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Hello CC Geology Alumni!

The department wishes you the best in your careers after CC, and would love to hear about them. Please fill out this form or email updates (including photos, videos, recent news, etc) to 



Selected Alumni Updates from PCB 2021-2022

Check out Prior PCB for more alumni updates

Van Wombell '85 

Once you get on that Geo field trip bus, do you ever really get off? Hopefully not! I still enjoy digging into the occasional georelated topic that catches the eye. A few years ago I heard an investment pitch for a small company in Canada with a seemingly unique deposit of igneous-derived graphite which the founders believe is an advantaged source of precursor material for the production of graphene for use in all sorts of whizzbang nanotech miracles. After much procrastination, I got curious enough to do some research and even reached out to Jeff Noblett for reactions on this elegant paper: Geology ore characteristics and origin of the Albany graphite deposit

Jeff graciously wrote back on the merits of Conly and Moore's analysis and it was fun to hear his thoughts on mantle-derived magmas, wall rock alteration, and graphite precipitation. Today, the company is called Zentek ( and is focused on intellectual property, not mining. Their first commercial product is an antimicrobial silvergraphene-oxide ink which enables surgical masks to capture and kill COVID particles. How cool is that? Geology saves the world?! Note: this does not constitute investment advice. Objects in geo bus mirror are closer than they appear. Stay curious. PS: for anyone who has not discovered it, this is a wonderful account on Instagram to follow: geomorphological_landscapes


Matt Seitz ‘97

My 1997 CC geology degree led me to a career in hydrogeologic consulting that I’ve been enjoying for the last 22 years. Components of this were an independent Hydrogeo study block in particular, and internship at Bishop Brogden as Junior. I look back with appreciation on my time at CC.


For the last few years, I’ve been working with a team of dedicated student volunteers and mentors from the Colorado School of Mines, Rotary International, Rotary District 5450 / Westminster club), and Engineers Without Borders USA (Eveling Rodriguez, Francisco Javier López Cerón & others) to bring safe and reliable water to a community of 200 in rural Nicaragua. After many challenges, the new water system (a 250’ well, water tanks, chlorinator, miles of pipeline, water line suspension crossings, taps at each home, etc...) are finally done! I encourage you to learn more about the above organizations and contribute financially or share your expertise. Email me if you’d like to attend a Feb. 9th presentation (online available) on this project or to find out how to get involved with similar volunteer water and sanitation projects. Thanks also for tech help from Franklin Electric, Xylem Inc., and In-Situ Environmental Muller Engineering Company, and The Groundwater Project.


Michelle (Segal) Smith ‘98

This is from the CC Alumni Total Solar Eclipse in Antarctica trip. Our ship traveled through very rough (10 meter!) seas to get to/from the South Orkney Islands to be in the Eclipse’s path of totality. Unfortunately the weather didn't’t cooperate. We were so happy to finally set foot on land after that intense journey. It was incredibly special to be there with Christine since she inspired me to first dream about Antarctica nearly 25 years ago.


Christine Siddoway, Michelle (Segal) Smith ‘98 & husband Doug Smith: Monday, Dec 6, 2021 Tabarin Peninsula, Antarctic Peninsula

Claire Lukens ‘04

This last year brought a lot of change for me. I married my partner, Jason Burge; moved from New Zealand to California; bought a wonderful house; and lost a long-time field adventure dog, Huxley, who some in the department knew. I also started a new position as an Assistant Professor in the Life and Environmental Sciences Dept. at UC Merced. I am enjoying setting up a new lab, getting to know Merced’s students in-person, and exploring the wonderful landscapes nearby (including Yosemite!).

claire lukens '04 and husband, Jason Burge, celebrating their wedding on a porch.jpg

A moment of hilarity popping champagne just after our tiny beach wedding ceremony at Makara Beach, New Zealand.


Fransiska Danneman Dugick ‘15

2021 was an exciting year for Fransiska Dannemann Dugick. She successfully defended her PhD dissertation in February. After four years at Los Alamos National Lab, she transitioned in August 2020 and is currently working as a member of the technical research staff at Sandia National Laboratories in the Geophysical Detection Technologies Department, focusing on ground-based and arial seismoacoustic applications for global monitoring efforts. She had the pleasure of bringing on a Witter Intern, Nora Wynn, during the summer of 2021. Nora had the opportunity to join in a field campaign with Oklahoma State University and the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory focused on recording earthquakes on acoustic sensors from solar balloons (see photo). She and Nora are currently working on a peer-reviewed publication summarizing Nora’s summer research. After two years of remote meetings, Fransiska was delighted to attend the 2021 American Geophysical Union meeting in New Orleans and reconnect with CC classmates. On a personal note, Fransiska and her husband are loving life in Albuquerque, New Mexico. They adopted their third dog, a foster fail puppy named Charlie in November and have been slowly incorporating him into their pack.

Fransiska Dannemen Dugick '15 and Nora Wynn '22 preparing for a baloon launch

Nora Wynn '23 and Fransiska preparing for a balloon launch summer 2021

Tristan White ‘18

Hi all! Time flies. Yada, yada. My wife Becki and I were recently married in July 2022 in Larkspur, Colorado. We met studying geology abroad at the University of Canterbury in 2017 and reconnected the following year since she grew up 20 minutes from Yale (thanks Paul!). I turned in my lab coat for a pickaxe in 2019 and haven’t looked back since. We are approaching four years at the behemoth Morenci copper mine in Arizona where Becki works in modeling and I’m coordinating our drilling campaigns. Thanks to my newfound Covid-era hobby—genealogy—I’ve since learned I am the sixth generation of ‘White’ in the mining industry, so it’s all quite fitting. We eventually plan on moving to the East Coast, but we’ll be enjoying the mild, sunny winters until then! In other news, we honeymooned in Curacao, are headed to Hawaii this spring and are halfway through our quest of visiting all the National Parks. One must constantly travel to avoid going stir crazy in a tiny company town three hours outside of Tucson! Hopefully everyone is in good health and spirit. Very much looking forward to attending our 5-year reunion this October!


Tristan ('18) and Becki getting married in Larkspur, CO, in July 2022.

Claire Brandhorst ‘21

I’m currently living in Jackson Wyoming, continuing snow science education and skiing most days. Life is fun and cold, but I miss looking at rocks every day and hanging out with all of the majors. In particular, I miss the late nights in labs or on field trips when, in the moment, I suffered and wanted to go to sleep, but now bring a smile to my face.


Claire Brandhorst and her dog Dewy having fun in the snow in Jackson, WY

Sam Bower ‘21

sam bower '21 putting up lights with a rock hammer.jpgI am going to school at West Virginia University. I am working with remote sensing techniques and numerical modeling to predict the future of the heavily-mined southern coalfields of WV and Kentucky. I love what I’m doing because I get to use cool tools like LiDAR scanners, drones, and supercomputers to answer questions. In my spare time I’m biking, skating, climbing , playing in a punk band with some other geology majors, and hitting the pubs. What I miss about CC is socializing in Mandy’s office and golfing tennis balls towards my professors on the quad. Here’s a picture of me doing home repair with a rock hammer!


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Alumni Photo Gallery

Favorite Memories

Selected from “Steve “Dream” Weaver: Retiring after 27.5 years with Colorado College Geology” - PCB 21-22

“I have the unique experience, along with Dr. Dicky Heermance, of researching with Steve in the Summer of 1994 on our Keck Project in southern Oregon. Steve was the assistant professor on the project (he was teaching at Beloit College) with Stan Mertzman from Franklin and Marshall College, and was an amazing professor to work with. His breadth of knowledge of hard-rock geology was (and I'm sure still is) invaluable to us in our field work, and his guidance helped us ensure we were looking for every detail possible to develop a comprehensive map and understanding of the research area. Much like our Geology profs at CC, Steve has a personality that meshes well with the students, and he was very well liked. During our senior year (1994/1995), Steve was recruited from Beloit to become CC Geology’s Technical Director. I was one of the Paraprofs for the summer session in 1995, and I recall Steve being in the PCB getting to know the lay of the land. It’s hard to imagine what CC Geology would be like without Steve. His role as Technical Director was significant in bringing the department into the 21st Century.”

—Jonathan Zook ‘95 

“Steve Weaver, Ph.D. always strikes me as one of the most industrious people I’ve ever met. When not calibrating XRF, XRD and other department instrumentation, he’s actively engaged in the analytical portions of CC student-led research and student learning. One of my most vivid memories of Dr. Weaver was on a field trip near Salida during Mineralogy in December 2004. It was close to zero degrees, and it took a righteous amount of courage to step out of our warm tents that morning, but we heard Steve’s wake-up call, “It’s a BEAU-tiful day!” that shattered the still mountain air and proceeded to ricochet off the canyon walls. It’s hard to avoid field work when your professor has that sort of unrelenting enthusiasm—even in freezing conditions! I announce, “It’s a BEAU-tiful day” on my field trips to California, New Zealand, France, the Rockies (not as loud as Steve, but in the same tone). One of his other gifts is photographing nature. Right now, I’m admiring his 'Rocky Mountain Dawn'—an original archival ultrachrome pigment photographic print (2003). It’s one of my favorite items from CC, a gift from the Economics Department that now hangs in my office. Thank you Dr. Weaver, for inspiring so many of us to search for the geological meaning in difficult to parse geochemical data, and for showing us how to appreciate the rugged beauty of the Rockies and Four Corners area of the USA.”

—Jon Rotizen ‘07


“The immense patience he exercised when after working tirelessly to file down thin sections of petrified wood and epoxy them onto glass slides... I accidentally put them on the roof of my car before driving to bring them to the Denver Museum and they all smashed :/ Oops, so sorry about that..

Also waking up to him screaming “It’s a Beeeauuutiful Day” every morning during our field trip to Death Valley will forever be seared into my memory—in the best way.

Love you, Steve!”

—Maisie Richards ‘11


photo of the rocky mountains by Steve Weaver

Photo by Steve Weaver


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Contact Us

Department of Geology
Colorado College
14 E. Cache La Poudre
Colorado Springs, CO 80903
Phone: 719-389-6621
FAX: 719-389-6910


Geology News

GeoMAP Antarctica, the initial comprehensive digital database that consolidates all existing geological information of Antarctica

Christine Siddoway and her colleagues developed a ground-breaking geospatial resource for Antarctic Research!


Christine Siddoway has long worked on the bedrock geology of Antarctica, involving CC Geology majors and collaborating with international colleagues. Lately, this work culminated in the publication of Antarctic GeoMAP in Nature Data Science. The groundbreaking geospatial resource is the first interactive, queriable, online GIS for the Antarctic continent. GeoMAP serves geologists, glaciologists, climate scientists, and biologists whose work examines the interrelationships between the ice sheet and the bedrock. More than 20 CC geology majors participated in the decade of work leading up to the GeoMap release. Four CC alums are co-authors, with Sam Elkind ’16 having a leading role. Coauthors Elkind and Lexie Millikin ’17 had Witter Family Fund internships that were important to the success of the international collaboration on the Antarctic dataset.

Full story by Miriam Roth



Tectonic Triumph: Tigers’ keeper Lucas Bush won the National Collegiate Club Socer Championship Tournament MVP, with highlights including the “incredible save on a penalty kick versus UVA.”




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