Former Alumni Council Members

Where are they now?

Check out these updates from a few of our former Alumni Council members, as of late 2017:

Spencer Crowley T’96

Last December I was recognized as an Outstanding Young Leader for the 2017 Alvah H. Chapman Jr, Award of Excellence. The award was created to recognize the achievements of an individual, organization and young leader who have made significant contributions and set standards for the development of the Miami central business district’s core economy, its culture, promotion, education, beautification and preservation.

In addition to my private practice, I serve as a gubernatorial appointee to the Florida Inland Navigation District. As Miami-Dade County FIND Commissioner, I secured over $37 million in State funding for major public projects and initiatives such as the waterfront improvements at Museum Park, acquisition of land along the Little River to establish Manatee Bend Park, redevelopment of the Miami Marine Stadium, dredging and environmental restoration of Wagner Creek/Seybold Canal, and dredging of the Miami River. In addition to this funding assistance, I lead efforts to improve the Miami Circle site as an urban waterfront park and advocate to establish a connected baywalk and riverwalk in downtown Miami.


Dr. Christopher Galik MEM’02

In 2016, I accepted an Associate Professor position in the Department of Public Administration at NC State University as part of the Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence Program in Sustainable Energy Systems and Policy. That’s a lot of words to say that I’m continuing my work in energy and environmental policy, just down the road a bit further and with a heavier emphasis on teaching.


Peter Griffith T’78

I lead NASA’s Carbon Cycle & Ecosystems Office and am having a metric ton of fun managing one of NASA’s largest field campaigns, the Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment . I spent most of May through September 2017 directing a fleet of remote-sensing aircraft criss-crossing Alaska, Yukon, and the Northwest Territories. In my very few days off I went camping on the North Slope of Alaska and in Denali National Park. It was pretty much the most fun since my days of field work in grad school 30 years ago.

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Woolly Mammoth bone recently thawed from permafrost near Fairbanks, AK.​

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A lovely June day on the tundra near Anaktuvuk River, North Slope, AK

I was asked to serve on the Nicholas School Alumni Council in 1997 representing the Marine Laboratory “undergraduate experience". I finished service on the Nicholas School Board of Visitors as past-president in 2008. After that I was appointed an at-large member of the Board of Directors of the “Big Duke” Alumni Association (2009-2013). It was a great experience that I’d recommend to any alum.


Rob Jacobs T'84

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"Currently I am CEO of Cereris Resource Development, a private equity-backed oil and gas company located in Fort Worth, TX. Our business is basically to acquire existing oil and gas assets and make them more efficient and profitable. We currently focus on onshore properties in Texas, and have experience drilling and operating wells in most onshore basins in the U.S.

My Duke connection has been maintained through my relationship with several NSOE faculty members (some of whom were my professors from way back), along with periodic interactions with current NSOE graduate students whose research areas intersect with my experience. Additionally, one of my children is currently a senior at Duke.

Here is a picture of my family investigating the volcanoes and glaciers of Iceland."


Dan Kolomeets-Darovsky MEM’10

I'd like to share some interesting news that my organization has to share that's happened since I stepped down from the AC. In the fall, we announced a partnership directly with the President and nation of Palau to help them achieve a 45% renewable energy goal by 2025 by deploying our technology and company support to help deploy DERs (distributed energy resources, like solar, energy storage, etc). We'll be conducting a national RFP for solutions providers in 2018 to kickstart the first round of project development and deployment. Our CEO also presented on this topic at COP23 in Bonn this past November.


Eric McDuffie DEL-MEM’14

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"I continue to honor my mother’s and grandparents’ wishes to complete my education in order to better serve children and the natural world. I am currently a PhD student in the Environmental Studies Department at Antioch University New England after working for over a decade teaching middle and high school environmental science to over 2,500 students. I received several Environmental Educator of the Year honors from the state of North Carolina while becoming state certified as an Environmental Educator. My passion for fly fishing extends back 47 years and I plan on building contemporary eco-contemplative fly fishing ethic and academy for children and their parents to begin creating their own fishing stories while bonding with the natural world. I hope that my dissertation will help to fulfill this mission for combining eco-contemplative fly fishing experiences through storytelling and honoring its fisheries through environmental education, while also honoring my grandfather, who taught me the sacred art of fly fishing beginning on my third birthday."


Brian Payne MF'62

Senior slow pitch softball, church leadership, and organizing overseas travel and study tours have kept me busy since I retired from the US Forest Service in 2000.  My single year at Duke opened doors throughout a career I could not have predicted.  This included research as a forest economist in reforestation and timber production in Oregon and urban forestry in New England.  In Tuskegee, Alabama, I helped start the first pre-forestry program in a historically black college or university.  The Forest Service loaned me to UNESCO in Paris for three years with the Man and Biosphere Program.  After a decade in their international office in Washington, DC, the Forest Service loaned me again for three years to the International Union of Forestry Research Organizations (IUFRO) in Vienna, where I managed their assistance program for developing countries.  Along the way, I was elected a Fellow of the Society of American Foresters and served on the SAF Council.  Then came a term on the Alumni Council, to which I returned for a second time after I retired.


Jack D. Rogers MF’60

I have been retired from Washington State University since 2013; I was on the faculty as a plant pathologist-mycologist for exactly 50 years. I continue to work as curator of the plant pathology herbarium and as a member of the WSU Press board. I have received numerous honors, including Eminent Professor and Regents Professor. I am now Regents Professor Emeritus. My experience at Duke where I earned the MF was wonderful. I remain highly supportive of Duke. Go Blue Devils!


Dr. Lori Sutter MEM’92

After working in the NC coastal program, I was recruited by what was then the NOAA Coastal Services Center in Charleston, SC. After years of projects in hazard assessment/response and coastal conservation/restoration planning, I eventually returned to school to complete my doctorate. I'm interested in bridging community and ecosystem levels of ecology, particularly in tidal freshwater marshes under the lens of sea-level rise. After completing my PhD (Virginia Institute of Marine Science), I completed a teaching-oriented post-doc (Villanova) and am currently a Research Scientist (University of Georgia) continuing my work in coastal wetlands and chasing nutrients around some Piedmont watersheds.


Dr. Robert Young PhD’95

I am the Director of the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines (PSDS) at Western Carolina University (WCU). The PSDS which was founded at Duke by James B. Duke Professor Orrin H. Pilkey, has been at WCU for ten years. Joint programs with Duke remain strong through a variety of collaborative efforts and the regular hosting of Stanback Interns at WCU. Currently, I am overseeing a major National Park Service funded effort to assess the vulnerability of every built asset in all coastal parks in the USA— this includes everything from the Statue of Liberty to an outhouse in Sitka, Alaska.


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