Hello all of our wonderful alumni!! I hope this year’s edition of the department newsletter finds you well and happily exploring all of the nooks and crannies of Earth. This year was my second as Chair of the Geology and Geography Department, and the time has flown by! We have instituted a number of new items to help streamline our programs as well as bolster enrollment. Last Fall was the inaugural semester of the new accelerated Profession Science Masters (PSM) degree, and we immediately attracted three students to sign up for it. What this does is marry the students’ undergraduate experience with their anticipated graduate program. Students take graduate courses that fulfill their undergraduate requirements but these also count towards their graduate degree. In this way, the students are able to shave off about a year’s worth of time from doing their PSM, saving them time and tuition money in the process. We have also established approximately fifteen Articulation Agreements with community colleges across the state over the last couple of years, and we saw the first fruit of our efforts this Fall with a student transferring from the College of DuPage to here to pursue his B.S. We hope to keep the lines of communication strong between us and our education partners for many years to come for the mutual benefit of both sides of the arrangement. Currently, we are working to establish another undergrad/grad accelerated agreement, this time between us and Northern IL University’s law school. This will pave the way for students to get their B.S. from our department in three years and then send them up to NIU to obtain their law degree. As many firms are clamoring for environmental lawyers, this program should be attractive to incoming majors.