Where are they now? Centralia College earth science students explore the Earth

updated December 13, 2017

Rebeca Becerra graduated from Centralia College in 2014. She went on to Central Washington University where she received her BS in Geology in spring 2016. Now in graduate school there, her thesis topic is applications of tsunami modeling to assess the validity of matching on-land observations to earthquake source scenarios, south-central Chile.
Garret Marlantes graduated from Centralia College in 2014.
Spencer Baumgartner graduated from Centralia College in 2011. He received a B.S. in Environmental Geologic Science from Central Washington University in 2014.
Spenser Scott has been working as Logging Geologist for Horizon Well Logging, LLC in Oklahoma since May 2014. 
Kim Stone is working for  and previously was with Quantum Geospatial in Portland, Oregon and WADNR Washington Geological Survey in 2013–2014;
Dustin Hicks is working for Halliburton in Vernal, Utah.

Garret Marlantes

Garret Marlantes talks about Irely Lake with Kathryn Hoppe of Green River CCGarret worked on a Capstone undergraduate research project in Irely Lake in Olympic National Park while at Centralia College in 2014, collaborating with Patrick Pringle of Centralia College and Karl Wegmann of North Carolina State University. He presented at the 2014 Capstone Symposium and also at the 2014 Geological Society of America Annual Meeting in Vancouver. British Columbia. In the photo at right Garret discusses his poster with geoscientist Kathryn Hoppe of Green River Community College. After leaving Centralia Garret spent a couple years in the geology program at Pacific Lutheran University. After a short break, he will attend the University of Alaska at Fairbanks to work on finishing his BS degree starting in January 2017.

Rebeca Becerra

In 2016 Rebeca was honored with the L. Don Ringe Award by the CWU Geology Dept.. The award recognizes excellence in undergraduate research (For background, Rebeca also did an undergraduate research project in 2014 while at Centralia College and presented at the 2014 Capstone symposium). RRebeca digging holes in Maullin Chile.ebeca did field work related to her tsunami research in Chile in December 2016. In the top photo at right, Rebeca (5"7" standing in the 4-ft pit they had dug) and colleague Tina Dura, a post-doctoral scientist at Rutgers University in New Jersey, take a break from digging pits to examine the strata of the intertidal zone and ancient tsumai deposits. Rebeca described her thesis field work this way:
The fieldwork I did in Chile consisted of digging large pits and coring to investigate the stratigraphy in Maullin, Tolten, and Queule. The stra
tigraphy showed tabular tsunami sand sheets for the 1960 and 2010 earthquake and tsunami events. My contribution to the project is to make tsunami models based on on-land observations (paleotsunami deposits such as those we discovered and historical accounts of tsunami inundation and runup) for pre-instrumental tsunamis (1500s to 1800s) to try to make claims about earthquake scenarios such as the length, width, and location of source rupture. The 2010 and 1960
events serve as the control group so I can assess how accurate my models are as I make progress. In the end, I should have answers to the question on whether this method is a valid one for obtaining rupture information on earthquakes that happened way before seismographs were invented. Rebeca presenting poster at 2017 GSA in Seattle

In October 2017 Rebeca presented a poster on her tsunami field work in Chile at the Geological Society of America Meeting in Seattle WA. In the photo at lower right she discusses her research with Hue Tang, a postdoctoral tsunami modeller from Virginia Tech. 

Spencer Baumgartner

Spencer Baumgartner, Pat Pringle, and Spensor Scott at the AEG meeting 2012Spencer's primary interests are hydrogeological modeling, surface-water hydrology, field research and sampling, and natural hazard mitigation and mapping. In 2013–2014 he assisted with field research related to assessing effects of dam removal on the Elwha River, Washington. He completed an undergraduate research project using GIS to map and quantify the accumulation and transport of large woody debris on the Elwha River channel following removal of the Glines Canyon Dam. He coauthored several presentations including at the 2014 meetings of the Geological Society of America (GSA) and American Geophysical Union (AGU).

At left, Spencer Baumgartner, Pat Pringle, and Spensor Scott at the October 2012 Washington Section meeting of the Association of  Environmental and Engineering Geoscientists in Tacoma. Photo by Julia Turney.

Spenser Scott

Spenser Scott graduated from Centralia College in 2009. He received his BS in Geology from Washington State University in 2012 with an emphasis on geochemistry and structural geology. Spenser's BS Thesis in geology was Variations in Mantle composition inferred from oliving phenocryst and xenocryst geochemistry from the southern Rio Spenser Scott cuts a concretion with us a small circularl saw.Patty Newman and Spenser Scott at a fossil local in the Williapa HIlls, 2014.Grande Rift, New Mexico. The goal of his research was to use trace element data from olivine grains in basalt lavas to try to characterize the mantle source of the magma. He presented his research at the 2012 Northwest Scientific Association Annual Meeting in Boise, Idaho and at the 2012 Rocky Mountain Region meeting of the Geological Society of America. Spenser is currently working as a geologist for Horizon Well Logging, LLC near Enid, Utah.

Left: Patty Newman and Spenser Scott examine a concretion from the Eocene/Oligocene Lincoln Creek Formation in the northern Willipa Hills northwest of Centralia. Some of the concretions contain Turitella, crab, and other fossils.  At right: Spenser cuts a the surface of a concretion in preparation for splitting it open.


Kim Stone 

Kim took her AA degree at Centralia College in 2009 and graduated with a BS in Geology from Western Washington University in 2013. She was employed at  Washington Division of Geology and Earth Resourcesdoing geologic mapping 2013–2014. Below she stands next to an echelon series of reverse faults she and the mapping team discovered along Hood Canal. She is now doing GIS work at Quantum Geospatial in Portland, Oregon and contemplating a Masters Program in the geosciences.
Kim Stone stands at a fault outcrop along Hood Canal

Below Kim takes a sample of glacial sediments for luminescence dating at outcrop of Pleistocene age in the Puget Lowlands east of the Olympic Mountains.
Kim Stone takes a luminescence sample from glacial lake sediments.

Dustin Hicks

Dustin took his AAS in Energy Technology from Centralia College in 2007, and took geology courses too. He later graduated from Montana Tech of the Univ. of Montana and now works for Halliburton in Vernal, Utah.
Dustin and a winter scene