Aumni and Friends

GeoEnvironmental Field/Research Fund Campaign 2015

Greetings to Norwich Alumni and Friends: B.S. & B.A.Earth Science (’76-’90)
B.S. Geology (‘91-’12), and B.S Environmental Science (’95-’12)

To make a gift online visit and specify the GeoEnvironmental Fund in the designation,
Send a check made out to Norwich University to: Advancement & Gift Services
158 Harmon Drive Northfield, VT 05663
For more information or to make a pledge contact Hilary Davis ’09 at 802-485-2674 or


“We have been incredibly lucky to have found work that we love, with students who thrived in our style of teaching and learning. As I’m sure you remember, curiosity has always driven us, and heading to the field inside or outside of class time has marked our programs. Our goal remains to take the students to the geology as much as to bring the geology to them. Your support though the years has been invaluable, and for that, we thank you.”

Fred Larsen (‘57 – ’00)
Dave Westerman (’82 – )
Rick Dunn (‘00 – )

The Mission

Feeder dike complex in West Texas 2011

Each academic year we offer our Geology and Environmental Science students the chance to add to their classroom education with opportunities such as: participation our annual “Spring Break in the West” trip, the New England Intercollegiate Geological Conference, and research in Greece, Italy and various North American Localities. In the past, we have been very fortunate to receive financial support from our alumni and friends that made this possible for our students, and now we’re working hard to fund an endowment that will ensure these opportunities are here for our students as long as Norwich is alive.

The Reasons

NE GSA Buffalo 2009, Collins and Miller with Dunn behind

We pride ourselves on the strong field and research orientation of our programs, and our curriculum is designed to ensure continuation of that focus. Our operating budget funds all the activities built into the curriculum as part of that effort, but the operating budget cannot support our voluntary extracurricular events. In order to participate in such field trips or conferences, students and faculty pays a substantial share of their own travel costs. It has been the gifts from our alumni that make participating in these activities possible for our students. Financial support outside of our operating budget allows our students to experience the greatest learning environment possible, and we want to ensure that never changes.

The Target

VGS Trip 2009 – Woodbury Quarry

For the past 10 years or so, we have spent about $6,000 of gift money annually to subsidize student adventures and their extracurricular research efforts outside the classroom. This is on top of the $10-30K that they get in grants from other sources. We’re in growth now, with 13-14 students in both the freshmen and sophomore classes, and In order to ensure our students continue to participate in these fantastic opportunities we need to raise between $100,000 and $200,000.  This fund would be endowed with the University and would provide the margin of excellence dollars our students deserve.

Message: the 1st Environmental Science graduate
I can recall the day when Professors Westerman and Larsen said “Paul, you won’t be an expert at this one subject (most of them, with my strong C+ grades) but you will do well at most everything you do.” This life lesson is what has helped me through many difficult times in my life. This program is not just about the Environment, Geology and Science, it is about Life. To be a diversified person, well-rounded, is the key to life. To be able to know enough upon hearing about liquefaction and its effects on the mastodons in Snowmass, CO to recalling what the Pleistocene period represented. Life is about putting all the pieces together and I believe our program gives Norwich students the tools to do just that. It is with great honor that I am able to be a part of this living legacy.

Paul S. Magness, CFP® (‘95)
VP Global Wealth Management 
Morgan Stanley Smith Barney

Message: the “Tunnel Man”
As a Certified Professional Geologist, I have practiced my field skills developed at Norwich University on a daily basis for nearly 25 years, on both small and large scale projects. As Lead Geologist on two very high profile Tunnel projects, the $450 million Combined Overflow Sewer (CSO) Tunnel project in Providence, RI (2003-06) and the 2nd is the $2.1 Billion, 7 Line Subway Extensions in New York, NY (2008-10), my bedrock mapping was the base for review of geophysical exploration techniques. While being in charge of field training of other engineering geologists and geotechnical engineers from other countries, I frequently referred back to my Norwich field training days.


Balukonis during the birth of a subway stop NYC

People always ask if I would you have rather attended a non-military school for my education? I tell them no – I had the best training and certainly the best education at Norwich University – it was second to none with a nearly 1:1 student to professor ratio my senior year. My professors believed in me with one even saying, “Balukonis, you will tell people the glaciers came from Florida and they will believe you.” That Professor was Dr. Fred Larsen. Thank you Fred!!


I believe in the Norwich way of creating leaders whether it be military or civilians. The field training is vital to success both as an individual or team. Essayons!!!!

Brian Balukonis NU ‘87
Engineering Geologist, GZA GeoEnvironmental Inc

Alumni Messages
NEIGC was a great experience, being in the presence of a bunch of people where you could ask any questions, could clarify anything – also spending an entire day, rather than a few hours for lab, made it possible to see more material and learn more

Tyler Hermanson (‘14)

As a Wellsite Geologist for an international consultancy company I need an interdisciplinary understanding of Geology.  My education at Norwich University was excellent, however it was enhanced by attending spring break field camps observing strata and landscapes of origins outside New England’s realm.

Daniel E. Guillette (’06)
Wellsite Geologist, RPS Energy

With my current position being 100% travel across the country, my time spent in Greece not only gave me a taste for working far from home for an extended period of time, but it also gave me first hand experience in being an integral part of a project/team, where my data and presence was pertinent to a final outcome, in a timely and professional manner.

Anyone can read a textbook and look pictures… Taking the time out to travel West with my Professors and peers really made the classroom come alive. Not only could I better identify the things I was being taught, I gained a much greater appreciation and understanding for processes not ‘in my backyard.’

Spheroidally weathered granite in Joshua Tree Park, CA

There are so many things I could add, i.e. camaraderie amongst the peers I traveled with (with whom I’m still in touch with today), a more personal connection made with you and RKD (making it easier to talk to you guys), the confidence I gained saying, “I did it, I hiked the Grand Canyon…” Not mention survival/camping skills learned- you guys sucked the Jersey right out of me. Finally…just good old-fashioned memories, that make me look back and smile EVERY time! It sounds foolish, but those trips impacted me more than I think you guys know!! I’ll always be grateful for the opportunities…

Anastasia ‘Stac’ Craver (’08)
Field Geochemist

Southern California 2008 – I was not going to attend because the cost was more than my bank account held by a wide margin.  I was going to go home for spring break and work at a pizza parlor for $7.25.  Instead you were able to fully subsidize the costs which allowed me to attend.  I can still recall the horrendous stink of the Salton Sea as our group graced the Rock Island obsidian and I couldn’t cherish the memory more.  The entire trip was one of beauty and great, laid back learning.

Clark Filip (‘08)
Research Support Scientist I – University of Idaho

NU Geology field trips opened my eyes to another world of study, culture, and history. Some of my fondest memories of college include the two trips I participated in: Greece in the Summer of 2004 and The Grand Canyon in the Spring of 2005. The hands on learning and experience, one on one with the professors, created an invaluable learning environment.

Meegan (Kelley) Henson (‘08, US Army)
Chief of Logistics, Schofield Barracks Health Clinic

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