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Division of Natural Sciences & MathematicsDepartment of Geography & the Environment


Geography & the Environment

Geography and Environmental Science Alumni

Since the founding of the Department of Geography in 1945, we are proud of the approximately 800 alumni from our graduate and undergraduate programs. We are always interested to learn of the activities of our alums, so please take a moment to complete the alumni update form using the "Alumni Update" link.

Moreover, we are extremely grateful to our alumni for their support of the department through financial contributions. Their donations make it possible for us to offer new and exciting programs to our students, provide financial assistance to our graduate students to support their research expenses and to attend conferences to present their research, maintain and replace much needed lab and field equipment, and allow us to support our technological needs. Contributions are always greatly appreciated and there are still many things that can be done with your generous remembrances. See Give to NSM if you are interested in making a donation.

Alumni Events

The Department of Geography held it's first annual Alumni Reception for graduates of the MSGISc program in July to coincide with the annual ESRI User Conference in San Diego, CA. Thank you to all of the faculty, staff, alumni, prospective students and friends of the Department who came to the event. It was wonderful to see old, and new, faces as well and network with others who are interested in GISc. We encourage you to look at photos from the event here.

Recent news from alumni

We love to hear from our alumni and have recently edited our alumni update form.  We welcome any news or updates. 

Updates for 2015: 

Christine Johnston (BA, 1991) just celebrated her 14th year at Xcel Energy.  She works in the Environmental Services department as an Environmental Analyst providing permitting and compliance assistance associated with the Clean Water Act for the Colorado facilities.  As Project Manager, she recently completed a 5-year process to re-license their pumped-storage hydroelectric facility located near Georgetown, Colorado with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.  

View this video to hear about Tommy Crosby (BA, 2014) and his new position as Sustainability Coordinator for DaVita here in Denver.

Alicia Tyson (MS, 2013) will be joining the Colorado State University, Department of Geosciences PhD program this fall 2015 as an IWATER Fellow.  She will be conducting watershed and land use management research in the Colombian paramo.  

Katherine Williams (MS, 2011) is working at Schneider Electric as Product Manager for ArcFM Design and Work Products, a geospatial suite of products that extend the ArcGIS platform with functionality for Utility and Telecom providers. 

Joseph Capesius (MA, 1997) is currently employed as a Supervisory Hydrologist with the US Geological Survey (22 years) in Austin TX, running the day-to-day operations of the streamflow gaging station network in Central Texas.  He also serves as a Chief Warrant Officer in the Army Reserve (28 years).  

One of the first graduates of the DU Environmental Science program in 1981, Kyle Keahey (BA, 1981) is a Vice President with HNTB Corporation in Austin, TX.  Kyle received his Masters in Regional and City Planning from the University of Oklahoma and has been primarily involved in the planning, design, and implementation of transit projects in Denver (West Corridor and I-225 projects), Dallas, Houston, Apsen-Glenwood Springs, Charlotte, Salt Lake City, and San Antonio.  Most recently, Kyle was the project lead for a $1.4 billion urban rail proposal in Austin that, ultimately, was not approved by voters this past November.  Despite the failed election, continued planning efforts continue to identify alternative mobility strategies to address Austin's growth.  

For the past 25 years, Douglas Towne (BA, Environmental Science, 1984) has worked as a hydrologist for the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality characterizing the groundwater throughout Arizona.  He has authored over 30 reports and presented his research at local and national conferences.  Doug is editor of the Society for Commercial Archeology Journal (since 2004) and Arizona Contractor and Community magazine (since 2012).  A former contributor to Phoenix New Times, he has authored more than 30 history articles for Phoenix magazine, including the cover stories, "Phoenix in the 1920s" and "the Arizona Centennial."  Doug also creates floating montages which incorporate roadside vintage imagery; the resulting pieces are as much social commentary as they are homage to the past.  His art has been featured at Modified Arts, Tempe Public Library, the Trunk Space, Tohono Chul Park, the Downtown YMCA, Frontal Lobe Gallery, and @ Center Gallery.  A badminton enthusiast, Doug has smashed shuttlecocks to win competitions in seven states and one national title.  He lives in mid-town Phoenix with his lovely wife and the secret to his success, Maureen.  At a DU Phoenix alumni function in 2011, Doug won a $1,000 scholarship for which he selected the geography department as the recipient.

Janis Edwards (BA, 1971) will be retiring in 2015 from the University of Alabama Department of Communication Studies, where she has served as an Associate Professor for 13 years.  She looks forward to concentrating on her work as a studio artist, although if Hillary Clinton runs for president, she won't be able to resist working on her research in gender and politics, and visual rhetoric.  Although a PhD in rhetoric and public address seems a departure from geography, her geography training helped with one of her recent book chapters on the cultural and visual meaning of Nihonmachi (Japantowns on the West Coast). 

Previous updates: 

Tilottama Gosh (PhD, 2010) co-authored a paper with with faculty member, Paul Sutton, in the November 2013 issue of Sustainability titled: Using Nighttime Satellite Imagery as a Proxy Measure of Human Well-Being (T Ghosh, SJ Anderson, CD Elvidge, PC Sutton - Sustainability, 2013).  Their paper has also been written about in University of Colorado Boulder's Arts and Sciences Magazine .

Jeff La Frenierre (MA, 2009) has accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Geography at Gustavus Adolphus College to begin in the fall 2014.

Cornelia M. Carpenter (BA, 2011) is mapping the land -- and spirit -- of the Australian rainforest.  She is feature in this article "Mapping the Rainforest" from the School of Field Studies

Carolyn Hicks Anderson (BA, 1966) retired from National Geographic Magazine, in Washington, D.C., in 2000, after 31 years as a research editor.  Specializing in earth science articles, she followed the developing sciences of plate tectonics and climate change as they evolved, and was fortunate to work on the major science articles the magazine published. These included articles on volcanoes, acid rain, the discovery of oceanic hydrothermal rifts and their life forms, and six articles on Mount St. Helens. She and her husband returned to Colorado, where she and her husband continue to enjoy living in the Front Range.

Terry Meyer (BA, 1975) got  a master's degree at Tufts in 1995 in environmental policy, and a certificate in GIS from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. She worked as a GIS technician, analyst, and manager for various places: Town of Brookline, The Nature Conservancy, RI-DEM, etc. She taught skiing in Aspen, when it was still a fun place in 1979-83. She continues making maps for land trusts. She says 'Life is good, but I miss Denver and all that fresh air.'

William A. Howard (MA, 1960) is professor emeritus of the City and Regional Planning College of Architecture and Environmental Design at the California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo; vice president for Marketing Parallel Design Studios San Luis Obispo, CA; and consultant to numerous local governments in California.

Christine Richter (MA, 2005) is pursuing her PhD degree in urban and regional planning in geo-information management at the International Institute for Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation in the Netherlands. She did some research in South India and did some GIS mapping in that area. She participated in the Global Spatial Data Infrastructure conference in Rotterdam last June. 

Eileen Ernenwein (BA, 2000; MA, 2002) graduated from the University of Arkansas with a PhD in environmental dynamics in 2008.  She also has a 16-month old baby boy. Eileen continues to work closely with the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies at the University of Arkansas developing cutting-edge software for the processing and integration of multidimensional archaeogeophysical data. Starting in the fall she will be teaching and outreach for the department of Geosciences at East Tennessee State University. She has started her own consulting business last winter. Eileen has conducted geophysical surveys and archaeological investigations in North America' Great Plains, Rocky Mountains Region, Sacramento Valley, and the American Northwest, Southwest, Mid-South, and Southeast. She has also lent her expertise to clients at Petra, Jordan, Phoenician sites in Portugal, and in Tiwanaku, Bolivia.

More Alumni News in our 2013 Newsletter, The DU Geographer.