Welcome to my website! My name is John, I am a Professional Geologist licensed through the National Association of State Boards of Geology. I have recently transitioned from the environmental consulting field and started graduate school at the University of Maryland in Fall 2022. I am an M.S. student in the Geology program, working under Dr. Karen Prestegaard on a National Science Foundation-supported Critical Zone study looking at the storage and release of water, solutes, and sediments in urban watersheds. Specifically, I am studying tributaries along the Northwest Branch of the Anacostia River and their relationship with the main stem of the river.
After graduate school, my goal is to pivot into a career as a geologist with a federal or state agency. I am fascinated by the world around us and how humans interact with and affect that natural world. My interests tend toward surficial processes, geomorphology, hydrology, general geologic mapping, things I can see and reach out and touch. Making a positive difference in the world is a strong motivation for me and my career choice. Climate change, soil loss, geohazards, water scarcity, natural resources, and environmental contamination are topics that I’d love to study and address.
I started my environmental consulting career in 2016 as a staff geologist with APTIM in Central Florida, and continued working with them until I moved to Maryland for graduate school in August, 2022. My primary focus was on environmental site assessments (Phase Is & IIs), monitoring, and underground storage tank removals, but I branched out into many different areas as well to satisfy client needs. Examples of some of the work I’ve done are under the “Work Projects” tab. While I enjoyed my time in environmental consulting, I did some soul-searching and realized I’d like to further my education and become involved in applied research. I’d like to be a part of researching and finding solutions for the big picture issues, addressing the causes of problems, not just treating the symptoms. Thus my decision to go for a master’s and look into federal/state agency positions.
I graduated in 2016 with a B.S. in Geology from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. I learned so much from the excellent program there, surrounded by so much incredible geological phenomena with the Rocky Mountains and foothills right in our backyard. I attended field camp in Northern New Mexico and Silverton, Colorado, and seized on every opportunity for research and field experience while I was in school. On the research front I worked the closest with Dr. Nick Sutfin, who is currently a researcher with the USGS in Tacoma, Washington. I helped him with soil sampling and grain size analyses for his dissertation, Spatiotemporal variability of floodplain sediment and organic carbon retention in mountain streams of the Colorado Front Range. With the sampling and analyses I was also able to conduct my own research, Characteristics and predictors of organic matter content in floodplain soils of the Front Range, which I presented with a poster at the Spring 2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium.
I assisted with some GIS work for Dr. Natalie Kramer-Anderson’s dissertation on great river wood dynamics in Northern Canada, and also served as an assignment grader for her Historical Geology lab. I was also given the opportunity to be a lab instructor/teaching assistant for Introductory Geology labs and lectures, and had a great time teaching and helping students.
I was on an Army ROTC scholarship while I was at Colorado State, and I commissioned as an officer in the Army Reserve upon graduating. While in the Army ROTC program I gained leadership skills through rigorous experience, learned how to perform and lead in stressful situations, and how to live and function in austere environments. I also got to go to the African island nation of Cape Verde as part of a State Department program, where I taught English to their soldiers and strengthened our relationship with their military.
I am currently an Environmental Science Officer with the 160th Military Police Battalion, where I serve as the Preventive Medicine program manager for a detention center unit during my Army Reserve drill weekends and training periods until my service commitment ends in a few years. In my role I advise the commander and unit on force health protection matters and the environmental aspects of the detention center design. I manage a preventive medicine section and we conduct water quality, insect, rodent, hygiene, disease, and industrial hygiene surveys.
I love to learn about and explore the local geology and add to my rock collection wherever I travel in the state and on vacations. While I miss Florida’s unique karst landscapes and coastlines, I am very glad to be here in Maryland along the Fall Line, right on the edge of the Piedmont and close to the Appalachians.
I also built my own tabletop stream table that I like to play around with and model fluvial processes and surface water-groundwater interactions when I find the time. During my time with APTIM, earned a Remote Pilot License through the FAA, which allows me to pilot drones commercially.