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Geosciences Advisory Board



Jonathan Collier

Board Position: Chair
Company: Energen Resources
Bio: Jonathan Collier is currently the Chief Petrophysicist at Energen Corporation located in Birmingham, AL. His efforts focus primarily on providing technical support for the exploration and exploitation of oil and natural gas from “Unconventional,” Organic-Rich Shales within the United States. He received both his BS (’96) and MS (’98) in Geology from Auburn University. He attributes his success in the oilfield to the passion for geology that was initiated and fostered by the Faculty and Staff in the Geology Department at Auburn. Jonathan is married to Rounak Collier and they have a son, Julian. Currently, Jonathan is a member of the Auburn Geology and Geography Advisory Board, Auburn University’s College of Science and Math Dean’s Leadership Council, and the Camp Smile-A-Mile Board of Directors (Alabama’s Program for Children with Cancer).

Herb Martin

Board Position: Vice Chair
Company: Devon Energy
Bio: Thirty-five years prospecting and management in exploration, exploitation, and production roles for an integrated oil and gas E and P company. Soon to retire from current position as Vice-President of Exploration and New Ventures for Devon Energy. Throughout career focused on prospect evaluation, development, prioritization and presentation. Over 17 years working principally U.S. Gulf Coast onshore (largely South Texas), with five (+) years in International (primarily Far East basins) projects. Since 1999, in management roles for Devon, in Western, Gulf Coast and Southern Divisions and Corporate Teams. Currently interests include economic and strategic evaluation of exploration opportunities, innovative application of technology for resource delineation and expansion, and cross-disciplinary integration applied to solving the unique challenges in “unconventional Resource” plays. Outside of work interests include hiking and outdoors (hunting, fishing, camping), golf, travel, reading, our family and ‘working around the yard’ (not really gardening). Lots of time spent on non-profits and volunteer work. Wife Marynm and I have nearly 35 years together.

Jill Johnson

Board Position: Secretary
Company: Geosyntec
Bio: Jill Johnson is a professional geologist with Geosyntec Consultants with almost 20 years of experience managing and providing technical expertise on sites with environmental impacts from chlorinated solvents, pesticides, and metals for private and public clients, including environmental site assessment and remediation, groundwater monitoring and remediation system optimization, due diligence and environmental compliance, innovative sampling techniques, and hydrogeological and geochemical site characterization. She opened the Pensacola Geosyntec office in 2007. Ms. Johnson received her B.S. in Geology from Auburn University (class of 1998) and M.S. in Hydrogeology from the University of Kansas. She holds professional geologist (P.G.) licenses in Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi and has published and presented on various topics including innovative site assessment techniques, selenium and uranium geochemistry, characterization and remediation of phosphate mining wastes, and passive sampling techniques. Jill was a founding member of the Auburn University Department of Geology and Geography Advisory Board and is proud to continue to be part of it. She is married to Adam Johnson, an Auburn mechanical engineer, and they have four beautiful daughters, Parker, Amelia, Ida, and Tessa.

Larry Prince

Board Position: Treasurer
Company: Opelika Power
Bio: Larry Prince is currently the Distribution Engineering Representative for Opelika Power Services. Since joining the department in 2011, he has transitioned from mapping the electrical distribution system to mapping our fiber to the home deployment, the first in Alabama, and he has now advanced to the title of Distribution Engineer. Larry is responsible for the distribution automation schemes (smart grid), site development and distribution system expansion. He met his wife, Amanda, while at Auburn, and they have been married 7 years and have 2 children, Fischer (4) and Sadie (2). They feel lucky to still reside in the Auburn area and live on some land. Amanda and Larry enjoy serving on the Young Life Committee, serving the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, working outside, and taking the kids to any Auburn sporting event.

Joel Abrahams

Board Position: Member
Company: Chesapeake Energy

Bill Bauer

Board Position: Member
Company: CDG Engineers and Associates, Inc.

Joe Beck

Board Position: Member
Company: Energen Resources

Kevin Bogdan

Board Position: Member
Company: Imerys
Bio: Kevin has 10 years of experience as a mining geologist in the aggregate and industrial mineral industry. He has had held various positions ranging from operations to technical lead and is currently a Senior Mining Consultant with Continental Placer Inc.. Kevin specializes in three-dimensional geologic modeling, mine planning, drilling program management, and is interested in developing practical mining solutions with regard to geology (i.e. blasting pattern orientation for increased final highwall stability, selective mining techniques for proper blending, etc.). He received his BS in Geology from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown (2003) and MS in geology from Auburn University (2009). He is a licensed Professional Geologist in multiple states and is a Registered Member of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration (SME). Kevin lives in the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania area with his wife (AU 2010) and two children

Kristen Busse

Board Position: Member
Company: ExxonMobil
Bio: Kristen is a Huntsville, AL native who graduated Auburn University in 2012. While at Auburn, she worked with Dr. Mark Steltenpohl on an Undergraduate Research Fellowship that took her to Norway to study the Scandinavian Caledonides. After Auburn, she moved on to Virginia Tech to continue pursuing tectonic studies in the Himalaya. She received a Master's degree from Virginia Tech in 2014 and then moved to Houston, TX to work for ExxonMobil. Kristen has been at ExxonMobil since then and is currently on a Gulf of Mexico team.

Robert Cook

Board Position: Ex-Officio Member
Company: Retired Auburn University

Tim Demko

Board Position: Member
Company: ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company
Bio: Tim is currently a Senior Research Advisor at ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company in Houston, TX, with specialties in the sedimentology and stratigraphy of siliciclastic rocks. He received his BS in Geosciences from Penn State in 1983, his MS in Geology from Auburn in 1990, and a PhD in Geosciences from the University of Arizona in 1995. Tim was a mining geologist for P and N Coal Company from 1984 to 1988. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Colorado State University from 1994 to 1996, before joining Exxon Production Research in Houston, TX in 1996. At Exxon, and then ExxonMobil, Tim worked as a research geologist on fluvial sequence stratigraphy, and applied these concepts during foreign assignments with Imperial Oil in Calgary, Alberta Canada, and then seconded to Shell UK in London, England. After an assignment with ExxonMobil Production Nigeria back in Houston, Tim left the industry to join the faculty of the Department of Geosciences at the University of Minnesota Duluth, from 2002 to 2006. In 2007, Tim returned to the oil and gas industry, to ExxonMobil Exploration Company back in Houston. He joined ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company in 2009. Tim lives in The Woodlands, TX with his wife Laura and their son, Noah.

Robert Drake

Board Position: Member
Company: Specialty Vermiculite
Bio: Robert Drake is the Mine and Exploration Geologist for Specialty Vermiculite Corporation in Enoree, SC. In this capacity, he is responsible for identifying and securing new reserves of vermiculite ore in the Upstate region of SC. Additionally, he handles local, state and federal permitting and compliance for the SC vermiculite mining operation. Most recently, Robert assumed the role of Environmental Health and Safety Director for Specialty Vermiculite Corporation's North American facilities. As EH and S director, he will develop, implement and assess environmental permitting and compliance and workplace safety programs in all of Specialty Vermiculite's US and Canadian operations. Robert received his BS in Geology from UNC-Chapel and was enrolled in the Auburn University Geology Masters program, 1996-1998. He is a member of the Auburn Geology and Geography Advisory Board and an upcoming member of the South Carolina State map Advisory Committee. Robert currently lives in Simpsonville, SC.

Richard A. Esposito

Board Position: Member
Company: Southern Company
Bio: Richard works in the R and D Group at Southern Company. His current position is the Program Manager for Geosciences, Carbon Utilization and Storage. He manages the commercial development of generation and environmental technologies related to clean coal, bulk energy storage, CO2-EOR, geologic CO2 sequestration, and serves as the company's technical subject matter expert with conventional and unconventional energy gas and natural resources development. He speaks internationally on new and innovative technologies being developed and deployed at Southern Company. Prior to this role, Richard worked for 15 years in Southern Company’s Environmental Engineering organization working with foundations analysis, groundwater hydrogeology, power plant siting and decommissioning. Prior to working at Southern Company, Richard worked as an environmental regulator in the Water Division at the Alabama Department of Environmental Management. Richard has a PhD in Engineering from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, holds a MS and BS degree in geology from Auburn University, and holds a MS degree in Environmental Management from Sanford University. Richard previously served on the Alabama Board of Licensure for Professional Geologists and is currently the President of the Alabama Geological Society. Richard is a research professor and faculty in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and is an adjunct instructor teaching energy and geology classes at Samford University.

Jochen Floesser

Board Position: Member
Company: Atlantic Group
Bio: It’s been almost 22 years that I made the jump across the Big Pond from Germany and started my graduate program at Auburn’s Geology Department, back in the summer of ’93. And it’s going on 20 years now since I defended my thesis down in the bowels of Petrie Hall and graduated from AU. So, what happened since then? After leaving AU, I completed my M.S. in Geography back at Mannheim University, Germany, in ’98. Go Steamrollers! In ‘99 I started my first full-time job as Environmental Scientist with HydroGeoLogic, an environmental consulting company in Northern Virginia. I was mostly involved with groundwater flow and transport modeling, and remedial design / analysis. From 2000 through 2005, I worked for the St. Johns River Water Management District down in Northern Florida. I first started out as a Hydrologist in the Groundwater Modeling Department, but got more and more into GIS integration and customization. After 2 years, I moved over into the IT Division as a GIS Software Developer/Engineer, and eventually took leadership of the software group as Application Development Coordinator. During 2005/2006 our family had a one-year stint in Germany, where I worked as IT Services Lead for a small GIS company SynerGIS in Wielsoch near Heidelberg. We returned to the States (Huntsville, AL) in 2006 where I was hired on as Project Manager by 3001, Inc., a geospatial and remote sensing services provider. During the 2008/2009 timeframe, the company was acquired by Northrop Grumman Corporation, and for the next few years I got to experience the business setting and inner workings of a large defense contractor. I left NGC in early 2102 and took up employment with Magnolia River as Program Manager for GIS and geospatial projects. Finally, in Dec. 2013 Atlantic brought me on as their Sr. Vice President. Here, I am in charge of Program and Project Management, as well as all Production Operations.

Laura Folse

Board Position: Member
Company: BP Wind Energy North America Inc.
Bio: As the Chief Executive Officer of BP Wind Energy, Laura Folse leads a multidisciplinary team that manages 13 wind farms around the U.S. and oversees interests in 1 additional project that is operated by a partner. BP Wind Energy’s portfolio represents over 2.2GW of installed capacity of which BP’s financial interest is over 1.4GW. With more than 30 years in the energy industry, Laura most recently led the operations, scientific and technological programs within the multi-billion dollar cleanup and restoration effort BP initiated in response to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon accident. She also has served as vice president of Science and Technology for BP’s Exploration and Production segment. Her organization of more than 800 scientists, engineers and technical professionals delivered research and development programs in science and technology, developed BP’s training programs for technical staff, and offered specialized consultation across BP’s global enterprise. Laura has a BS in geology from Auburn University, an MS in geology from the University of Alabama, and an MS in management from Stanford University. Laura’s personal leadership was profiled in D. Michael Abrashoff’s book Get Your Ship Together and featured in Lori Silverman’s book Wake Me Up When the Data is Over. News journalist Auberi Edler developed a French TV documentary of Laura’s business and personal life, entitled Something Has Really Gotta Give.

Robert Fousek

Board Position: Member
Company: FMR, Inc.
Bio: Bob Fousek grew up in the Black Hills of South Dakota which provided a great introduction to geology. His first job out of high school was as an underground miner at the Homestake gold mine in Lead, S.D. while majoring in geology at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. He was drafted into the US Army in 1966 when he sat out a semester to work full-time. He qualified for the Warrant Officer Rotary Wing Flight School and received his wings in 1967. He served three years in Vietnam as a combat helicopter pilot. In 1970, he received a direct commission from Chief Warrant Officer 2 to 1st Lieutenant, Infantry, and left Vietnam in 1971 as a captain. Bob resigned his commission in 1976 and went to work in the Gulf of Mexico oil patch as a helicopter pilot. Bob returned to the School of Mines in 1989 and received his bachelors degree in geology in 1992. He then did a masters degree in geology at Auburn University. Bob currently owns a consulting company (FMR Inc.) headquartered in Auburn which provides services to the mining and construction industries. Services provided include petrographic examinations of aggregates, concrete and other materials for mining and construction companies as well as for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other government entities. Other services provide by FMR Inc. include the design and implementation of drilling programs, evaluation of properties for conservation easements, due diligence investigations and other geologic services. Bob was a founding member and served as the first Chair of the Auburn University Department of Geosciences Advisory Board.

Christopher Golden

Board Position: Member
Company: ExxonMobil
Bio: Attended Auburn University, graduated 1996 with a Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering. Employed with ExxonMobil for more than 17 years. Currently Asset Manager for ExxonMobil operated oil and gas facilities in Alabama and the Gulf of Mexico. Experience working and living abroad in Luanda, Angola; Doha, Qatar; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Married to Carmen Golden, and two children, Jackson and Carolynn. Other affiliations include Mobile Chamber of Commerce Board of advisors, University of Alabama Geological Sciences Advisory Board, and Alabama State Chamber Business Council of Alabama Board of Directors.

Jonathan Grimes

Board Position: Member
Company: CH2M Hill
Bio: Jonathan Grimes is an project manager at CH2M in Atlanta, GA. His projects involve investigation, remedial design, remedial construction, and waste management services for federal, commercial and municipal clients. He earned his BS and MS in geology from Auburn University.

Rob Hargett

Board Position: Member
Company: El Paso Energy

Joe Howle

Board Position: Member
Company: Vulcan Materials
Bio: Joe Howle is a 1982 graduate of Auburn University with a BS degree in Marine Biology and Biological Sciences and is a former varsity athlete (wrestling). He is currently a division Manager of Environmental Affairs at Vulcan Materials Company, the largest producer of construction aggregates in the United States. His career in environmental, community and governmental affairs spans more than 30 years. Although he works in an area of science outside of his major, he attributes his success to the well rounded education that he received at Auburn University and the guidance from his academic advisor at Auburn, Dr. Ann Williams. Joe is currently an active member of the AU Geosciences Advisory Board in COSAM. He is also a current member (chairman) of the Alabama Water Resources Commission, an advisory board for the Alabama Office of Water Resources, dealing with statewide water policy issues. He also holds various industry committee memberships concerning environmental and governmental affairs. Joe is married to the former Fayne Love ('82) of Anniston, Alabama and they have two sons (Payton and Jackson), both currently students at Auburn University.

Britt Johnson

Board Position: Member
Company: City of Auburn
Bio: Britt Johnson is the GIS Business Analyst for the City of Auburn, Alabama. In this position he is the administrator of the City’s enterprise asset/work order management system; along with focusing on the continual optimization of business processes throughout the organization. A 2008 Auburn graduate with a B.A. in Geography, Britt started his career in GIS as an undergraduate teaching assistant. After graduation, he worked for two years as a GIS Analyst for the City of Montgomery, Alabama. Immediately prior to his current position, he worked for six years as the GIS Technician for the City of Auburn; with responsibilities managing numerous areas of the City’s enterprise GIS system. Britt lives in Auburn.

Andy and Ginger Klein

Board Position: Member
Company: Anadarko Energy
Bio: Andy and Ginger met at Auburn in 1995, when Ginger was finishing her degree in Geological Engineering and Andy was starting his MS in Geology. After a summer in Lofoten, Norway, mapping stuff for Mark, Andy came back home with an engagement ring for Ginger. They got married and moved to Houston, where Ginger worked for ATC Associates as an engineer and Andy went back to school. Upon completion of his Ph.D. at Rice University in 2002, Andy joined Anadarko Petroleum in The Woodlands, TX, exploring such varied areas as the US Rockies (coalbed methane), the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, and the Appalachian basin. Currently he is a geologist on the West and South Africa exploration team, where his interests include deep water sedimentation, salt tectonics, and hydrocarbon charge. Ginger left ATC in 2002 to raise two amazing children (Morgan, 16, and Adrian, 14).

Robert Locklair

Board Position: Member
Company: Chevron
Bio: Rob is a geologist in the Energy Technology Company of Chevron. His work there focuses on technical consulting for exploration projects, research and development, and teaching internal training courses. Rob graduated with an M.S. from Auburn in 1998 under the research direction of Chuck Savrda. Since graduating from Auburn, he completed a Ph.D and a post-doctoral assignment. He also has worked for Schlumberger, EnCana (USA), and El Paso E and P Company before joining Chevron.

Wallace McCord

Board Position: Member
Company: Bhate Engineering
Bio: For the last 24 years, Wally has worked as a Geologist and Drilling Services Manager for Bhate Geo-Sciences, a consulting engineering firm in Birmingham, Al. After receiving a Bachelors from AU in 1979 he worded for two Geophysical firms in Michigan and transitioned into the civil engineering business at the Consumer's Power Nuclear Plant in Midland, Mi. He returned to Alabama in 1984 He has worked on numerous dams, bridges high rise residential, manufacturing, institutional and commercial projects, groundwater and environmental site evaluations and mineral evaluations in the SE USA and Midwest. His area of expertise is in the methods used in soil and rock excavations and coring, monitoring well and instrumentation installations. He is a long term member of the Transportation Technical Committee for the Regional Planning Commission of Birmingham. He has two sons and he lives in Birmingham.

Brandon McDonald

Board Position: Ex-Officio Member
Company: Alabama DOT

Art Merkle

Board Position: Member
Company: Pediatric Dentistry, FT. Walton, FL
Bio: Art Merkle is currently a Pediatric Dentist in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. His practice focuses mainly on preventive dental care in infants, children and adolescents by using oral hygiene care, dietary changes, fluoride application and pit and fissure sealants to help strengthen and protect the hydroxyapatite in patient’s teeth. Occasionally he has to repair acid de-calcified apatite in the teeth using various dental materials to restore, replace or preserve tooth form and function. Art earned a B.S. (’79) in Geology from Auburn University and a D.M.D. (’83) from The University of Alabama School of Dentistry. Art’s interest in Geology started early in life as his father studied and later taught Geology at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Art grew up with rocks, minerals and fossils and accompanied his father and his fathers students in the field on teaching field trips. Auburn University’s Geology faculty furthered his interest in Geology by allowing him to teach undergraduate labs and training him to fabricate rock and mineral thin sections. Although he made the jump to Dentistry after studying undergraduate Geology, Art has continued to use a drill and to remain close to Geology through participation in The Auburn Geosciences Advisory Board and The Auburn COSAM Dean’s Leadership Council. Art is married to Carol Beaton Merkle and they have a son Drew Merkle who is an Auburn graduate of the School of Architecture.

Ken Reynolds

Board Position: Member
Company: Chevron

Amanda Savrda

Board Position: Member
Company: AU Department of Curriculum and Teaching
Bio: Amanda Savrda (BS, Geology, ’08) also holds an MS in Geological Sciences from the University of South Carolina, where she was a USC Partner’s in Inquiry Teaching Fellow. As a team member of the United States Antarctic Program Special Project G-432-E, her MS research focused on the thermotectonic history of rocks of Palmer Land, Antarctic Peninsula. Following graduate school, Amanda spent 5 years in the oil and gas industry as a Senior Geoscientist in ExxonMobil’s Exploration Company in Houston, Texas. In fall of 2016, Amanda returned to Auburn to pursue her master’s degree in general science education. She is currently a graduate research assistant in AU College of Education’s Department of Curriculum and Teaching, supported by NSF’s NanoBio Math Science Partnership. As a teacher, she leverages her passion for STEM and experiences in both research and industry to help students connect their every-day lives to science content in the classroom. Amanda continues to represent the department of Geological Sciences, COSAM, and AU in her student teaching and educational outreach activities.

Charles Savrda

Board Position: Ex-Officio Member
Company: AU Geosciences Department
Bio: Chuck Savrda, as a former chair of the Department of Geosciences (‘05-’10), is an ex-officio member of the Auburn Geosciences Advisory Board. He has served on the department faculty since 1986, after completing his BA at Rutgers University (’80) and MS and PhD degrees at the University of Southern California (’83, ’86). In addition to his regular instructional duties in introductory courses and undergraduate Sedimentary Petrology, he teaches or co-teaches a variety of graduate-level courses that focus on sedimentology, stratigraphy, and ichnology. His research focuses on ichnofossils and their applications in facies and sequence stratigraphic analyses. Among other accomplishments, Chuck has served as a Paleontological Society Distinguished Lecturer, Co-Editor of SEPM’s journal Palaios, and Interim Dean of the College of Sciences and Mathematics (COSAM, ’10-’13), and is now the Paleontology Councilor for SEPM. He and his wife Diane have four daughters, all AU students—Amanda (BS, Geology, ’08; MS Science Education, ‘17), CeeCee (BS, Nursing, ’10), Allison (BS, Human Sciences, ’13) and Cassie (Human Sciences, ’18). Chuck and Diane are long-time contributors to departmental and COSAM programs that support students and faculty in Geosciences.

Nathan Sills

Board Position: Ex-Officio Member
Company: Magnolia River

Mark Steltenpohl

Board Position: Ex-Officio Member
Company: AU Geosciences Department Chair
Bio: Professor and Chair of the Department of Geosciences and is a registered Professional Geologist (PG) in the State of Alabama. After earning his Ph.D. in Geology at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, he taught Geology at the University of Tromsø, arctic Norway, and then worked for the State Geological Survey in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. In 1989 he became an associate professor at Auburn University where he has taught undergraduate and/or graduate classes in physical geology, geological field methods, summer field camp, structural geology, southeastern geology, and plate tectonics. His main areas of research are in plate tectonics, the evolution of continents and mountain systems, utilizing isotopic methods to date the deformation of Earth’s crust, and characterizing the physical properties of construction aggregate stone. He maintains active research programs in the southern Appalachians and the Caledonides of arctic Norway and East Greenland. Steltenpohl has served on proposal review panels for the Geological Society of America and the DOI, and as chair for the Southeastern Section of the Geological Society of America and for the Alabama Geological Society. He was appointed by Gov. Don Siegleman to serve as the education member of the Alabama Board of Licensure for Professional Geologists and as a delegate to the Alabama Geographic Information Council. Outreach efforts include presenting lectures and leading fieldtrips for Continuing Education credit for the International Geological Congress, the Alabama Geological Society, the Geological Society of America, the Alabama Forestry Association Annual Teachers Workshop, the Atlanta Geological Society, and the AU Elderhostle Program. He has written A trail guide to the geology of Chewacla State Park and is writing the book Roadside Geology of Alabama for Mountain Press.

Nick Tew

Board Position: State Geologist of Alabama/Oil and Gas Supervisor, and Chairman of Alabama State Water Agencies Working Group (AWAWG)
Company: Geological Survey of Alabama and State Oil and Gas Board
Bio: Nick Tew is Alabama’s State Geologist and Oil and Gas Supervisor. In these capacities, he directs the Geological Survey of Alabama and the staff of the State Oil and Gas Board of Alabama. He also serves as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Alabama. Nick holds Bachelors, Masters, and Ph.D. degrees in Geology and has been with GSA and OGB for over 30 years, serving in his present capacity since 2002. Dr. Tew has extensive knowledge of Alabama’s surface and subsurface geology and the state’s rich endowment of geologically related natural resources. He is an expert in Gulf Coastal Plain stratigraphy, petroleum geology, and the regulation of oil and gas operations and is a frequent speaker on these and other topics, nationally and internationally. Nick is Past-President of the American Geosciences Institute and has previously served as President of the Association of American State Geologists, Vice-Chairman of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, and Chairman of the U.S. Department of the Interior Outer Continental Shelf Policy Committee. Nick is a Fellow in the Geological Society of America.

Richard and Jade Urash

Board Position: Member
Company: Chesapeake Energy

Paige Walton

Board Position: Member
Company: AQS
Bio: Paige is a Senior Scientist and Program Manager at AQS, Inc. in Salt Lake City, UT. Her focus is risk assessments, corrective action, and permitting for sites with specialized wastes. She graduated from Auburn in 1990 with her B.S. in Geology and holds a P.G. license in Utah. Paige is also on the Board of Directors for Ronald McDonald House Charities. Outside of work, Paige enjoys anytime spent in the great outdoors and especially skiing in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah.

Randy West

Board Position: Ex-Officio Member
Company: National Center for Asphalt Technology
Bio: Randy West is the Director of the National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT) at Auburn University. NCAT is contract funded by state highway departments, FHWA, and businesses involved in road construction and maintenance to conduct research on improving safety, performance, and cost effectiveness of asphalt pavements. Randy’s interest in geology stems from assessing characteristics of local mineral aggregates that affect how pavements perform all over the world. He completed his bachelors and masters degrees in Civil Engineering from Auburn in 1987 and 1989, respectively, and completed his PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Florida in 1995. Randy is married to Ronda Vaughn (’86) and they have two daughters that are also Auburn graduates. Currently, Randy is a member of the Auburn Geosciences Advisory Board and serves on the Board of the Association of Asphalt Paving Technologists.

Daphne D Williams

Board Position: Member
Company: New Fields Government Services LLC
Bio: Daphne Williams attended Auburn University and graduated in 1996 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Geology. As part of her undergraduate program she participated in a National Science Foundation program with Portland State University mapping the basalts of the high steep deserts of eastern Oregon. She returned to Auburn University and received her graduate degree in 1998 under the supervision of Dr. Ming-Kuo Lee. Upon graduating, Ms. Williams went to work in the Environmental Consulting field as a geologist. Ms. Williams is now co-owner of NewFields Government Services, LLC (NGS), an Economically Disadvantaged, Woman-Owned Small Business, providing environmental services to both federal and private sector clients. With offices in North Carolina, Florida, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Georgia, NGS specializes in the compilation, analyses and communication of Big Data to support efficient decisions. Other services provided by NGS include remedial design, implementation and optimization, dynamic conceptual site model development, wetlands development, and mining services to include design and life-of-mine studies to name a few. Through the education she received at Auburn University and the experienced she has gained over the years, Daphne encourages the coupling of geology with engineering, microbiology, and chemistry, along with a sound understanding of business, to provide efficient decisions while promoting sound science. When she is not working, she, David and their three dogs split their time between Brevard, NC, hiking in the Pisgah National Forest, and Santa Rosa Beach, FL, paddle boarding the emerald waters of the Gulf Coast.

Alex Wood

Board Position: Member
Company: Precision Geographic Inc.
Bio: Alex Wood is founder and president of Precision Geographic Inc., where he focuses on strategic consulting in geographic information systems (GIS). He has wide-ranging experience applying geospatial technology to solve real-world problems and deliver value for clients in both the private and public sector. Alex earned a Bachelor's degree in Geology from Hanover College in Indiana ('96) and a Master's degree in Geology from Auburn ('99). His work at Auburn focused on mapping and modeling natural systems, which prepared him well for a career in GIS consulting. Alex resides in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife and two children who enjoy traveling, hiking and hosting Auburn football parties at their home. Alex serves as membership committee chair for the Auburn Geosciences Advisory Board, and on the Conservation committee of the Desert Foothills Land Trust in Arizona.

Goodney Hulsey Zapp

Board Position: Member
Company: Cognizant Tech. Solutions
Bio: Goodney Zapp is a proud graduate of Auburn University with a B.S. in Geology, 1980. Goodney began her career with a decade in field geology layered with mine modeling and mapping and statistical analysis with Rio Tinto Group and Chevron’s mining division. The programming experience led her to a career transition to IT starting with Microsoft. Currently, Goodney is an IT strategy and program delivery consultant with Cognizant Technology Solutions, leading large and complex technology integrations and implementations for organizational growth and operational efficiencies. Goodney is keen to support initiatives in Women in STEM (Science Technology Engineering, Mathematics), WIT (Women in Technology) initiatives and participates when possible in Auburn COSAM SWSM (Society of Women in Science and Math).



Last updated: 11/13/2017