The Advisory Council for the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences at Western Michigan University advises the department on the formulation of long-term educational plans and ensures that the academic programs meet today's industry needs.
The Council is the oldest active advisory council at Western Michigan University. The council members are distinguished industry and academic professionals in geosciences and business who have worked throughout the U.S. and the world, all of whom have a strong interest in helping to strengthen and support Geological and Environmental sciences at Western Michigan University. The council's tasks can be summarized as follows:
- Advise the department regarding curriculum meeting current industry and employment trends.
- Assist in producing environmental and geological sciences graduates who are well-prepared for employment and leadership roles. See our "Recommendations to Applicants in Search of Geosciences Positions."
- Provide guidance to students through informal meetings and events.
- Advocate departmental needs and activities to the University administration.
- Collaborate with the University Office of Development and Alumni Relations on fundraising campaigns that support departmental activities.
Advisory COUNCIL officers
- Richard Laton, Ph.D., CPG, PG, CHg, Chair
Associate Professor of Hydrogeology, University of California at Fullerton
Phone: (657) 278-7514
- Sara Pearson, Vice Chair
Michigan EGLE Source Water Unit Supervisor
Phone: (517) 420-3219
- Mike Kovacich, Secretary
Principal Hydrogeologist, Tetra Tech
Phone: (734) 213-5024
Advisory COUNCIL Members
- Jerry Aiken
Independent Consultant in Industrial Minerals (rare earth and precious metal)
- Ricky Becker, Ph.D.
Professor, University of Toledo
Phone: (419) 530-4571
- Angel Cuellar, L.P.G., R.G.
Associate Geologist, Tetra Tech
Phone: (734) 213-5043
- James J. Ferritto Jr.
Waste Characterization Specialist, Michigan EGLE
Phone: (231) 920-5249
- Harold R. Fitch
President, H. R. Fitch Consulting Services LLC; Retired State Geologist
Phone: (517) 515-4528
- John Fowler
Partner, Polaris Energy, Oil and Gas
Phone: (517) 414-8766
- Bob Garrison
Phone: (208) 255-2973
- Jeff Hawkins
President, Envirologic Technologies, Inc.
Phone: (269) 342-1100
- Joshua Kirschner
Phone: (231) 631-3022
- Robert LoPiccolo, Ph.D.
Phone: (281) 920-0055
- Diana Morton-Thompson, C.P.G., P.G.
Retired Member, Earth Resources International, LC
Phone: (269) 343-1181
- Kyle Patterson
VP Geosciences, Trendwell Energy Corporation
Phone: (281) 740-1351
- Lisa Phillips
Owner/President, Phillips Environmental Consulting Services, Inc.
Phone: (269) 501-5079
- Thomas Robyn, Ph.D.
Phone: (303) 909-0173
- Chris Roth
Field Geologist, Bracken Engineering, Inc.
Phone: (727) 741-1794
- Brian Shaw, Ph.D.
Senior Technical Advisor, Strategic Analysis Incorporated
- Kim Steinmann
Phone: (269) 870-0370
- William B. Harrison, III, Ph.D.
MGRRE Research Director and Emeritus Professor of Geosciences, WMU
Phone: (269) 387-8691
- Thomas Straw, Ph.D.
Emeritus Professor of Geosciences, WMU
- John Yellich, C.P.G.
Director, Michigan Geological Survey
Phone: (269) 387-8649
- Thomas C. Kamin
Independent Petroleum Production Geologist
Phone: (972) 874-5050
- Ronald Parker
Retired President, Associated Earth Sciences, Inc.
Phone: (425) 766-6812
HONORARY members - FRIENDS OF THE DEPARTMENT AND COUNCIL
- Ahmed Murad, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Sciences, UAE University
- Thomas R. Howe
Geosciences Specialist, Sr., WMU
Phone: (269) 387-5492
- Rennie Kaunda, Ph.D., P.E.
Phone: (303) 273-3772
- Mike Wireman
USEPA Retired National Groundwater Expert
Phone (303) 547-6045
- Roger Steininger, Ph.D.
Phone: (775) 742-6333