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Support Staff

John Armstrong
Microbeam Specialist
Phone: 202-478-8918

John Armstrong oversees the electron microprobe and electron microscopy laboratories at the Carnegie Institution of Washington. His research includes development of the physical correction algorithms and analytical procedures for high accuracy quantitative analysis with electron microbeam instruments and their application to the characterization of geological and planetary materials. He has developed, operated and supervised microprobe laboratories at NIST, Caltech and Procter & Gamble. He also has experience with several generations of analytical scanning electron microscopes, analytical scanning transmission electron microscopes, ion microprobes, UHV Auger electron microprobes, as well as x-ray emission spectrometers, x-ray diffraction and x-ray fluorescence equipment. A past president of the Microbeam Analysis Society and recipient of its Presidential Science Award, he regularly lectures at the advanced x-ray microanalysis summer schools at Lehigh University and holds adjunct faculty positions at American University and Pepperdine University (DC campus), where he teaches earth science and astronomy. He received his Ph.D. in geochemistry from Arizona State University in 1978 and a B.S. in chemistry from Loyola Marymount University.


Maceo Bacote
Building Engineer
Phone: 202-478-8302

Maceo Bacote began his career at the Geophysical Laboratory in 1993 to work as a DC third class licensed steam engineer, whose duties include the daily maintenance and repair of the HVAC system and mechanical equipment at the Broad Branch Road campus. He resides in Clinton, Maryland with his wife and three children.


Gary Bors
Facility Manager
Phone: 202-478-8302

Gary joined Carnegie Science in 1977 and is the Facility Manager of the Broad Brand Road campus. His duties include the daily operation and maintenance of the cast iron sectional low pressure steam boilers, centrifugal and air-cooled water chillers, and the DX AC unit.


Roxane Bowden
Phone: 202-478-8908

Roxane is the Lab Manager of Marilyn Fogel’s stable isotope facility at the Geophysical Laboratory. She is in charge of maintaining the two ThermoFisher gas source mass spectrometers and assisting students with preparing and analyzing samples. She obtained a PhD in stable isotope geochemistry from the University of Western Ontario, Canada in 2001, and a BSc in geology from the Memorial University of Newfoundland in 1991.


Emma Bullock
Microbeam Specialist
Phone: 202-478-8986

Emma Bullock joins the Geophysical Laboratory as a Microbeam Specialist. She is responsible for maintaining and operating the focused ion beam - scanning electron microscope (FIB-SEM) crossbeam system and other microbeam instruments, including training and providing assistance to new and visiting users, performing routine maintenance, sample preparation, and collaborating with staff and students. She joins us from the Smithsonian Institution and is also interested in meteorites, early solar system chronology and impact processing.


Pablo D. Esparza
Maintenance Technician
Phone: 202-489-4512

Pablo came to Carnegie from Jasco Guerrero, a small town in Mexico, where he skillfully worked on construction projects. Pablo handles all packages and mail for the campus, as well as assisting with facilities maintenance for the Geophysical Laboratory and the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism.


Dyanne Furtado
Staff Accountant

Dyanne is the Geophysical Laboratory's staff accountant. She is responsible for monitoring and tracking expenditures associated with new Federal grants, as well as providing financial reports to the scientific staff. Prior to joining Carnegie, Dyanne worked at the German defense manufacturing company, Heckler & Koch, as a staff accountant for more than 13 years. She obtained a B.S. from Gallaudet University in accounting in 1986, and has lived in Virginia since 1989.


Paul Goldey
Electronics/Microbeam Specialist
Phone: 202-478-8456

Paul has more than 20 years of experience maintaining scientific instruments and laboratories as well as supporting students, faculty and staff in their research. He has worked at several local universities in laboratories for high energy physics, thin film deposition and characterization, and nanotechnology. Previously, Paul worked at the Advanced Electronics Laboratory of Georgetown University. Earlier he spent several years at CERN in Geneva while affiliated with the University of Maryland. Paul is in charge of designing and maintaining scientific instruments, including helping John Armstrong with maintenance and assisting users of our microbeam facilities.


Shaun Hardy
Phone: 202-478-7960

Shaun Hardy manages the joint research library of the Geophysical Laboratory and DTM and oversees the departments' archives. As campus librarian he designs and implements information programs and services to support the departments' scientific, administrative, and technical staff. He holds B.S. degrees in geological sciences and physics from the University of Rochester and an MLS degree (library and information science) from the State University of New York at Buffalo.


Stephen Hodge
Instrument Maker
Phone: 202-478-8921

Stephen Hodge is an instrument maker for the machine shop at the Geophysical Laboratory. He is responsible for the manufacture/repair of diamond anvil cells, high pressure vessels and their components, laser array equipment, fixtures/devices etc., per the scientists needs. Stephen works to extreme tight tolerances in a wide variety of exotic and aerospace materials.


Michelle Hoon-Starr
DCO Science Program Assistant
Phone: 202-478-8971

Michelle Hoon-Starr joins the Geophysical Laboratory as a Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO) Program Assistant. She is working with DCO on assisting with writing/editing documents, proposals and briefs; event planning; meeting coordination, etc. She is a graduate from the College of William and Mary and is interested in geomorphology.


Morgan Phillips Hoople
CDAC and EFree Administrator/Assistant
Phone: 202-478-8966

Morgan Phillips Hoople is the Project Administrator for the Carnegie/Department of Energy Alliance Center (CDAC), the Energy Frontier Research in Extreme Environments Center (EFree), and the Assistant to Russell J. Hemley. She has been working at Carnegie since July of 2004. She received her B.A. in History from DePauw University in 2002.


Bill Key
Building Engineer
Phone: 202-478-8302

Bill Key began working at the Geophysical Laboratory in 1983 as caretaker of the old research building at BBR. His main duties included looking after the grounds, SMO and foundry on the BBR campus. In 1989, he became a licensed engineer whose responsibilities included maintenance and repair of the HVAC system and mechanical equipment. Prior to working at Carnegie, Bill served in the Air force with the 82nd Airborne division and also worked in a hardware store for five years after completing high school.


Jeff Lightfield
Phone: 202-478-8903

Jeff Lightfield is responsible for the business operations of the Geophysical Laboratory. Prior to joining GL in February 2006, Jeff worked for eight years at Carnegie's headquarters; first as a Financial Accountant and then as the Deputy Financial Manager. Earlier in his career Jeff spent several years working in public accounting and served as the Director of Finance for Citizens Development Corps (CDC). Jeff received a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and is a Certified Public Accountant.


Victor Lugo
Shop Foreman
Phone: 202-478-8922

Victor Lugo is the Geophysical Laboratory Shop Foreman. He earned his skills as an Instrument Maker at a three-year machinist program in Mexico City. Victor started working in production for a pharmaceutical facility and gained experience working for an aerospace contractor. He manages activities in the shop and supports the high pressure lab, operating and producing scientific instruments.


Andrea Mangum
Deep Carbon Observatory Program Manager
Phone: 202-478-8816

Andrea Johnson Mangum joined the the Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO) in June 2010. She manages the DCO Secretariat—bringing together an international and multidisciplinary group of researchers to address the many outstanding questions surrounding the nature of carbon in Earth's interior. She will also address issues relating to the DCO’s developing strategies for communication, education, and outreach. Andrea, who has a M.S. in geology and experience as a science writer, previously worked for over 15 years in program management with the Ocean Drilling Program and Integrated Ocean Drilling Program.


Jennifer Mays
DCO Science Program Assistant
Phone: 202-478-8818

Jennifer Mays joins the Geophysical Laboratory as a DCO Science Program Assistant. Jennifer is assisting with various documents (writing, editing, proofreading), writing; managing, and disseminating correspondence with scientific committee members and project partners; planning and logistics for conferences and meetings (many international); website updates and oversight; and providing other administrative support as necessary. Jennifer is also interested in paleolimnology, stable isotope geochemistry and archaeology.


Michael B. Meyer
DTDI Project Science Manager
Phone: 202-478-8910

Michael (Mike) Meyer joins from Penn State Harrisburg as a Keck project manager for deep-time data infrastructure. He is working with Bob Hazen on coordinating and integrating the efforts of a team of Earth, life, and data scientists from the project’s six nodes: Carnegie Institution of Washington (CIW), which will serve at the program’s headquarters; Harvard University; Johns Hopkins University; Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI); Rutgers University; and the University of Arizona. Mike is interested in geobiology, paleontology, taphonomy and nano-scale characteristics.


Quintin Miller
Building Engineer

Quintin Miller began working at the BBR campus on April 1, 2011 as a Building Engineer Apprentice. Prior to joining Carnegie, he worked as a mechanic's helper at Gaghan Mechanical, Inc. in Alexandria.


Trong Nguyen
Assistant Controller
Phone: 202-478-8904

Trong came to the Geophysical Laboratory to join the new Support Staff in April 2006. rong worked as Financial Accountant at the P St. headquarters for 13 years before working at the Lab. He graduated from the School of Business Administration of George Mason University, and worked for the Fairfax County Public Schools before being employed by Carnegie. He lives in Annandale, Virginia with his wife and two children.


Aline Niyonkuru
Assistant to the Director
Phone: 202-478-8906


Gefei Qian
IT/IS Administrator
Phone: 202-478-8970

Gefei joined the Geophysical Laboratory  IT group in September 2008. He has been working in IT administration since 1990 and his interest in programing dates back to the 80's. Gefei is experienced in HPC computing, CISC system programing, software engineering, instrument control, netbotics, and IT services. He is enthusiastic to provide the GL staff with various excellent IT-related services.


Craig Schiffries
Deep Carbon Observatory Director
Phone: 202-478-8819

Schiffries received his Ph.D. in geology from Harvard and is currently the Director of the Deep Carbon Observatory at the Geophysical Laboratory of the Carnegie Institution in Washington. He completed his undergraduate work at Yale where he graduated summa cum laude with a double major in geology and geophysics, and economics and political science. He also earned a master's degree in geology and geophysics at Yale, and then an honors B.A. in philosophy, politics, and economics at Oxford University. He has received numerous fellowships and awards, including: Hertz Foundation Graduate Fellowship, Marshall Scholarship to Oxford University, Yale's Belknap Prize, Burton P. Twichell Memorial Scholarship at Yale, and Bank of America Scholarship for Science and Mathematics. Schiffries has also done fieldwork in North America, India, South Africa, and the USSR. Craig will help lead the continued development of the Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO) and the establishment of a broad international coalition of scientists and organizations devoted to the study of carbon in the Earth. He served as Director for Geoscience Policy at the Geological Society of America, where he provided advice to Congress and policy makers on a broad range of geoscience issues. He and his office have provided advice to Congress and policy makers on many geoscience issues. He is a former Carnegie Fellow (1988-1990) at the Geophysical Laboratory, so his new position represents a return to Carnegie. His scientific research focused on water-rock interactions and economic geology.


Michelle Scholtes
Web/Departmental Assistant

Michelle Scholtes joins the Geophysical Laboratory as the webmaster and departmental assistant. As the webmaster, Michelle is in charge of website content management and development, online newsletter production, social media, conference news coverage, and more. Departmentally, she acts as the seminar coordinator, outreach and event planner, gas cylinder process/office manager, and administrative assistant. Michelle has a broad range of skills including content management systems and expertise in implementing social media and marketing campaigns. Prior to joining Carnegie, she worked in administration in the real estate industry and telecommunications and advertising consultancies. She holds a B.A. in Public Relations from the University of Maryland, College Park (May 2009).


Gabor Szilagyi
Systems Administrator
Phone: 202-478-8973

Gabor Szilagyi has been appointed full time Systems Administrator to work alongside Gefei Qian. Gabor will focus on IT network and infrastructure support at the Geophysical Laboratory (GL) within the broader BBR IT support group. During the past year, Gabor has worked part time at GL and P St., and has been a great asset to our campus. We congratulate Gabor in his new role at GL and BBR.


Marilyn (Helen) Venzon
Accounts Payable Specialist
Phone: 202-478-8905

Helen started her first job as a Educational Specialist at the Cultural Office of the Embassy of Egypt. She then moved to Computer Sciences Corporation in Falls Church, Virginia, where she worked as a Sr. Human Resources Specialist for 8 years. She came to Carnegie in 2007. Helen graduated from Maryknoll College in the Philippines.


Seth Wagner
Junior Machinist/Instrument Maker
Phone: 202-478-8920

Seth Wagner joins the Geophysical Laboratory's machine shop as a junior machinist/instrument maker. He is working with Vic Lugo to learn technical skills such as basic industrial math, material handling safety, interpreting geometric dimensions and tolerances and symbology. Seth will also acquire machining and metal working skills including identification of metals, layout, drilling, classification of fasteners and fundamental metal cutting as part of the machinist’s program.


Merri Wolf
Library Technical Assistant
Phone: 202-478-7962

Merri Wolf's job as Technical Assistant at the Broad Branch Road Library since 1992 is the first position she has stayed at more than four years. Merri attributes her perpetual interest in her work to the people she has met here and the never-ending challenge and rewards of scientific endeavor she has had the privilege to observe. She had worked for doctors, lawyers, publishing and advertising executives, retail companies at the administrative and sales levels, nonprofits and professional sports before she came to Carnegie.