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.
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.
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.
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). Rebeca 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 stratigraphy
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.
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.
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
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 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 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
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 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
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.
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.
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,