Geography Alumni and Donors
Department of Geography
College of Liberal Arts
1250 Bellflower Boulevard
California State University
Long Beach, CA 90840-1101 USA
Alumni and Donor News
[ Donor Thanks ] [ The Latest on Alumni ]
Many Thanks to Our Donors
- The Department wishes to thank the following alumni for their kindness in making recent donations to the Department's Special Project Account. Support from alumni is important and very much appreciated because it enables activities and resources that can't be funded through the regular State public university budget. Thank you very much! An extra thanks goes to the CSULB Alumni Association, which gave the Department $10,000 to purchase a large flat screen monitor for instruction in LA4-207 and an upgrade to the "smart room" technology in LA4-100. On 20 November 2008, the Department hosted an alumni reception during Geography Awareness Week to show off these items purchased through the Alumni Association grant and purchases of a 15 foot blimp for remote sensing and a 15 foot canoe.
- Ms. Carol R. Austin (1974)
- Ms. Jill Axup (1982, now Mrs. Jill S. Griffiths)
- Mr. and Mrs. Robert Barone
- Ms. Diana L. Borden (1992, now Diana L. McCarthy)
- Mrs. Blair Brignall
- Mr. Donald J. Butterfield
- Mr. and Mrs. W. Scott (Vickie A. Bushey, 1973) Garland (1972)
- Mr. John E. Cass (1973)
- Mrs. Lyssa N. Cromell (Marcotte, 1991)
- Mr. Dennis T. Davis (1972)
- Mr. Stephen C. Denny (1977)
- Ms. Vickie Dye
- Mr. Stephan J. Funkhouser (1996)
- Mr. Raymond Hetherington
- Mr. Raymond Thomas Hiemstra (1998)
- Ms. Helen K. Hickenbotton (1967), now Dr. Helen K. Stainer
- Mr. Timothy P. Holmes (1994)
- Ms. Gretchen M. Honan (1980)
- Mr. Lee Jester (1996)
- Ms. Nancy Marie Joel (1981, now Nancy M. Yoho)
- Ms. Andrea Karabenick
- Dr. Edward Karabenick (parent)
- Mr. Scott P. Lew
- Ms. Florine F. Lubkin (1978, now Florine F. Karabenick)
- Mr. Bert J. McCarty (1974)
- Ms. Cynthia A. Magee (1998, now Cynthia A. McCarty)
- Ms. Diana L. McCarthy
- Mrs. Karen Beth Mittleman (1996)
- Mr. Barry E. Neel (1966)
- Mr. and Mrs. Barry Neel (parent)
- Mr. Erik G. Prout (1992)
- Mr. Robert E. Reynolds (1992)
- Mr. Jared H. Richard (1971)
- Ms. Sharon P. Richard (1977)
- Ms. Catherine A. Robley
- Ms. Amy Marie Rosenquist (1965, now Amy M. Davis)
- Mr. Philip J. Ross
- Mr. John L. Sprague (1977)
- Ms. Margaret C. Turner (1973)
- Dr. Judith Tyner
- Mr. Michael D. Wittman (1979)
- Mr. Steven W. Yoho (1982)
- The Department also wishes to acknowledge donations made to specific scholarship programs. Thank you for making funds available for awards to outstanding students!
- Mr. and Mrs. Jerome Diekmann (Burton T. Anderson scholarship)
- Ms. Sonya J. Branson (Eileen Johansen Memorial Scholarship)
- Ms. Katherine M. Higgins (Eileen Johansen Memorial Scholarship)
- Mr. and Mrs. Paul Malkemus (Eileen Johansen Memorial Scholarship)
- Mr. and Mrs. Roderick J. Murphy (Eileen Johansen Memorial Scholarship)
- Mr. and Mrs. Chris W. Jenkins (Eileen Johansen Memorial Scholarship)
- Ms. Shirley J. McFall (Eileen Johansen Memorial Scholarship)
- Ms. Marina E. Marrelli (Eileen Johansen Memorial Scholarship)
- First Union Corporation (matching Ms. McFall's donation to Eileen Johansen Memorial Scholarship)
- Dr. Christine M. Rodrigue (Eileen Johansen Memorial Scholarship)
- Ms. Catherine Light (Eileen Johansen Memorial Scholarship)
- Dr. Christine M. Rodrigue (to fund the upcoming one time Robert Erving Memorial Graduate Student Scholarship with monies donated to her by his mother, Susan M. Erving, the late Robert Erving having been one of Dr. Rodrigue's graduate students at CSU Chico)
Current Activities of Our Alumni
- Alumni have been responding to the Geography Department Newsletters that Dr. Ed Karabenick and, later, the Geography Student Association put together. And every once in a while, we spot your names in local news media. As reports come in, they'll be shared here in the hopes that people who were friends during their years here might be able to reconnect this way. So far, we have news on the following people:
Eric D. Alvarado
Mr. Alvarado earned his B.A. in 2008. In no time flat, he found a professional position in geography! He is now working as a GIS Technician for a company called Integrated Spatial Solutions in Fullerton. One of their big contracts is providing GIS services for So Cal Edison, and Mr. Alvarado does the GIS work related to that contract. Congratulations!
Mr. Albert Armijo
Mr. Balbas (B.A. 2004) works as a planning consultant at Hogle-Ireland.
Ms. Carol R. Austin
Ms. Austin earned her M.A. in 1973. She worked as an administrative assistant in the Indochina Refugee Center and, from 1978 to 1996, she was a tax auditor in the Internal Revenue Service. She is now retired and engages in geneological research.
Mr. Edwin Balbas
Mr. Balbas (B.A. 2002) is working in GIS for the Kern County Planning Department.
Mr. Gregory Bishop
Mr. Bishop (M.A. 2005) works as a senior project geologist for the EC Group West. He also writes software for well-log and screen capture, founding a company called Porpoise Media for that work. He has also caught the teaching bug! He works as a lecturer at Orange Coast College.
Rebekah Boulton Mintzer
Ms. Mintzer, who earned her M.A. in 2004, is now working for the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians in Palm Springs. She was spotted at the ESRI 2006 User Conference in San Diego, where she and Ms. Sheila Gehani and Mr. William Howell presented four maps to the ESRI Map Gallery:
- "Tribal Trust Lands in California"
- "Tribal Cultural Landscape of Southern California"
- "Impacts of Tribal Gaming in California"
- "Land Status of the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation"
Mr. Travis Brooks
Mr. Brooks earned his B.A. here and was then accepted into the Ph.D. program in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UCLA. He is pursuing interests in "watershed hydrology and the composition and distribution of semi-arid vegetation in Mediterranean-type climatic regions, especially California, USA. And, the application to the identification of suitable landscapes for habitat conservation and restoration" and working with Distinguished Professor Dr. Philip Rundel.
Mr. Travis Brooks
Mr. Travis Brooks (B.A. 2007) was accepted, with funding, into Ph.D. program of the UCLA Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. He is working to develop his interests in watershed hydrology and the composition and distribution of semi-arid vegetation in Mediterranean-type climatic regions, which includes much of California.
Ms. Susanne Byrne-Dronkers
Ms. Byrne-Dronkers (M.A. 2002) works as a GIS Analyst for the City of Long Beach Department of Technical Services.
Mr. Campbell-Ulloa just earned his bachelor's degree in geography from CSULB in 2001. He was immediately snapped up by Isuzu Corporation, where he does GIS-based market area analysis! He was recently in contact with Dr. Rodrigue, looking for some outré road-trip advice to lighten a long drive to San Antonio for holiday family togetherness. He decided on the straight shot to San Antone and wrote ruefully that, indeed, that is one long, lonesome stretch as a straight shot!
Ms. Christiane Candelaria
While still a student, Ms. Candelaria (B.A. 2001) went to work for Earth Science Associates, a small petroleum research/software development firm in Long Beach that specializes in quantitative analysis in oil and gas exploration and development, GIS, and creation of spatial analysis tools. She has subsequently developed an interest in library science and earned a master's degree in the field at San José, where she was a Spectrum Scholar recipient. She is now working as a children's librarian at the Pico Rivera Library.
Ms. Bridget Cooney
Ms. Cooney (M.A. 2005) worked on her thesis up in the Great Central Valley of California and, after completing her thesis, worked in CSULB's Enrollment Services and then briefly as a lecturer in our department. She is now an intelligence analyst in Washington, D.C.
Douglas M. Cotner, Sc.D.
Dr. Cotner graduated from CSULB, earning his B.A. in Geography in 1967. He is Professor of Sustainable Development and Public Policy at the Cooperative Graduate School of Sustainable Development, the American Institute of Urban and Regional Affairs, Montgomery Village, MD. He has been nominated for the Tyler Environmental Prize, and his biography has appeared in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the World, International Who's Who of Professional Educators, and 2000 Outstanding Scholars for the 21st Century. Congratulations!
Dr. Cotner also serves as the doctoral candidate manager and provost for academic affairs at the American Institute of Urban and Regional Affairs and the Cooperative Graduate School of Sustainable Development in Maryland, where he earned his doctorate (with "First-in-Field" honors) in 1996. His doctoral work involved field research in Central Asia and in the Great Valley of Oaxaca and focussed on ecologically sustainable development and human geography. He is now working on a second doctorate, a Ph.D. in environmental science and GIS at The Union Institute of Cincinnati, Ohio.
His research centers on the study of the "geography of adapted space" and "ecological footprint analysis," with an eye toward building ecologically sustainable human communities. He is a consultant in sustainable development, certified by the International Council for Sustainable Development and profiled by several biographical listing services. His most recent presentations and publications include a presentation, "The urban ecological entropic black hole: A measured discourse concerning the megacity" (Information Processing Society International (Montenegro); three presentations for the VIP Symposia on Internet Related Research: "The struggle for livable communities and the dialectic of globalization: Powerless places at the mercy of placeless powers" (Belgrade), "Globalization: A synthetic process" (Tokyo), and "Sustainability and globalization: The case for bioregionalism and ecological economics" (Montenegro); and two publications in the Transactions Journal on Advanced Research: "Sustainable development: A window on the future" (2008) and "Sustainable development: Science must precede public policy" (2007).
Of his years at CSULB, Dr. Cotner reports: "I have done it before, but I again acknowledge a very great debt of gratitude for the training and inspiration that I gained from Dr. Sheldon Ericksen, Dr. Edward Karabenick, and Dr. Donald Lewis who was only at the department for a very brief period of time, moving on to the University of Toledo."
Gregory L. Carpenter
Mr. Gregory Carpenter earned his bachelor's degree in geography from CSULB in 1987. He then received his M.P.A. in Public Administration California State from CSULB in 1992. His service as Zoning Officer in the Long Beach Planning and Building Department, was reported in the Long Beach Business Journal. He is currently Planning Bureau Manager there. The Planning Bureau handles community design and development, long range advance planning for major sections of the city, environmental impact analysis, and historic preservation planning.
Ms. Lauren Childs
Ms. Childs (B.A. 2003) is working on her M.A. at the University of New Orleans, her work being supported by a NASA grant.
Prof. Courter earned his bachelor's degree in geography from CSULB in 1987. He went on to receive an M.A. in Geography from California State University, Northridge, in 1991 and then began teaching part-time at several community colleges in Southern California (Long Beach CC, Santa Ana College, and Saddleback). During the 1995-96 academic year, he taught full-time at McHenry County College in Crystal Lake, Illinois, teaching geography and earth science. Beginning in the fall of 1996, he's been a full-time geography professor at Santa Ana College. He commented that "The Splansky field class (mentioned in 50th Ann. Ed. [of the department newsletter]) was one of the great learning experiences of my life!!"
Ronald Jay Cruz
Mr. Ronald Cruz (B.A. 1999) was appointed to the position of Zoning Planner I in the Long Beach Planning and Building Department, which is a veritable hotbed of CSULB Geography graduates! His promotion was covered in the Long Beach Business Journal. Congratulations!
Mr. Danny Mladen Dabo
Mr. Dabo (B.A., mid-2000s) is working as a sales programming administrator for Contessa, a seafood products company. He is active in the Croatian-American Club in San Pedro, for which he serves as Vice-President and has served as historian, librarian, and Second Vice-President. He spends many summers in Croatia visiting his extended family there and wandering around the many islands along that spectacular coast.
Dr. Dallman (M.A., 1995) went on to earn a Ph.D. in geography at UCLA in 2001, where she focussed on hydrology and water resources management. Later, she worked as the Director of Research for the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers Watershed Council, where she took particular interest in the use of waste water for aquifer recharge and evaluating whether this might pose pollution or disease risks. She joined the CSULB faculty in Fall 2007, where she teaches land and water environments, watershed processes and management, and physical geography and is developing a course on environmental impact assessment. Welcome back!
Ms. Bryna Dambrowski
Ms. Dambrowski (B.A. 2004) works as an organizer for the Star Chapter of the American Business Women's Association.
Mr. Dennis T. Davis
Mr. Davis (B.A. 1977, AICP) is Assistant City Manager for Community Development in the City of Cerritos.
Ms. Dichter (B.A., 2000) dropped by the Department and visited with Dr. Judith Tyner shortly after graduation to report she was accepted into the Clark University Environmental Science and Policy master's degree program, with a full fellowship! In 2004, she completed a thesis, "Switzerland's Transition to Sustainable Agriculture," under the supervision of Dr. Halina Brown, earning her M.A. In 2004, she also worked with Jasmine Tanguay and Stella Capoccia on an Environmental Protection Agency-funded study, "Determining the Vulnerability of Populations to Mercury," with International Development, Community, and Environment research professor, Dr. Rob Goble, and Clark professor Dr. Dale Hattis. Ms. Dichter is now working as the GIS Coördinator for the US EPA, Region 1 (New England), where she works on brownfields issues.
Mr. Hugh Dittrich
Mr. Dittrich (B.A. 2003) went on to earn an M.GIS. at the University of Minnesota, which he completed in 2006. He now works in Aliso Viejo, California, as a GIS analyst DCSE Consulting.
Mr. Eick reports that he graduated from CSULB in 1977 with a degree in geography but came back a year later to study cartography with Dr. Judith Tyner. He now works for the City of Los Angeles, Bureau of Engineering, Department of Public Words, as a Geographic Information Systems Supervisor I. He said that he remains friends with Alex Alarcon, who took classes from Dr. Tyner, too. Mr. Alarcon now works for the Port of Long Beach. It is really cool to see alums still being friends in contact after all these years!
Kevin would like to know if alumni would like to get together for a face-to-face bash once in a while, which sounds like a GREAT idea! Dr. Gossette has been known to bring together alumni of the cartography/GIS program and internship programs (which date to the years after Mr. Eick left) for a beer and pizza party, so maybe we need to extend and formalize this! Any of you alums have any ideas about how frequently you'd like to get together and where? If so, could you please contact Dr. Gossette or Dr. Rodrigue (webmaster and incoming chair)? Let's make this happen!
Ms. Amy Eiffler
Ms. Eiffler (B.A. 2001) works as a GIS technician for BonTerra Consulting in Costa Mesa, which does environmental planning and biological resources management planning.
Mr. Erickson (B.A., 1986) is a veteran trial attorney, specializing in cases involving elder abuse and contested wills, trusts, and conservatorships. In 2006, he joined the law firm of Rice & Renshaw in Torrance and was profiled in the "In Touch" section of the Spring 2006 edition of The Beach Review. Congratulations!
Mr. Tom Faludy
Mr. Faludy (B.A. 1997) is an associate GIS analyst and developer for CH2MHill, a global engineering, consulting, construction, and operations company that does environmental remediation.
Mr. Ryan Fennell
Mr. Fennell (B.A. 2000) went to the University of Texas, Austin, to earn his M.A. He now works as a historic preservation planner for the Texas Department of Transportation.
Lynette Marie Ferenczy
Ms. Lynette Ferenczy earned her B.A. in Geography in 1991. She now works for the Long Beach Planning and Building Department, where quite a few of our alumni have found careers. Her promotion to Zoning Planner III was reported Long Beach Business Journal. She is currently Planner in the Community Design and Development Division.
Tom D. Frazier
Mr. Tom Frazier earned his master's degree in geography and is presently working on his doctorate at the Geographic Institute of the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany. He noted that his dissertation research and professional presentations are based on research he started while doing his master's thesis here (under Dr. Gary Peters, now at Chico State).
Mr. Frazier has been teaching for the Department. He was in Los Angeles for 2002-04, doing the fieldwork for his dissertation, "Security Habitation in Berlin and Southern California," before returning to Berlin to write his dissertation during the summer and fall of 2004.
Since there are few teaching opportunities for graduate students at Humboldt-Universität and he is interested in teaching, his advisor, Dr. Marlies Schulz (who spoke at CSULB in 2000), encouraged him to seek a lectureship at his alma mater during his time here, and it worked out! He returned in Spring 2005.
He has given papers at the Association of American Geographers meetings, presenting "The Waning Berlin Wall: Topography of a Relict Boundary," at the 2001 New York meetings, "The Security Habitation Hierarchy: Physical Manifestation of Residential Security on Southern California's Geographic Urbanscape" at the 2002 Los Angeles meetings, and "Security Habitation in the New Berlin: Landscapes of Defensible Residential Space in Berlin's Newly Built Urban Environment" at the 2004 Philadelphia meetings.
Ms. Nadine Gano
Ms. Gano (B.A. 2004) is working as a Century 21 realtor in Albion, MI.
Ms. Julienne Gard (M.A., 2006) is working on her Ph.D. in geography at USC. She is the 2007 recipient of the Jacques May Prize for the best master's thesis in medical geography. This national award is given annually by the Medical Geography Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers. She has completed her second year of doctoral studies (2008) and is working with Dr. John Wilson to develop a dissertation topic that brings together critical cartography and GIS with health geography.
Mr. Robert Gonick (B.A., 2001) served as Director of Education at the National Institute of Technology, Long Beach, which is a career school offering programs leading to careers as medical office management, x-ray technician, medical assistant, medical insurance biller, massage therapist, business management/administrative assistant, plumbing technology, electrical technology, electrician, industrial electrical technology, industrial instrumentation and control systems, and plumber.
Mr. Ryan Goode (M.A. 2007) was accepted into the joint Ph.D. program in geography at San Diego State University and the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is pursuing his interests in social geography, cultural studies, street art, online research methods, qualitative methods. Congratulations!
Ms. Amelia Griza
Ms. Griza (B.A. 2003) is a GIS coördinator in the UCLA Department of Government and Community Relations.
Mr. Bruce Grouse
Mr. Grouse (M.A. 1994) works for several years for ALSTech, a GIS consulting company. He is now a research manager for CoStar Group, Inc., which does commercial real estate information analysis.
Ms. Deborah Hann (M.A. 2008) was the recipient of the College of Liberal Arts Outstanding Thesis Award for her thesis, "Maps in Childrens Literature: Their Uses, Forms, and Functions." Congratulations! Ms. Hann works as the Associate Coördinator for Supplemental Instruction Courses in the CSULB Learning Assistance Center.
Mr. Kim Hatch
Mr. Hatch (M.A. 1995) worked for many years in photogrammetry and remote sensing after earning his B.A. in geography with minors in environmental studies and geology. He came back to CSULB to earn his master's and is now Instructor for Physical Geography and Environmental Science at Long Beach City College in the Department of Physical Sciences. To learn more, click here to visit his LBCC web profile.
Ms. Mara Heikes
Ms. Heikes (B.A. 2001) is a market analysis and managing editor for Axiom Consulting, Ltd., which provides support services for the insurance industry
Mr. Raymond T. Heimstra
Mr. Heimstra (B.A. 1998) is Associate Director for Projects at Orange County Coastkeeper. Coastkeeper works to protect and preserve marine habitats and watersheds through education, advocacy, restoration, and enforcement.
Mr. Dan Hofer
Mr. Hofer (M.A. 2005), while working on his graduate degree, worked for the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA). His thesis, on the application of GIS to the creation of the Silverado Fire Plan, it entails the creation of maps in an ESRI software environment. ESRI, meanwhile, was interested in applying for a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Homeland Security Grant. It sought a partner among local planning agencies to go in with it on this proposal, and Mr. Hofer's thesis maps became the deciding point leading to ESRI's choice to go with OCFA! And the grant proposal was successful, to the tune of $21 million!!! As Battalion Chief Mike Rohde described it, "ESRI could have pick a different agency but OCFA has the best contemporary looking Fire plan out there ... Aka Dan's maps." After completing his degree, Mr. Hofer worked as a staff GIS developer and analyst for CH2MHill. More recently, Mr. Hofer has moved to Colorado, where he is doing GIS work.
Mr. Timothy Holmes (B.A. 1994) served as the 11th Coast Guard District's Environmental Protection Specialist in Alameda, CA. He oversaw the activities of the six California Area Committees, which are oil pollution planning and response groups made up of Federal, State, and local government representatives, as well as private industry and interest groups. The committees were developed under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA90). More recently, Mr. Holmes has taken a civilian position with the 11th Coast Guard in the Marine Environmental Response Branch.
In September 2000, Mr. Holmes began graduate study in pursuit of a Master's in Public Administration (EMPA) at Golden Gate University in San Francisco. Upon completion of the EMPA, he hopes to relocated back to Southern California. His biography is available here.
He reports being a little dismayed that most of his former professors here at Beach have now retired or relocated. How time flies -- to him, it just seems like yesterday that he was looking forward to graduation in December of 1994!
Ms. Gretchen M. Honan
Ms. Honan (B.A. 1980) went on to get an M.S. in Marine Affairs. She is an environmental scientist with CH2MHill.
Mr. Edward Huefe finished his M.A. in Summer 2002, with a thesis on "Music Geography across the Borderline: Musical Iconography, Mythic Themes, and North American Perceptions of a Borderland Landscape." He has been accepted into the Ph.D. program at Arizona State University, where he began his studies in Fall 2002. He is the author of an article entitled, "Music geography across the borderline, musical iconography, mythic themes, and North American place perceptions of the United States-Mexico borderlands," which was published in an anthology entitled The Sounds of People and Places, edited by George O. Carney and published by Rowman and Littlefield in 2002. He gave a paper, "Art, sports, and urban redevelopment: Place making and spatial contestation in Downtown Phoenix," at the California Geographical Society, Long Beach, 2004, for which he received a Tom McKnight Professional Paper Award.
Mr. Michael Jenkins did graduate study here in the late 1990s/early 2000s and found work with the City of Lakewood, where he is a GIS Analyst in the Department of Community Development.
His GIS artistry has been showcased in the ESRI Map Book Gallery. The Map Book displays the best maps presented at ESRI User Conference Map Gallery. For example, Vol. 18 (2001: Geography and GIS--Serving Our World) showed his map, "Grafitti Service Requests," and it can be viewed at http://www.censuswatch.com/mapmuseum/mapbook_gallery/volume18/state17.html. Another example is in Vol. 16 (1999: Geography--Creating Communities): "Flood Insurance Policy Locations," which can be viewed at http://www.esri.com/mapmuseum/mapbook_gallery/volume16/local1.html. Congratulations!
Mr. Matthew Johnson (B.A., 2006) has been admitted into the Single Subject (History/Social Science) program at CSULB. He began taking classes within weeks of his graduation. The Department congratulates him on his acceptance into the program and looks forward to another geographer sharing the word about geography in the secondary schools!
Mr. Jinho Kang graduated with his B.A. in Geography in Spring 2004. During Summer 2004, he worked as a research assistant in the Geoscience Diversity Enhancement Project, helping Drs. Chris Lee, Suzanne Wechsler, and Chrys Rodrigue and Rick Behl (Geological Sciences) with the South Coast Wilderness projects.
He was accepted into the University of Redlands master's program in GIS. He was written up in Redlands Daily Facts in an article entitled, "UR Welcomes New Students" (1 September 2004) by David James Heiss:Jinho Kang enrolled at Redlands to get his master's in geographic information systems, having just received a bachelor's degree in geography from California State University, Long Beach.He graduated with an MSGIS in July 2005. Congratulations!
"Every year there is a GIS convention in San Diego, and I saw a brochure for the Redlands Institute," Kang explained, referring to UR's research institution. He liked the university's strong affiliation with Redlands-based Environmental Systems Research Institute the largest GIS software developer in the world.
The Department is very saddened to report the sudden death of alumna Ms. Bernice Kinsman. Her death was quite unexpected: She had gone in for some medical tests, and she had a fatal reaction to one of the drugs used in the test.
Mr. Glenn Lajoie (B.A. 1985, AICP) works in the urban-planning area for RBF Consulting, which provides services in planning, design, and construction of the built environment throughout California, Nevada, and Arizona. The April 16th 2001 issue of the Orange County Business Journal reported that he was appointed Vice-President of Planning and Environmental Studies in the Irvine office. Mr. Lajoie has shared his planning expertise with his alma mater by teaching land use planning a few times, as well as giving a "Jobs in Geography" colloquium. Congratulations (and thanks)!!!
Jayme L. Mekis
Ms. Jayme Mekis (B.A. 1995, AICP) is Planner in the Community Design and Development Division, City of Long Beach Development Services Department. A few years back, her promotion to Zoning Planner IV was written up in the Long Beach Business Journal.
Mr. Scott Mullin (B.A. 2008) checked in after the earthquake of May 17th 2009. He reports that he has returned to his home town of San Diego, where he now works at Knox Attorney Services. He is considering going on for a master's degree, perhaps at SDSU. After the earthquake, he wanted to make sure he understood the difference between focus and epicenter and, so, Googled them and reports that Dr. Rodrigue's GEOG 448/558 lab on epicenter and focus and GEOG 140 lecture notes came up in as the second and third listing!
Ms. Nazanin Naraghi (M.A. 2007) was accepted into the Ph.D. program at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. She is concentrating on critical social theory and working with Dr. Paul Kingsbury. Congratulations!
Ms. Wanjiru Njuguna (M.A. 2006) is now a geoscience technician at Occidental Petroleum. Earlier, she worked as a GIS technician at the Southern California Water Replenishment District in Cerritos, where she often presented work at conferences on GIS applications for managing groundwater basins and on user perception of water. She was spotted at the party for Dr. Frank Gossette's retirement on May 17th 2009 (the one interrupted by an earthquake) and reports that she just can't stay away from The Beach: She is now working on a SECOND graduate degree here, an M.S. in Geological Sciences, working with Dr. Rick Behl!
Mr. Joseph Recker (B.A. 2001) was written up in the Long Beach Business Journal, when he was promoted to the position of Zoning Planner I in the Long Beach Planning and Building Department. He is presently a graduate student in the Masters of Urban and Regional Planning program in the School of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University, specializing in transportation issues. He is also a graduate research assistant there for Dr. Jennifer Dill. You can read more about Mr. Recker's current work here.
Mr. Joel Rojas (B.A. 1984) is Director of Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement for the City of Rancho Palos Verdes. On 18 November 2004, he returned to his alma mater to give a "Jobs in Geography" talk for our National Geography Awareness Week program. The title of his talk was "Geography and Urban Planning Careers in Southern California." The room was packed with CSULB students and a couple from community colleges, who were impressed at the opportunities for geographers in planning and very interested in Mr. Rojas' inside perspective on how to prepare and secure a planning position. Mr. Rojas has given his time to CSULB students before: He has often given GEOG 486/586 (Field Methods) students tours of Palos Verdes at the request of Drs. Joel Splansky and Paul Laris. He is instrumental in building ties between CSULB and the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy, which led to a major research project for the students of the Geoscience Diversity Enhancement Project in Summer 2008.
Ms. Bonnie Shrewsbury (GIS Certificate) is GIS Analyst in the Department of Public Works, City of Manhattan Beach. She was spotted at the retirement party for Dr. Frank Gossette in May 2009!
Harold D. Simkins
The Long Beach Business Journal reported that Mr. Harold Simkins (B.A. 1978) was appointed as Zoning Planner V in the Long Beach Planning and Building Department. He retired as Senior Planner in 2004.
Mr. Christopher Slay
Mr. Slay (B.A. in Geography and B.S. in Biological Sciences 2007) is currently a Ph.D. student in the UC Irvine Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. There, he is studying how global warming may be affecting microörganisms.
Ms. Erin Stockenberg (M.A. 2002) reports that she has been working for the US Fish and Wildlife Service up in Oregon since early fall 2002: her dream job. She started out working for the National Wildlife Refuge System in the Planning and Realty Division, as an all around support person, organizing a comprehensive database for a six state region, including several island territories. One of their tasks is to provide GIS support to refuges that are working on their Comprehensive Conservation Plans (CCP). Each refuge must write a plan that outlines current and historic management policies and create alternatives for management for the next fifteen years.
This has led to a particularly interesting project: providing GIS support to the Hanford Reach National Monument (HRNM) in their CCP development. The Hanford site is the home to the first ever nuclear plant in the United States (including making the materials for the Manhattan Project and the bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki). The site is an all out environmental catastrophe, totally contaminated and undergoing major cleanup activities. Interestingly, however, because of the site's military and security issues, a huge chunk of land surrounding the site wound up protected, because it was mainly used as a security buffer. This security buffer is what now makes up the Monument. Not your typical "refuge." Ms. Stockenberg works in a team that really cares about the health of the reserve, and that place needs people who care.
She served as a presenter in the National Gap Analysis Conference in 2007 on a panel entitled, "Our piece of the Partners in Flight jigsaw puzzle: Quantitative habitat and population objectives at the regional scale." She was also part of a team presenting "Landbird Population and Habitat Objective-Setting in Oak and Conifer Forests of the Pacific Northwest: Contrasts in Process, Data, Assumptions, and Outcomes" to the Partners in Flight -- U.S. conference in St. Louis, Missouri, in April 2006.
Ms. Stockenberg is really excited that she has a career, in which she gets to use the GIS and remote sensing education she received at CSULB and in its NASA Regional Earth Science Applications Center to help protect, restore, and manage the environment in a region she has long wanted to live in.
Mr. Steven Strand (B.A. 2007) wrote recently to report that he is moving from RBG Consulting to the City of Manhattan Beach, where he will serve as GIS Technician! Congratulations!
Mr. Suri graduated from CSULB with a Bachelor of Arts in Geography and a Certificate in GIScience in 2007. He is now GIS Analyst for MARRS Services, Inc. <http://marrscorp.com>, where he has had the opportunity to provide GIS and GPS services on projects with such clients as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Navy, and Caltrans.
Lindsay D. Tognetti
Ms. Tognetti graduated from CSULB in 1978. For the last twelve years, she has been selling real estate in South Orange County and has received several awards for multi-million dollar production. She lives in Laguna Beach with her husband, John, and their cat, "Fizzie." John is a teacher for the Orange County Department of Education.
Lindsay has worked for more than a decade as a volunteer for Village Laguna's Charm House Tour, and she has also enjoyed working as a volunteer for the native plant nursery on Catalina Island. She reports that John and she love to travel, especially on boating vacations to islands. For fun, they have been taking architectural field studies classes at Saddleback College, which have introduced them to great local architecture from Los Angeles to San Diego to Arcosanti, Arizona. She adds that these field studies bring back memories of her CSULB city planning classes and especially fond memories of Dr. Splansky's field studies trips to Chino and Mammoth!
James A. Tyner
Dr. James A. Tyner earned his bachelor's degree in geography in 1989 here at CSULB and then went on to earn his master's degree at SDSU in 1991 and then his doctorate at USC in 1995. He accepted a tenure-track faculty position at Kent State in Ohio. He earned tenure and promotion to Associate Professor, hardly surprising in light of his staggering publication output. In case you're wondering about yet another Dr. J. Tyner, yep, Dr. James Tyner is the son of our own Dr. Judith Tyner and Dr. Jerry Tyner. Is there a gene for Ph.D.s in geography? Anyhow, congratulations!
Dr. Tyner is the 2007 winner of the Glenda Laws Memorial Award. This award is administered by the Association of American Geographers and endorsed by members of the Institute of Australian Geographers, the Canadian Association of Geographers, and the Institute of British Geographers. The annual award and honorarium recognize outstanding contributions to geographic research on social issues. This award is named in memory of Glenda Laws, a geographer who brought energy and enthusiasm to her work on issues of social justice and social policy. Dr. Jim Tyner does work on the interconnections among gender, race, ethnicity, migration, and urbanism. This is a very prestigious international award.
Ms. Stephanie Uribe holds the master's degree in geography from CSULB. She is now Database Analyst at Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) out in Redlands. She is very happy with her job in this prominent GIS company. Additionally, since Fall, 1999, she has also taught introductory physical geography and introductory GIS at Cerritos College in Norwalk, which she really enjoys.
On a personal note, she is now married to an economics professor and they have moved out to Chino Hills. They just bought a new home a few months ago and she says they "are already used to the cows," despite being only about two miles from the dairy she visited in Dr. Splansky's Field Methods course. In fact, she drives by it every day on the way to work.
Mr. Whyte (B.A., 1987) has worked in the area of planning and redevelopment, most recently for the Los Angeles County Community Development Commission. He moved to the City of Corona, where, in 2006, he has been promoted from interim to permanent Director, Redevelopment and Economic Development Agency. His promotion was profiled in the "In Touch" section of the Spring 2006 edition of The Beach Review. You can learn more about Mr. Whyte and the activities of his agency at http://www.ci.corona.ca.us/depts/redev/welcome.cfm. Congratulations!
James A. Woods
Mr. Woods earned a bachelor's and then a master's degree in geography from CSULB, completing his studies in 1992, specializing in cartography. He reports always loving maps, but he didn't decide to major in geography until Mt. St. Helens erupted and he became fascinated with its location and the distribution of its effects, which he followed closely in the news.
He has worked in a variety of environment-related government agencies, including the Environmental Programs Division of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works on their Urban Storm Water Run-off program. He went on to work with the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services, where he worked mapping the disasters that impact the people of California.
He developed a "burning fascination" with brushfire, which lately has led to employment back here at CSULB as a network administrator for the Department of Geography and its Southern California Wildfire Hazard Center (a NASA Regional Earth Science Applications Center). This has led to his recent appointment to the three year lectureship in technical geography, where he will do research in the Wildfire Hazard Center, teach courses in map reading, air photo interpretation, and cartography, and manage the department's three computer labs.
"Woody" is profiled on the Association of American Geographers' "Careers in Geography" website as a hazards geographer. He has a number of publications to his credit, including two appearances in the ESRI Map Book series, most recently (2001) for an atlas he prepared, entitled, "Membership Analysis of the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific." He also maintains "Executions by State Since 1976," for the Death Penalty Information Center, at http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/executionmap.html.
Mr. Yoho earned a bachelor's in geography from CSULB in 2008, served as the President of the Geography Student Association in 2007-08. He also worked as a GIS Lab Assistant and participated in the CSU Intelligence Community Center of Academic Excellence. He is joining the National Geospatial-intelligence Agency in Washington, DC, right out of school! Congratulations!
Ms. Yoho earned a bachelor's in geography from CSULB in 1982, specializing in cartography. She went to work for Thomas Bros. Maps straight out of college. Thomas Bros. was later acquired by Rand McNally, where Ms. Yoho became Vice President of Geographical Information Systems. She has been instrumental in finding CSULB students internships and careers at Thomas Bros., has come back to her alma mater to talk about jobs in geography, to give a Geography Awareness Week keynote address on her business travels in India, and she is one of our most active alumni benefactors. In recognition of her work in developing funds for Geography and the College of Liberal Arts, she was named the CLA Distinguished Alumna in 2005, giving a speech to CLA and then to Commencement. The CSULB Alumni Association expressed it this way:Just about anyone who drives a great deal in California carries a Thomas Guide map book. Ensuring the accuracy of Thomas Guides as well as all of the United States and Canada street maps published by Rand McNally is the responsibility of CSULB alumna Nancy Yoho, vice president of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) for Rand McNally. "I've been there my whole career, over 22 years, and worked my way up from a cartographer," she said. With a staff of about 60, Yoho oversees the information systems used to create city maps. Rand McNally acquired Thomas Bros. in 1999. She also manages up to 95 Geographical Information Systems staff in research, data development, product creation and quality assurance in producing more than 350 published products per year. Starting out by hand-drawing maps, she advanced in the firm "and they asked me to help them develop the standards and the concepts and the designs for the digital maps," she said. Although it's one of Yoho's responsibilities to help keep Rand McNally at the forefront of new technology, a good paper map is often hard to beat for convenience, she said. Her husband, Steven, is a 1982 business administration alumnus and son, Dan, is enrolled at Long Beach as a geography major.
Ms. Yoho is extensively cited in an article about Thomas Bros. and Rand McNally and the tremendous changes going on in the map business with the application of GIS, GPS, and online map delivery. The article, by James B. Kelleher, is entitled "Changes in Mapmaking Put Orange County, Calif., Company at Crossroads," and it appeared in the Orange County Register and re- appeared in the Miami Herald, where it can be read by clicking here.
Ms. Yoho retired from Rand McNally in spring of 2008.
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Last revised: 05/18/09