Tom Lapen (BS Geology, 1995)
Assistant Professor at the University of Houston, Texas
A little about me -- I grew up in Ellensburg and stayed for my undergraduate degree. At that time, there were only a handful of fellow geology students and maybe one graduate student who went by the name of Reverend Ron. I have to say I learned a lot, although it may not have come across that way to my professors at the time! We had fun. I went on to Western Washington University for an MS degree in geology. Got to hike and map in remote areas of the southern Coast Mountains of British Columbia. After graduating, I worked for the WA State DNR as a full/part-time geologist making geologic maps and then went on to get a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (the other UW). Looking back, life was so simple!
Being a professor and having students is more work than I ever imagined, but it's all worth it. It also makes me realize how much of a pain in the neck I was to my advisors, especially Bob Bentley.
I am married with a daughter and son. My parents still live in Ellensburg, and when I'm home, I always look forward to visiting the department and seeing how much it has changed over the years.Information last updated on Jan 14, 2008