College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Alumni Profiles

Susan Meerdink

Susan Meerdink

After finishing her Ph.D. at the University of California Santa Barbara in December 2018, Susan moved across the country to start a postdoctoral research position at the University of Florida in the College of Engineering. June 2020 saw another move, but this time to Iowa City and as a faculty member. Susan will be starting as an assistant professor at the University of Iowa in the Department of Geographical and Sustainability Sciences.

 

 

 

 

Jennifer Sink Trent


Jennifer Sink Trent

Jennifer is a waste reduction specialist at the Iowa Waste Reduction Center at the University of Northern Iowa. Jennifer serves the state of Iowa by working with craft breweries to help implement sustainable practices that address water quality and consumption, energy efficiency, solid waste management and environmental compliance. Additionally, Jennifer works with K-12 schools across Iowa to effectively reduce food waste headed to the landfill through prevention strategies, donation, composting and anaerobic digestion. She is serving her second term as an elected official for the Black Hawk Soil and Water Conservation District and is also on the Board of Directors for the United States Composting Council.

 

Jonathon Launspach
Jonathan Launspach

Jonathan has been a GIS contractor to the United States Environmental Protection Agency for the past seven years. He is currently a manager and GIS specialist focusing on aquatic work in the Midwest and Great Lakes. He recently moved from Duluth, Minnesota to West Des Moines, Iowa and works remotely out of his home office.

 

 


 

Katie Klus

 

Katie Klus

Katie graduated in 2011 from UNI with a degree in Environmental Geography and Geographic Information Systems. Currently, she works as a naturalist III for Black Hawk County Conservation at Hartman Reserve Nature Center in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Her main focus is educating adults and kids about our natural world – everything from teaching how to make maple syrup to plant identification. She also does cartography, graphic design and exhibit design work for the Conservation department.

 


 

Joseph Capesius
Joseph Capesius

Joseph graduated from the UNI geography department in May 1992 and took a summer job working for the USGS in Indiana prior to attending graduate school in geography at the University of Denver. He has continued working for the USGS all the way to the present, working in Arizona (1996-1999) and Colorado (1992-1996; 1999-2008). In 2008, a promotion took Joseph to Austin, TX to supervise the fine folks who operate the USGS gaging station program. He also has a healthy side-job of being a chief warrant officer 3 in the US Army Reserve. It was his ability to read a map during land navigation 33 years ago that made Joseph realize geography was his calling. He still gets excited to see data depicted in maps.