic ash beds occur in the coal measures of eastern Kentucky. Agesdetermined from some of these ash beds provide a basis for revising our concepts of the timing and development of the Appalachian coal basin.

Class of 1953:

Larry Lundgren, AB writes: Description: GSG Apelgatan 9 Lkp.jpgI begin as I did last year, since I am hoping for at least one response to a question up front: Do you, dear geologist, know what Ground Source Geothermal (GSG) is? I ask because it is through GSG that geology is still part of my everyday life. So I begin by showing you how I am reminded every day of my life by looking at my neighbor’s yard of one of GSGs benefits –you can neither see nor hear it. For comparison I give you a wind turbine I visit when I am out running. I like that too but many of you do not.Description: Wind Turbine Ljung Sweden copy.jpg

 GSG is a basic renewable energy technology here but you will never read about it in the NYTimes and I see no Brown geo course where it might be mentioned. FYI my neighbor’s GSG has been heating his home for 8 years without interruption just as my renewable energy system (distance heating fed by hot water heated by burning municipal waste). No landfills, no ground-water contamination. So why do you dear reader, all one of you, love the oil or natural gas burner so much?

My message is then, that if you are a one-time geology major now retired you can contribute on any one of wide variety of fronts and, if you do so, your life will become perhaps even better than it was before.

I have my own Enkla firman (Simple Company), Right English, in which the work consists of translating medical research manuscripts from Swedish to English and reviewing manuscripts already written in English. True this opportunity is only available to you if you are fluent in a language other than English and that language is one in which scientific manuscripts are written. Doing this is very stimulating and rewarding psychologically. Perhaps I should explain that the path to this was that I left hard rock to become an Environmental geologist. That led to epidemiology (think Chernobyl, radon, ground-water contamination, acid rain effects) and then to becoming Adjunct Professor of Environmental Medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine. Now the manuscripts flow in. Always exciting.

I am still playing trumpet in Angsars-Missionskyrkans blåsorkester (Ansgars church – Mission church wind orchestra) as my NYT comment ikon will show you in the form of my Bach Stradivarius trumpet if you read Times comments on, for example renewable energy. We play a lot of American music in that orchestra even the Coffee Song if you are old enough to know what that is.

Central to my life and something I recommend to every retiree is working with refugees at the Red Cross, for me here in Linköping. Two to four days a week, I spend several hours to help refugees from everywhere but nowadays mostly Somali born (see my blog), to learn Swedish or to help them with their homework. The best is actually to sit with 5 or 6, each from a different country and just talk. I have described that experience in a New York Times comment on Michael Chabon’s story about small utopias (Times Magazine 30 September) since the Red Cross coffee room and meeting place is a “small utopia”.

I close by showing you one of the great things in my life which one might describe as the result of intercontinental marriage between me and then Professor Ann Frodi, born in Sweden of an American mother and Swedish father. Ann was Professor at Rochester when I met her but we are all in Sweden now where I commute back and forth via Bus4You between Linköping and Göteborg.

I do not do birthdays but my 80th was an exception so Ann did a dinner for me on her island with our almost universally musical friends and then to top that off our daughter Annika did a performance for me (us) using her newly acquired skills as a Tissue performer. Ankan (Ducky as she is often called) has university degrees from the University of Vermont and University of Gothenburg (3 degrees) and thanks to living in two countries now speaks 5 languages, one more than her mother and 3 more than me. That was not enough so she has added what you see below.

Description: web-Tortoise_2949.jpgDescription: Annika upside down.jpgDescription: web-Annika-mom-and-dad.jpgOn my 80th birthday I walked into the climbing gym in Göteborg, and heard first Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, an auspicious beginning. Next was the opening of Olive’s 1996 You’re Not Alone (see my blog) and there was Annika high in the sky performing for me and Ann. I show you a pic from that performance and another to show the latest.                    That is Ann and me under Annika at the end of that performance, concluded by her playing Happy Birthday on her flute high above us, but right-side-up. And the latest is upside down hanging from the legs of her Brazilian teacher, Jailton.Never a dull moment.

Annika and I also run in as many races as Team T and H.

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Blog at where you can tell me if you know GSG  and even my very basic (only in Explorer) to see the immigrants who came to Massachusetts and Rhode Island and account for me writing this from Sweden.  A former hard rocker who switched as you learned above.Larry Lundgren

Class of 1956:

Peter Rona, AB continues as professor of marine geology and geophysics at Rutgers University. He leads the COVIS (Cabled Observatory Vent Imaging Sonar) project with NSF support which acoustically monitors flow and flux of hydrothermal venting in a hydrothermal field on the Juan de Fuca Ridge with an innovative sonar connected to the NEPTUNE Canada Cabled Observatory, the first such observatory on an ocean ridge. He works collaboratively with NOAA's Northeast Fisheries Science Center on exploration of the giant Hudson Submarine Canyon to determine the role of conditions in the canyon in supporting regional fisheries. He serves as a consultant to the International Seabed Authority on mineralization on ocean ridges as deep ocean mining for polymetallic sulfides approaches.

Class of 1962:

Randolph Steinen, AB '62, PhD '73 lives in Rhode Island and sends this update: I have been volunteering at the Connecticut Geological Survey for the past 6 years. Now I will try to volunteer at the RI Geological Survey. Tune in later for the results.

Class of 1965:

Charlie Shabica, AB writes: Although retired from teaching Earth Science and Coastal Engineering, I’m still working on sustainable shore protection systems. Most of our projects are in the Great Lakes; close to home. We’re also working on a new “Green” marina located on the Gulf shore of southern Belize. It’s nice to get out of Chicago especially in the winter.

photo of two “Pocket Beaches” we just completed on the Evanston Illinois shore of Lake Michigan. It’s a location just south of Northwestern University that has been sand-starved (no beaches) for decades. The other is the layout for the marina in Belize that’s designed to improve coastal water quality.

Class of 1966:

David Schwartzman, MS, PhD '71, writes: This is my first news as an alum, better late than never! I retired as of last June after 39 years on the faculty, now Professor Emeritus, Howard University.

I am still active in research, with recent focus on climate and energy issues, as well as continuing interest in the long term carbon cycle, coevolution of life and climate as well as origin of life (see you at Goldschmidt 2013). My paperback update of Life, Temperature, and the Earth (Columbia University Press) appeared 10 years ago, still worth reading.
I have several recent publications in Capitalism Nature Socialism.
My website with my older son Peter is
I am active in Green Party and its local affiliate, the DC Statehood Green Party.
My campaign website from last November and previous races is:
My older son Peter Schwartzman is director of Environmental Studies at Knox College, Galesburg Illinois where he is an Alderman, leading his community in urban farming and renewable energy.
My younger son Sam Junge is a leader of Portland Solidarity (Oregon) where he works in a homeless shelter for youth.
My email is
My favorite quotation: "Be as radical as reality itself"

Class of 1969:

Davis A. Young, PhD has kept busy since retirement in 2004 from Calvin College where he taught for the final 26 years of his 36 year college career. In 2009, he was given the Mary C Rabbitt History of Geology Award by the Geological Society of America Davis recently wrapped up a five-part series on The Origin of the American Quantitative Igneous Rock Classification that was published in Earth Sciences History. The classification, best known today for the CIPW norm calculation, was published in 1902 and was the brainchild of Joseph P. Iddings, Louis V. Pirsson, C. Whitman Cross, and Henry S. Washington, four of America's greatest petrologists in the pre-Bowen era. All four were members of the National Academy of Sciences. Since retirement he has published three books, the most recent of which is Good News for Science: Why Scientific Minds Need God, a challenge to science professionals, teachers, and students to make a serious investigation of Christianity. Davis and his wife have been living in Tucson, Arizona, since retirement.

Class of 1972:

Greg Mountain, AB writes: I've been rather quiet in my Alumni connections back to Brown, though I've worked on occasion with some of the faculty, Warren Prell in particular, and I've enjoyed the many newletters etc. that have been sent my way. Your latest request for info brought to mind that some might find interesting a 5-minvideomade about an offshore drilling expedition for which I was CoChief Sci back in 2009. As some who follow this line of work will know, the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program for years circled around the challenge of drilling for climate history, etc. on continental shelves, and finally took the plunge offshore New Jersey, with great success. Our scientific results are due to come out in the online journal Geosphere over the next several months.

On an entirely separate issue -- I'm taking over as head of the alumni board for my graduate earthscience school (Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia Univ.) and I'm curious: does the Geology Dept have any type of alumni organization (distinct from the general and very active Brown Alumni Assoc) ? If so, how is it structured, who are the alums most involved, and is there an actual 'alumni board' with a 'mission statement' type of document that outlines what the board aims to do? One of my first actions as board president here is to invigorate our members and give them a set of 'marching orders' so they know what is expected of them.

Gary Robbins, ScM: On October 12, 2012, Dr. Gary Robbins, Professor of Geology, Dept. of Natural Resources and the Environment, received the Licensed Site Professionals Association (LSPA) of Massachusetts 2012 Contribution to Practice Award at their annual meeting. The LSPA is a non-profit organization of environmental professionals and others (attorneys, laboratory personnel, contractors, etc.) involved in the management of hazardous waste sites, with nearly 1000 members.  Dr. Robbins is well known for his research work at the University of Connecticut related to improving site characterization methods at sites that have ground water contamination.  Dr. Robbins received the award ”in recognition of outstanding contributions and advancing the profession”  through helping to train LSPA members in state-of-the-art techniques related to environmental assessment.  In addition to developing mortar and brick courses, especially hands-on field courses, he pioneered on-line training courses in Massachusetts and Connecticut using simulations to provide real world training in virtual space.

Cole Worthy, President of the Massachusetts Licensed Site Professionals Association presents Dr. Gary Robbins with the Association’s  2012 Contribution to the Practice Award.

Class of 1975:

Suzanne Mahlburg Kay, PhD: Suzanne is the President of the Geological Society of America effective June 1, 2013.

Ross Stein, ScB writes: Brown Geo junior Jeremy Shar spent the summer working with USGS Geophysicist Ross Stein '75 on an earthquake physics demonstration apparatus, QuakeCaster. Jeremy turned the one-dimensional spring-and-rider system into a two-dimensional earthquake interaction apparatus that they have dubbed, Fishnet Stocking Stress. That's because the sliders are magnetically attached to a fishnet stocking stretched in a frame that is pulled by a casting reel over a high-friction surface. The sliders undergo stick-slip and interact as a function of their mass and proximity in ways that are both predictable and chaotic. Ross has since used Fishnet Stocking Stress in talks at UCSC, Univ. WA, and the USGS. Ross hopes to bring Jeremy back next summer to perform experiments and create build-and-buy instructions, and submit them to publication. Ross thanks Jan Tullis for sending him yet another great Brown Geo student.

I don't really have much of an interesting story, but to tell you all of the interesting places that a geology degree can take you, I am not selling business jets for Cessna aircraft. I lead a team of salespeople responsible for jet sales in New England and the Great Lake state.

Class of 1976:

Joel Scheraga, AB: Dr. Joel Scheraga is the Senior Advisor for Climate Adaptation in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Office ofPolicy in the Office of the Administrator. Heis leading EPA's efforts to develop and implement a Climate Change AdaptationPlan to ensure it can continue to protect human health and the environment evenas the climate changes. He also represents EPA on the federal InteragencyClimate Change Adaptation Task Force. The Task Force wasestablished by Executive Order in October 2009 and charged withdeveloping recommendations for President Obama on how the nation might adapt to climate change impacts.

The EPA released its draft Climate Change Adaptation Plan on February 7, 2013. The plan was produced by the Cross-EPA Work Group on Climate Change Adaptation, chaired Joel. As stated in the EPA “Policy Statement on Climate Change Adaptation,” signed by Administrator Lisa P. Jackson in June 2011, climate change can pose significant challenges to the EPA’s ability to fulfill its mission. The EPA must therefore adapt to climate change if it is to continue fulfilling its statutory, regulatory, and programmatic requirements. The unprecedented EPA Climate Change Adaptation Plan provides a roadmap (including Agency-wide priority actions) for how the Agency will anticipate and plan for future changes in climate and incorporate considerations of climate change into its programs, policies, rules and operations to ensure they are effective under future climatic conditions.

Class of 1979:

Jim Conca, ScB writes: Forbes asked me to do a weekly blog in May on energy and nuclear. I'd love to hear what everyone thinks of it. It's a lot harder than I thought and definitely is making me feel old!

Adam Schultz, ScB: Adam Schultz. NSF (EarthScope and Marine Geology & Geophysics) released funding for our MOCHA project. This stands for Magnetotelluric Observations of Cascadia using a Huge Array. This is the most ambitious onshore-offshore magnetotelluric (electromagnetic) imaging experiment yet undertaken, and has OSU's National Geoelectromagnetic Facility as the lead (Adam Schultz is PI of the NGF), with collaborators from the University of Oregon, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and the USGS. We will instrument most of western Oregon and part of SW Washington and extend the arrays offshore to image the electrical structure of the crust and upper mantle in high resolution, with a specific target of detecting the distribution of fluids rising from the subducting Juan de Fuca plate. These fluids may play a key role in moderating Episodic Tremor and Slip, a slow earthquake type phenomenon that may itself be important in redistributing stress within this megathrust seismic hazard area.

We also recently were awarded NSF funding (GeoPRISMS and EarthScope) for a large scale, high resolution magnetotelluric study of the southern Washington Cascades volcanic arc including Mt St Helens, Mt Adams and Mt Rainier. I am PI of the magnetotelluric study, with collaborators from the USGS, and seismic collaborators from University of Washington, LDEO and Rice University. We will image the details of the volcanic connections between the upper mantle and the surface volcanic expressions, and investigate the possibility suggested by earlier studies that there is a large-scale mid-crustal magma accumulation in this area.

Both MOCHA and the SW Washington Cascades field work will take place during 2013-2014.

The National Geoelectromagnetic Facility has recently completed two marine electromagnetic surveys offshore Reedsport and Newport Oregon in support of wave energy development. Our work at Reedsport in August was a requirement for Ocean Power Technology to gain their permit to install commercial wave energy converters at Reedsport, which is the first commercial wave energy electric generating facility in the US. The permit was granted immediately following our survey. The Newport work was completed last week, and was carried out to detect electromagnetic fields emitted from the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center's wave energy electric grid simulator testbed, which was operating with a scale size commercial wave energy converter attached. Our work at these sites was carried out in collaboration with a colleague from SAIC. Our lab is currently completing a new generation combined ocean bottom electromagnetic field/seismic system with a trawl resistant housing and acoustic telemetry. This will be used for subsequent marine investigations of this sort.

The National Geoelectromagnetic Facility is also carrying out a large scale multidisciplinary investigation at Newberry volcano under Department of Energy support. We are collaborating with Zonge International Inc (Tucson) and the National Energy Technology Lab of the Department of Energy to image the migration of fluids deep beneath the flanks of Newberry caldera as the volcano undergoes a geothermal stimulation (pressurized well injection) by a geothermal development company. Our work involves 3D/4D magnetotelluric and controlled source electromagnetic investigations, ground based and satellite interferometric radar observations of dynamic ground surface deformations, absolute and relative gravity measurements, precision GPS monitoring and geochemical investigations during a "hydroshearing" episode, and during a controlled system depressurization. The goal is to develop technologies to allow geothermal operators to optimize the longevity and energy extraction from an enhanced geothermal system. The methods we are developing will be transferrable to other geothermal systems, and also to shale oil/gas hydrofracturing areas.

We have recently been awarded NSF funding to analyze EarthScope magnetotelluric data from the North American mid-continent region, in the vicininty of the mid-continent rift, and we have just received an additional year of funds to operate the EarthScope magnetotelluric program through the end of FY2013, a continuation of several million dollars in long-running NSF investment in OSU's EarthScope MT project. We are also part of the IRIS 5-year renewal proposal being considered by NSF for continuation of EarthScope operations through 2018. Thus far we have completed a regular grid of magnetotelluric stations, with 70 km spacing, spanning the NW quadrant of the US and another large footprint covering the north central US. Our eventual goal is complete a regular grid of MT stations spanning the entire continental US and Alaska.

In my spare time, I am carrying out a magnetotelluric survey in the Empty Quarter (Rub' al Khali) of Saudi Arabia under Saudi support. We are assisting King Saud University's efforts to locate groundwater resources in the region north of the Yemen and Oman borders. We've been working to develop special methods to obtain high quality electromagnetic data in the heart of the largest sand desert in the world. The arid conditions there make conventional methods of measuring electric fields using grounded electrolytic dipoles ineffective, so we are implementing methods of capacitively coupling to the desert sands.

The National Geoelectromagnetic Facility at OSU (, which was established using 2009 ARRA funding from NSF, currently operates 46 portable long-period magnetotelluric instruments and 7 permanently installed MT observatories. The NGF is completing acquisition of 26 additional next generation wideband/ultra-wideband electromagnetic instruments, in collaboraiton with Zonge International, and it serves as the US national academic instrument pool for electromagnetic geophysics. The lab also currently has two seafloor electromagnetic receiver systems. The NGF has two full time technical support staff and a team of graduate and undergraduate students including two through OSU's Increasing Diversity in the EarthSciences, and summer REU students from Loyola University and UCSD. We'd welcome inquiries from talented undergraduates at Brown who may be interested in an REU experience in the great Northwest, or from potential grad students and postdocs.

Class of 1980:

James Whitford-Stark, PhD writes: I fell and smashed my hip so got a titanium implant. It severely restricted my ability to do field work, so I retired early. Now having fun going places on vacation this year rather than work. So far, Dominican Republic and Cyprus. Bermuda and Texas coming up.

Class of 1981:

William Osborn, ScB writes: I am now representing the State of Texas in cases where its oil and gas reserves beneath state riverbeds are being drained by offsetting horizontal wells. We are having an oil boom here, with about 200 new horizontal well drilling permits being approved every week. The best advice I had at Brown was from Jan Tullis long ago, saying that if I was going to get a geology degree I should not mess around, but should go for the Sc. B., which I did. I was interested in the subject because of all the Cretaceous era fossils at our ranch, and one of her grad students kindly sawed and polished one for me, and I was hooked.

Our daughter graduated from Yale in May, but youngest son is now applying to colleges and I am trying to get him to apply to Brown. They accepted our daughter but she liked the residential college system at Yale so chose it instead, got a degree in Latin American studies and is now in Brazil working on preparation for 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Class of 1982:

David Grinspoon, AB: in April 2012, NASA and the Library of Congress announced the selection of David H. Grinspoon to be the first Baruch S. Blumberg NASA-Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology.

Michael Ravine, ScB writes: I am project manager on the development of the four science cameras on the Curiosity rover. FOUR MALIN SPACE SCIENCE SYSTEMS (MSSS) CAMERAS ON THE CURIOSITY ROVER RETURN SPECTACULAR PICTURES FROM MARS

When the Curiosity rover of the Mars Science Laboratory Project (MSL) landed on Mars on 5 August 2012, on board were four cameras developed by Malin Space Science Systems (MSSS): the 34 mm and100 mm Mast Cameras (Mastcam), the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), and the Mars Descent Imager (MARDI).

The Mastcams were designed to be the science imaging “workhorse” for the MSL rover. The cameras, capable of taking full color images analogous to those taken by consumer digital cameras, aremounted on the rover’s remote sensing mast, where they can be panned and tilted to provide image coverage around the rover, both near the rover and out to the horizon. The Mastcams are alsocapable of acquiring 720p high definition video at a rate of about 7 frames per second, as well as stereo (3D) images of the terrain explored by the MSL rover. The 34 mm Mastcam has shot apanorama of the Gale Crater landing site shortly after landing (Figure 1), as well as an image of another MSSS-built camera on the end of Curiosity’s robotic arm (Figure 2). The Mastcam 100 mmcamera is a telephoto system, designed to capture detailed views from up to 10 miles away. Figure 3 is a Mastcam 100 mm image of the flanks of Mt. Shape, showing the layered structure thatCuriosity will be investigating in the coming year.

A Mastcam 34 mm camera panorama of Curiosity's Gale crater landing site, showing the rover in the foreground and Mt. Sharp in the distance. (High resolution version at

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FIGURE 2. A Mastcam 34 mm camera image of the turret on the end of Curiosity's robotic arm. Another MSSS camera, the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), is in the center of this image. (Highresolution version at

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FIGURE 3. A Mastcam 100 mm camera image of the flanks of Mt. Sharp, taken from about ten miles distance. (High resolution version athttp://phDescription: Macintosh

The cameras I helped build on the Curiosity rover are still working great. I just put together this self-portrait of the rover shot with our camera on the rover's robotic arm:

Almost like being there.

Class of 1984:

Michael Wysession, ScB: Michael Wysession class of 1984 (Washington University in St. Louis) got married in September to Margaret Farnon (Brown '84), on the beach in Delaware, just a short ways up the coast from where they went camping together 31 years ago. (Speedy, for a geologist.) Professionally, Michael and his team finished installing an IRIS PASSCAL seismic array in Madagascar this past August, and he has been busy supervising the writing of the Earth and Space Science standards for the national K-12 Next Generation Science Standards."Michael Wysession (Brown '84) and Margaret Farnon (Brown '84) were married on the coast of Delaware in September in a small family ceremony, not far from where they went camping as freshmen (32 years ago!). Michael (seismology professor at Washington University in St. Louis) now has his complete array of seismometers installed in Madagascar. Michael is also a lead author of the national K-12 Next Generation Science Standards, in charge of Earth and space science. The new standards, which are in the process of being adopted by most states in the country, will recommend a full year of Earth and space science in both middle school and high school, and that in both cases it be taught following the bulk of physical and life sciences."

Class of 1985:

Patricia Yager, ScB writes: UGA did a recent "Focus on the Faculty" article on Patricia for their website.

Class of 1990:

Karen Kohfeld, ScB writes: I'm happy to be enjoying my sabbatical as a Benjamin Meaker Visiting Professor in the Department of Geographical Sciences at Bristol University in the UK. My family and I are having a fabulous time. Everyone says it's rainy here, but after living in Vancouver, Canada, for six years, I hadn't noticed! I'll return to Vancouver this summer and resume teaching in the School or Resource and Environment at Simon Fraser University in the fall.

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Photo: Karen with spouse Klaus, and daughter Katie on the beach at low tide in Weston-super-Mare, UK.

Class of 1995:

Jon Kay, ScB: Jon was recently profiled by The Oceanography Society

Class of 1996:

Charles (Chuck) Magee, ScB is working for Australian Scientific
Instruments, where he sets up SHRIMP mass spectrometers and trains geoscientists in their use. He recently discovered that these high resolution SIMS instruments can function as really expensive
seismometers, when the surface waves from a Japanese earthquake wiggled an instrument he was turning up. While this career detour into instrumentation mans that Chuck hasn't seen a rock in the wild recently, he enjoys talking to geologists who do at major conferences. His daughter is in first grade at school, and his son is considering repeating the terrible twos.

Class of 1997:

Dan Brabander, PhD writes: After three years as the geosciences chair at Wellesley College I find myself looking forward to asabbaticalyear aheadexaminingthe cycling of urban carbon in the built environment. Planned research will geochemically fingerprint carbonwaste streamsand design collection andmanagementplans that will permit a wider range of end usescenarios forurban organic carbon. Latest paper looked at the increased incidence and altered risk demographics of childhood leadpoisoningresulting from the CDC's new 5 ug/dL reference value. Complete article can be found at: On the home front we areenjoying adventures in home schooling and I have found a new religion and its name isTriathlon.

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Photo: Dan pictured with his research group at Wellelsey

Elizabeth Cottrell, ScB has been honored as the 2012-2013 COMPRES Distinguished Lecturer. The Consortium for Materials Properties Research in Earth Sciences is an NSF-funded community-based consortium whose goal is to enable Earth Science researchers to conduct the next generation of high-pressure science on world-class equipment and facilities ( In her role as distinguished lecturer, Liz embarked on an NSF-funded national university and college lecture tour in the fall of '12 and spring 2013.

Andy Long, AB writes: I am currently entrenched in my fifteenth year of teaching elementary and middle school science at Fay School outside of Boston. I've held numerous positions at the school, but teaching young kids about the wonders of the natural world continues to be my passion. I also coordinate the school's sustainability programs and I am always looking to connect with Brown alums and faculty to bring guests to school who can share their expertise with kids. I can be reached at

Class of 1999:

Irene Antonenko, PhD: For over a year has been the science co-lead on CosmoQuest's Moon Mappers project ( CosmoQuest involves the general public in on-going science research through crowd-sourcing of labor-intensive, yet easily mastered tasks. The Moon Mappers component asks citizen scientists to identify and measure impact craters on the Moon using very high resolution images from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Narrow Angle Camera. The data gathered by Moon Mappers volunteers is being used by Irene and co-lead Stuart Robbins to address fundamental issues in lunar science, such as whether saturation of craters occurs at the same rate on all lunar surfaces, how processes such as impact-induced seismic shaking affect the crater population, and the implications these have for modelling the ages of lunar surfaces. We are also studying the validity of citizen-science data by comparing it with statistics from crater counting experts. We welcome anyone who's interested to come count lunar craters with us.

Class of 2002:

Sarah Garlick, ScB writes: The most exciting update I have is that my husband and I welcomed our son Oliver William Surette into the world on November 29, 2012. He is a happy, healthy baby and we couldn't be more thrilled. In other happenings, I continue to work in the field of science writing and education. I just finished writing the "Rocks and Minerals" chapter for a big compilation guide to the natural world for National Geographic Books, which should be released sometime this fall. I'm also working with the Museum of the White Mountains, a new museum in Plymouth, New Hampshire, to curate an exhibition about the geology of the White Mountains and its influence on tourism and recreation in the region. I'll be working on this project most of the year, with the exhibition opening at the museum in March 2014, so if you have worked (or played) in the White Mountains and you would like to learn more about our plans, please don't hesitate to be in touch ( Lastly, I'll be at the GSA Northeastern Section meeting at the Mount Washington Hotel next month both as a participant and as an exhibitor for the American Alpine Club. Please stop by and say hi! —Sarah Garlick '02.5, North Conway, New Hampshire.

Sarah Milkovich, PhD writes: I am still working at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and am currently a member of two spacecraft operations teams: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (where I am the investigation scientist for the HiRISE camera) and Mars Science Laboratory (where I am the science operations system engineer). I had a very exciting August, when MSL landed successfully on Mars and HiRISE snapped a picture on the way down! I got to be the person who presented the image at the press conference the day after landing, my first press conference and quite an experience. I maintain a blog about working on spacecraft operations at

Class of 2005:

Fatma Khatib, ScB writes: This is my seventh year working with the national petroleum company of Malaysia, and I am currently residing in Yangon, Myanmar working as a petroleum geologist at our international office. It is a fascinating country to experience now, with all the changes that are taking place. If anyone is heading this way, do drop me a line at

Andrew Michelson, AB earned his Ph.D. in Integrated Bioscience from the University of Akron in August of 2012. Currently, he is continuing his research on the taphonomy and paleoecology of lacustrine ostracodes in the Bahamas as a postdoctoral researcher, working with Dr. Lisa E. Park, as well as teaching Introductory Paleontology at the University of Akron. This fall, Andrew will start a two-year appointment as anNSF Earth Sciences Postdoctoral Fellow, studying with Dr. Susan M. Kidwell at the University of Chicago. Please contact Andrew at if you want to learn more about his research."

Class of 2006:

Joe Levy, ScM '06, PhD '09 Joe has a field blog that he invites you to visit

Linnea Sanderson, AB gives this update: After six years of teaching science and art in New York City public schools, the salience of my students' unmet health needs prompted me to begin the study of medicine. I hope to work in adolescent health, especially in underserved, urban communities. In my spare time, I'm still loving time outside with my sweet dog, Penny.  I enter the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University in the Fall 2013.