2021 NAGT Elections

published May 31, 2021 4:17pm

Voting for NAGT's open positions for National Officers is officially open! This year's ballot includes Second Vice President and two Councilors-at-Large. Voting begins on June 1 and ends on July 1, 2021.

Officer Candidate Biographies

Second Vice President

Reginald Archer, Ph.D., GISP. is an Assistant Professor of Applied GIS in the Department of Agricultural and Environmental sciences at Tennessee State University (TSU). He applies Geographic Information Systems/Science & Remote Sensing and the "science of where" to analyze spatial data and conduct research, specifically environmental change related to sustainability, public health, hazards, vulnerability, disaster recovery and environmental justice. He teaches multiple courses related to Geospatial applications at both the undergraduate and graduate level, and incorporates culturally-relevant content and experiential learning to further engage his students.

Reginald is an active member of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT) and the HBCU Geosciences working group. He has served as an NAGT Councilor-at-large, Travelling workshop leader, and host for the Earth Educators' Rendezvous in Nashville 2019. He actively engages in campus wide activities to increase STEM participation and is a Lifetime member of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and TSU Chapter advisor, as well as an advisor for Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANNRS) chapter.

He is dedicated to increasing the number of underrepresented students in STEM and regularly participates as a mentor in programs such as Tennessee Achieves, and STEM related summer camps.

Education: PhD in Geography from the University of California Santa Barbara, MS in Civil Engineering and BS in Surveying and Mapping, both from the University of Florida.


Mike Phillips is a Geology Professor at Illinois Valley Community College and a long-time member of the NAGT. At IVCC, Mike teaches courses in Physical, Environmental, and Historical Geology as well as Oceanography, Environmental Science, and Natural Disasters. He also offers programming through the college's continuing education department, the University of Illinois's Extension, libraries, schools, and state parks that explore the geology of the area. After gaining a full-time position at IVCC in 1997, Mike realized that he needed to develop his classroom skills; he joined the NAGT and began applying what he learned from the Journal of Geoscience Education and the On The Cutting Edge series of workshops. He appreciates NAGT's continuing opportunities to both grow and share via In The Trenches, the Earth Educator's Rendezvous, the Teach The Earth web portal, and sponsored workshops and sessions at GSA's Annual and Section meetings.  He has supported NAGT's work by helping to plan and lead NAGT-sponsored activities and by serving on the NAGT Advocacy Committee since 2015, as an NAGT Councilor-at-Large from 2015-2018, and as acting Secretary-Treasurer beginning in April 2020.  Mike has also served as a member and president of his local school board, on the Executive Committee of the Illinois Community College Faculty Association, on GSA's Geology and Public Policy Committee and North Central Section Board, in various leadership roles in his faculty's union, and, currently, on the Faculty Advisory Council to the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

Education: BS & MS in Geology, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale

Professional Experience: Environmental Geologist, private consulting & Illinois State Geological Survey (1989-1997); adjunct Geology Instructor, Illinois State University and several community colleges (1991-2015); full-time Geology Professor, Illinois Valley Community College (1997-present).

Councilor at Large

Dr. Alex K. Manda is an associate professor of Water Resources in the Department of Geological Sciences, and a research scientist in the Water Resources Center at East Carolina University (ECU). He is also the co-director of the pan-university Natural Resources and Environment Research Cluster at ECU. Dr. Manda's research focuses on investigating groundwater-surface water interactions, assessing the hydrologic properties of fractured and karst media, and studying the influence of environmental change on water resources particularly in coastal regions.

Dr. Manda's research and outreach projects that have been funded by the NSF, NC Sea Grant, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, and other funding agencies, typically include a strong field component, application of data analysis techniques, modeling, and graduate student involvement. Field activities include installation of groundwater monitoring wells, monitoring of ground- and surface water quantity and quality parameters, and conducting borehole geophysical surveys. Dr. Manda utilizes numerical groundwater models, various data analysis techniques and geospatial analyses to address challenges related to water resources issues. Some of Dr. Manda's research projects have been featured in prominent media outlets such as the Washington Post (http://bit.ly/MandaStudy).

An ardent believer in student centered learning, Dr. Manda typically infuses active learning techniques into his courses. In the recent past, Dr. Manda has taught various undergraduate and graduate level courses that include Groundwater Modeling, Groundwater Hydrology, Hydrogeology and the Environmental, Geohydrology of Drainage Basins, Environmental Geology, and Dynamic Earth.  
Dr. Manda earned a bachelor's degree in Geology from Cardiff University (UK) and his master's degree in Geology from Florida International University (USA). He earned his PhD in Geosciences from the University of Massachusetts Amherst (USA) where he specialized in the hydrogeology of fractured rocks. Dr. Manda, a tenured professor and professional Geologist in the State of North Carolina, has been at ECU since 2009. Dr Manda was a recipient of a prestigious Fulbright Scholar award to evaluate water quality in groundwater in Lusaka, Zambia from 2019 to 2020.

Dr. Manda 's service includes department assessment coordinator, proposal reviewer for the NSF and NASA, manuscript reviewer for multiple journals, member of the Student Support Committee for SE GSA, and numerous departmental and university committee appointments.

Councilor at Large

Dana Thomas is an Outreach Program Coordinator in the Office of Broader Impacts of Geoscience Research (BIGR) at the Jackson School of Geosciences at UT Austin. She is primarily involved in designing and implementing programs aimed to broaden participation, facilitate student success and foster inclusivity in geoscience at the pre-college and undergraduate levels. She works closely with GeoFORCE Texas, leading innovative curriculum reforms and running an undergraduate research program for alumni in college. Dana is a co-PI on the NSF GOLD-EN EAGER project, Diversity Champions at UT Austin. She is also passionate about using geoscience for the public good and is an Instructor with the Energy and Earth Resources Master's Degree program in the JSG. Dana was attracted to NAGT early on in her graduate studies and cherishes the resources and support her membership continues to provide. As a graduate student, she was involved in teaching InTeGrate modules at Bay Area colleges, attended the Preparing for an Academic Career in the Geosciences workshop and presented on a TA training initiative at one of the first Earth Educators' Rendezvous.

Education: B.S. Geology & Geophysics, Louisiana State University; PhD Geological and Environmental Sciences, Stanford University