Alumni & Friends

Alumni News

Complete our Alumni Update Form or email to tell us what you’ve been up to.  We love to hear from our former students!

Read What Your Classmates Have Been Up To


Jeff Fuchs – MS, Geology, ’13

I have worked at Southwestern Energy in both Arkansas and Houston as operations and development geologist. Areas of operation thus far have included the Fayetteville Shale of Arkansas and the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania.

Jordan Barnes – MS, Geology, ’13

Currently working for Geoservices, a Schlumberger company as an entry-level petroleum geologist (mud logger). I am currently assigned to ultra-deepwater rigs in the Gulf of Mexico

Logan King – MS, Geology, ’13

I am completing my PhD in vertebrate paleontology at the University of Bristol under the supervision of Michael Benton and Emily Rayfield. My research focuses on ontogenetic and macroevolutionary trends in non-avian dinosaur paleoneurology. Collaborative work with my research has produced dinosaur (among other fossil taxa) CT datasets, publications, and research from China, Mongolia, Morocco, the United States, United Kingdom, and South Africa.


Michael Cox – BS, Geology, ’98; MS, Geology, ’02

I created a new logo for the University of Alabama that will become available at stores in Tuscaloosa this football season or via our website The design is called RTR Elephants and is the latest officially licensed and trademarked logo for the U of A. Please support the Tide by wearing the new RTR Elephant design. Roll Tide Roll!

Paul Pearce – MS, Geology, ’02

Currently, I’m a geoscience manager for Petroleum Holdings, LLC, a small private oil and gas producer located in Houston, Texas. I’m managing our north Louisiana and Texas panhandle properties. I’ve been with Plantation since November 2007 (comment from 2008).

Kendall Rich – MS, Geology, ’06

I work at URS Corporation in Birmingham as an environmental scientist, currently working on FEMA digital flood insurance rate mapping projects using GIS and hydraulic/hydrologic modeling techniques. Other recent projects include stormwater pollution prevention, groundwater well (installation, monitoring, and sampling) projects, and currently resource management/archaeology. I’m taking the PG Fundamentals exam later this week, and I will soon take an exam to become a certified floodplain manager.

Update: I’m a P.G. and Certified Floodplain Manager (C.F.M.) currently managing environmental projects at Amec Foster Wheeler in Birmingham. I also do a lot of GIS for various projects including FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program, occasionally getting out in the field for drilling, sampling, etc., and (of course) I write a lot of reports. No two weeks are the same, but that’s what I like about being a geologist.

Larry Greene – PhD, Geology, ’06

My son, Bennett Evan Greene, was born June 12, 2017, at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston.
Drilling in a field in Northern Louisiana (comment 2008)

Chapman, Philip – MS, Geology, ’07

Twenty Chesapeake Energy employees on a week geological field trip to the Tucks and Caicos Islands as part of a Modern Carbonate Environmentals field class. (comment 2008)

Phillip Dunnavant – BS, Geology, ’07

In 2007, I crossed the country to work as a well-site geologist in the Bakken shale play of North Dakota, then moved to Houston, TX in mid-2008 to take a position as a geological technician, advancing to reservoir geologist. I am currently (June 2012) working as a staff geologist in the onshore Gulf Coast (SW LA) for E&B Natural Resources. On a personal note, my wife (whom I met in Tuscaloosa) and I have been married since 2008 and have a beautiful daughter, named for our home state and university, Allie. We’ve taught her how to cheer for Alabama football and try to get back whenever we can!

Victor Ramirez – MS, Geology, ’07

2009-2010. Elected as Colombian Association of Petroleum Geologists and Geophysicists President
2013-2015. Elected as AAPG Latin America Region President
Dec 2014. Team leader for Ecopetrol of first deepwater hydrocarbon discovery in Colombia by Ecopetrol-Petrobras-Repsol (in the same area worked in my MS at UA under Dr. E. Mancini advise).
Currently Caribbean Offshore Exploration Manager for Ecopetrol

Rue Chitwood – BS, Geology, ’09

I received my M.Sc. in Economic Geology in May 2012 from Auburn University and am currently working as a staff geologist in the underground for Newmont Mining Corporation in northern Nevada. I’ve worked at three mine sites so far to include the Vista UG at Newmont’s Twin Creeks, the Midas Mine (now owned by Klondex Mining), and am currently posted to Newmont’s Pete Bajo/Fence Underground Mine based out of Carlin, NV.


John Mars – BS, Geology, ’83; MS, Geology, ’90

After receiving my MS degree from Alabama, I followed Bill Thomas up to the University of Kentucky and completed a Ph.D. in 1995. Married Carolyn Thomas in 1995 and moved to Chantilly, Virginia where we still live. I work at the U.S. Geological Survey (19 years) where I map rocks and mineral deposits using satellite and airborne data. William our son is in his first year of college attending Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Va. (12-13-2016)

Tom Powers – MS, Geology, ’90

I am a geotechnical engineer intern and geologist at Thompson Engineering in Mobile. (comment 2008)

Brian Murray – MS, Geology, ’91

I am currently employed as a Sr. Geologist/Section Manager with Science Applications International Corp. in Oak Ridge, TN. We (wife Donna and two sons) have been in east TN for 8 years and really appreciate the scenery after living in TX and LA working in the oil exploration business.

Frank Wilson – BS, Geology, ’92

I just discovered the web site and I am glad to still see some people I recognize there. I click on the alumni page and the first name I see is Doug’s. I will be giving you a call Doug it has been a while. I don’t get back to Alabama too often and the last time I was on campus, I realized that the streets aren’t even the same anymore. It took me a minute to figure out where everything was.

Anyway, for the last three years, I have been one of the owners at Addax Exploration LLC. Addax is an exploration company and we are always looking for opportunities no matter where they are. We are actively drilling and developing prospects in several areas at present. Before that, I was on retainer with Cobra Oil and Gas Corp (17 years). At Cobra, I worked extensively in developing and evaluating prospects in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama. It seems like a lifetime ago but I worked 4 years for Don Fish, right there in Tuscaloosa, when I was going to school. On the personal side, I am divorced and raising my two sons on my own. They are great boys ages 6 and 8 and they sure keep me busy between soccer and football. The older one is quite the Go-Kart Racer too. He finished in second place nationally in his division of the national winged outlaw kart association. The younger one is just now entering kindergarten and thinks he is quite the mudlogger. He just loves to go out on location and look at samples in the microscope. He usually manages to get to them before myself or the mudlogger and I am never quite sure how. Somehow, I think I am in trouble with him.

Thanks for putting up the site and if anyone wants to drop me a line I would love to hear from you.

Chris Gillentine – BS, Geology, ’94

I started my own private environmental/geological consulting firm in February of 1997 (Summit, Inc.). I had the honor of watching it grow and then selling it to a competitor and going back to work for them (E. Roberts Alley and Associates). I enjoy the private sector of compliance consulting.  There is something new every day. I have been married since 2000 and have two wonderful girls.

Sally Gillies – BS, Geology, ’94

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA–(Marketwire – Feb. 21, 2008) – Crosshair Exploration & Mining Corp. (TSX VENTURE: CXX)(AMEX: CXZ) is pleased to announce the appointment of Sally Gillies to the position of General Manager, Lonestar Division. Ms. Gillies is a geologist with over 13 years of international experience in mineral exploration.“Our Central Mineral Belt (CMB) Uranium Property in Labrador has grown and advanced to the point where two divisions are required in order to explore and develop it efficiently. The CMB Property has been divided into the Northstar (or northern) Divison and the Lonestar (southern) Division. We are very pleased that Sally has joined our team as General Manager for the Lonestar Division,” says Mark Morabito, CEO of the Company. “Sally will be spearheading an extensive exploration program in the largely unexplored southern half of the project.”Since obtaining her Masters in Economic Geology from the University of Alabama in 1995, Ms. Gillies has worked as Senior Geologist on several projects worldwide. She has developed, implemented and managed exploration programs for numerous companies including Continental Minerals (Hunter Dickinson Group) in China; Bema Gold Corporation in Canada, USA, Venezuela, Chile and Russia; and Falconbridge Ltd. in Canada. The Lonestar Division will focus primarily on exploring for structurally-controlled (“Michelin type”) uranium mineralization in the southern portion of the CMB Property. The Northstar Division will be responsible for the resource development of the C Zone as well as the continued exploration for IOCG and unconformity-related uranium deposits in the northern and central portions of the Property. The company expects to have six diamond drills turning this summer. This will allow the Northstar Division to continue to increase the 43-101 compliant uranium resource estimate of the C Zone and potentially define resources at other emerging targets as well as allow the Lonestar Division to test the underexplored southern half of the project. The Lonestar Division area is underlain by felsic volcanic rocks hosting known uranium occurrences. A property-wide airborne radiometric and magnetic survey was flown in late 2005 revealed the most intense uranium anomalies both in size and magnitude identified on the property. In the fall of 2007, these anomalies were further refined by the results of a 798 sample lake sediment survey. In 2008, the Lonestar Division will focus on the uranium-in-lake-sediment anomalies associated with the airborne uranium anomalies and cross-cutting structures identified by the magnetic component of the airborne survey. (comment 2009)

Rob Howell – BS, Geology, ’95; MS, Geology, ’98

After finishing graduate school I took a job as an Environmental Geologist with Southern Company in Birmingham. I still get to have a lot of contact with the Geology Department. My company is actually funding research the department is conducting on new remediation technologies.

Charles Cole – BS, Geology, ’96

I married Wendy Webb on February 14, 1997. I worked briefly for Law Engineering in Birmingham and began working for CGG in Houston in September of 97.

Jeff Toxey – BS, Geology, Minors in Physics and Math, ’96

I am currently working with Exxon Mobil Corporation in Houston with the Production Company in Field Studies. April and I are happily married, coming up on our 2nd anniversary in May. We are about to move into our first home at the end of April 2000. We visit Alabama occasionally but relive our time thereby working with the Houston Chapter of the Alabama Alumni and spending time with our friends John Kimbro, Chuck Cole and Jeff Fortenberry who also live in Houston.

Update: Married to fellow Alabama alum April Weller Toxey. Father of two children Trent and William Toxey. I completed my MSc at the University of Arizona in 1997. I started working for Exxon, later ExxonMobil in 1998. Currently working for ExxonMobil as a secondee to North Caspian Operating Company in Atyrau, Kazakhstan. Enjoying my time cycling and traveling in this part of the world.

Bryan Ward – BS, Geology, Minor in Fuels and Mineral Resources ’97; BS, Mining Engineering, ’99

After graduation in May in 1999, My wife (Tammy), who is Alabama Alumni as well (BS in Nutrition 1997), and I moved to a suburb of Atlanta. I accepted the position of Land Manager with Blue Circle Aggregates (later acquired by Lafarge SA), which is one of 3 divisions. Blue Circle Cement, one of the other divisions, currently has a quarry in Calera, AL. I work in conjunction with mining engineering, geology, and environmental. My main responsibility is acquiring land for reserves and disposing of any additional land for our 11 quarries and 2 sand & gravel operations around the Atlanta and Columbus areas. (update) Currently, I have been working with Energen Resources Corporation in Birmingham, AL since May 2002 as Senior Reservoir Engineer. I have worked mainly in San Juan Basin (mostly Fruitland Coal), North Louisiana (Hosston & Cotton Valley) and East Texas (Cotton Valley), acquisitions & divestitures, and Wolfberry Trend in the Midland Basin since the beginning of 2011. My wife, 3 kids (2 sons and 1 daughter), and I live in Hoover, AL. I enjoyed the multiple trips on the job while working in the San Juan Basin and driving through the Bernalillo area. So many memories of our field course, but now how more appreciation when on hiking trips around the Farmington and Durango areas with other geologists and engineers. Actually being able to study the rock and enjoy the scenery was great.

Carmen Nezat – MS, Geology, ’98

I received my M.S. from Alabama in 1998 under the supervision of Berry Lyons. I worked at Ohio State University for about 2 years, then moved to the University of Michigan where I completed a Ph.D. in 2006. I am a full professor in the Geology Department at Eastern Washington University and Director of the Environmental Science Program. My area of specialty is environmental geochemistry.

Timothy Powell – BS, Geology, ’99

Recently obtained professional geology licensure in the state of Alabama license#1391. Currently employed at GeoService in Trussville, AL.


Eric Batchelder – MS, Geology, ’81

Vesta (BS Home Economics,’81) and I have two college-age children, Julia and Lee. We now live in a suburb of New Orleans where I’ve worked the past seventeen years as a petroleum geologist for the Minerals Management Service (the MMS is a Federal agency that regulates the offshore oil and gas industry). Prior to that, I did a five-year stint at Amoco. Vesta works full-time as a consulting dietician. When not working, I write novels for fun and join Vesta in watching our son play baseball.

Ralph Howard – BS, Geology, ’81; MS, Geology, ’90

In Sept. 2016 I retired from my career of 26 years with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in Atlanta GA. As a Remedial Project Manager my job was overseeing, at some sites, and directly managing at others, investigation, and cleanup of Superfund (SF) sites in eight southeastern states. After 2003 I also served as a project officer for SF site assessment grant programs with AL and MS, in which the State agencies perform assessments at sites in each state. Starting in 2010 I also represented the SF program in a variety of other roles on intra-regional and national workgroups. Prior to EPA (1991), I was for 3-1/2 years a Staff and Project Geologist with Westinghouse Environmental Services, also in Atlanta. Our older son Thomas (22) is in his senior year at Oglethorpe University, while Daniel (18), having graduated HS, is heading out soon to work at a ski resort in CO during this “gap year,” as they call it. Meanwhile, Susanne (UA, BS Computer Sci., 1988), having worked for Control Data Corp. and Schlumberger here in Atlanta, is continuing her post-90s career as an independent web developer and consultant working from home.

Michael Cox – BS, Geology, ’82

Relaxing with the family before paddling on the Ocoee River. (comment 2008)

Diane (Dana) Cook – BS, Geology, ’82

Two children, Emma and Molly.

Larry Corn – BS, Geology, ’82

After graduating from Bama in 1982, I went to work in the geotechnical engineering field. I am currently the manager of the Atlanta, Georgia office of PSI, Inc.. I am married to Carla ( who I was dating at Bama) and have three wonderful children.

Scott Gavin – BS, Geology, ’83

Single father of Conrad, born Mar 13, 2000.P resident DocuCentric Corporation, Tulsa OK, Systems. Integrator, SGML/XML Application development. Company established 1992.

David Hooks – BS, Geology, ’83; MS, Geology, ’85

Still married to Betsy Groover (BS GEO 1984). Currently employed as a geologist in the International division of DeGolyer and MacNaughton, a petroleum consulting firm located in Dallas, Texas. David joined D&M in September 1995 after 11 years with ARCO. Betsy is occupied with two boys, Bill (10) and Nelson (7).

Scott Walker – BS, Geology, ’83

After graduating from UA, I married Laura Dobie (who I dated while at Alabama).  I worked as an Environmental Scientist for a few years and that eventually led to performing safety and health duties on several superfund clean-up projects.  I went back to school and received my MS in Industrial Engineering  (specialty in ergonomics & safety) from Auburn in 1993. I lived in Seattle for eight years and now am back in Auburn as the Safety Manager for Briggs & Stratton Corporation. Laura and I have been happily married for 28 years.

John Cary – BS, Geology, ’84

Cary received an MBA from Loyola University and a PhD from St. John Fisher College. He is an Assistant Professor at Marist College School of Management.

David Soens – MS, Geology, ’84

I started grad school in 1979, got my MS (thanks to Doctors Mancini, Benson, and Stock), got married, raised three kids, worked 32 years with ExxonMobil and saw the world, retired in 2013, currently living in Fort Worth, TX, where I spend my time writing novels (2 published sci-fi novels so far) and volunteering with the Red Cross and Bass Hall. Life is good! Roll Tide.

Mark Chapman – BS, Geology, ’84; MSEM, ’97; MBA, ’99

Currently working for United States Steel in Land Management. Also I am in my third year of law school at the Birmingham School of Law. (Comment from 2008)

James Rice – BS, Geology, ’84

I have been involved with the NASA Mars Rover Missions. I am an Astrogeologist and Mars Rover Project Scientist on both Spirit and Opportunity. (Comment from 2008)

Duane Chase – MS, Geology, ’85

Since graduating from UA, I have been married to my wife Petra (a neonatal nurse) for 27 years. I have one stepson, Charles Sanderson, who is currently the road manager for Hank Williams Jr. Petra and I have lived in Seattle since 1988. Before we were married, and working backward in time, I lived in Huntsville working at Intergraph and Tuscaloosa, Alabama (work for the Geological Survey of Alabama and graduate school). I moved to Seattle in 1987 to work for a geophysical software company (Sierra Geophysics). After they were sold to Halliburton most of us from the company stayed in Seattle and threw our hats into the general tech industry. I am currently (Sept 2015) taking a break from work as a software support and test engineer. This was preceded by several other jobs in the software industry, working for geological and mapping software companies, as a geological assistant for the USGS on Mount Rainier, as a geologist for the an independent oil company, as a staff geologist for the Geological Survey of Alabama. I have enjoyed many outdoor interests, past and present. All of these have been pursued at one time or another: rock and mountain climbing, sailing, cycling and backpacking. Right now I’m pretty much just cycling and hiking.

Terry Osborne – BA, Geology, ’85; MS, Geology, ’88

Been married 13 years. I have one son 7 years old. Recently changed jobs. I now work for a company owned and run by geologists. A very nice change from engineering companies.

Steve Parker – BS, Geology, ’85; MS, Geology, ’89’

I recently (2001) relocated from Paducah, Kentucky to the Charleston, South Carolina area. I have been with EnSafe Inc. (Environmental Consultants) for nearly 10 years after spending 5 years at the Alabama Geological Survey. I manage our South Carolina office where we work primarily with the U. S. Navy. I have a wife Anna and two children, Ella and Maura.

Timothy Floyd – BS, Geology, ’86

Owner of Floyd Environmental, Inc. an environmental consulting firm since November 1990. Will be merging with another Birmingham based consulting firm as of January 1, 1998. The new firm will be named CFM-Layton, Inc.

Tony Grow – BS, Geology, ’86

I’m the President/CEO of Grow Environmental Solutions, LLC. I married to Cassy (Huffman) Grow. We have four sons, Chris (30), Luke (26), Grayson (21) and Eli (17). We own a gelato company called Legacy Creamery, LLC. I look forward to seeing some of you this fall!

Lee Vaughn – MS, Geology, ’86

I retired from ExxonMobil in 2017, with 31 years of service. In November 2018, my programming book, “Impractical Python Projects: Playful Programming Activities to Make You Smarter” will be published by the No Starch Press in San Francisco. Python is the fastest-growing computing language in the world and is becoming the go-to language for geoscientists and engineers in the petroleum industry.

David Garner – BA, Geology, ’87

My not-so-interesting news: finished my M.S. in geology at LSU in 1990; began work with Shell; just completed 10th year; married Lee Anne Sumrall of Baton Rouge in 1994; no kids yet; still make several trips a year back to Tuscaloosa to visit family and friends; what I miss most about Alabama – REAL HILLS.

Bob Hines – PhD, Geology, ’88

Life after the oil patch brought me to Mobile in 1993 as a Senior Project Scientist with Woodward-Clyde (now URS Greiner Woodward Clyde) and Senior Geologist for the Mobile office. I married the former Cindy (Lucinda) Austin in June 1997 and we are very proud to announce that we are expecting a girl to be born sometime between Christmas and New Year’s. Yes, she may very well be a millennium bug in her own right. Best Regards to All.

Update: I returned to my roots in the oil patch after many years as an environmental consultant.  Ironically enough, my blend of experience in exploration/production geology and consulting suggest that oil and water DO mix because I spent the past 4 years in the environmental department of Shell Exploration & Production Co in New Orleans and in Alaska before accepting a position 2 years ago with ENI U.S. Operating Company and moving out to Houston.  The new job description reads “Environmental Engineer,” but I am still a Geologist in every way but name and I am a frequent visitor down the hall to my E&P colleagues.

Although officially located in Houston, I have been fortunate enough to make frequent business trips back east that allow me to get back to Mobile several times each month. Alternately, I am blessed that my family frequently gets to come out to see me.  Being a ‘Bama fan is a trifle unpopular out here in Houston insofar as I am surrounded by UT grads and LSU supporters, but I persevere.

I am still happily married since 1997 to my wonderful wife — the former Cindy Austin — and together we are proud parents of a daughter (Ashley) who is now going on 11 years old and OWNS the 5th grade as a member of the Elementary National Honor Society at her school.  Ashley keeps us busy with her school projects and social schedule of cheerleading and dance.  Yes, she is Daddy’s Little Girl (in case you could not tell).

Retirement looms at some point and I look forward to the day when I return to the Mobile area for good, but until then I have no plans to slow down & I still have a few more adventures left in me either with ENI (where they are sending me to back to Alaska starting next year) or back home in ‘Bama.

Yaoling Niu – MS, Geology, ’88

Professor at Durham University

Patrick (Pat) Smith – BS, Geology, ’88

I’m working in mapping and GIS training at Intergraph Corp. in Huntsville. I’m enjoying work on the farm and exploration of local caves!

Brian Sims – BS, Geology, ’88

Since leaving the University in 1988, I have worked as a geologist in the coalbed methane industry (GeoNet), environmental (TTL) and have been in the brick industry since 1998. Presently, I am VP of manufacturing for Jenkins Brick Company in Montgomery, Alabama. I married a girl from Northport in 1991 and we have 3 children. (comment from 2008)


John Sheffield – BA, Geology, ’73; MA/AA Science Ed.

It may not be interesting, but I have been teaching marine biology at Tuscaloosa County High School for the past 24 years. I married in 1980, and my wife, Alice, and I have traveled extensively throughout the states. In our travels, I have used my geology background to take us to some highly unusual places.

LeVan, Bernard – BS, Geology, ’74; MS, Business, ’80; BS, Comp, ’97

From my Geology experience at UA, I have been associated with the Army Corps of Engineers for over 26 years. Although I did not find too many minerals, I did push a lot of dirt and bridge a lot of rivers. Geology rocks!

Larry Tunnell – BS, Geology, ’74; MS, Environmental Engineering, ’93

Tunnell previously spent 16 years as a geophysicist in oil and gas exploration in Louisiana, Texas, and Oklahoma. Currently Chief Engineer with Orange County Utilities in Orlando and am a project manager for the County’s Integrated Water Resources Program.

Ken Whetstone – BS, Geology, ’75

After receiving an MS in paleontology from the University of Kansas, Ken worked 17 years for Union Texas Petroleum and 10 years for El Paso E&P. He has lived in Wichita, Oklahoma City, Midland, Denver, London, Jakarta, and Houston. In 2008 Ken joined Ironwood Oil and Gas as VP of Exploration and Development. After 35 years as a Petroleum Geologist and Geological Manager, Ken Whetstone has retired to Orange Beach, Alabama. He can imagine Dr. Doug Jones shaking his head seeing Ken living atop the shifting sands of a relict barrier bar during a time of global rising sea level. Maybe he missed a class or two?

Joel Duncan – BS, Geology, ’77

I completed my PhD in geology at Florida State University in August of 1998. I am currently employed by the Florida Geological Survey as a research geologist specializing in the deep subsurface geology of Florida (Paleozoic through Jurassic).

Update: As of 2005 I have been employed as a senior lecturer by the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado. Here I teach courses in general geology, planetary geology, and space engineering design.

Thomas See – BS, Geology, ’77

I received an MS in geology at the University of Houston in 1985, and I am a Principal Scientist/Project Manager at the Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston. I spent the first 24 plus years of my career with Lockheed Martin and am currently employed by Barrios Technology under the ESCG contract at JSC. Since 1980 I have been working as a Planetary Geologist conducting and supporting research in the Astromaterials Research & Exploration Science (ARES) Directorate located in Houston; for the past 10 years, I have also had the additional duties of serving as a project manager. ARES conducts basic research in Earth, planetary, and space sciences, as well as having the curatorial responsibility for all NASA-held extraterrestrial samples (e.g., Moon rocks, meteorites, etc.). I received my master’s degree from the University of Houston studying under Dr. Elbert King, the first curator of lunar samples following the return of Apollo 11 from the Moon. The early part of my working career focused on research related to the understanding of the impact cratering process on both small scales into spacecraft, as well as planetary sized events.I have been fortunate to work on three flight missions including the Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF) as a member of the Meteoroid & Orbital Debris Special Investigation Group, the Orbital Debris Collector (ODC) that captured natural and man-made particles in low-Earth orbit and, most recently, Stardust, which successfully captured materials from the Comet Wild-2 and returned them to Earth for study. One of the highlights of my life still remains the Geology/Geography rafting trip that the department took down the Grand Canyon during the summer of 1977.

Philip Robertson – BA, Geology, ’79

I was selected to represent the Director, National Imagery and Mapping Agency to Headquarters, Air Combat Command at Langley AFB, VA in July 2002. I plan to stay here indefinitely! You have to love a region called TIDEwater!

Brian Shepard – MS, Geology, ’79

I earned a B.S. in Geology at the College of Charleston in 1977. I was recruited by Amoco as a Petroleum Geologist to New Orleans in 1979. I was downsized in 1988 as Amoco moved operations to Houston and landed a job with the Department of the Interior, Mineral Management Service of that same year. I spent 19 years at the MMS, combined with my 6 years of active duty, I retired. I left on a Friday and started working for my wife, she is a dentist, that following Monday. A new direction in life. I have two beautiful daughters, both independent and off the payroll.

Kirk Sparkman – BS, Geology, ’79

I am a petroleum geologist for OXY, USA, located in Houston, Texas. I am currently working on the Central Utha trust-fold belt doing exploration and developmental geology. I have been with OXY for 27 years. I’m married with four daughters, all of whom have graduated from or are currently attending UA (comment from 2008).


James (Jim) McNeal – BS, Geology, ’62; MS, Geology, ’65

I worked as an exploration geologist with Pan American Petroleum Corp. in West Texas, New Mexico, East Texas, and Oklahoma for 7 years, with well site responsibilities, production evaluation research, and oil field assessments. Yes, we did find oil during my watch, while I lived in Lubbock, Fort Worth and out of Tulsa. I left the Texas area and moved to Tallahassee, FL, where I assessed environmental permits for phosphate mines, water treatment plants, underground injection wells, various industrial operations for compliance with the Florida State Ground Water regulations. Over the years I have composed many of the state regulations for groundwater protection at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and have given many public presentations of these regulations. I retired in 2005, but participated in Springs Protection Working Groups for another 5 years.

Dossey White, Jr. – MS, Geology, ’63

I retired in 1994 after 31-years with industry (Lockheed Missiles and Space Co. & the Georgia Marbel Co.), State (Geological Survey of Alabama), and Federal (U.S. Bureau of Mines) experience. (Comment from 2008)

Doug Roper – BS, Geology, ’69; MS, Geology, UT, ’77

I’m currently the Manager Permian Basin for Continental Land and Fur Co. Inc., evaluating and buying Oil & Gas deals. Ten years prior, I worked as Consulting Geophysicist in Midland and Division Geophysicist for Forest Oil Corp for 12 years. I retired from the Air Force Reserve on 1 Oct 1999 with the rank of Colonel. Tell Dr. Hooks I bought land and a house in Costilla County, Colorado to retire. It has a great view of Spanish Peaks on one side and Blanca on the other. Invite all members of the “Grand Alliance of Spanish Peaks” to visit!


Tom Logan – BS, Geology, ’58

I retired from the U.S. Air Force in December 1981 with the rank of Colonel. I taught earth science in the secondary school system here in Cheyenne, Wyoming for eleven years and am now fully retired in Cheyenne. (Comment from 2008)