Dear Alums

Alumni Board,
Chapters, and Clubs

2000 Time Capsule

African American Alumni Reunite

• Wildcats on
the Move

• Marriages and Anniversaries
• In Memoriam

Wildcat Highlight
Ruth Gardner Begell
Sheryl Luzzadder Beach
Richard Slavich



When the town of Red Bluff, California, was struck by floods in the 1960s, the water-blanketed streets and parks intrigued a young girl. This same girl, now known as Dr. Sheryl Luzzadder Beach, would become an educator and researcher in the field of geoscience and travel to the Yucatan region of Mexico to study the impact of groundwater quality on the contemporary and ancient Maya.

The 1982 Chico State graduate is now tackling her latest challenge as associate provost for general education at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, where she has been an associate professor of geography and earth science since 1993. Her focus is to facilitate the new general education curriculum at George Mason, a large and growing university in the Washington, D.C., area.

Beach's journey began as a high school student assistant for the California Department of Water Re-sources in Red Bluff. She continued her work there during summer breaks, in between studying for her B.A. in geography with minors in history and art history at Chico State.

"If I had to do it all over again, I would go back to Chico," says Beach. "I thought it was a great place to be."

Beach credits her Chico State professors for encouraging her and creating a model for her to follow as she advises students. "My advisers at Chico State, like David Lantis and Frank Seawall, were very important," says Beach.

Beach earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in physical geography from the University of Minnesota, where she began teaching. After completing her doctorate, she taught at Humboldt State University and the University of Georgia.

Over the past decade, she has traveled to Belize, Turkey, and Syria for geoarcheology field research with her husband and fellow Chico State alum, Tim Beach (in photo with Sheryl), director of the Center for Environment at Georgetown University.

Beach is featured in the 1999 book Women in Earth Science Careers, by Jetty Kahn. She hopes it encourages young girls to seek careers in the earth sciences by offering role models like the ones she had, such as her family.

"My parents were educators, and they always made it clear that I could be whatever I wanted to be when I grew up," says Beach. "Both went to Chico State and knew the value of a good education."


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