2020 Alumni Updates

These updates appeared in the Fall 2020 edition of the annual alumni newsletter.

Anna Baker, AB 2020, spent the summer searching for hydrous carbonates on Mars as part of NASA/LPI's Summer Undergraduate Program for Planetary Research (SUPPR). She is now working (remotely) at the USGS office in Menlo Park, California, as part of the USGS/NAGT Cooperative Summer Field Training Program.

Kay Behrensmeyer, AB 1967, was elected to the National Academy of Sciences this year. She also recently won the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology’s Romer-Simpson Medal, the Paleontological Society Medal, and the National Academy of Sciences' G. K. Warren Prize for contributions to understanding how environmental factors drive evolution.

Charles Colodny, AB 1973, retired from practicing medicine at Advocate-Aurora Health in Chicago. He notes that he was, as Doc Levin predicted, great in gallstones and kidney stones.

R. Laurence Davis, AB 1969, AM 1972, was elected to the New Hampshire Environmental Educators Board of Directors and continues to be as active in environmental education as the pandemic will allow, including continuing to teach at Camp Pemigewassett in New Hampshire.

Claire Elias, AB 2018, relocated to Ketura, Israel, to join the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies as a research intern, where she is studying the ecohydrology and geology of a seasonal river valley in the Arava Valley.

Adrienne Emmerich, AB 2014, graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with a master's degree in landscape architecture, focusing on racial equity in municipal landscape planning. She also received the Ruth Fisher Harwood Prize for academic excellence and the potential to contribute significantly to the profession.

Jess Friedman, AB 2007, moved to Baltimore, Maryland, for a job as a primary care physician at Health Care for the Homeless.

Diana (Goeller) Hutcherson, AB 2013, got married and also trained to become an IT Specialist for the Army, earning an Army Achievement Medal for being at the top of her class. Additionally, she completed civilian IT certifications and now works as a network administrator for a cybersecurity firm, True Digital Security.

Linden Huhmann, AB 2010, joined the Department of Veterans Affairs as a Big Data-Scientist Training Enhancement Program (BD-STEP) Fellow, where they apply their interest in the intersection of human health and the environment to cancer research, specifically using health data to further our understanding of cancer progression and treatment.

Scott Hurley, AB 1996, became Vice President of Product Marketing for Roambee, a supply chain visibility technology company, and was appointed to the Transportation Advisory Board for Naperville, Illinois.

Natasha Johnson, PhD 2002, was recently promoted to chief of the Astrochemistry Laboratory in the Solar Systems Exploration Division at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. She is the project scientist on a proposed Discovery mission to Venus, DAVINCI+.

Hannah Kaplan, AB 2013, started a new job at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center as a Research Space Scientist.

Yun Ke, PhD 2009, moved to the University of Texas at El Paso as an assistant professor.

Carla Koretsky, AB 1992, won the Distinguished Woman in Higher Education Leadership Award. 

Laurel Larsen, AM 2003, was named a GSA fellow in 2019 and spent 2020 in Joensuu, Finland, as a Fulbright-Saastamoisen Fellow in Environmental Science, working on evaluating hydrologic and climate controls on methane and carbon dioxide emissions from boreal peatlands. In September, she started a three-year term as Delta Lead Scientist (a joint position between the USGS and Delta Stewardship Council) in Sacramento, tasked with providing independent science in support of managing California’s water resources.

Paul Larsen, AB 2007, MD 2012, finished an interventional cardiology fellowship at the University of Chicago and moved back to St. Louis for a job at SSM St. Mary's.

Wei Luo, PhD 1995, became acting chair of the Department of Geographic and Atmospheric Sciences at Northern Illinois University.

Erol Morey, AB 1982, was awarded an MS from the National Defense University’s Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy.

Rob Powers, AB 1996, earned his architectural license and started a new job with an architecture firm in Washington, DC, where he will be working on a variety of government-related projects, including the historic preservation of stone buildings. Powers will miss living in Portland, Oregon, where he enjoyed being surrounded by dormant and extinct volcanoes and other spectacular geologic features.

Emily Reisman, AB 2009, completed her PhD in Environmental Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz and joined the faculty at the University at Buffalo (SUNY) as Assistant Professor of Environment and Sustainability.

Andrea Stenhoff, AB 2001, was promoted to Senior Financial Services Manager at the Virginia Resources Authority, an authority of the Commonwealth of Virginia that manages revolving loan funds for environmental projects.

Bruce Stinchcomb, MA 1965, recently published his 14th book on geo-collectables, Cambrian Fossils.

Marc Taub, AB 1997, was promoted to professor at the Southern College of Optometry. He also co-edited a new book, Visual Development, Diagnosis, and Treatment of the Pediatric Patient.

Maria Valdes, MA 2014, was awarded the John Caldwell Meeker Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Field Museum of Chicago. She moved to Chicago right before lockdown, where she still has limited access to the Field Museum and is continuing her studies of calcium isotopes in HEDs and micrometeorites. 

Brian Yanites, AB 2002, was promoted to associate professor at Indiana University and named the Robert R. Shrock Professor of Surficial and Sedimentary Geology. He also received an NSF RAPID grant to study the Edenville and Sanford dam failures in Michigan, using a drone equipped with lidar to quantify geomorphic changes to the river and floodplain.