Rex Flake (BS Geology and Math, 2000; MS Geology, 2003)

Geodetic Field Engineer in Ellensburg, Washington

I work at a geophysics laboratory in the little town of Ellensburg at CWU's pride-and-joy, PANGA (Pacific Northwest Geodetic Array). I was so impressed by the department here I just never left! After finishing my undergrad work in geology and mathematics we (my wife Heidi, and kids Reiley and Anlyn) moved up the creek, Icicle Creek that is, where I managed a whitewater raft company for a couple years. Not one to stay away for too long, I returned to finish my MS thesis about some really cool waveform stuff and took up employ teaching random geology courses.

Back in 2004 I was hired to build a network of tiltmeters to augment the vertical component of GPS timeseries pouring in at the PANGA lab. To date, I have three systems up and running. Each tiltmeter is around 3,000ft long and can measure vertical tilts to a nanoradian (roughly 60 billionths of a degree). I have had the opportunity to run a seismic array and measure absolute gravity to one microgal (one billionth of the mean gravity on the surface of the earth). Not only do I get to play with high tech equipment, but I also get to be somewhat of a geologist where I routinely get muddy and suffer inhumane weather outdoors - something like Bishop or Mitchell on certain days.

Some fond memories: Frisbee golf in Bishop, CA with folded rocks that still make my head hurt, and then the natural progression to rock-hammer golf in Mitchell, OR. Dr. Hinthorne pressing his fingertips together and looking off-n-up to the side while attempting to educate the lesser mortals. Dr. Lundblad running back and forth, and of course Nick Zentner just being so darn happy all the while Dr. Bentley, grumpy as ever. Good times. CWU has been good to me. Some classmates I miss, others not so much. Time, what a funny thing, I suppose that's what geology is really all about...

Information last updated on Nov 6, 2008