People You Know, March - June 2007


Barney P. Popkin (1965, ground water), for the past 2 ½ years has been providing environmental procedures and environmentally sound design training and project monitoring and evaluation services to missions in over 20 countries in Asia and the Near East since his return from managing environmental issues under the Restore Iraqi Oil program and restarting halophyte farming and mangrove forests in coastal Sonora, Mexico.

Chia-Li Wei (69, BS, metallurgical engr.) has been appointed as senior director of technology, at AXT Inc of Fremont, Calif. He is responsible for directing all aspects of the company's technology development.


David L. Goodrich (78, MS, hydrology) is a licensed geologist and a member of the American Institute of Hydrology He has been working for the State of North Carolina as a groundwater specialist for 14 years. He and his wife Margaret have two children, who are home-schooled.

Dr. Scott Sandford
(78, BS, physics; 78, BS, math) had a good year in 2006. He was named a Fellow of the Meteoritical Society, received the NASA Ames Scientist Award, and received the Astronomical Association of Northern California's Award for Outstanding and Continuous Support in Distinguishing and Fostering Amateur Astronomy.

Sandford is a scientist at NASA Ames Research Center in California, working in the fields of meteoritics, astrochemistry, and cometary science. He is a co-leader of Ames' Astrochemistry Laboratory and an editor of the journal Meteoritics and Planetary Science.

Dr. Terry Wallace (78, BS, math; 78, BS, geophysics) has been named as Los Alamos National Laboratory's principal associate director for science, technology and engineering. Wallace has been the acting associate director since June 2006. He joined the lab's technical staff in May 2003. Before joining Los Alamos, he was a professor of geosciences at the University of Arizona. He also was an associate in the applied mathematics graduate program, curator of the University of Arizona Mineral Museum, and director of the Southern Arizona Seismic Observatory.


Charlotte Rowe Dr. Charlotte Rowe (81, BS, geology; 00, Ph.D., geophysics) plans to participate for the fourth time in the annual Vail Invitational Figure Skating Championships on July 11 to 14. Charlotte writes, "I started skating competitively about four years ago, and of course I enter the Vail competition as much for the beautiful trip as for the skating. It's a good (if expensive) excuse to take a weekend and head for a spectacular part of the Rockies in the middle of summer. If I didn't have so much junk to haul up there with skates, costumes, yadda yadda, I'd probably do it on my motorcycle.

"I've been training about six or seven years and would be considered on the low end of mid-level in terms of skills, although I'm more like on the high end of mid-level for adults. When you start skating as an adult there are some things you'll probably never be able to do (like triple and quad jumps), and everything is more difficult to master than it is for those who skate as kids, so they don't compete us (old farts) against the kids - we have our own 'track' for test and competition levels. Part of the retarded progress for adults is that we have older and less flexible bodies, but I think part of it also is that we have jobs and responsibilities and cannot make ourselves into 'rink rats' who spend all day on the ice."

In her spare time, Charlotte doubles as a seismologist. In August 2007, she celebrates her five-year service anniversary as a seismologist at Los Alamos National Laboratory. She has recently been appointed to the National Research Council as a member of the committee on seismology and geodesy.

Marty Nelson
(82, MST) retired from public school teaching in Shiprock and is now relaxing as an adjunct faculty member at San Juan Community College in Geology and Astronomy. He also keeps busy bringing up two active teenage daughters.
Aileen O'Donoghue

Dr. Aileen A. O'Donoghue
(87, MS, physics; 89, Ph.D., physics) has been named to the Henry Priest Chair of Physics at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York. Aileen joined the faculty at St. Lawrence in 1988. She spent the 2001-2002 academic year on sabbatical at the Vatican Observatory Research Group in Tucson, Arizona, and has written the "Mountain Skies" column for Adirondac magazine. In addition to her astronomy research, O'Donoghue also has an interest in the connections between science and religion; in 2001, she participated in the physics and cosmology group of the Science and the Spiritual Quest discussions sponsored by the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences in Paris, with the support of a grant from the Templeton Foundation. She is under contract to write a book about her spiritual journey.


Eric Hobbs (93, BS, physics) writes, "My puny Y chromosomes once again lost the battle against Betti Jo (Matthews) Hobbs' (94, BS, business admin.) dominating X chromosomes, and the result was our second daughter. Kaylee Autumn Hobbs was born on July 18, 2006. She and her 4-year-old sister, Jolene, are having a great time playing together. Betti Jo is taking a brief hiatus from being a special education teacher to be fantastic mommy. Eric is a solutions engineer for Talent Technology Corp, and we're all still living in the suburbs of San Antonio, Texas. Yee haw!"

Darwin S. (formerly Marjorie) Ward
(93, B.S, physics) recently left the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin and accepted a position as a program planning analyst senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Transportation Services, Transportation Demand Management Program. She writes, " With 65,000 students and faculty and 13,000 parking spaces, it's my job to try to convince people not to drive to campus. I am also currently playing in three bands and still carrying on a long distance relationship with my partner of eleven years, Tracy." To keep up with the day-to-day minutia of Dar's life, visit http://www.mbigmistake.blogspot.com/.

Cort Dougan (1996, BS, computer science; 1998, MS, computer science) and Joleen Welborn (1999, BS, biology) were married on May 20, 2006 in Taos, New Mexico. Many former Techies attended the wedding which greatly pleased the bride and groom. Cort is still working with FSMLabs in Socorro, and Joleen currently teaches math for Magdalena Middle/High School. Joleen was recently accepted in a teacher exchange program with San Pedro de Atacama in Chile. The couple plans to spawn a future Techie or two in the next few years.


Mason Hutchison ('00, BS, engineering mechanics) writes, "Our family has moved to California recently for me to take a design engineer position with Scaled Composites, a company building a private manned space tourism program. In 2004, this company was the first to send a man into space under a privately funded contract, which won them the Ansari Xprize. Since, they have begun development of the second level of space travel -- the building of a spaceship capable of taking up to eight people into space. I am working on various portions of the flight control systems and am very excited to be a part of a history-making program.

"I and my family have been living in Albuquerque since. My daughter, Ella, is now three. My wife, Cara, will begin working on various art projects in our community of Tehachapi, California."

Raven Alexis Gary
(04, BS, petr. engr.; 06, MS, engr. mgt.) and Samuel Allen Goswick (06, BS, mechanical engr.) were married on March 17, 2006, at the Little Church of the West in Las Vegas, Nev. They took a trip to Spitsbergen, Norway, to watch polar bears. They are making their home in Parker, Colo. Raven is an engineer at EnCana Oil and Gas (USA) in Denver. Samuel is an associate engineer at Toombs & Associates Engineering Specialists, Inc., in Englewood, Colo.

Benjamin Ross Ewing
(03, BS, materials engr.) married Jean Elizabeth Eiserle on June 30, 2006 in Fort Wayne, Ind. Jean is a 2003 graduate of the University of Saint Francis with a degree in psychology and is currently working on a master's degree in counseling at the same university. Benjamin is employed at Los Alamos National Laboratory.