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Western Region Coastal and Marine Team Celebrates Careers of Five Retirees


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Retirees Diana Collins, Keith Kvenvolden, Steve Eittreim, John Dingler, and Monty Hampton at the party in their honor.
Retirees (from left to right) Diana Collins, Keith Kvenvolden, Steve Eittreim, John Dingler, and Monty Hampton at the party in their honor.
Folk remedies for seasickness, surveying in the surf zone, rough seas from pole to pole, and other fond memories seasoned the celebration for recent Western Region Coastal and Marine Geology (CMG) retirees Keith Kvenvolden, Steve Eittreim, Diana Collins, John Dingler, and Monty Hampton. More than 80 guests gathered to honor the retirees at an event organized by Anne Gartner and Terry Bruns at Zibibbo restaurant in Palo Alto, CA, on January 23, 2003.

Keith Kvenvolden, with the USGS since 1975, has earned international honors and recognition for his investigations of organic geochemistry in settings ranging from seafloor-spreading zones to continental shelves to beaches to meteorites. Keith and his research "dream team" have advanced the knowledge of gas hydrates, identified sources of controversial oil spills, and made the acquaintance of tarballs worldwide. Bob Rosenbauer reported that the award Keith treasures most is the "do-it-yourself" gas kit (a can of beans and a can of motor oil) given to him by his peers in what was then the Branch of Pacific Marine Geology. Fran Hostettler described Keith's dogged pursuit of tarballs right through the middle of a nude beach.

Steve Eittreim has investigated continental-margin structure and sedimentation with the USGS since 1975, from the Chukchi Sea in the Arctic to the Wilkes Land margin in Antarctica. In the past 10 years, he has turned his attention to the nearby Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. Steve and his collaborators have garnered honors and appreciation from marine and coastal research organizations throughout the Monterey Bay region for investigating and reporting on the geology and oceanographic processes of the sanctuary. Past CMG member Gary Greene conceded that Steve did bring a new sedimentologic perspective into the neighborhood. Keith Kvenvolden admired Steve's ability to master skills to get his own products out, learning new techniques that range from computer illustration to seismic processing and working with geographic information systems (GIS). Peter Barnes recalled an early sail in which he and Steve found more excitement than they had anticipated as they learned about San Francisco Bay tidal currents and winter storm waves from a sloop. Now a seasoned West Coast sailor, Steve looks forward to enjoying long sails on San Francisco Bay.

Diana Collins joined the USGS in 1984 and came to work with the CMG seismic-processing group a couple of years later. Jon Childs recalled that field and meeting travel was a tremendous load throughout the mid-1990s: "In the days before the advent of Web-based Omega Travel, and also after, Diana did a wonderful job of making sure that we were all well served, both before and after trips." Diana not only helped other team members get to the field, she went there herself in 1991, assisting on a San Francisco Bay cruise to collect seismic reflection and refraction data on faults underlying the region. Dan Mosier credits Diana for enhancing the work environment by constantly replenishing the supply of treats that the data group makes available to the team.

John Dingler has become intimately familiar with the Pacific, Atlantic, and Gulf of Mexico coasts as he has examined sedimentary processes in a wide range of environments. A graduate of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, John brought a new element to the USGS diving program. Working with Roberto Anima, Ed Clifton, and other researchers, he used scuba as an important tool to investigate submarine canyons and nearshore processes. John was equally at home in the water without his scuba gear: Monty Hampton remembered his amazement the first time he and John surveyed a beach profile and he saw John just about submerged amidst crashing waves as he fearlessly positioned a stadia rod at the seaward end of the survey line. John came to work for the USGS in 1974. He and his wife have relocated to Oregon, where she is building up a landscape business and John is refurbishing their house and scouting out surfing beaches.

Monty Hampton started working with CMG in 1975, in the Gulf Alaska, and pursued his interest in sediment deposition and landslides in Antarctica, in the Pacific Exclusive Economic Zone, on the Palos Verdes margin in Southern California, in Hawaii, and on the central California coast. Monty's reputation as a "straight-shooter" preceded Homa Lee's first meeting with him; after getting to know Monty, Homa decided that Monty was the "type section" of that trait. The career-long respect for Monty's opinion and perceptions "rewarded" him with many committee assignments, including a shirt-and-tie term as branch chief. Rob Kayen, as Monty's running companion over hundreds of miles in the Palo Alto hills, remembers Monty conscientiously grappling with intractable scientific and administrative problems. Mike Field cited a memorable cruise on which Monty tried ginger as a natural seasickness remedy, with mixed success. Monty looks forward to dividing his retirement time between the West and the East Coast.

Each honoree received a framed photograph of the research vessel Samuel P. Lee or the research vessel Sea Sounder, an engraved plaque with a USGS benchmark, a gift certificate, and an album of memorabilia. Although each of the retirees has plans to be emeritus or volunteer, their full-time contributions to the Coastal and Marine Geology Program will be missed.


Related Web Sites
Western Region Coastal & Marine Geology
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Menlo Park, CA

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Research cover story:
Competitive Edge of Invasive Species

Lake Mead Work Continues

Outreach Dolphin Rescue

London Interns Tour St. Pete

Congressional Briefing on Gas Hydrates

Volcanic Ash and Aviation Safety

Science Mentoring

Meetings Coastal Vulnerability

Lidar Data and Technology

International Deep-Sea Corals Workshop

Northeastern Coastal Ecosystems and Resources Workshop

Awards Shinn Wins 2002 Shoemaker Distinguished Achievement Award

Coastal and Marine Scientists Win 2002 Shoemaker Product Excellence Awards

Behrendt and Poag Elected AAAS Fellows

Normark Awarded Keen Medal

Staff & Center News A Tribute to Joe Newell

Marine Geophysics Pioneer Honored

Celebrating Careers of Five Retirees

Manheim Lectures on Trends in Scientific and Technological Innovation

Publications San Francisco Bay Earthquake Hazards

Effectivenes of Marine Reserves in Central California

Human Influence on Diatom Productivity and Sedimentation in Chesapeake Bay

Feb. / Mar. Publications List


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