Jim Merchant (MA'73, PhD'84) has suggested that we consider putting photos of alumni in the newsletter. Jim sent us an electronic photo which we have included in this newsletter. The shadow makes it a little difficult to see Jim's face, but I think it's an excellent idea! So, now that you have time to plan ahead, please consider sending a photo with your information next year. A close-up face shot would be the best. I might even try to get pictures of our current faculty in next year's edition!
Charles Heller (BA 1952; MA 1957): It was a quiet year. My main activity was participating in several ways in the Centennial of Western Michigan University; the only travel of note was a week in the Philadelphia/New York City area and a week in Central Ontario.
Byron Augustin (MA 1968): I started my twenty-sixth year at Texas State University-San Marcos. This past year I enjoyed working with Pete Shortridge on a tractor article for the Encyclopedia of the Midwest. I also completed a chapter for Brian Blouet's book on Latin America and the Caribbean. In January, I plan on spending two weeks in Panama taking photos for a book on Panama that I am currently working on. In May, I visited my mother in Nebraska. On the trip out of Omaha, I stopped to see Dr. Kollmorgan. What a treat! He still had that same old sparkle in his eye and his mind was a sharp as a steel trap. Even today, I would not want to try and slip a shoddy thesis past his discerning eye. He is still a remarkable scholar and a real joy to visit. Best wishes to all.
Kevin Carr (MA 1979): I work for an independent agency funded by the state to stimulate commercialization of research and business incubation. We work with Regents universities and business incubators around the state. Most of my activity at KU is with centers of excellence in pharmaceutical chemistry and information technology. Linda got her Masters degree at KSU several years ago and is a library/media specialist in the Shawnee Heights School District. She excels at and loves her job. Jesse (who was born about the time I finished at KU) is now 24, lives in Lawrence, and plays bluegrass mandolin. Katie is a junior at Shawnee Heights High School and excels at math, volleyball, softball and school in general (got that from her mom). Despite massive brainwashing by her K-State-oriented friends, she thinks she might want to go to KU. I have coached her very competitive fastpitch team for the last four summers. We live on 33 wooded acres about 20 miles west of campus and nine miles from downtown Topeka. It's an ideal place to relax and we spend a lot of time outdoors.
Jerry C. Coiner (PhD 1975): In 2000, I closed my GIS/remote sensing consulting practice and retired. Since then, Eloise and I have traveled extensively in Southeast Asia, Australia, North and South America. When we are not traveling, we live in Kona on the Big Island, and I work on cataloging my Pacific Basin stamp collection.
Charles Dodds (MA 1966; PhD 1975): I retired in May 2002. Since then, I spent part time promoting Geography, mentoring and lecturing on all levels including field trips and full-time as caregiver after Carol's 5 or 6 heart "events". In spite of these events", we were able to spend 3 weeks in Spain, then visited family and friends in 25 cities in 13 states, including: Bob and Ann Nunley, Joe and Barbara Sabol, Steve and Lisa Schnell.
Richard Groop (PhD 1976): Hello to all at KU! I'm in my 5th year as Chair of the Geography Department at MSU and it would appear that I'll be asked to sign on for another 5-year term. This despite a Dean who holds up a cross whenever I appear in her office, a large number of faculty who would like to dangle me from an upper floor window, and a wife who wishes I would get a real job so I could make some real money. Retirement sure looks good.
Greg Hembree (BS 1976; MA 1978): My wife Marla is Assistant Director in the homes association where we live. In addition to the usual plan review and permit issuance, my work year has also involved the management of state-mandated revisions to the Chesapeake Bay Preservation Act, and a controversial request (ultimately denied by the Mayor and Town Council) to remove several properties from the Town's only historic district. I have also learned a new skill--that of Project Engineer--as I and the Town's Director of Parks & Recreation were tapped to conclude a street enhancement project after the retirement of the Town's Project Engineer. Marla and I remain involved in the Clifton Presbyterian Church's proposed expansion plan, including membership on the Building Committee and presentation of plans before the Town of Clifton's Board of Zoning Appeals, Board of Architectural Review, Planning Commission and Town Council. A multi-year project is contemplated, with ground-breaking in June 2005 now likely. After suffering the loss of a beloved black cat in spring 2002, a new "beast," similar in temperament and vocalization, was introduced into the household. After some rough sailing, the elder cat (Spencer--a 15-year-old male orange tabby) finally decided to accept Indiana (the new 1-1/2-year-old) male black cat, and tranquility has resumed. Marla and I always note that Halloween seems just a little more enjoyable having black and orange cats. We also continue to enjoy our fish pond--a hole in the back yard into which we have sunk plenty of money. I have begun vacation planning for summer 2004, with some form of Lewis & Clark commemorative trip being formulated.
Alan MacEachren (PhD 1979): I am a Professor of Geography and Director of the GeoVISTA Center (www.geovista.psu.edu) at Penn State, where I have been a faculty member since 1985. I and wife Fran live in Boalsburg, PA (on 3+ acres, a few miles from campus). I continue to be active in geovisualization research, a topic I have focused on for the past decade and a half. In relation to that focus, I lead a research team on a 5-year grant from the National Cancer Institute (Geovisualization and Spatial Analysis of Cancer Data -- http://www.geovista.psu.edu/grants/nci-esda/). I also chair the International Cartographic Association's Commission on Visualization and Virtual Environments (http://www.geovista.psu.edu/sites/icavis/). A more recent research focus is in geocollaboration. Geocollaboration can be defined to be both an activity (group work about geographic scale problems facilitated by geospatial information and information technologies) and a sub-field of research (the study of these group activities, together with the development of methods and tools to facilitate them). Current geocollaboration research that I am involved with includes developing a collaboratory within the NSF-funded Human-Environment Regional Observatory infrastructure project (http://hero.geog.psu.edu/) and two joint, NSF-funded projects with colleagues in computer science and information sciences and technologies directed toward natural, multi-user interfaces to GIS http:geovista.psu.edu/grants/nsf-itr/index.html and http://www.geovista.psu.edu/grants/GCCM/ If you are passing through central PA . . . feel free to stop in at Penn State.
Col Sam McCormick (MA 1975): I retired from the USAF, but I continue to confuse scores of middle school students while attempting to teach them both World Geography and Spanish. The pending appearance of my annual long white beard, usually accompanied by a temporary lessening of academic rigor, is generally a welcome annual event, however. Happy New Year.
Roland Mower (PhD 1971): Life here at the Horseshoe Mountain Ranch in central Utah is still all I had ever thought it might be. Of course, retirement is difficult; I'm still trying to cope with it. I write for fun during my slack hours. My wife and I are getting a bit older, but none of you have had to face that problem yet. I notice some names are missing from the list shown below. May they rest in peace in the great library in the sky.
George Pangburn (MA 1974): This summer we vacationed in Kansas---my wife Pam, daughter Carrie and me. While there we stopped by to talk with Bev and those in the office that day. As we always do when in Lawrence, we visited with our good friend Janet Riley of the KU Budget office. We also toured the Flint Hills, traveled to Abilene to visit the Eisenhower museum, took pictures throughout Lawrence at the Jayhawks on Parade, and shopped in Kansas City. It was a great visit. This year my job with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission took a couple of unexpected twists. For the past several years I have worked in King of Prussia, PA, as Director of NRC's nuclear materials programs in the northeastern US. Effective October 1 (2003), as part of an overall move to consolidate programs and increase efficiencies, my responsibilities expanded to include the NRC's nuclear materials programs for the southeastern US, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. These programs were previously managed out of the Atlanta, GA, office. This consolidation will expand our regional program to include licensing, inspection and enforcement of 2500 license holders who use radioactive materials in medical, industrial and commercial applications. In October, I also learned that I was selected for a Presidential Meritorious Rank award for my work as a senior executive in NRC. Outside of work I spend my free time these days in reading (mainly fiction, politics and history) and modifying my Triumph Bonneville. It's a great motorcycle and a continual work in progress. My family and I all follow KU basketball closely throughout the season (along with Pitt, of course). Hopefully this will be another great year, and maybe a National Title again. Hope all is well.
Tim Rickard (PhD 1974): I am continuing my teaching and research in sustainable rural development focusing on Connecticut and Jamaica. I enjoy the international dimension of my work at Central Connecticut State University and my association with two commissions of the IGU. My wife, Louise, continues as a manager for the CT Dept. of Public Utility Control. My daughter, Diana, travels more than I do, mostly this year in connection with a community health project in Ghana. She is my latest role model, not, however, displacing Walter Kollmorgen.
Bill Smiley (MA 1972): It does seem like a long time has lapsed since I was on campus (1964-66) and when I finally got my thesis accepted by T.R.Smith (1972). For me, the demands and nurturing of the faculty, the interaction with high quality grad students, and the many field trip experiences, certainly helped me to develop professionally and personally. Memories that still surface from time to time are: the intense discussions that would occur over dinner and/or in grad student offices with fellow grad students, field trips to the Flint Hills with stops at the rural cafes that had the best gooseberry pie, working in the cartography lab with Dr. Jenks, and having Thanksgiving dinner with Johanna and Walter Kollmorgen the first year I was at KU (Johanna had told Walter earlier in the fall that their "gueese" had to go since they were messing on the front porch and being very protective by not letting visitors get out of their car as they would drive into the drive way). As I recall, the "goose" dinner was excellent! Currently, I am working for Oregon Trout, a conservation non-profit located in Portland, Oregon. Our focus is on educating youth on the importance of watershed conservation and environmental stewardship, and fish habitat restoration activities. As Director of Education, my primary responsibility is to oversee the administration and coordination of OT's Salmon Watch Program. In 2003, this science based program reached over 4,500 middle and high school students in Oregon. Prior to joining OT, I spent 23 years as a federal employee with the Extension Services in Wyoming and Oregon. I believe that my KU experience certainly helped me easily adapt to the various roles I was asked to fill, i.e. Staff Development Specialist, Special Projects Coordinator, Assistant to the Dean for International Programs (College of Agriculture), State 4-H Specialist, and County 4-H Agent. After retiring from the Oregon State University Extension Service in May 2000, I was awarded Faculty Emeritus status in the Department 4-H/Youth Development. I also served for eight years as a land-use planner for County and State government during the late 1960s and early 1970s. My family includes my wife Janice (who works for OSU Extension as a County Agent), and two step children who are in high school. We like to travel and have been doing the National Park visits the last few years. My foreign travels have included visits to Mexico and Central America, East Africa (Somalia), Germany, and Canada (primarily British Columbia). In March, I will be traveling to the Russian Far East (Sakhalin Island) to work with teachers to help them adapt portions of our OT Salmon Watch program for use with their students. Both my wife and I also enjoy working in our yard. In closing, I would like to thank the department and staff for their efforts in keeping us informed as well as the opportunity to network with former grad students. Happy New Year!
Mark Virden (MA 1976): I continue to run Virden Associates, my planning consulting firm. We just celebrated our 16th anniversary. After a great visit to see Alan and Fran MacEachran at Penn State, I returned to my home in Mission, Kansas. After deciding I finally needed a hobby, I purchased a 1931 Model A with a rumble seat. The last person to drive it, over 15 years ago, was my grandmother. After a 100 mile literal "shake down cruise", we are now trying to get it to run again (after blowing a manifold gasket). The only thing that works on an old car is the owner (so says Bill Virden).
John Beets (MA 1980): I continue working for M. J. Harden Associates in Kansas City. I primarily do technical consulting in the development of information systems for assessing and managing integrity and risk on transmission pipeline systems. M. J. Harden was recently acquired by Pipeline Integrity International, a subsidiary of General Electric. I went from working for a company with 160 people to one that employs over 300,000. Big change. Probably lots more international travel. My wife is a GIS Analyst for the City of Olathe, Kansas. We live in Roeland Park, Kansas.
David Butler (PhD 1982): I am Professor of Geography at the newly renamed Texas State University-San Marcos (formerly Southwest Texas State University). I and co-editors S.J. Walsh and G.P. Malanson recently (November 2003) saw the publication of their book "Mountain Geomorphology - Integrating Earth Systems", published by Elsevier. My wife, Jan, accepted a position as Assistant Professor of Accounting at Texas State that started in September, so now I and Jan can commute together from our home in Austin. Our son, Will, is a sophomore at Westlake High School in Austin, where he plays the trumpet in the band and generally enjoys typical teenager activities. My e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org, and welcome contacts from old friends at KU!
Johnna(MA 1986) and Jim (MA 1989) Hale: Yes, we are still out here. Still living in Independence, MO, with a family of four; three biological (7,5, & 3) and a new arrival, age one from China. We left for China on Nov. 21 and returned Dec. 5 with Virginia Rose Hale, born Dec. 20, 2002. We will be having a birthday party soon. Jim is still at Blue Valley NW High School teaching earth-space science, astronomy and meteorology. I'm at home with the kids. We have chosen to home school which is proving to be very fulfilling for me. We recently moved to a larger house; 1960's split level in need of some minor updating. Its a wonderful neighborhood for the kids. Looking forward to see what 2004 brings us.
Liz Hines (MA 1985): After six months of teaching at the University of Wales, Swansea and traveling in Europe with my husband, Michael in 2002, I've returned to reality. I taught two classes in Wales, Tuesdays and Wednesdays (odd but advantageous scheduling), so every Wednesday night we went somewhere that had less rain, usually returning on Monday nights. During the months of April and June, we traveled exclusively. Although I can't recommend a lifetime of traveling compressed into six months, it's better than a poke in the eye. We went everywhere we wanted to go, saw almost everything we wanted to see, ate everything we wanted to eat, and have generally made everyone sick since we returned. We'd like to thank UNCW, UWS and its weather, Visa, MasterCard and Michael's Aunt Frances for making it possible to go and see Wales, England, Scotland, Ireland, Macedonia, Greece, Italy, Spain and France--twice! Now we're back in Wilmington, spoiled for life, going to weight-watchers for life, and operating under a teaching schedule that permits only vicarious travel until Philadelphia. I'm teaching a variety (read here 'too many') of classes at UNCW and focusing my research on the South and Civil Rights in general and Medgar Evers in particular.
Mike Hogben (MPhil 1981): We are in the wind down phase of trying to retire. I am still working as an applications analyst for Ingenix in New Haven. We've had our house on the market, but no offers yet. Mostly our fault since we didn't list it at the height of the market. We plan to take the house off the market through the winter and re-list it in the spring. This would allow us to move sometime in the spring or early summer. Our plans are to retire to southwestern Idaho in the Boise area most likely Nampa. We visited there in September and it appears to provide a moderately priced housing market, a good number of golf courses, density of population lower than here, a reasonable drive to our relatives in Utah and Nevada, low humidity with four seasons, less frenzied, and a lower cost of living.
Ingrid Landgraf (formally Ingrid Knudsen) (MA 1985): I am back in Lawrence after living in the Denver area for 17 years. During that time I have been a cartographer for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). I jumped at the chance to relocate in Lawrence last August as part of USGS's strategy to build The National Map from the local level. I now lead a Mapping Partnership Office tasked with implementing The National Map in Kansas. My husband Keith is also a cartographer with the U.S. Geological Survey. His work involves mapping for the Land Trends Program, vegetation mapping for the National Park Service, and other remote sensing research. Our 9-year old daughter Melinda has adjusted very well to living in Lawrence, although we are not looking forward to tornado season. (We didn't tell her about that.) We wish everyone a Happy New Year.
Kent McGregor (MA 1976; PhD 1982): Not a lot of news from here. The years just seem to fly by. I have been here at the University of North Texas for 21 years now. My research interests concern climatic variability and water resources in Texas. I am looking forward to the AAG meetings in Philadelphia. My paper there will be "Huntington and Lovelock: Determinism Then and Now. " My wife, Pat, is a psychologist for the Lewisville school district. Our son, David, is 14 and enjoys acting and other theater arts. Our daughter, Katy, is 10 and enjoys soccer.
James Merchant (MA 1974, PhD 1984): I am now affiliated with the new School of Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) where I am Professor and Research Coordinator - http://snrs.unl.edu/. I continue to offer courses in remote sensing and GIS, and advise graduate students, in the UNL Department of Anthropology and Geography, and am serving in my thirteenth year as Associate Director of the UNL Center for Advanced Land Management Information Technologies (CALMIT) - http://www.calmit.unl.edu/ I also am in my third year as Editor-in-Chief of the journal "Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing." On the home front, all are well - Loyola working part-time in the Chemistry Department at Nebraska Wesleyan University, Karl in his junior year at Lincoln East High School and Anne in 6th grade at Lux Middle School.
Joe Poracsky (PhD 1984): I am beginning my 22nd year at Portland State University. The Portland area recently got its first two Krispy Kreme shops and every time I drive by one (I have yet to stop), I wonder whether the sign advertising "Hot Donuts" was stolen from Joe's Donuts in Lawrence, or vice versa, or if it is just an instance of independent invention. When I am not pondering such critical diffusion questions, I am often working on a local urban environmental issue or one of several on-going mapping projects. A major project, just wrapping up, has been mapping changes in urban tree canopy in Portland over the past 30 years. Another project this past year, in conjunction with the centennial of landscape architect John Charles Olmsted's 1903 visit and "Report to the Portland Park Board," was helping plan a commemorative Symposium and co-teaching (with a historian and a naturalist/citizen-activist) a year-long course on urban parks. A major chunk of the rest of my professional time has been spent in a (possibly) vain attempt to convert or update some 5,000 cartography and remote sensing teaching slides to Powerpoint format. (Hey, Bill – "64K ought to be enough RAM
for anybody" – Gates, tell me again how computers give us a lot more free time.) My Daughter Kristina is expecting grandson #2 in April. Until then, my non-work time is spent with #1 grandson Finley (18 months old in December) or watching Jayhawk basketball with son Rome, son-in-law Michael and fellow Jayhawk Phil Orlowski. The past two seasons have been particularly interesting, getting to watch Jefferson High grads Aaron Miles and Michael Lee give the Allen Field House crowd a taste of how roundball is played in Portland. Other spare time is spent at the new beach cottage (6 blocks from the actual beach, but close enough). Activity there revolves around drinking lots of coffee (the "drug of choice" on the West Coast, according to Bob Edwards), reading (the county library is conveniently only one block away) and contemplating how much the surf looks like the waving wheat of Kansas (which we all now know "IS flatter than a pancake").
Keith Rice (PhD 1989): The past year has definitely has its ups and downs - both personally and professionally. Last academic year (2002-2003) I was honored with the University of Wisconsin Teaching Excellence Award. It is given once a year to only two teachers from across the UW-System (over a dozen campuses, including UW-Madison and UW-Milwaukee). It is looked at as a lifetime teaching award (but I'm not ready to retire yet - maybe another 10-15 years from now). This academic year (2003-04) my home department (University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Geography & Geology) was also honored with the very same award (besides two teachers, one department across the UW-System is chosen for this annual award).http://www.uwsp.edu/cls/UWStevensPoint-Jan03.qxd.pdf Although these awards were great news, life sometimes has a way of reminding us what really is important as I was greatly disheartened by the death of my father. His unexpected passing occurred a few days after Christmas (2002) and my family and I went back to upstate New York for his funeral - which occurred during a blizzard (one of many New York State experienced last year). I was always very close to my father since my mother died when I was young and he raised my sisters and I while running his own greenhouse business and working as a church custodian. He was a great father and remarkable man who I will deeply miss in my life. Melissa and I had our 25th wedding anniversary this past summer (but we still managed to do more remodeling of our house). My oldest son Steven is at graduate school at Bowling Green State University (Music Composition), my daughter Andria is preparing for college, and my youngest, Brenton, is a 15-year old teenager who's best academic subject is Japanese (language lessons). Melissa is thinking of retiring from being a midwife (too stressful and low pay - yes even lower than a college professor) and I'm busy with research on wild lupine, QuickBird imagery, music and map animation and a potential GIS project in Africa (never a dull moment being a geographer). Best wishes to all KU Geography alumni for a productive and peaceful year.
Ronald V. Shaklee (MA 1979; PhD 1983): I am a Professor in the Department of Geography, Youngstown State University and also Director (one-half time appointment) of the University Honors Program. In the Spring 2003, I was awarded a University Distinguished Professorship for University Service. I am still teaching World Geography; Physical Geography; Middle America; Remote Sensing; Urban Geography; Bahamas and a slew of Honors classes (most recently the Geography of Middle Earth).
Robert Shapiro (MA 1989): My family and I moved to Tampa last year. This is quite the change from the NY life, but has been excellent for the family. I continue to work for Verizon (14 years) as an Executive Director in IT, helping over 200 software applications with performance testing, production support and metrics. For physical geography I get my fix canoeing the Hillsborough River, complete with plenty of aligators, tons of turtles, some snakes and various other creatures. For cultural/historical geography I just visited St Augustine, the oldest European settled city in the US, "discovered" by the Spanish in 1513. Business frequently takes me to Boston, Manhattan, New Jersey and the Washington DC area so I am never far from my Northeast roots. Louise and I have been married 16 years, Abigail is 12 and Nathan is 6.
Shigeo Takahashi (MA 1982; PhD 1988): I'm glad to report that there has been little change in my life and work. I teach economic geography at the same university in the Tokyo area. Administrative duties have increased, though (because of age?), and that leaves me less time to read and write. Two notable occasions of travel this year was a trip to Shanghai in March and a summer trip to the northern part of Japan. I was impressed with the lively atmosphere of the Chinese city and a trip to the countryside of Shanghai provided a good contrast. In August, I had a chance to visit Shirakami Mountains, which has been designated as a world heritage. The area is famous for the largest virgin forest of beech trees in Japan. I enjoyed a one-day guided tour of the forest, which was designed to appreciate the nature of the forest.
Chris Bader (MA 1994): Hello, hope all at KU are well. Minor updates. I am still at the ND Water Commission. I got married again in May 2001 to Allison J. Bader. We now have a little boy Dylan, 18 months and one more on the way (due in December).
Mary (Dillworth) Clinthorne (PhD 1990): The past year has been a busy one for my family and me. After an 8-year sabbatical, I've started teaching part-time at Grand Valley State University. This year I am teaching World Regional Geography. This has been quite a challenge, since it isn't my area of expertise. But, with some helpful suggestions from KU alums like Karen Trifonoff and Taylor Mack, I made it through the semester. Winter will be much easier (I hope). Next year I have an opportunity to teach GIS and Remote Sensing in the Natural Resources Program at GVSU. That should be a lot more fun!!! My family took a wonderful trip to Isle Royale National Park in western Lake Superior this past summer. We had a great time hiking and using our GPS, and it brought back lots of memories of a similar trip with Kelly and Karen Gregg many years ago. This year's trip included more whining from our 8-year old than the previous adults-only trip, but fewer mice scampering through our lodging. We can't wait to go back!
Craig Campbell (PhD 1993): I'm now in my second year as Chair of the Department at Youngstown State University. Last year I was "Acting" Chair, but now it is official. I don't dislike the job too much, but we are only five faculty who all get along really well, making the task much less of a burden. Our department is moving within the next two months to another building on campus. I have been able to design the facilities and watch it all grow, which has been a very satisfying process. There is, however, always something you forgot to consider. Over the last year I feel I have accomplished a lot, personally and academically. My book on Latter Day Saint views of the New Jerusalem in Independence, MO (a variation on the KU dissertation) is due out next summer - published by the University of Tennessee Press. These things always take more time than you think. The family is well. Betty is great and not currently working. She had arthroscopic (sp?)surgery on her shoulder earlier this year and it was a great success. Justin (19) is serving his LDS mission in Peru and is currently in La Molina, a wealthy suburb of Lima. Mickey, 18, is studying graphic arts at the local vocational school and doing very very well. Marta, 17, is a junior at Boardman High School, interested in photography and also doing fine.
Becky Dinkins (MA 1993): I and my husband are adding to our family through adoption again in February 2004, when Walter travels to Addis Ababa to bring a 7-year-old daughter and her 9-year-old brother home to Anchorage, Alaska.
John Dunham (PhD, 1996): I completed yet another year as a GIS specialist for the Kansas Data Access and Support Center, located at the Kansas Geological Survey at KU, and am now firmly entrenched as a "DASCie". Still testing and verifying newly delivered Kansas datasets, I have also been involved in GIS education and spreading the word about the DASC (gisdasc.kgs.ku.edu), and presentations at professional meetings. I also created a thematic map used by new Gov. Sebelius' team seeking ways of more efficient use of state budget money. Among several other projects, I am continuing working at testing the new 2002 digital orthophotos for Kansas, a time-consuming task. I gave a presentation on this work at the 2003 ESRI International User Conference in San Diego. On the home front, I and wife Cindy (KU Geography, '84) are kept busy with high-school sophomore daughter Tricia's activities, especially basketball and softball. Tricia is currently playing junior varsity and varsity basketball, which means lots of travel to games. Among other excitement this past year was a 20th-anniversary trip with Cindy to the Florida panhandle in October, and the annual road trip with fellow KU Geography alum Jerry Whistler to visit yet another KU Geography legend, Al Arbogast, and his family in East Lansing, Michigan. Another KU Geography legend, Dave Baumgartner, was also able to make it. The highlight was the action-packed MSU-Indiana football game - well, the first half, anyway. (Cold weather and the call of nearby bars was reason enough for the group to vote for leaving at half.) I also enjoyed visits from Kelly Gregg, a highly entertaining KU Geography alum and true Renaissance man, and wife Karen. I would love to hear from old friends - my e-mail is email@example.com.
Michael Handley (MA 1994; PhD 1996): I am still working at IRCO, the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization, in Portland, Oregon. After three years of working in refugee employment services, I will become the agency's volunteer coordinator in January 2004. I married Sue Collard last summer. Sue is an architect in private practice, and a fellow member of the Extra Miler Club (www.extramilerclub.org). We are living happily in Southeast Portland with my increasingly geriatric cat, Yoyo, and Sue's cat Caliban.
Mike Ingram (PhD 1996): Bonnie and I are still happily living in Leavenworth, Kansas. Everybody has to be somewhere, so it is gratifying that Leavenworth has become a much nicer place to be in the past few years. I expect to work for the U.S. Army at Ft. Leavenworth until retirement, now less than ten years away. I have also continued to teach economics as a hobby for Kansas City Kansas Community College at the Leavenworth Center and Ft. Leavenworth. I traveled only a little this year. However, I was in the D.C. area when their big March snowstorm shut down the city, and then again during the week when hurricane Isabel blew through that region. After Bonnie made her annual quilting retreat into Tennessee in the Fall, we took a little road trip for our vacation. We spent a night in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and two nights visiting family in Little Rock. While in Little Rock, I was taken to a rather interesting dinner where I ate elk cooked several different ways. East of Little Rock we stopped in a headwater swamp in eastern Arkansas at the site of the initial point from which all lands from the Louisiana Purchase were surveyed. This point marking the intersection of the fifth principal meridian and the national baseline was used as the position of every official geographical benchmark from the mountains of Montana to the mouth of the Mississippi. Since 2003 was the Year of the Blues, we then went to Clarksdale, Mississippi, the home of the Blues. We stayed in a "modernized" sharecropper's shack at something called the Shack-up Inn on a former cotton plantation outside of town. We came back through Missouri, staying in Ste. Genevieve on the Mississippi River one night, and in Herman on the Missouri River in the wine country west of St. Louis another night. We toured and tasted at about ten wineries. The new thing is micro-brewing integrated into some of these winery operations. Not a bad concept!
Joseph Kerski (MA 1993): Greetings To All You Spatial People. I continue to serve as Education Geographer at the USGS in Denver, but I'm not there much--this year I taught geography and GIS in England, New Zealand, Utah, Nevada, California, Wisconsin, Michigan, North Carolina, Texas, Colorado, and Louisiana. Some of these activities are detailed on http://rockyweb.cr.usgs.gov/public/outreach/. I also taught at the University of Denver and am currently teaching at Denver Public Schools.
Chris A. Klaiss (MA 1993): I continued to spend this year as financial analyst/budget planer at British Telecom in Munich, Germany. I had started at that company in April 1998 as a GIS digitizer. However, if things go according to my plan, some big changes will occur next year. The BT job is not bad, but not personally fulfilling, and a recent restructuring has resulted in an unpleasant working environment. In the future, I am looking to teach geography, and if possible, business studies. My part-time MBA at the US Business School in Prague (operated by the Rochester Institute of Technology) will be completed on March 8. I started on March 19, 2001! Teaching has been a latent dream for me for many years, and some countries in Europe, especially Great Britain, are desperately looking for geography teachers. I am grateful to the Geography Department at KU for having had the chance to teach Physical Geography lab between 1994 and 1996, an experience that has helped me greatly during recent interviews. Now on to the fun stuff: I also traveled a good deal during 2003. There were two trips to South Tirol, the German-speaking part of Italy. It was interesting to hike up the 2500m mountain in the summer that I had skied down seven months earlier. In August, I spent a week in Estonia, taking a Russian course in that country's capital, Tallinn. I rented a car, so I could travel to many beautiful places, including Lahemaa National Park on the Baltic coast, and the lively spa town of Pärnu. In September, I took a short trip to Istria (Croatia) with Anne. The Italian influence on the towns along the Istrian coast is unmistakable.
Taylor E. Mack (MA 1992): This last year at the AAG Meeting in New Orleans and the Conference of Latin Americanist Geographers meeting in Tucson, I presented some new research on the historical geography of the Honduran port city of Omoa, focusing on the reasons for the site being chosen in 1744 and some potential environmental problems related to deforestation of the site to build the town. The summer passed quickly with an eight week trip to work in the National Archive of Honduras in Tegucigalpa, where my research concentrated on the early development of Puerto Cortez on the Caribbean coast and the failed Intercontinental Railroad project from 1869. I also earned my Technician Class Amateur Radio License this year, and have been getting ready for Mississippi's extended deer hunting season.
Amy Rork (MA 1997): The past year has had its ups and downs, as usual. Ups include a new grandchild on the way, due in March '04, trips to Orlando and Washington DC for work, getting dug out from the overflow of antiques and computers at home, getting a decent raise, hiring a housecleaner, and the continued well-being of family and friends. While in Orlando - dipped my toes in the Atlantic at Cocoa Beach, ate shrimp at a beach dive - passed on Disney World. Farther north - rode the Washington DC subway and took the twilight tour of the mall area. Both areas are worth another non-business trip - I wanted to see the orange groves and take a swamp tour, and see the National Cathedral and the Air & Space museum. Downs - not worth mentioning, I guess. I'm still administering the cancer grant, and we're gearing up to write the five year renewal next summer. Kids are fine, grandson Will (2 years) is sensational, of course, and Gerald continues to labor(atory) at Higuchi Biosciences Center on west campus. Best wishes to all for a spectacular 2004.
Steve Schnell (MA 1994; PhD 1998): I am still at Kutztown University, teaching Cultural Geography (honors and regular), Geography of Africa, World Regional Geography, and Senior Seminar (not all at once!). I'm on the AAG's local arrangements committee for the Philadelphia meeting, and would like to encourage everyone to eat at the White Dog Cafe, and also to visit the Mutter Museum (a.k.a., the Museum of Medical Oddities) while in Philly this year - you won't forget it or regret it! I am also on a committee putting together a university-wide conference on Subsaharan Africa, and managed to convince none other than Garth Myers to be one of the featured speakers. Lisa worked this fall up at Hawk Mountain Sanctuary leading groups of school kids on tours of the raptor reserve, and is currently working on a book based on her experiences in the Peace Corps in Ghana, as well as 37. Marina is now one year old, adorable, and is walking, singing, dancing, understanding words, and climbing stairs. Like any good citizen of this postmodern age, she's very much into deconstruction: of the bookshelf, the kitchen cabinets, of any stack of papers left anywhere in the house. The biggest news this year is that we're about to buy a house, a passive solar house just a little bit outside of town. Making the prospect of massive debt more exciting, the Pennsylvania State System schools are also facing the possibility of a faculty strike this spring semester. Should make for an exciting next few months!
Karen Trifonoff (PhD 1994): I am in my 12th year in the Department of Geography and Geosciences at Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania. My original plan was to stay a year or two to see how I liked it, and it must be going ok as I am still here. My most recent challenge is being the coordinator for the Pennsylvania Geographic Alliance, a task I really enjoy, as I feel part of our job as geographers is to support good geography teaching in the K-12 classrooms. I conducted an Alliance Summer Geography Institute this past summer on "Mapping the Anthracite Region". We combined classroom activities and field trips to the deep mine in Scranton, Eckley Miner's Village (an old mining town), and of course the mine fire in Centralia that has been burning for 40 years. The teachers loved it and came away with lots of good ideas for their classrooms.
Laura Whayne (MA 1990): I am still the librarian for the Kentucky Transportation Center at the University of Kentucky. I am also the Acting Librarian for the Engineering Library here at UK for a couple of months until a new person is hired. For six months in 2002-03, I worked part time for the National Transportation Library in Washington, DC, evaluating and making recommendations about their virtual reference service.
That's about all the news here at my end.
Kirk White(MA 1998): I am now an Adjunct Professor of Geography at York College (York, PA) and finishing my dissertation on nationalism and Islamic revivalism among Tatars in Russia. While conducting field research, I married Svetlana Bagova in a small Adygean village in the Caucasus Mountains (some of you probably remember her as a Visiting Professor in Linguistics at KU in 2000-01). I am also beginning a new project on trans-border relations between the Circassian-speaking peoples of the western North Caucasus region of Russia and kin communities in the Middle East. A collaborative project is now being set up in conjunction with the Adygean Institute of Social Science Research and its affiliate branch in Amman, Jordan. Returning from Kansas to the east coast, I once again enjoy Philly sports talk on AM radio, paying less for chicken than beef, aggressive driving, cheesesteaks, and Amish produce auctions.
Josh Artman (MA 2000): I am currently a hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Lawrence!
Craig Davis (MA 2001): Hey all, greetings from Sacramento. Needless to say, things have been interesting around here lately and with Arnold in the capitol, they promise to be that and more in the years to come. This is my fourth year at Sacramento City College and I am still enjoying the position and living in northern California. As usual, I have tried to utilize the semester breaks to get out and explore. This summer I was able to spend a few weeks in Baja California scouting potential locations for field courses, relaxing, snorkeling, and drinking a few Coronas. On the same trip, I was able to stop and visit John Banning in Redlands, CA and see what it is really like to live in a GIS factory-town. Jason Shields and I have also been able to keep in close contact and continue meeting for ballgames in the city or for camping/backpacking trips throughout the west. This summer we took trips to the eastern Sierra and Yosemite. On one such trip, I was happy to hand Mr. Shields the worst loss of his quickly fading wiffle ball career (18-4) - Banning you are next. I am looking forward to a winter trip that will allow me to visit Lawrence after many years to visit friends and see what is going on at KU. Until next year…
Peter De Vincentis (MA 2002): I received a career permanent appointment with Eastern Region Geography (formerly the Mapping Applications Center) of the U.S. Geological Survey in Reston, Virginia. I work for the National Atlas Program on projects which include compiling data on the history of U.S. territorial expansion, assisting in the production of printable (i.e. downloadable) and printed maps, and special mapping projects.
Jeremy Dillon (PhD 2002): The summer of 2002 saw the birth of my daughter Lauren, the defense and completion of my dissertation, and the beginning of my job as an Assistant Professor of Geography at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. (My hair is still growing back!) During my two years here I have taught eight different courses and survived two rounds of budget cuts. I am now settling into a more regular teaching schedule in physical geography and soils, and my research program is taking shape. I am working on various geoarcheological projects, and will be conducting a study of subsurface Pleistocene deposits and soils in eastern Nebraska. I have been granted a courtesy appointment with the Conservation and Survey Division (State Geological Survey) at the School of Natural Resources - UNL. My family (Alexandra, Benjamin and Lauren) is enjoying life in Kearney. We live within walking distance of both the University and the kid's elementary school, as well.
Hugh H. Howard (PhD 2003): I am currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Geography at the University of Oregon, specializing in cartography and GIS. I am a co-author of Thematic Cartography and Geographic Visualization, 2nd edition, together with three KU alums: Terry A. Slocum, Robert B. McMaster, and Fritz C. Kessler. My plans for the future include the expansion of SMARTcart, the intelligent learning tool for cartographic design that was the focus of my dissertation.
Matthew Sampson (MA 2000): I finished my three-year teaching tour at West Point. It was a great assignment! Some of the cadets that I taught are now stationed in Iraq. I'm currently on a one-year assignment in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, as the base engineer. Meanwhile, my wife and children are living in Colorado where I will be reassigned next summer.
Derek A. Smith (PhD 2003): I don't have much news, but I do have an article in a special edition of Human Organization which is co-edited by Peter Herlihy. The article is entitled: "Pariticipatory Mapping of Community Lands and Hunting Yields among the Buglé of Western Panama."