UT Hydrogeology News: Fall 2021

UT hydrogeology on the North Slope

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Bayani Cardenas (UT DGS faculty) and colleagues (Matthew Charette of Woods Hole and James McClellan of UT Marines Science Institute) are studying the dynamics of groundwater flow and transport in the coastal Arctic region, specifically where lagoons meet the polygonal tundra. The data collected during this field campaign will be used in the PhD theses of Cansu Demir (Jackson School of Geosciences, UT), Emma Bullock (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution), and Emily Bristol (UT Marine Sciences).

At the field site where they conducted most of their data collection for a week are (left to right) Tyson McKinney (UT), Emma Bullock (Woods Hole), Cansu Demir (UT), and William Nguyen (UT). The site was chosen due to the presence of a gradient of fresh to saline groundwater detected at the beach at Milne Point, Simpson Lagoon, Deadhorse, AK.

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The students. Left to right: Emily Bristol, Tyson McKinney, Emma Bullock, Cansu Demir, Isabel Schaal, William Nguyen.

Photos and information provided by Cansu.

Blast from the Past

2012 Hydrogeophysics Class With Advanced Geosciences

Barbara Wortham (BS, 2013) and Pat Bobeck (PhD, 2017; MA, 1985) in the 2012 Hydrogeophysics class displaying their certificates from Advanced Geosciences. They were certified to layout, run, and interpret ER surveys. Barbara also just received an award (see below).


  • Former Oliver Lecturer (2016), Andy Baker of the University of New South Wales, has been elected as a 2021 Fellow of the American Geophysical Union for sustained excellence in water and climate science.
  • Barbara Wortham has been awarded the competitive NOAA Global and Climate Change Postdoctoral Fellowship. She will be conducting the research at UC Berkeley with advisors Daniel Stolper and Todd Dawson focusing on developing records of photorespiration using the clumped isotopes of lignin methyl groups from juniper trees that are being pulled out of the La Brea tar pits. Barbara finished her Ph.D. at UC Davis in this past August.

Alumni News

  • Jim Anderson (MA, 1996) is a Systems Engineering Manager at Peraton Inc. in Ashburn, Virginia.
  • Ben Bass (BS, 2011) completed a Ph.D. on urban flooding and then spent 2 years as a consultant where he worked on integrated surface-groundwater modeling amongst other things. He is now at UCLA on a postdoc looking at climate change impacts (historically and into the future) on water budgets, droughts, and flooding.
  • Barry Hibbs (PhD, 1993) is Professor of Hydrogeology in the Department of Geosciences and Environment at California State University, Los Angeles
  • Gwen Macpherson Lee (PhD, 1989; MA, 1982) is Professor Emeritus of Geology at the University of Kansas. She has also had some poetry published recently.
Karstic Taihu Rock Exhibit
  • Dianne Pavlicek-Mesa (MA, 1990) and the karstic “Taihu Rock” exhibit (left) at the San Antonio Museum of Art. Dianne continues to work as the staff Geoscientist in the Edwards Aquifer Protection Program at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality in San Antonio.
  • Todd Minehardt (MS, 1995) is a geochemist with Zara Environmental in Austin.
  • Audrey Sawyer (PhD, 2011) is at The Ohio State University.
  • Jenisha Patel (BS, 2017) entered the MBA program at Carnegie Mellon University – Tepper School of Business this fall.
  • Virginia Smith (PhD, 2012) is an assistant professor at Villanova. She recently published an article entitled ‘Unraveling the Transport and Fate of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons Through Coupling Fluvial Geomorphic Modeling and Measured Data’ in Frontiers in Water.
  • Peter Zamora (PhD, 2015) is a professor at the University of North Carolina – Wilmington.

Lost alumni: Dr. Sharp does not have email addresses for the following alums. If you have a contact email for any of them, please forward:

Amy Campbell, Tyler Calhoun, Mike Dobbins, Sarah Doyle, Brianna Ferrari, Tom Fenstemaker, Kelley Keese Blackwood, Michelle Pedrazas, Ted Ressler, Logan Schmidt, Eric Swanson, Kris Villareal

Notes on newsletter distribution:

If you have news to share, please email Dr. Jack Sharp.