Alumni Updates

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Name Class News
 Syd Brown 1974  Elected to GSA Fellow status in 2010 -- never thought I'd want to be a fellow, but it's not so bad! Still working as State Park's principal geologist, since 1980 (!), and loving my job, career, and the good fortune I've had following my professional path -- from coastal erosion to landslides, watershed restoration, dam removals, abandoned mined lands, and climate change. Geology's been very, very good to me.
Gail Cordy 1975 If one just looked on the Alumni Updates, you might not realize that there were a small bunch of us in Geology in the early 1970s about the time the program was just getting up to speed. I was one of that bunch (one of two women geology majors). We were a very tight-knit group (about 10 of us), went on lots of field trips, started the Geology Club, and worked hard for Professors Carlos Plummer, Dave McGeary, Norm Janke, and later, Susan Slaymaker. We got an excellent education in Geology at CSUS, and I have never regretted taking geology as my career path, which means even more now that I am retired. I worked throughout the western states: as a geologist in Arizona for Dames & Moore and the Bureau of Reclamation; as an engineering geologist at Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology; as an instructor at CSU, Fullerton; and finally, for 22 years as a hydrologist with the US Geology Survey in Utah and Arizona. I received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Arizona Hydrological Society in 2006, particularly for my work on pharmaceutical compounds found in wastewater. It's been an incredible ride! I am very grateful to have had such wonderful teachers as CSUS and Arizona State University, where I got my MS.  My advice to new grads... be flexible on the job because everything you do in your career builds your expertise and experience for the next job down the line!
Darby Vickery 1979 Retired from the State of California in July, 2010 after 21 years of civil service out of a 33-year career working in areas such as reconnaissance geology in AK, oil, gas and geothermal drilling in the Western US and numerous places in AK, transportation engineering geology with Caltrans throughout California, groundwater grant technical review and project administration with the Department of Water Resources throughout CA, drilling and borehole geophysics for groundwater basin understanding, levee programs in the Delta, and agency review of surface mining operations (SMARA) with the Office of Mine Reclamation. My first post-retirement trip was to Wyoming for a couple of weeks to go explore a number of the mountain ranges... With rocks that date >3.2 billion years old! Currently replacing the roof on the house and installing a 3.99 kw photoelectric solar array. My wife, Barb, bought me a guided fishing trip up on Lake Shasta. We both limited out on King Salmon, then we collected Permian corals. My degree in Geology from CSUS has been a most fortuitous blessing. By saving in a conservative manner in multiple venues (stocks, bonds, land, etc.), I am able to retire comfortably and still have options open! Oops, gotta go - time for dancing lessons....
Joyce E. Pulliam-Fitzgerald
1981 I am currently the Production & Quality Control Manager for
Elementis Specialties who own and operate the Hector Mine in Southern California. I've been very active in Women in Mining and with the Calif. Mineral Education Foundation. On a personal note, I have a son in the
USAF who I am very proud of.
Kent Parrish
1983 Graduated with BS in Geology from Sacramento State in 1983. Finished classwork in 1982 and then worked full time while finishing. Obtained MS in Geological Sciences from San Diego State Univ in 1990. Finished classwork there in 1986 and worked full time while finishing thesis. I don't recommend doing it that way. I have professional geologist registrations in two states and am a Certified Hydrogeologist in CA.
I've been working in hydrogeology since 1986. Have been with my current employer (or one subsequently purchased by them) since 1989. I am now a Principal Hydrogeologist and Leader of our Hydrogeology/Modeling Group in our Sacramento office. I am currently a technical committee member and former President of the Sac Brach for the Groundwater Resources Association of California. I am also a Past Executive Vice President of GRA. I live in the Elk Grove area and have three children. Two in college. :-)) I am also an Assistant Scoutmaster for BSA and a USSF certified soccer referee. Other than the above, I haven't done much. . .:-))
David Hapner 1985 After graduation I worked for a building materials company in Reno, NV for 4 years. After becoming bored with a desk job, I joined the United States Air Force and soon became a pilot. I flew KC-135R aircraft, refueling other planes all around the world, for 8 years. I now fly Gulfstream G-III and G-V aircraft, and fly our nation's leaders around the world. I have been to every continent, except Antartica, and thoroughly enjoy what I do. My wife and I have four children. The oldest just graduated from UNLV and is trying to get into med school. The next oldest has been accepted into Pitt, Penn State, and VCU, and also wants to be a doctor. The youngest two are a freshman, and a fourth grader.
Suzanne McNaughton
1987 Worked as a Geologist for Teichert Aggregates, Brown and Caldwell Consultants, and Kennedy/Jenks Consultants.   Returned to school, went to the dark side and got a second B.S. in Civil Engineering from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 1999.  Employed by Caltrans as a Transportation Engineer, Civil, for whom I test bridge foundations during road widenings and seismic retrofits to make sure they are safe for the traveling public of California.  When you cross a bridge, think of me.  : )
Debbie (Horner) Wilson
1988 Part owner and office manager of Scott E. Wilson Consulting, Inc. located in Englewood, Colorado.
Fred Gius
1989 Currently working as an Engineering Geologist for California's Office of Mine Reclamation. I had been providing environmental consulting services but I got bored. Too much business development and client relations, not enough geology. Things are better now.
Scott Wilson
1989 Own a mining consulting company with my wife Debbie who is also a Sac State geology Alum. Scott E. Wilson Consulting, Inc. is located in Englewood, Colorado.
David Slayter 1991 After graduation I worked for an environmental consulting firm in Walnut Creek for six years, then two years for a GIS/environmental software firm in Concord. At that point I went to graduate school at the University of Oklahoma and received a Master's degree in Geography so that I could orient my career toward GIS database development and spatial analysis. I currently work for Fugro William Lettis & Associates in Walnut Creek and am married with a 3-year-old son.
Mike Berrington 1992 Completed geology coursework in 1991 and graduated in 1992. Have worked in environmental consulting since I graduated (even a couple years prior to graduation). Started out with small company in Sutter Creek, CA and worked there until 1993. Between 1993 and 2007 I worked for two, large, international consulting firms in Sacramento and hung my own shingle out for a couple of years. My wife and I moved to Reno between 2006 and 2007 (she accepted a position here in 2006 but took me till 2007 to sell house). I'm working out of a home office for a small, Rocklin-based firm owned by a friend and former co-worker. I'm a registered geologist in CA and just received my Certified Environmental Manager's license for Nevada. Now trying to diversify our business into Nevada. Still stay in contact with many of my geology classmates, as most of us haven't fallen far from the tree! We're interested in attending future geology alumni trips to re-unite with former classmates and faculty.
Dennis Dettloff 1992

Since graduation I have worked for several environmental consulting firms in the Sacramento area. I am currently working for Delta Consultant where I have been for the past four years.
In 2003 I took and passed the California Professional Geologist exam on my first try. I have my studies in the Geology Department at CSU Sacramento to thank for a good portion of my success on this exam. I am currently a Registered Professional Geologist in two states, California and Wyoming.
I recently took what I call my "Dream Vacation" in May of this year. I spent 14 days experiencing the Grand Canyon from a boat (dory) on the Colorado River. It was such a wonderful experience seeing the canyon from a totally different perspective, the bottom looking up. I enjoyed it so much that I plan to do the trip again in 2012.
These days in my spare time I do a lot of reading. I read mostly books that have to do with geology, but I also read other subjects like politics and sports. My outdoor adventures consist of frequent camping, back packing, gardening, and some golf.
I hope to return to CSU Sacramento some day soon to take a hydrogeology class. When I was going to school there the hydrogeology course was limited to ? of a semester course or an extended learning course.

Jason Fedota
1992 After graduating from CSUS Geology I continued working in the environmental consulting industry until 1996.  While finishing an MBA from UC Davis I transitioned my career into financial analysis and further into information technology while working at Sutter Health.  After managing the implementation of a financial system for Sutter Health I joined Oracle's public sector sales team in 2000.  For the past 8 years I have focused on selling Oracle software to State and Local government customers, primarily in the State of California.  I live in Gold River with my wife and two boys Joe (7) and Jack (3).
Mike Guilbert 1993 Well I finally made it to the mining game.... dewatering.
Matt Fowler 1995 Wow time flies!! The most important thing that has happened
to me since graduation is I got married in 1996 and had two beautiful little girls (fortunately, they look like their mother). I am originally from the Redding area and moved back immediately after graduation, but Geology jobs were few and far between. I worked for a local Geophysicist for two years but soon there wasn't enough work to keep me
going. From out of left field I was offered a teaching position at my old private high school teaching math and science, while still working for the geophysics company part time. I figured I would teach a year or two and then find a steady geology job. Five years later I was still teaching and I had begun working part time for a Geotech company. The school was absorbed by another school in 2002 and I didn't return, but went full time with the Geotechnical Firm doing field investigations and inspection work. By this time I realized that I truly wanted to teach and so I went back to school and got my teaching credential. I am currently teaching Earth Science and Physics at Foothill High School in Palo Cedro where I put together a CP Earth Science program for entering
freshmen. This is where I belong. Did I mention I married into a cattle ranching family and for the past ten years have been learning the ins and outs of being a cattle rancher. My wife and I currently run our own ranch (her full time, me when schools out) with the help of our two daughters who are becoming quite the cowgirls. That's my life since graduation in a nutshell, hope it didn't bore you too much.
Dan Gamon 1999 I work as a groundwater scientist and perform RCRA monitoring and reporting for sites on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. Married to Amanda with two daughters; Sophia (8) and Lucia (5) and we live in Richland, Washington. I love my job and life and owe a lot of it to the Sac State Geology Department!
Joni Kropf (previously Hammitt) 2000 I'm now living in Reno, working as a geologist, am married, and have one daughter. I'd love to hear from everyone!
Dan Bayla 2004 Its all about travel and vacation!  I have been able to be so lucky to travel to many places in Europe, the Caribbean and the Eastern US.  Now all I want to do is travel the world.  If you are interested you can check it out and I can hook you up with a free trip from my company (airfare, hotel, food).  Just shoot me an email.  I hope everyone is doing well.
Nicole Fox 2004 A week after graduation, I started working for Applied Engineering and Geology, Inc. in Lincoln. Most of my work there was environmental related, a lot on UST clean-up sites. In January 2008, I moved on to work at SCS Engineers in Rancho Cordova. My work still focuses a lot on groundwater investigation and monitoring; however, now in the solid waste industry.
Michael Hall 2004 Graduated after field camp in summer of 2004. Attended camp with Humboldt State in the Roberts Mountains, NV. Hired by URS and did Military Bases and UST sites until given project management of CA DGS sites. Hired by CA-EPA's DTSC at the end of 2005. Working in Brownsfields (specifically schools sites) through present with a focus on Naturally Occurring Asbestos (NOA) and Arsenic (natural and anthropogenic). Ready to go back for a Masters.... Dave?
Mari O'Brien 2004 When I returned to college after 20 years, I just wanted to complete my degree. After graduation I was offered a position at Wallace-Kuhl & Associates as a staff geologist in their environmental division. I worked there for six years and earned my Professional Geologist license. I am loving retirement and travel! It's great to see so many former classmates at the Annual Rock Auctions!
Lila Aylstock 2005 I am working for an environmental consulting firm in Roseville. Since graduation Jeff and I got married and recently bought our dream house in Loomis. I'm looking forward to the alumni field trips to see the my former classmates and revisit all the great times we had in the field!
Teresa Butler 2005 Well, I graduated in December of 2004, and I am very active in AEG, and GRA. Currently, I am a staff geologist with Wallace-Kuhl & Associates, Inc. based out of their Rocklin office. I am close to getting my professional registration, and I will be returning to school for more Geology! Fun! Please stay in contact. I love to hear from everyone, and I hope to see you soon.
Brent Giese 2005 This is my third year teaching Earth Science. I am fully credentialed, and by December I will have earned a master's in Education. Also, I am a home owner. All this and more in BAKERSFIELD, you will see it on the way to Red Rock.
Wendy Orr 2005 Upon graduating from Sac State I spent two years working as an environmental consultant for a local engineering consulting company.  During the time I spent there, I wrote numerous reports, installed groundwater wells, and logged soil and rock core.  In Fall 2007, I began working on a master's degree at the University of Nevada in Reno.  I am part of the Geomechanics Rock Fracture Research Group and am investigating the mechanics of faulting associated with the Upheaval Dome impact event in southeast Utah.
Travis von Dessonneck 2005 I just finished my classes for my master's at the University of Arkansas, and will be moving back to Sacramento this July.
Courtney Amalong 2006 Currently I am teaching 8th garde Physical Science at Twelve Bridges Middle School. I am looking forward to summers off! I live in Meadow Vista, and I have 2 black lab puppies. They take up most of my free-time. This year has been an excellent learning experience being it is my first year teaching. I am enjoying every minute of it, and life has been good since I have graduated.
Mike Lyttge 2006 Since I graduated I've been working for the Bureau of Reclamation in the Sacramento office. I am a geologist and hydrogeologist in the Division of Design and Construction. Among other things, I work on dam safety projects, groundwater monitoring and of course report writing. I spend about 1/3 of my time in the field. I am really happy with what I'm doing; my education is serving me well. Thanks
David Barnard 2007 After graduating I took a trip through the SouthWest visiting friends, collecting rocks, minerals, and fossils, and enjoying geologic sites. Approximately a year after graduation I became employed as a field geologist with a consulting firm in Rocklin, traveling between the central valley and the coast. Not quite the field that I'm interested in, but it's a good job with a good company, and if nothing else it's a foot in the door and experience.
Mike McKinney 2007 Since graduating I have been contracted through the Land, Air & Water Resources Department (LAWR) at UC Davis to work for the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board in Rancho Cordova, CA.  I am a Post Graduate Research/Junior Assistant with the San Joaquin River Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Unit.
Robin Wham 2007 After graduating from Sac State, I have been hanging around Sac State!  I have helped with the Rock Auction, TA'd for many classes and trips - any opportunity to TA a field class or help in the field is one I jump on.  My "career" aspiration is to become the ultimate and divine field assistant until I can't walk on rocks desk job for me.  Have Brunton will travel...
Tim Diedesch 2008 I will be attending Idaho State University beginning Fall 2009 for grad school. My focus is in structural geology with a specific emphasis on continental tectonics and large-scale structures. Currently, I am the bass player for the Sacramento-based rock band Cuesta Drive. Although we will soon be going our separate ways, you can still listen to our music online at
Jeanette Hummel 2008 I work for Luhdorff and Scalmanini Consulting Engineers based out of Woodland. Wesley Andrews (class of 2008) also works with me. We are preparing to take the GIT in October. I miss all the staff and my friends; but will see you all at the Rock Auction!
Rebecca Tsang 2008 I'll be going to San Diego State in Fall 08 for my M.S. degree in faults and earthquake studies.
Tony Brillante 2009 Well after graduating December 2009, I spent some time wandering. I made it to Costa Rica then I went back to Alaska again. I then got a job out here in beautiful Los Alamos, New Mexico. I work for a subcontractor for Los Alamos National Laboratory. My official title is Associate Project Geologist but really I am a water sampler. I must say it is a pretty awesome job, hooray for hydrology! The job is a perfect step on the way to grad school.
Jessica Wood 2009  Still working for USGS. Was transferred after graduation to Wild and Wonderful West Virginia.