Oregon State University

College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences

Board of Advisors

meeting room

Mission Statement

The mission of the Board of Advisors (Board or BOA) is to use the expertise and resources of its members to benefit the students, staff, and faculty of the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science (CEOAS). The areas of contribution of the BOA will include at least the following and may be expanded, based on the needs of the Dean, faculty and the students:

Current Members

Gus Gustafson photo Gary "Gus" Gustafson, Chair

Senior Policy Advisor, Environmental and Regulatory Affairs

Oregon State University, M.A. 1974, Resource Geography, B.S. 1972, Geography


Gary "Gus" Gustafson is a self-employed Senior Regulatory and Environmental Advisor. He has worked in a variety of major management positions in Oregon and Alaska in both state government and the private sector. At present, he advises select clients on their compliance with federal and state regulatory and environmental laws and regulations, especially the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Clean Water Act (CWA). He has had extensive experience working with staff at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on a variety of major oil and gas projects requiring an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

Gus previously served as the Director of the Oregon Department of State Lands, managing an agency with over 80 employees. He also served as Director of the Alaska Division of Land and Water Management, where he managed over 200 employees and over 90 million acres of state land. Gus was elected to be President of the Western States Land Commissioners Association and was also elected Mayor of the community of Turner, Oregon. Gus also worked as Lead Negotiator for British Petroleum in Anchorage, Alaska. In addition, he served as the Environmental, Regulatory and Land Manager for the Denali Pipeline, a proposal to transport natural gas from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to the Lower 48 states. Earlier in his career, he worked as a Field Representative for the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development and as an Associate Planner for Marion County, Oregon.

Gus now lives in Camp Sherman, Oregon where he enjoys hiking, road biking, fishing and traveling.

Sharon Kelly photo Sharon Kelly, Vice Chair

Transportation Planning Program Manager, HDR Engineering, Inc.

Oregon State University, B.S. 1979, Geography


Sharon Kelly has over 30 years of experience in Land Use, Transportation and Environmental planning. She is currently working as the consultant team Project Manager on a Light Rail Project in Seattle. Under contract to Sound Transit she is working on the Federal Way Link Extension. It will extend the Seattle area light rail system 7.6 miles south to the City of Federal Way and add 3 new light rail stations.

Sharon received her BS in Geography from Oregon State University in 1979. She then worked on preparing several local jurisdiction comprehensive land use plans and development codes for cities and counties in Oregon. In 1984 she spent a year traveling around the world, and upon returning spent about 8 years working for TriMet on planning for Portland area Light Rail Transit Projects and another 15 years at Portland Metro. At both TriMet and Metro Sharon did Transit Corridor Planning and led the land use and environmental planning for many of the Portland Region's light rail lines.

In 2005 Sharon moved into consulting, and has worked for 2 large consulting firms. She is currently a Senior Project Manager for HDR Engineering, a consulting firm that provides a broad range of engineering, environmental, transportation and architecture services to clients around the world. HDR has about 10,000 employees with the large majority in the United States. HDR is headquartered in Omaha NE, with 5 offices in Oregon and 8 in Washington.

Sharon lives in Northwest Portland and commutes regularly to Seattle for work. She has 2 adult children, and in her spare time she enjoys gardening and outdoor activities, working on her 1908 craftsman house and doing community service activities.

Brittain E. Hill photo Brittain E. Hill, Secretary

Retired Senior Advisor, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Oregon State University, Ph.D. 1991, M.S. 1984, Geology


Britt recently retired from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission as their Senior Advisor for Repository Science. For 12 years, he helped the NRC make risk-informed technical, regulatory, and policy decisions on geoscience safety issues at all U.S. nuclear facilities, including the proposed Yucca Mountain waste repository. He also collaborated with the International Atomic Energy Agency to develop and apply guidance for volcanic hazard assessments around the world. Prior to joining the NRC, he was a Principal Scientist at the Southwest Research Institute, where for 13 years he directed scientific research and detailed risk assessments for engineered facilities. He also has worked extensively in the geothermal industry for six years, including a stint with the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, and was a consultant for various natural resource companies while working on his degrees.

His career has focused on applying scientific research to solve real-world hazard and risk problems, and on developing fundamental insights of how hazardous phenomena work. In addition to having extensive experience in technical, public, and policy communication, he has conducted many field investigations at quiet and grumpy volcanoes around the world. His career path reflects five major changes in direction, and he understands the challenges of discovering opportunity when unanticipated changes occur.

Celene Blair photo Celene Blair

Professional Environmental Scientist and Field Geologist

University of Colorado Boulder, M.S. 2013, Geology, Oregon State University, B.S. 2011, Geology


Celene Blair is a professional environment scientist and field geologist. She has worked as a consulting geologist in the Puget Sound on challenging and diverse environmental projects, developing and executing remediation solutions that meet the goals and objectives of both clients and regulatory agencies.

Her professional work experience includes preparation of project specific technical proposals, work plans, and reports; and as a lead field geologist training and managing junior staff on environmental investigation projects. She has led and assisted in environmental sampling, well installation, bioremediation groundwater injections, aquatic sediment assessments, and reconnaissance activities to support the design and implementation of feasibility studies and remedial actions at a number of contaminated sites with complex hydrogeologic conditions.

In 2011, she received an honors BS in Geology from Oregon State University. For her honors thesis, Celene developed and conducted experiments studying the chemical resazurin and its application as a “smart” tracer under the mentorship of Professor Roy Haggerty. Celene completed her MS in Geology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, graduating in 2013. For her Masters thesis she studied how climate and environmental conditions changed across the Holocene using physical and biological markers in Icelandic lake sediment cores.

Celene is an avid rock climber, backcountry skier and outdoor adventurer. Following completion of her MS she spent a year traveling and climbing across the western US and most recently spent eight months big wall climbing and backpacking in South America.

Burlie Brunson photo Burlie Brunson

Executive Consultant at Defense Contracting Consulting Group (DCG), LLC

Oregon State University, Ph.D. 1983, M.S. 1972, Physical Oceanography


Dr. Brunson currently serves as an Executive Consultant with Defense Contracting Consulting Group (DCG, LLC). He was a founding member, and served as its President and Chief Operating Officer. DCG offers innovative business development strategy, capture strategy, and business development process analysis support to companies who strive to improve their new business capture success rates. This is accomplished by engaging proven senior business development and strategy executives with unparalleled success records while leading business development organizations at the most successful corporations in the aerospace and defense marketplace. Recent engagements have led to substantially improved business capture success rates for a number of federal government contractors.

Prior to forming DCG, Dr. Brunson served as Senior Vice President and Chief Strategist reporting to the President and CEO at Logistic Specialties, Inc. (LSI) where his primary executive responsibilities included developing the long range strategic plan to increase LSI revenues by an order of magnitude. His external consulting activities supported the business development consulting line of business by providing clients with creative solutions in the areas of business development strategy, process, training, capture, and proposal development. Specific engagements involved applying his unparalleled experience and leadership skills to formulate creative solutions in the areas of campaign, capture and proposal strategy and to guide multidisciplinary teams in integrated business development process assessment, development, documentation, training, and implementation for major federal contractors.

Prior to joining LSI, Dr. Brunson served as a senior executive with Lockheed Martin Corporation, joining Lockheed in 1991 as Vice President, Anti-Submarine Warfare at Lockheed Sanders. From 1992 to 1994, he served as Director, Undersea Warfare Systems for Lockheed Corporation, returning to Lockheed Sanders as Vice President, Washington and Field Operations from 1994 to 1995. Following the merger of Lockheed and Martin Marietta in 1995, Dr. Brunson was appointed Vice President and Deputy, Washington Operations for the Electronics Sector, a major operating unit of the Lockheed Martin Corporation. In July 1999, Dr. Brunson was appointed Vice President, Programs, Plans, and Analysis for Lockheed Martin Corporate Strategy and Business Development. His department supported the development of strategies to win corporate focus programs; identified and promulgated business development best practices; performed industry, market, and competitive analyses; conducted post-award lessons learned; and oversaw business development training and knowledge management across the corporation. His team developed the Integrated New Business Framework and the supporting Categories of Capture Excellence used to guide the capture of Corporate Focus and Priority Programs worth more than $500B dollars. In 2006 this team was awarded Lockheed Martin's highest honor for innovation and teamwork, the NOVA Award. Under his leadership as Chairman of the Global Vision Oversight Council, Lockheed Martin established a secure broadband communications network that connects dozens of company development laboratories, partner sites, and the Defense Research & Engineering Network (DREN), thus enabling virtual collaboration across this high speed Global Vision Network. His GVNet team was awarded a NOVA Award in 2005 and the project was selected for a CIO Magazine 2008 Top 100 award in the area of IT collaboration. In 2009 his team completed the development of the Preparing for Future New Business guide and compendium to assist LM companies in their pursuit of New Business Horizons included their entry into the emerging renewable energy, healthcare management, and Cybersecurity markets. These efforts resulted in a third NOVA Award.

Prior to joining Lockheed he was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Planning Systems Incorporated, a Washington-based engineering services firm. During his tenure as COO he achieved the highest revenues, funded backlog, and operating profits in company history He was recognized by Inc. Magazine as a Technology Trailblazer for leading PSI to be one of the Inc. 100 fastest growing small businesses in America.

Dr. Brunson entered private industry in 1981 after ten years as a research scientist and administrator in the U.S. Navy laboratory system. For the past forty-five years he has performed in increasingly responsible positions as a research scientist, program manager, and business executive in the fields of undersea warfare, electronic warfare, information warfare systems, and strategic management.

Dr. Brunson holds a BS degree (with distinction) in Oceanography from the United States Naval Academy, MS and PhD degrees in Physical Oceanography from Oregon State University, a MBA from George Washington University, and has completed the Creating Corporate Advantage Executive Institute at the Harvard Business School. Dr. Brunson is certified as a Green Belt in Lean-Six Sigma, as a CI Professional by the Academy of Competitive Intelligence, and as Professionally Qualified Faculty by the AACSB International. Dr. Brunson has served as Adjunct Faculty in The George Washington University School of Business (GWSB); was twice elected President of the GWU Executive MBA Alumni Association; served on the Board of Advisors to the Dean of GWSB; and served on the Advisory Board of the Office of Executive Programs for the University of Maryland School of Business. He currently serves on the Board of Advisors for the OSU College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences; the BOD for the US Naval Academy Alumni Assn., GWC; the Board of Advisors for Intufo, LLC; and is a guest lecturer at the Reformed Theological Seminary, Washington, DC.

Brian Butler photo Brian Butler

Consulting Geologist, Landau Associates

Oregon State University, B.S. 1975, Geology


Brian Butler is a principal geologist at Landau Associates, Inc., a Pacific Northwest Environmental and Geotechnical Engineering consulting firm. The firm has approximately 100 employees and is headquartered in Edmonds, Washington with offices in Seattle, Tacoma, Spokane, Olympia, and Portland, Oregon. He has over 30 years of experience providing environmental, regulatory, and geoscience consultation in the Pacific Northwest. Brian is a senior project manager, and business development lead for Ports and Energy Services. He directs projects for landfills, industries, electrical utilities, ports, and governments.

In addition to geoscience consulting, his professional experience includes service as a surface line officer (Pacific Fleet) in the United States Navy and mineral exploration geologist in the western U.S.

Brian received his B.S. in Geology from Oregon State University (1975), a Master of Marine Affairs (1982), and Master of Science in Geological Sciences (1985) from the University of Washington. He is a licensed hydrogeologist and engineering geologist in Washington, and a registered professional geologist in Oregon and Idaho.

Brian lives in Shoreline, Washington with his family. His community service includes little league baseball, parent volunteer for Green Lake Crew, fundraising for Professional meetings including NW Geological Society Symposia and Geological Society of America, volunteer geoscience presenter for university and school classes, and member of the Board of Advisors for OSU's Geoscience Department and now College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences since 2003.

Erica Fruh photo Erica Fruh

Research Fisheries Biologist, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Oregon State University, M.S. 1999, Marine Resource Management


Erica is a Research Fisheries Biologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Newport, OR, working with advanced technologies and an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). After graduating from the Marine Resource Management Master's Degree program at Oregon State University, she worked as a fisheries observer, quantifying discard in west coast commercial fisheries. This led to work with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s at-sea research program and a then a position with NOAA’s West Coast Groundfish Trawl Survey, where she served as a biologist and field party chief monitoring fish populations. Her current research involves using alternative sampling gears (e.g., the AUV) to explore fish and habitats in areas that are inaccessible to conventional survey methods.

Jenda Johnson photo Jenda Johnson

Owner, Earth Sciences Animated

Oregon State University, M.S. 1995, Geology/Petrology, B.S. 1992, Geology


Currently geologist/animator for the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology. Jenda creates simple to complex animations on all Earth-science topics; in particular those earthquake related. Contract work with USGS, NPS, UNAVCO, EarthScope, USNFS. BS from OSU; Master of Science under Anita Grunder at OSU (1995). Co-owner Volcano Video Productions.

Vincent Kimura photo Vincent Kimura

Managing Partner, Inovi Group

Oregon State University, B.S. 2001, Environmental Science


Vincent has a background living and working in Asia for over 15 years in cities such as Beijing, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Shanghai and Tokyo. His professional credentials include KPMG Consulting and then BearingPoint, the Pacific Basin Economic Council, the Institute for Triple Helix Innovation, as well as a handful of entrepreneurial start-up companies. Vincent is currently Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Inovi Group, which companies focus on strategic planning, technology commercialization and project management. His area of competencies are strategic and sustainability consulting, business development, project management, marketing and branding. Vincent has worked in the following sectors: green industry, non-profit, academia, telecom, IT consulting, state and federal government.

Born in Honolulu and raised in between Hawaii and Asia, he earned his B.S. in Environmental Science at Oregon State University and a MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management. He has received numerous awards for his career accomplishments. Vincent currently holds director and leadership positions on a number of boards, professional, civic and non-profit organizations.

Andy Lanier photo Andy Lanier

Marine Affairs Coordinator, Oregon Coastal Management Program, Oregon Dept. of Land Conservation & Development

Oregon State University, M.S. 2006, Marine Resource Management


Andy is the Marine Affairs Coordinator with the Oregon Coastal Management Program in the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development. He is a graduate from the Marine Resource Management Master's Degree program at Oregon State University. Andy joined the OCMP after completing a 2 year NOAA Coastal Management Fellowship to create of an ocean GIS database for the state. Andy is also currently serving as a co-chair of the West Coast Ocean Data Portal, which is focused on the effective networking of both people and data along the US West Coast.

George Sharp photo George Sharp

Sharp Geological LLC, Retired Weyerhaeuser

Oregon State University, M.S. 1969, Geology, B.S. 1968, Math, B.S. 1967, Geology


George grew up in Portland and graduated from OSU with BS degrees in Geology ('67), Math ('68) and an MS in geology ('69). His thesis was mapping the Disturbed Belt within and adjacent to the Pioneer Range, SW Montana. Upon leaving OSU, he worked 8 years with Shell Oil and Tenneco Oil as an oil and gas exploration geologist and in management. Most of this time was spent in frontier exploration in the Appalachians, Michigan Basin and Rocky Mountain Region. With Tenneco, he served as Division Geologist in Denver and supervised geologic exploration in most of the Rocky Mountain Basins. In 1977 George took advantage of a chance to move back to the Pacific NW and joined Weyerhaeuser as their first Director of Mineral Resources at their Corporate Headquarters near Tacoma, Washington. In that capacity, he started up their mineral business and managed the exploration, development, leasing, sales and acquisitions of all mineral commodities on Weyerhaeuser's timberlands and mineral holdings in the US and Canada (over 7 million net mineral acres). He also managed volcanic hazards involved with timber salvage in the Mt St Helens blast zone — over 68,000 acres of Weyerhaeuser timberlands were damaged by the 1980 eruption. George built a staff of geologists, engineers, landmen and support personnel in addition to a large variety of consultants and partners. He retired from Weyerhaeuser in 2002 after 25 years. At the time of his retirement, oil and gas production had been established on Company lands in Mississippi, Alabama, Oklahoma and Louisiana as well as mineral production from over 30 mines across the US (rock, sand & gravel, silica, coal, clays, and other).

About 7 years ago George returned to the working world half-time by forming Sharp Geological LLC which advises a select number of timberland companies and other large landowners on how to manage their mineral resources. He continues to volunteer for a number of organizations including AAPG (Trustee Associate), GSA (Honorary Foundation Trustee), NW Energy Association Board, and 15 years as a docent at the Mt St Helens Forest Learning Center. He has been involved with OSU for the last 14 years by serving on the CEOAS Advisory Board. George and his wife, Danielle, spend their free time at their home in Lakewood, WA, their Zigzag cabin on Mt Hood, and traveling. He would be happy to talk with students considering careers in oil and gas, mining, mineral management or consulting.

Wiley Thompson photo Wiley Thompson

Head, Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering, West Point

Oregon State University, Ph.D. 2008, M.S. 1999, Geography


Wiley is an active duty Army officer and aviator with 27 years of military service. He holds a BS in Geography from West Point (1989) and an MS (1999) and PhD (2008), both in Geography and both from OSU. Wiley is an environmental geographer with broad experience and research interests in hazards, vulnerability, disasters risk reduction, development, environmental and human security, and climate change. He had the privilege of leading the US military aviation response to the 2005 South Asian Earthquake in Pakistan, just prior to starting his doctoral work. He is currently the Head of the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering at West Point. As a volunteer in his community, Wiley serves as the head student-athlete mentor for the NCAA Men's Hockey team at West Point and for Puppies Behind Bars, a non-profit organization that provides wounded Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans with canine service companions. His wife Tina is a nurse faculty member, son Noah is a senior at Dickinson College, and daughter Izzy is an OSU Beaver! Each of them also actively volunteer for a variety of veteran and other philanthropic causes.

Denny Tower photo Denny Tower

Tamarack Oil and Gas LLC

Oregon State University, M.S. 1971, B.S. 1969, Geology


Denny graduated from Oregon State University in 1971 with an M.S. in geology. He had earlier obtained his B.S. in geology at OSU in 1969.

Immediately upon leaving OSU, Denny went to work for the Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO), where he worked for 28 years, primarily in international oil and gas exploration and development. His work at ARCO, in positions of increasing responsibility, took him to more than 25 different countries. Seventeen years were spent living abroad with his family in diverse places including Indonesia, Chile, England, Singapore and Mozambique.

After retiring from ARCO in 1999, Denny joined First International Oil Corporation (FIOC), a privately held Houston based oil company operating exclusively in the Central Asian country of Kazakhstan. As President and Chief Executive, Denny directed all the exploration, development and production projects for the company. He also was responsible for shareholder relations and communications. FIOC was sold to one of the Chinese national oil companies late in 2004. Since then, Denny has been involved in starting two companies, Foothills Resources and Tamarack Oil and Gas.

Career highpoints are many but the following stand out:

  • The opportunity to participate in and lead geological field mapping projects into some of the worlds most remote areas including East Greenland, Ellesmere Island in the Canadian Arctic Islands, the jungles of NE Kalimantan (Borneo) in Indonesia and the offshore islands of southern Chile.
  • Direct involvement in the discovery of 35 new oil and gas fields in eleven different countries. These fields hold hydrocarbon reserves of many billions of barrels of oil and oil equivalent.
  • The opportunity to be involved in the integration of new cutting edge technologies into routine oil and gas exploration.
  • The opportunity to lead a company through difficult financial and political times and then successfully negotiate the sale of that company.
  • The chance through his work and family to meet so many wonderful and interesting people from so many different cultures worldwide.

Denny and his wife Sue (OSU 1970) now reside at Black Butte Ranch in Central Oregon where they enjoy golf, skiing, community activities and relaxing. They have two grown children.

Krystyna Wolniakowski photo Krystyna Wolniakowski

Retired Director, Western Partnership office at National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

Oregon State University, M.S. 2000, Oceanographic/marine studies


Krystyna is retired as Director of the Western Partnership Regional Office at the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.


  1. The members of the BOA are professionals who offer the Dean, faculty and students of CEOAS an outside-the-University point of view, leadership expertise, employment perspective and strategic support. The Board provides a sounding board and source of mentoring for students and faculty. The BOA contributes to efforts that sustain CEOAS as a top tier national education and research program which attracts exceptional faculty and offers compelling learning and research experiences to students. Through its activities, the Board assists with alumni communications and relationships and offers support and assistance to the faculty, staff, and the student body. Although the BOA can be engaged in all aspects of CEOAS activities, the Board reports directly to the Dean of CEOAS. Consequently, Board members serve at the discretion of the CEOAS Dean.

  2. The BOA will consist of up to fifteen (15) volunteer members appointed by the Dean of CEOAS. Members should be alumni of CEOAS or its predecessor schools at OSU, although the Dean may also appoint non-alumni members at his/her discretion. Once appointed, a member is expected to serve a four (4) year term, which term may be renewed by the Dean for additional four (4) year terms by mutual consent. Board members are expected to participate in all scheduled meetings to the extent practicable, and to devote time to pre- and post-meeting actions. BOA membership may be revoked, without prejudice, by the Dean for non-participation or other reason at his/her discretion.

    The BOA expects that the Dean will seek to ensure that the membership is reasonably balanced among alumni of the various disciplines within CEOAS. In addition, the BOA expects that the Dean will seek to ensure that the membership of the BOA is reasonably balanced by gender and ethnic representation. Membership on the BOA does not provide any financial benefit or compensation by CEOAS or OSU. Board members are not expected to provide financial contributions to OSU in addition to their participation expenses, and Board membership is not determined based on a member's potential for future donations.

  3. Every three (3) years during a regularly scheduled meeting, the membership will elect its officers. The Board will elect a Chair, Vice-Chair and Secretary who will each serve a 3 year term. Officers may be re-elected to another term by the Board. The Chair will plan and conduct the meetings of the Board and serve as the primary Board liaison with the Dean and other CEOAS faculty. In case of the absence of the Chair, the Vice-Chair will assume the duties of the Chair. In case of the absence of both the Chair and Vice-Chair, the Secretary will assume those duties. The Secretary will also be responsible for preparing the minutes of each BOA meeting, which the Chair will review, approve, and circulate, to the Dean and other Board members.

  4. A quorum of the membership is required before a vote can be performed. A majority of the membership present on the date of the meeting will represent a quorum. A vote will be considered approved if it has the support of a majority of the quorum present at a meeting. Members participating in a meeting via phone may be considered part of the quorum and may vote at the discretion of the meeting Chair. Matters placed before the BOA for vote shall follow an orderly process of a member's proposal, seconding, and voice vote. In the event of a tied vote, the Chair shall cast the deciding vote.

  5. The BOA will meet at least twice a year, in the spring and fall. Meetings will include opportunities for the BOA to listen to and interact with students and faculty. Meetings will occur at the CEOAS facility in Corvallis, Oregon unless designated elsewhere at the discretion of the Chair. Members are expected to attend BOA meetings in person unless they are approved in advance to participate via phone or other remote means by the Chair. Members do not receive reimbursement for their participation at BOA meetings, and will be expected to help defray the costs for incidental meeting expenses such as snacks, meals and beverage services.


For questions about the CEOAS Board of Advisors, please contact: Anita Bracha

(Updated 10/9/2017)