Alumni Updates - 2010

Nick Byler (B.S., 2010)  I graduated last December, and was thinking about applying to grad school, but I decided to delay that in order to work in the industry and gain experience. My goal is to take the GIT so I can obtain my PG certification. I have been working as a field geologist in south-eastern Utah since April doing exploration for an oil sands project. I believe this is the first project of this type in the US. It is similar to the oil sand project at Athabasca in Alberta, Canada, but I think they are trying to be more environmentally conscious here.

Patrick Kao (B.S., 2010)  I'm currently working as a Jr. Environmental Scientist for a company called Ahtna Facility Services, Inc here in Sacramento. It’s a relatively small company and we are currently dealing with remediation efforts for one of the Bakersfield oil fields (Elk Hills, Former NPR-1). Right now I’m just basically writing reports for submittal to the Department of Energy and the California Department of Toxic Substance Control. However, we do have a field office there and I am going to do a bit of field work soon.

Charlie Lewis, (B.S., 2010)  I am a local climate action planner. My firm is PMC and we write climate action plans, sustainability plans, GHG reduction plans and so on for cities and counties all across the state.

Pete Lippert  (Ph.D., 2010)  I'm presently a post-doc in the Dept. of Geosciences at the University of Arizona in Tucson. My current projects include tectonic reconstructions of the Tibetan Himalaya and Greater India to reveal the suturing process between India and Asia, as well as development of new proxies for paleo-wildfire to explore relationships between climate change, seasonality, and wildfire susceptibility in the geologic past.

Nancy McKeown (Ph.D., 2010)  Nancy McKeown is an assistant professor in Physical Sciences, Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta, developing courses in and teaching GIS, remote sensing, and planetary geology. This past year, she presented at the community Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Landing Site Workshops, contributing to the decision of where the MSL rover might land. (“Curiosity” will be landing at Gale Crater in 2012.) She has been continuing her research using imaging spectroscopy to map alteration minerals on Mars and is collaborating with Dr. Mark Furze, also at MacEwan, on his research in the arctic, using GIS to create maps of chemical distributions to determine the source of glacial ice on Banks Island.

Alex Morgan, (B.S., 2010)  After graduating from UCSC in 2010 I worked at NASA Ames for a year where I studied Martian geomorphology. I just started graduate school at the University of Virginia where I am working on a similar project (alluvial fans in Martian craters).

Tina To  (B.A., 2010)  I am currently completing my Masters in Environmental Science through the University of Sydney. I have loved the opportunity to study abroad! I return to the US on Saturday and I will start the Ano Nuevo State Park docent training program next week. My daughter is 2 years old.