Vitaly Zlotnik's Student and Alumni News

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My former students work in academia, federal and state agencies, and industry, in the U.S. and abroad. Nevertheless, we are always in touch.

Currently, two students are working under my supervision towards graduate degrees. 

  • Natahan Rossman, MS 2009, University of Missouri-Columbia, is Ph.D. student will explore role of modeling in watershed resilience in the framework of the NSF-funded IGERT program. 
  • Doruk Ozturk, BS 2012, Hacetteppe University, Turkey is working on effects of land use changes on groundwater recharge.

Jonathan P. Traylor, M.S.2012 (Hydrogeology) investigates stream depletion and water budget of the Frenchman Creek under irrigation conditions on the watershed of Republican River, Nebraska. Using analytical technique, he developed a very impressive tool that can be used for hydrogeologic and economic research, as well as for water resources management. Currently, he started his employment with the US Geological Survey.

Jonh Ong, PhD 2010 (Hydrogeology) spent a year on the EPA contract, developing the advanced instrumentation for electrical resistivity imaging. It is a joint project with USGS. Currently, John is located in USGS Office of Shallow Geophysics in Storrs, Connecticut and is involved in various projects, including a tracer test in Colorado, contaminant transport in Hanford, geophysical studies in Canada.

Stefan Kollet, PhD 2003 (Hydrogeology) became a Professor and Scientific Director of the Centre for HPSC in Terrestrial System, Julich, leading a large group at the Meteorological Institute, Bonn University since 2007. Previously, Stefan worked as a staff scientist with the Environmental Sciences Division of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Department of Energy in California. As a Coordinator of the Trans-Regional Collaborative Research Center SFB/TR32 in European Union, he lead an ambitious scientific project that deals with interactions in the subsurface-land surface-atmosphere systems. The project involves a number of Universities and has high international visibility in European Union. In October 2008, he co-authored an article in Nature Geosciences. The latest new came recently from a colleague that visited Germany in summer: Stefan obtained two more prestigious grants from German Science Foundation. Currently, Stefan collaborates with Shell.

Tiejun Wang, PhD 2008 (Hydrogeology) works as a hydrologist in the world-renowned National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) in Christchurch, New Zealand since 2010. Prior to this position, he was a pos-doc in UNL and Washington State, Seattle. He authored several recent articles in Water Resources Research, the leading journal in the discipline. His research includes hydrology problems in the US, New Zealand, and China. He gave several talks in the Desert Research Institute, Reno and McGill University, Canada in 2010 and 2011.

Bayani Cardenas, MS 2002 (Hydrogeology) is currently an Associate Professor at University at Texas-Austin in 2010. List of his publications for the last years would be too long, so visit his Web page. In 2010, Bayani got NSF CAREER grant that will allow him to keep busy a dozen of graduate students. At the AGU 2011 Fall meeting, he received the AGU Early Career Award. He received significant support from a consortium of UT geoscientists and petroleum engineers with budget about 50 million dollar. He is on editorial boards of Water Resources Research and Hydrogeology journals. So, wait for further studies that couple chemistry, microbiology, flow and mass transport at the pore to the formation scales in the U.S., Philippines, and many other places.

Jeff Albano, M.S. 2009 (Natural Resources). He produced a very strong thesis on remediation of RDX explosives using in-situ treatment by permanganate injection that resulted in two papers in journal Ground Water Monitoring and Remediation. His military experience served him well in setting and reaching goals of BS and MS from UNL. Jeff worked in CH2M Hill, a global leader in full-service engineering, construction, and operations since 2007. Since 2012, Jeff works as a Project Geologist for Hart and Hickman, a North Carolina based environmental consulting firm established in 1995.

Mike Turco, M.S. 2009 (Hydrogeology). Mike started as a hydrologist in Lincoln office of the USGS. Five years ago he was promoted to a position of a Chief in the USGS Texas Water Science Center for Gulf Coast and South Texas Program. He completing the degree while carrying heavy managerial load at his job, His region includes cities of Houston and San-Antonio. Mike was briefed on major national TV networks when working on consequences of Hurricane Ike near Galveston, Texas etc. Materials of Mike's thesis have been included in the USGS Water Resources publications.

Ralph Davis BS 1981, MS 1986, PhD 1992 (Geology, advisor D. Pederson) accepted duties of Chair of Department of Geosciences, University of Arkansas in 2009. He is full professor since 2008. Ralph also directed Water Resources Center from 2001 to 2008. The university and the department are growing with grants, generous contributions of former university alumni and other donors.

Francia Olaguera, MS 2007 (Hydrogeology) completed four years with environmental division of URS in Houston office, Texas in just three weeks after graduation. This is the largest global engineering design firm and a leading U.S. federal government contractor providing a comprehensive range of professional planning, design, systems engineering, technical assistance, management, operations, and maintenance services,. She had expertise working in Mines and Geosciences Bureau in Philippines, and she is looking forward to new challenges of her career.

Dave Goss, MS 2004 (Hydrogeology) published an original technique on evaluation of permeability of modern dunes without water injections in AAPG Bulletin in 2007 (v. 91, no 5, 1-8) and co-authored anoter article on well hydraulic in 2010. Currently, Dave is Professor of Physics in Wesleyan University, Lincoln, Nebraska.

Evgueni Tcherpanov, MS 2003 (Hydrogeology) completed his PhD in carbonate sedimentology in Rice University in 2007. As a lead author in eight-member team, he published an article "Neogene Evolution of the Mixed Carbonate-Siliciclastic System in the Gulf of Papua, Papua New Guinea",  Journal of Geophysical Research-Earth Surface in 2007. Currently, he is an employee of oil company Shell.

Wanli Wu, Ph.D. 2003, continues working in Canada as a landscape ecologist with Parks Canada, based out of the Western and Northern Service Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba. His dissertation on the Platte River landscapes dealing with hydrological connectivity and physicochemical heterogeneity provided important bridge between the earth sciences and ecology. Currently, he works mainly in several Canadian arctic and sub-arctic national parks on conservation and eco-hydrology of wetland and large river ecosystems, most recently, in the Athabasca River Delta region, in Wood Buffalo National Park of Canada.

Brian Zurbuchen, PhD 2000 (Hydrogeology) continues as a Remedial Project Manager for Superfund Site cleanups of EPA Region 7. This region among other 13 USA EPA regions is administered from Kansas City, Kansas. Recently, he became a member of EPA's Ground Water Forum, which is a group of ground-water scientists that was organized to exchange up-to-date information related to groundwater remediation issues at Superfund and RCRA sites. He still maintains connection to Nebraska: one of his superfund sites is located near Hastings, Nebraska. Finally, Brian implemented his idea of using the dipole-flow-test in characterizing highly contaminated sites. It seems that the idea got traction and he will test it in the Center for Geophysical Investigation of Shallow Subsurface, Boise State University, Montana.

Vikas Tandon, Ph.D. 2000 (Hydrogeology) relocated to Rochester, NY from Pittsburg, PA in 2008. He is Senior Hydrogeologist and Project Manager at Shaw Environmental, Inc. He worked as a staff hydrogeologist at Fluor Daniel GTI and DHEC in South Carolina. Among his projects are objects of Nuclear Regulatory Commission that need knowledge of contaminant hydrogeology and engineering geology.

Ron Ramold, MS 1996 (Geology) continues working with Matrix Design Group in Denver, Colorado, Ron worked in the environmental consulting industry as a ground water geologist and GIS specialist. From 1997 through 2000, Ron headed the innovative technologies group in Ecology & Environment Superfund Technical Assessment and Response Team (START) program for EPA Region 7 in Kansas City (direct push technology, a mobile laboratory, and rotosonic drilling). Later Ron participated in a variety of environmental investigations (abandoned oil facilities in Louisiana, preliminary investigations in Illinois, and emergency response investigations of the anthrax attacks in Washington, D.C). In the spring of 2002, Ron transferred to Ecology & Environment international division and moved to Saudi Arabia. While there, he provided GIS support for the Saudi Arabian Presidency of Meteorology and Environment to monitor and assess damage to the country environment after the 1991 Gulf War. Ron helped develop the methodology and the ArcPad application for the survey of the Persian Gulf to evaluate coastal impacts from the Gulf War oil spill and created several geo-databases for submission to the UN Compensation Commission in Geneva, Switzerland.

Doug Haney, MS Candidate 1996 (Hydrogeology) is Senior Hydrogeologist for MKEC Engineering Consultants, Inc. working on groundwater supply projects throughout the Midwest. After leaving UNL, he has been working as a hydrogeologist / engineer with consulting firms in Kansas and California. He has obtained both his professional geologist and professional engineer (petroleum) licenses and specializes in riverbank filtration wells systems. He currently serves on the NGWA task groups developing the siting, testing, and sampling sections of the ANSI Water Well Standard. Noted projects include: City of Omaha, NE West Platte well field; City of Olathe, KS collector well siting studies; and the City of Wichita, KS aquifer storage and recovery project.

Virginia McGuire, MS 1994 (Geology) continues working in USGS in Lincoln office after her graduation. Her prominent work, the water table map of the High Plains Aquifer is widely circulated in the US and abroad as one of the most highly visible pieces of evidence of anthropogenic influence on limited groundwater resources.

Greg Steele, MS 1992 (Geology, advisor D. Pederson) continues working in USGS in Lincoln office. In addition to his interests in physical hydrogeology, Greg recently carried out several studies including helicopter-borne geophysical surveys, helium-tritium age dating of young ground water, and other cutting-edge field experiments in Nebraska.