Owner, CEO, Sales & Marketing Director
Brunton International LLC
Lauren Heerschap is the owner and CEO of Brunton in Riverton, Wyoming. Lauren and her husband David (now COO & Lead Engineer) brought Brunton back home to U.S. ownership in late 2021 after 25 years under Scandinavian parent companies. For the first time in the brand’s 130-year history, Brunton is owned and led by a female geologist. Brunton is proud to be an Organizational Partner of GSA and to donate engraved transits for the David Lowell Field Camp Scholarships each year.
Lauren was previously the Professional Sales & Marketing Manager for Brunton and had worked alongside the brand since 2014 to launch her invention, the Axis Transit. The Axis idea was formed while teaching field geology at Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO where Lauren was Lab Coordinator then Instructor from 2007–2016. While juggling departmental responsibilities and teaching a variety of introductory, field, and GIS courses, Lauren came up with the idea for an entirely new method of taking geological measurements with a twist on the traditional Brunton transit model. Her husband, David, was also a full-time educator at the time, but he managed to help successfully prototype the new transit in their garage over a winter break. They patented the idea then approached Brunton with it, and they worked out a licensing agreement with Brunton’s previous management. After repeated trips up to Brunton’s manufacturing facility in Riverton, Wyoming, Lauren and David fell in love with the area and moved up to Lander, where they now reside and are raising their daughter, Hannah.
Lauren received a B.S. in geology from Wheaton College in Illinois, where she studied abroad in Israel for a semester, completed an 8-week geology field camp in the Black Hills of South Dakota, and spent two months on a geoarchaeology project in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt shortly after graduation. She then received a M.S. in geology from the University of Colorado at Boulder where her tectonic geomorphology field work took her to central Taiwan to investigate the relationships between erosion, mountain-building, and earthquakes. In 2002, Lauren received a GSA Graduate Research Grant which helped make her field research in Taiwan possible. She also participated in the 2003 GSA Penrose Conference in Taiwan focused on Tectonics and Climate, allowing the unique opportunity to showcase her field area to the top scientists in tectonic geomorphology. After graduate school, Lauren worked for the Colorado Geological Survey studying earthquake hazards and land use around the state. She also taught a semester of high school geology in Zermatt, Switzerland. Lauren and David then moved to Durango, CO. After a year as an unconventional oil & gas geologist, Lauren landed at Fort Lewis College—which eventually led to the invention of the Axis Transit and her ever-increasing roles with Brunton.
Lauren is also an avid rock climber, so when not studying rocks or inventing new ways to measure them in the field, she is vertically investigating cliffs, preferably those made up of the Bighorn Dolomite!