Alumni Updates - 1990s

Rick Behl (Ph.D., 1992) Times are both good and bad here at CSU Long Beach. The budget is horrible - we don't have money for paper to put in our copying machine and we are barely holding on to our long-term, full -time lecturers. But, our program continues to grow in enrollment (65 undergrads, 56 MS students) and we just moved into a brand new building with very nice (but smaller) space. After 15 years of focusing on Quaternary sedimentology / paleoceanography, I'm returning my focus to the Monterey Formation and started CSULB's first industrial affiliates program. I call it the MARS Project (Monterey and Related Sediments) and have 8 corporate members and am supporting 8 or my 10 grad students. However, I still work on the younger stuff in the Santa Barbara Channel and am on the steering committee of the PAGES Varves Working Group. Last year, I was honored by being named the 2010 Distinguished Educator of the AAPG-Pacific Section. Cool! I just sent one of the undergrads in my lab to Boulder to start her PhD where she met Lon Abbott and Bob Anderson! Another of my MS students just finished her PhD at UCLA and another (currently teaching high school) was presented with a MIT Inspirational Teacher award. So good teachers like you, Casey, and Bob Garrison are still propagating your inspirationalv teaching.

Katharina Billups (Ph.D., 1998)  I am currently an Associate Professor at the University of Delaware. I am also the Associate Program Director for our Oceanography Program. Here is a link to my website: http://

Julie Blue (M.S., 1994)  I am working at The Cadmus Group, Inc., a small environmental consulting and engineering firm based in Watertown, MA (though I work from my home in Amherst, MA). Cadmus is primarily an EPA contractor. I spend most of my time leading our Environmental Research Practice, which includes research for EPA’s Office of Research and Development, for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and for organizations such as the Water Research Foundation. My focus for the past few years has been on assessing the vulnerability of drinking water, water resources in general, and aquatic ecosystems to climate change. This past week, our report on “Aquatic Ecosystems, Water Quality, and Global Change: Challenges of Conducting Multi-Stressor Vulnerability Assessments” has been published ( The rest of my time I spend with my 4-year old son, Snowden, working on the Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm to which we belong, taking music classes together, and eating maple candy.

John Bonsangue  (B.S., 1993)  Principal Hydrogeologist – Orange County Water District, Orange County, CA. I manage an artificial recharge program that injects recycled water into the coastal aquifer system to control the landward migration of seawater into the groundwater basin, which provides 2/3 of the water supply for the county.

Jorine Campopiano (formerly Lawyer, B.S., 1996 ) I am currently working at the US Environmental Protection Agency in Los Angeles. I am working as a Schools Children's Health Coordinator. Still get to use my earth science background for groundwater and contamination issues!

Amy Ewing, P.G. (B.S., 1998) works as a hydrogeologist at Daniel B. Stephens & Associates, Inc. in Albuquerque, specializing in water supply and conservation planning, watershed management, and water resources investigation projects.

Todd Greene  (B.S., 1994)  I am in my 4th year as an Assistant Professor at CSU-Chico in the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences. I happily remain in the UCSC-EPS family by being married almost 10 years to fellow graduate (1990) Jeanne Buckthal (now Greene) and being father to our almost 8 year old daughter, Callie (the most knowledgeable geologist in her grade).

Tracy Connell Hancock (M.S., 1993)  I was a graduate student with Shirley Dreiss.  After 19 years with the USGS as a Hydrologist, I recently started a position with the U.S. Forest Service in Washington, DC. I am the National Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator.  I still live in Richmond, VA and my daughter Meghan is now 14 years old.

Fred Hochstaedter  (Ph.D., 1991)  I am a full-time Earth Science teacher at Monterey Peninsula College. I’ve been here since 1998. I’ve hired a few UCSC grad students and post-docs as adjunct teachers down here as we occasionally have the need for adjunct instructors. I am currently working on a project to create time animations of oceanographic properties to improve Oceanography instruction.

Richard Koehler  (B.A., 1992)  After completing a PhD at University of Nevada Reno in 2009 I have been employed as an earthquake geologist with the State of Alaska, Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys. I am compiling the Alaska fault and fold database for the USGS, collaborating on several NSF research grants aimed at understanding recurrence of subduction zone earthquakes, and in charge of geologic hazards studies for proposed natural gas pipelines.

Justin Meek, (B.S., 1999)  After graduating from UCSC with a BS in Earth Sciences and BA in Environmental Studies, Justin Meek worked as an environmental planner for over seven years for a private planning and civil engineering firm. In the wake of the "great recession" he returned to school at San José State University (SJSU) to receive a master of urban planning (2010) and currently teaches a course on community assessment to graduate planning students at SJSU. On days Justin is not teaching, he provides planning consulting services to local municipalities, such as the cities of Pacific Grove and Marina. In addition to his professional work, Justin serves as the Administrative Director for the American Planning Association California Chapter, Northern Section, and sits of the Alumni Board of SJSU's Urban and Regional Planning Department.

Kirsten Menking (Ph.D., 1995)  I'm presently chair of the Dept. of Earth Science and Geography at Vassar College and an associate professor of Earth Science. I also teach with some frequency in the Environmental Studies program. I'm involved in research projects into the climate history of central New Mexico and southeastern New York through various proxies found in lake sediments. I'm also becoming a mom to a 12-yr-old boy I'll be adopting later this year.

Dan Orange (Ph.D., 1991)  DanO and his wife Bonnie and their 3 kids have now been in Jakarta, Indonesia for 5 years. They moved there to join fellow alum Phil Teas (PhD, 1998) and 6 of Phil’s ex-Unocal coworkers in forming a start-up oil and gas exploration company, Black Gold Energy. Black Gold applied the seep science that Dan and Phil first learned under Casey Moore to 400,000 km2 of Indonesia’s unmapped offshore basins. Using high-resolution multibeam mapping, and USBL-navigated piston cores, Black Gold obtained valuable information on the distribution and quality of the petroleum system in 10 large survey areas. Niko Resources Ltd., a publicly traded independent Canadian exploration and production company, bought Black Gold in Dec. ’09. Niko has been acquiring 2D and 3D seismic data over 18 Production Sharing Contract (PSC) blocks that Black Gold, and now Niko, have picked up, and will begin an extensive multi-year deep water drilling program in mid-2012 to interrogate the portfolio. DanO is now Niko’s VP of Voodoo Technology (his real title), which basically means that anything that’s not seismic, and not drilling, ends up on his desk. Niko is in the middle of their 2nd Indonesia Mega-Survey (250,000 km2), and is in the planning stages for a 3rd mega-survey in a different part of the world.

Joel Podgorski (B.S., 1997) is doing a PhD project at ETH Zurich using geophysics to study the hydrogeology of the Okavango Delta, Botswana.

Conrad Seales (B.S., 1991)  CPA and partner in the firm Meisser & Seales, LLP of Santa Cruz California.

Phil Stauffer (Ph.D., 1999)  I am now a Scientist IV at Los Alamos, running a few projects including Carbon Sequestration and Nuclear Waste Management. My CV with some good recent pubs is on the UC server, One of my big new projects is the CERC US-China Clean Coal Research Center. We collaborated with LLNL WVU UW and UKY to get 25$M DOE for collaboration with China on clean coal tech.

Barrie Taylor (Ph.D., 1991)  I’m still at Landmark Graphics, working on Research and Development and testing geophysical imaging software.

Glen Wallace, (M.S., 1997)  I am currently working as a consulting geologist with Pacific Groundwater Group in Seattle, Washington. I completed my PhD at the University of Washington in 2004.

Peter Weiler (Ph.D., 1999)  Peter Weiler is living in Berkeley with his spouse and just-turned-five-year-old son. He has wound up merging his academic career with his previous consulting career by performing shallow geophysical surveys (mostly resistivity, time- and frequency-domain electromegnetics, self-potential and magnetic surveys) for environmental and water-resources projects. He is on Facebook.

Erika Wise (B.S., 1997) is an assistant professor of geography at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.