Alumni News

Welcome Alumni!

Check out the news from fellow alumni below!

Be on the lookout for our E-Newsletter expected to come out before the holidays 2016!

Please be sure to email with any updates regarding your career and life events!

2nd Annual Department Alumni Event held at the AGU Conference in San Francisco!

1st Annual Alumni Gathering 2015

Back row from left to right Krissy Hopkins (PhD 2014), Janine Krippner (current PhD student), Kevin Reath (PhD 2016), Nadine McQuarrie (current faculty), Bobby Karimi (PhD 2014), and Aubrey Hillman (PhD 2015).

From left to right Janine Krippner (current PhD student) and Cheryl Hapke (BS 1985).

Back row from left to right Broxton Bird (PhD 2009), Sergio Contreras (postdoc 2014), Dan Bain (current faculty), Michelle Gilmore (MS 2014), Rob Rossi (current PhD student), Erin Pfeil-McCullough (current PhD student), and Mark Abbott (current faculty).

Dolly Chavez our receptionist, purchaser, and travel coordinator for 17 years retired January 2016.

Graduate Alumni News

  • Congratulations are in order for 2016 Ph.D. Graduate, Erich Zorn, had a 6 lb. 12 oz. baby boy, Henry Zorn!   
  • Dr. Kristy Hopkins - 2014 Ph.D. Graduate - Research Scientist at the US Geological Survey

  • Dr. Suzanne Metlay - 1993 Ph.D. Graduate - 

    • Suzanne T. Metlay is full-time faculty at Western Governors University, Teachers College, preparing pre-service and of-record teachers to become middle school and high school Earth science educators with subject matter expertise in geology, oceanography, meteorology, and astronomy. Suzanne leads the Geosciences Education program, teaches graduate students as well as undergraduates, and assists students getting ready for their Praxis and state content exams nationwide. Prior to joining WGU, Suzanne was full-time astronomy faculty at Front Range Community College, Colorado; Operations Director at Secure World Foundation (private non-profit for space sustainability); Education Programs Manager at Fiske Planetarium, University of Colorado at Boulder; and a member of the Antarctic Search for Meteorites (ANSMET). Current passions include annual talks at local astronomy clubs about Pluto and other dwarf planets, active engagement in professional organization s (NAGT, GSA, NSTA), and anything Orphan Black or Doctor Who.

  • Dr. Kevin Reath - 2011 MS Graduate - 2016 Ph.D. Graduate - Fellow at the USGS Powell Center and Postdoctoral Associate at Cornell University

  • Christopher Hortert - 2016 MS Graduate - Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc.

  • Sarah Lavin - 2015 MS Graduate - Rhea Engineers & Consultants

  • Ashley Ace - 2016 MS Graduate - US Census Bureau

  • Justin Coughlin - 2016 MS Graduate - Physical Scientist with the Environmental Protection Agency in Region 5 at the Chicago, IL headquarters

  • Matthew Dieterich - 2015 MS Graduate - His photo from Mt. Rainer was used in the US Postal Services celebration of National Park Sevice's Centennial  

  • Paul R. Coyle - 2003 MS Graduate - 

    • I am the team leader of the National Mine Map Repository, Office of Surface Mining, Regulation and Enforcement. We collect hard rock and coal mine maps from all over the country. We presently have 180,000 digital maps in our archives. I just want my classmates to know that I am still alive and kicking. 

  • Barry J. Rava - 1980 MS Graduate - 
    • Society of Independent Professional Earth Scientists - National Directorfounded
    • Icarus Oil and Gas, Inc. 1996 - awaiting pipeline connection for large discovery & marketing prospects; Formed BR E&P, LLC 2015; Icarus as part owner. BREP is seeking producing assets for acquisition
  • Michael Price - 1970 MS Graduate - Retired from HESS Corp in 2009. Last position was Geological Operations Manager for Offshore Gulf of Mexico. After the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in April, 2010, he was called out of retirement for several months to help apply the new Federal regulations imposed for drilling in the the Gulf of Mexico. He has recently relocated from Seattle, WA to Melbourne, FL.  He is into wildlife photography, particularly at a protected wetland near our home.     

  • Darryl Bishop - 2016 Pro-MS Graduate - Adecco Engineering/contracting for Uber ATC as a Mapping Specialist

  • Franco enjoying a fine cappuccino in his favorite Roman hangout Tazza D'Oro.

MS Graduate 1980, Francesco Corona retired after 34+ years in the petroleum industry with Exxon, Unocal, and ExxonMobil working throughout the upstream in research, exploration, development, and production with assignments in Houston, London, and Hannover (Germany). Franco's career ended at ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company in March 2015 as a Senior Technical Advisor in Structural Analysis. He now lives in a country home in Albemarle County, northwest of Charlottesville, with his artist wife Victoria and two cats, Donizetti & Bellini

  • Professorships:
    • Dr. Matthew Finkenbinder - 2015 Ph.D. Graduate - Assistant Professor in the Environmental Engineering & Earth Sciences Department at Wilkes University
    • Dr. Aubrey Hillman - 2015 Ph.D. Graduate - Assistant Professor in the School of Geosciences at the University of Louisiana Lafayette
    • Dr. Christopher Hughes - 2011 Ph.D. Graduate - Assistant Professor at the Eastern Kentucky University
    • Dr. Alison H. Graettinger - 2012 Ph.D. Graduate - Assistant Professor in the Department of Geosciences at the University of Missouri - Kansas City

Undergraduate Alumni News

  • Environmental Studies Graduate, Erin Stacy of 2008 is shown in this New York Times article!
  • Geology 1985 Graduate, Mark Holsing is associated with NGWA-Association of Groundwater Scientists and Engineers, Pennsylvania Council of Professional Geologists, and SongSpace at First Unitarian
  • Environmental Geology 2012 Graduate, Alexander Dragon is middle school science teacher at Fanny Edel Falk Laboratory Middle School
  • Environmental Science 2010 Graduate, Amelia Johnson just received her MS at Portland State University
  • Environmental Geology 2013 Graduate, Noah Jemison, won the American Geophysical Union's Horton Award!  This award promots excellence through encouragement of the next generation of professionals in the hydrological sciences.
  • Environmental Studies 2010 Graduate, Jessica J. Stutzman one the 2014 Christine Yurkovic Environmental Excellence Award and is currently involved in the Millcreek Government Channel, Professional Recyclers of Pennsylvania, and Solid Waste Association of North America
  • Anthony, in front, with the Launch Hilltop group of social entrepreneurs working in Pittsburgh's Hilltop neighborhoods.

Environmental Studies 2011 Graduate, Anthony Stewart started an environmental consulting and green design firm called DECO Resources in 2013 and created a team of scientists, engineers, designers, artists, and urban planners. Together, they have worked on dozens of projects around the region supporting sustainable development. He is also serving a second term as Officer for the Solar Unified Network of Western PA.

  • Worked as a petroleum geologist for 7 years after graduation, and then went back to Pitt for my MBA degree. Currently Director of Finance for Ahold-Delhaize in North Carolina.

Geology Graduate 1983, Jay Hlava worked as a petroleum geologist for 7 years after graduation, and then went back to Pitt for his MBA degree. Currently Director of Finance for Ahold-Delhaize in North Carolina.

  • Enjoying time at Hurricane Ridge in Washington with my wife (and fellow PITT Alum) and son. 

Working with the EPA, and various State organizations on CERCLA and RCRA remediation sites using various remedial technologies to meet cleanup goals. 



Donate - Please support the Department of Geology and Environmental Science