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Our Alumni

Pacific Alumnus Wins 2010 EAG Science Innovation Award

William Casey and sonDr. William H. Casey received the 2010 EAG Science Innovation Award/Werner Stumm Medal from the European Association of Geochemistry. This award recognizes a scientist who has made outstanding and innovative contributions to Geochemistry. Dr. Casey, who earned his B.A. in Geology from Pacific in 1976, is a professor of Chemistry at UC Davis and runs a lab that specializes in aqueous chemistry—the reactions between water, rock and minerals—related to the environmental and geological sciences. He is pictured here with his son.

Alumni Stories

Learn about the career paths a few of our alumni have taken, and find out how the Earth & Environmental Sciences program prepared them for their next steps.

Justin Elliot (B. S. Geology, 2006)
Staff Geologist. Kleinfelder, Inc.

  • How did Pacific prepare you?
    While all of the classes prepared me for my professional career, two classes helped me in particular. Hydrogeology taught me about the important aspects of hydrologic conductivity, radial flow, draw down in wells, and general ground water characteristics. Sedimentary Petrology gave me the ability to correctly classify soils while working on a drilling rig, which is what we work with often in the Central Valley.
  • Fond Memories
    My fondest memories all involve the classmates I worked with. It is impossible to pick one time... with such small class sizes, you quickly become very good friends with your peers. The faculty and other majors are always there to help you.

Rebecca Sengpiel
(B.S. Geology, 2004)
Graduate student: Indianapolis University, Purdue University, Indiana

  • How did Pacific prepare you?
    The wide range of classes offered by the department prepared me well for graduate school. Furthermore, the excellent professors hold students to high standards, which has helped me excel in work and research environments. My current research utilizes remote sensing to explore the environmental and geological aspects of the Eagle Creek Reservoir, Indiana. I would have been unable to succeed in this area of study without the solid background my Pacific education provided.
  • Fond Memories
    I gotta say, the field trips were the best part!

Corinne Wong
(B.S. Geology, B.A. Environmental Studies (Biology concentration), 2004)
Graduate student: University of Texas, Austin

  • What are you researching in graduate school?
    I am evaluating the impact of brush removal on recharge to a karst aquifer, which involves comparison of pre- and post-brush removal drip rates and water chemistry in a cave directly beneath the treated area. I am also mapping soil moisture to evaluate changes in recharge rates. The results will help evaluate the efficiency of brush removal as a method for increasing groundwater recharge, which is an important question in rapidly developing, dry regions such as central Texas.
  • How did Pacific prepare you?
    Pacific prepared me for graduate school by giving me a solid, broad base of knowledge and learning skills to draw from. The geology department was proactive in getting me field experience, which served to drive home big picture concepts while making geology enjoyable. Labs were not cookbook style, but hand crafted to make lecture concepts come together.
  • Fond Memories
    Being a part of the Geology department was a unique, enjoyable experience. The combination of the small department size, the number of field trips, and above all the good nature of everybody made for good times. On one trip, I remember barely beating a storm by pushing a Toyota Corolla up the last hundred feet through a mountain pass, cruising through an isolated valley down towards Kramer Ranch in northern California, and camping out on a blanket of freshly fallen snow under a full moon and clear sky.

Jason Mejia
(B.S. Geology - Geoscience Teaching Track, 2003)
Earth Science Teacher, Cesar Chavez High School, Stockton

  • What are your duties as a teacher and coach?
    I currently teach Earth Science (Honors, regular, and English-Language Learners) and plan to teach both Geology and Environmental Science courses next year. The latter two courses are awaiting approval from Sacramento State University to be classified as college-level courses. I coached Football and Women's Soccer last year, but fell in love with soccer. I hope to take over the Men's program at Cesar Chavez next year.
  • How did Pacific prepare you?
    Attending Pacific prepared me well for my career as a science teacher. My major courses provided me with a good understanding of a variety of scientific disciplines while the broad general education experiences enhance my ability to assist students outside my area of expertise.
  • Fond Memories
    My best memories are from the lab sessions. Meeting with my peers to decipher lab assignments—morning, afternoon, or late at night—built a camaraderie that lessened the stresses of college life. It may seem ironic, since the labs often caused the stress, but working with my friends was very therapeutic.

Eric Brown
(B.S. Geology, 2000)
Graduate student: University of California, Davis

  • What are you researching in graduate school?
    I am researching the origins of a 6 km thick sequence of volcanic rocks in East Greenland that was erupted in less than one million years during the opening of the Atlantic Ocean. Such large volumes of volcanic rocks are often attributed to sources from within the Earth's mantle. I am currently examining the chemical and isotopic compositions of these rocks, which will help us understand where they actually came from.
  • How did Pacific prepare you?
    It didn't take long to notice that my Pacific experience prepared me very well for graduate school. I have a good "big-picture" understanding of how the Earth works that some other students coming from bigger undergraduate universities often lack. I believe this is a direct result of the broad background in the fundamentals of geology that forms the core of Pacific's geoscience curriculum. Furthermore, the "student-centric" learning environment fostered at Pacific prepared me well for my job as a teaching assistant. I take my TA responsibilities seriously, because my Pacific geology professors continuously demonstrated that they were educators first.
  • Fond Memories
    I have always looked back fondly on my experiences at Pacific. This is particularly true for the geology department. From my first class with Dr. Pearson, I have always felt a strong connection with the faculty. This connection was strengthened during the 4-day field trips, when faculty and students could enjoy being in the field and spent countless nights "hanging out" by the campfire. I always appreciated the genuine interest the professors had in me as an individual and always felt that the department was more of a closely-knit family.

William A. Fahmy (B.S. Geophysics, 1978)
Geophysical Advisor, ExxonMobil Exploration Company

  • How did Pacific prepare you?
    The great thing about Pacific is not only the quality of the education, but the close interactions between students and professors. This closeness leads to a genuine learning experience that is impossible to find at bigger schools, where there is often little to no student-faculty interaction. The close attention a student gets at Pacific translates into a great education that really prepares you for the future.
  • Fond Memories
    Pacific is a relatively small school, and I met some of my best, life-long friends there. Other memories include the field trips Dr. Kramer would lead, especially those to Northern California coast where the forest and the beach meet—it was so beautiful and we had a wonderful time. I also enjoyed playing soccer for Pacific and remember beating Stanford, which was the upset of the century! Oh, we celebrated afterwards! I always look back on my time at Pacific. Those moments were some of the best times of my life.