Alumni Updates - 2000s

Nathan Barth (B.S., 2009) I took a job doing surveying for the Bureau of Land Management in Arcata. It's a seasonal job that's going to last into the fall. When that ends I think I'm going to stay here and get a certificate in GIS from HSU.

Nicole Beck  (Ph.D., 2001)  I am the owner and principal of the firm 2NDNATURE. You can download our SOQ from

Marci Beitch (B.S., 2006)  As an E&PS Alumni, I'm back at the E&PS dept! After 5 years of working (one at the USDA in Berkeley, CA conducting remote sensing research with Sarah Swope, and the last four in San Diego working for the geotechnical consulting firm, Ninyo & Moore), I've come back to UCSC as a Masters candidate working with Slawek in the field of glaciology. My M. Sci. research will be mapping the margin of the Greenland Ice Sheet from several different sets of satellite imagery, measuring shrinkage of the ice sheet over time, and calculating any changes in the rate of shrinkage in the recent years. I am very happy to be back in academia and back at UCSC.

S. Tyler Boss (B.S., 2006)  Commercial Diver, Global Diving & Salvage, Gulf of Mexico Oilfields.

Krystle Catalli  (B.S., 2005)  graduated from UCSC in 2005 and then went directly to grad school at MIT and received my PhD this June in Geophysics. My thesis area was mineral physics. I am now a postdoc at Lawrence Livermore National Lab.

Cara Clark (B.S., 2002)  Cara Clark is a Senior Wetland Scientist with the Central Coast Wetlands Group at Moss Landing Marine Labs. She received an M.S. in Coastal and Watershed Science and Policy from CSU Monterey Bay in 2008. She is on a statewide team that develops, implements and trains people in the California Rapid Assessment Method (CRAM). She will be focusing on developing CRAM modules for coastal bar-built estuaries (lagoons) and wet meadows over the next year. She also works on wetland restoration and monitoring in the Monterey Bay area.

John Cook (M.S., 2002)  I am still in Santa Cruz County and still teaching intro and CA geology classes over the hill at West Valley, DeAnza and Skyline Colleges. I began teaching at West Valley right after graduation which led to making connections and teaching at the other schools. I owe everything to the connections I made at UCSC – Hilde Schwartz recommending me to Robert Lopez as a field camp TA the summer after graduation started the ball rolling. I have developed and take my West Valley Class on 5 field trips during lab periods. I developed an equal number of field trips for my Skyline Classes - sites stretching from Mussel Rock to Pillar Point along the coast and the rift from San Andreas Lake to Crystal Springs Reservoir - before the program was cut a year ago. I have a night class there this semester but it looks like this might be the end. My wife and I have taken up running half marathons over the last three years. We’ve done the Big Sur, Santa Cruz and Salinas half marathons twice so far. We also swim and bike on a regular basis. I am currently learning to ride the unicycle and making decent progress. I have aspirations of trail riding once I reach a sufficient level of proficiency. We hiked and ran the trail to Half Dome last summer from Curry Village in 9 hours (compared to our previous non-running times of 12-13 hours). It was over 100 on the valley floor and 85 at the summit. We took a road trip to Craters of the Moon, Glacier National Park and Yellowstone over the summer. We both still love CA and our little house just a few minutes’ walk from the beach.

Brook Crowley  (M.S., 2008)  I have just started an assistant professorship at the University of Cincinnati. It's a joint position in the departments of Geology and Anthropology.

Mia Docto (B.S., 2007)  I am currently a graduate student at UC Berkeley studying Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning. I am focusing my studies in river restoration. (And my graduate adviser is Matt Kondolf who also studied at UCSC and got his masters in Earth Science.)

Murray Eiland (M.S., 2000)  I have many fond memories, and particular greetings to Professor Williams. I am Managing Editor of the London based Minerva Magazine.

Carrie Ryder Evje (M.S., 2004) I got certified to teach junior high and high school in Norway this past spring (where I've been living since 2004). I am now working at a local junior high school where I teach math, science, English, and German. All of the classes are taught in Norwegian except for English which is mostly taught in English. I learned Norwegian once I moved over here. I hope to be able to teach more science classes in the future - I have to just wait and see if someone retires :)

Steve Fercho (B.S., 2007)  I work as a Geologist and GIS Specialist for Ormat Technologies Inc. in Reno, where I've been for the last three years since completing my master's degree. Ormat is a geothermal energy company which specializes in exploration, development, and building power plants on geothermal resources. I'm involved in assessment of geothermal prospects internationally and across the western U.S. using geologic, geophysical, geochemical, remote sensing, and well data. I also work on compilation of all this data into GIS databases to produce relevant maps, with the ultimate goal of selecting locations for geothermal wells.

Samantha Hansen (Ph.D., 2007) I've just started my 2nd year at the University of Alabama, where I'm working as an assistant professor. Much of my current research is still closely tied to the projects I had in Africa and Antarctica (which I started during my postdoc at Penn State), but I'm working on getting some new projects started too.

Ryan Haupt  (B.S., 2009) I'm getting a Masters in Earth and Environmental Science at Vanderbilt University and continuing to podcast with fellow Earth and Planetary Science alums Patrick Wheatley and Charles Barnhart every week on our show Science... sort of.

Matthew Huber  (Ph.D., 2001)  I am now a full professor at Purdue University, still working on Eocene paleoclimate models and other things as well. I just got funded with Joe Galewsky to work on the history of the Sierras from a modeling perspective as well. So the work that started at UCSC continues! Anne and I have two kids, Lily and Daniel, a new dog Pele, and the same cat we had in grad school, Marquis.

Alex Hutko (Ph.D., 2008)  I’m now at the IRIS Data Management Center in Seattle which archives and distributes data for the seismology research community. I develop data products, some of which frequently appear in various media outlets following earthquakes of significant interest. I miss Santa Cruz, especially from October to July.

Brian Lockwood (B.S., 2001; M.S., 2004) works for the Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency, located in Watsonville, CA, in the role of Staff Hydrologist. Incidentally, the Agency’s General Manger, Mary Bannister, is also a UCSC Earth Sci alum.

Kelly Macgregor (Ph.D., 2002) is an Associate Professor at Macalester College (St. Paul, MN) in the Geology Department. Justin (Revenaugh) is still a professor at the University of Minnesota in the Geology and Geophysics Department. We miss you all in Santa Cruz!!! Our kids are growing up - Emma is 9 and Silas is 6. We've both been doing field work - Justin has been installing seismometers all over MN and up across the Canadian Shield, and I've been working in Glacier National Park, MT, British Columbia, and along the St, Croix River (MN/ WI). Justin ends up in the media talking about natural disasters quite a bit - as the only seismologist at the U he tends to field all the questions related to tsunamis, earthquakes, etc. We've been doing quite a bit more cross country skiing, ice skating, hockey and sledding here than in Santa Cruz, but miss the sea lion noise!

Brigette Martini (Ph.D., 2002)  After spending several years in the Defense industry in Ohio, Brigette is currently the Sr. Staff Geologist in the Exploration group at Ormat Technologies, Inc., a geothermal energy company based in Reno, NV. Along with abundant field work in Alaska, Hawai'i, Oregon and Nevada, Brigette, her husband Chris and their two dogs enjoy making the most of Tahoe and the Nevada outback out their front door

Stefano Mazzoni, (M.S., 2000)  I am working as a geological advisor in the California Exploration Team for Occidental Oil & Gas in Bakersfield, finding and developing new oil & gas resources in our great state. Organize geoscience field trips for Oxy geoscientists and engineers. Serving as Vice-President of the San Joaquin Geological Society and the Field Trip Coordinator for the 2012 National AAPG Convention in Long Beach next April. Also serving as an Alternate Delegate for the Pacific Region for the Association for Women Geoscientists. Spending lots of time in Mammoth, and traveling around other parts of California.

Ben Melosh  (B.S., 2005) I graduated in 2005 and am currently pursuing a PhD in geological sciences at McGill university in Montreal Canada and developing a passion for white rafting instilled by one Gerald Weber.

Brina Mocsny (B.S., 2008) I work for Naturebridge formerly Yosemite Institute, one of Outside Magazine's Top 50 Places to work, in Yosemite National Park as a field educator for nine months of the year. Naturebridge's mission is to inspire personal connections to the natural world and responsible actions to sustain it through environmental and experiential education. The most common academic subjects I teach are: climate change, hydrology, geology and ecology. During the other three months of the year, I am a Physical Science Technician working for with the National Park Service in Yosemite National Park. Physical Sciences encompasses hydrology, geology, air quality, soundscapes, and GIS. Recently, I have been working on field projects relating to the Merced River Plan, stock use in the park, and the status of the Lyell and Maclure Glaciers (with alumni Greg Stock).

Darcy Ogden, (Ph.D., 2008)  I'm currently an Assistant Professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Devon Orme  (B.S., 2009)  In May 2011, I received my Master's Degree from the University of Arizona in experimental thermochronology. Upon completion, I headed to Tibet to begin my PhD work, which will focus of the sedimentology/stratigraphy and thermal history of the Xigaze forearc basin. I will be doing triple dating (U-Pb, fission track and U/Th-He) and Ar/Ar dating on numerous sections along strike. Tibet was an amazing  experience to say the least!!! What a beautiful country!

Chris Pluhar (Ph.D., 2003)  I’m in my 5th year as assistant professor at Calstate Fresno, married to Kellien Townsend, former dept staff member.

Debbie Prinkey (M.S., 2003)  I'm now teaching regular and AP physics at Mount Vernon High School (my alma mater) in Mt. Vernon, Ohio. No other updates to report... no kids... not married, etc!

Julie Rokosky Ron (M.S., 2007)  I'm teaching 7th grade science at The Nueva School in Hillsborough, CA. The course focus is primarily chemistry, with a healthy dose of California geology. My husband and I recently moved from San Francisco to lovely, coastal El Granada. It's fun to be on the Pacific Plate again.

Greg Spear, (B.S., 2005) After getting my B.S. in Earth Science/Planetary Science in 2005, I entered the M.A./Credential program to become a teacher. It was probably the most difficult year of my entire life... Since graduating, I became an Earth Science teacher at Harbor High School in Santa Cruz and am still there. I've also taught Conceptual Physics (physics for "non-science" type students read: art/athletes/English/History types) and am, this year, a teacher at ARK Independent Studies at Branciforte Small School Campus. As a secondary school teacher of Earth Science, I find that I get to visit almost all the areas which come under the "Earth Sciences" umbrella: Astronomy, Geology, Seismology, Meteorology, Oceanography, Volcanology, and anything else that is of interest in my students about the Earth.

Josh Stein  (Ph.D., 2000)  I am working at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico doing research in photovoltaics energy systems. I lead the Photovoltaic Systems Modeling and Analysis team and have technical leadership for four regional test centers across the US, where we provide outdoor technology validation for PV companies. We develop, validate, and use numerical models of photovoltaic system performance to evaluate the economics and technical integration issues involved with connecting PV systems to the electrical grid.  On a personal side, Emily and I have two great kids (Megan, 12, and Matthew, 10).

Patrick Testoni  (B.S., 2001) I work here at UC Santa Cruz (since 2001), as Energy Manager. I currently lead, develop, and manage energy efficiency projects, solar photovoltaic projects, and greenhouse gas inventory management. I am working on lowering the campus carbon footprint through lighting and building ventilation upgrades, as well as cleaning up the campus' sources of fossil fuels. There is also multiple solar projects in development, including a photovoltaic array on the McHenry Library roof and a solar thermal heating array at OPERS and Long Marine Lab dolphin pool.

Katharine Turkle  (B.S., 2009) I am a graduate from the class of 2009 and I am working int the Earthquake Research Center at the USGS in Menlo Park now- I love it. :) I am currently in Richmond, VA, doing some field work on last week's 5.8 earthquake. Later this month traveling to the SCEC conference in Palm Spring and then AGU in December.

Lisé Whitfield  (M.S., 2003)  I graduated UCSC with my M.S. (working with Elise and Quentin) in 2003, taught earth and physical science for 5 years in San Jose and Santa Cruz, and then returned to school again to get my master's in Science Education. I am currently a Research Scientist at the University of Washington in the College of Education doing research on project-based learning in advanced earth and environmental science courses. We're testing the experimental project-based earth and environmental science curriculum with 1800 students in 4 states. It’s been exciting! I have such great memories of my time at UCSC and keep in touch with many of my colleagues from that time.

Janet Yun (Ph.D., 2000) I’m still here at Chevron, baking away in this record Texas heat! It’s been a couple of years since I was last on campus recruiting; I’m hopeful that I might be able to swing a trip this fall, maybe in October. Things continue to be busy here. I’m working in the Atlantic Canada Exploration team now (still based in Houston, though), doing regional mapping and prospect identification. The area I work has a complex rifting history, which makes for interesting and challenging work. Still doing recruiting for the company, although this year I had to scale back my role due to schedule conflicts.