Beautiful Mountain Scenery

From Top-Down:

Courtesy of Shawna Smith

2016 Outstanding Geoscience Student Award Winners, Left to right Jing Zhang, Tim Withiam, Josie Brunick, Michelle Luticker.

2016 Keynote Speaker Dr. Pete Rose (left) discussing the issues with guest.

VP & Director Dave Tschopp recognizes outgoing Director/Secretary Dr. Bob Scott.

Current News


Annual Awards Banquet for 2016 - Honoring Geoscience Students

On Tuesday, April 7th, 2016 the Foundation honored four outstanding geology students from our four regional universities. The Foundation was pleased to recognize Ms. Josie Brunick from the University of Arkansas. Ms. Brunick is pursuing her Masters Degree in Geology and is interested in applying her skills in the field of petroleum geology. From the University of Oklahoma, we honored Ms. Jing Zhang, a MS student focusing on the geochemistry and microseismicity of the Woodford Shale. Ms. Zhang intends to continue her studies toward a Doctorate degree. Ms. Michelle Luticker, a senior geology major at Oklahoma State University, has already presented her research of lacustrine sedimentation at the 2015 Annual and regional GSA meetings. From the University of Tulsa, the Foundation recognized Mr. Tim Withiam, undergraduate geology major focused on someday working in astrogeology.


“Discovering the mysteries of what lies beneath the Earth’s crust [has] been a fascination of mine that started when I was young and admiring the terrain of the Teton Mountain range.” Josie Brunick.


“Every rock has a unique story recording its origin and lifespan. My grandpa, an exploration geologist…captivated [me] by the stories he told me about discovering the rocks, envisioning the scenes and outcrops he described…” Jing Zhang.


“After graduate school, my dream is to work as an exploration geologist. I cannot imagine anything more exciting than to discover a new field… and watch it pay off.” Michelle Luticker.


“Geology is amazing because it encompasses numerous other fields of science like chemistry, physics and math. It is truly a global science.” Tim Withiam.

The annual awards are supported in part by the Tulsa Geological Society and the Mid-continent Section of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG). The Foundation was pleased to hose our Keynote Speaker, Dr. Pete Rose, who presented “Objective Overview of Global Climate Change in 2016: A Geological Perspective”. Dr. Rose has been a professional geologist for 56 years, specializing in Petroleum Geology, E&P Risk Analysis, and Mineral Economics. After 10 years as an internationally-recognized authority on economic risking of exploration drilling ventures, he founded Rose & Associates, LLP, in 1998. Pete retired in 2005; the firm continues as the global standard among consulting companies in that field, providing instruction, software and consulting services on an international scale. A link to Dr. Rose’s presentation is our home page.


This year the Foundation also recognized outgoing Director/Secretary Dr. Bob Scott.  Bob was a founding Director and instrumental in guiding its early years and formulating the Foundation's Mission and goals.  We wish Bob all the best in the future.


Foundation mourns the passing of its founding Chairman


With great sadness, the we note the passing of founding Board Chairman Roderick W. Tillman on January 21, 2016.  Rod was instrumental in creating the foundation in 2010 and served as its Chairman and President until his health forced him to step down in 2015.  Rod was forever the scientist, teacher, colleague, mentor and friend to all whose path's intersected his.  He will be missed.


2015 Annual Awards Banquet Honors Geoscience Students


The TGSF Annual Awards Banquet was held Tuesday, April 7th. The annual awards are supported in part by the Tulsa Geological Society and the Mid-continent Section of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG). Our Keynote Speaker was Dr. Austin Holland, Oklahoma’s state seismologist. Dr. Holland’s talk focused on the significance of the extraordinary uptick in Oklahoma earthquakes since 2010 and the potential for induced seismicity. He has given numerous national and international professional presentations on this subject in recent years.

Four students from our regional universities were honored at our banquet. Ms. Julie Cains from the University of Arkansas was honored for excellence in the pursuit of her Master of Science degree in geology. Julie's thesis is on the Mississippian Boone Formation. She will graduate with dual degrees in geology and art. "My second degree in art helps me to visualize the spatial aspects of geology, particularly in the subsurface." Julie traces her interest in geology to a high school rafting trip down the Grand Canyon with her family which "gave me newfound interest in pursuing a career in geology".

Mr. Thang Ha, doctoral candidate, was the University of Oklahoma awardee. Thang has been an active leader in the university’s Attribute Assisted Seismic Processing & Interpretation Consortium (AASP). He’s pursuing 3-D seismic processing and interpretation incorporating least-square migration and 5-D interpolation. “Currently I am trying to further develop my reservoir modeling and seismic stratigraphy skills to better understand all the exciting complexities behind the geology of oil and gas.”

Our awardee from Oklahoma State University was Ms. Shawna Smith. Shawna is completing her Master of Science degree researching the use of orbital remote sensing to locate faults and paleo-drainage channels in the Kharga Basin in Egypt. She presented a poster session of her research at the 2015 GSA South-Central Regional meeting in Stillwater in March. Shawna brings a background in literacy teaching from her tenure with the Tulsa City-County Library. The science portion of this task was an important influence on her decision to pursue geology. “I have a lifelong interest in geology. In elementary school, I was the child who brought their entire rock collection and gave unsolicited presentations about the difference between sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rocks.”

From the University of Tulsa, our awardee was Ms. Christina Opfer. Ms. Opfer comes to the science of geology after five years of teaching math and science to elementary students. At TU, Christina is pursuing her Master of Science degree about the sequence stratigraphy of the Lower Mississippian St. Joe group. She was the recipient of the Foundation’s 2015 grant to attend the GSA South-Central Regional meeting, at which she presented a poster session on the petroleum reservoir potential of the Lower Mississippian rocks in Oklahoma. “It is my love of geology and the story it tells that ultimately motivates me to pursue a career as a geologist.”
The Foundation wishes all its awardees much success in the completion of their academic pursuits and the beginning of a career in the geosciences.

Foundation Awards Student Grants for 2015 GSA South-Central Meeting, Stillwater Oklahoma.
The Foundation was proud to award $300 grants to both Ms. Christina Opfer from the University of Tulsa and Ms. Miranda Childress of Oklahoma State University. Both students are Master of Science in geology candidates and presented poster sessions on their research. Ms. Childress presented “New Interpretations For the Deposition of Mississippian Limestones in The Mid-Continent: A Reflection of Sequence Stratigraphy And Associated Migration of Facies Mosaics.” Ms. Opfer’s presentation was “Reservoir Potential of the St. Joe Group, Lower Mississippian System, in Northeastern Oklahoma.”

2014 Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Natural Resources in the Earth Sciences (aka "Teacher of the Year")

This year’s award winner was Ms. Shannon Rae Chatwin of Owasso, Oklahoma Mid-High School where she teaches AP Environmental Sciences and Physical Sciences. Her classes include college-level topics in field ecology, biology, chemistry, energy, geology, and economics.  Shannon describes her goals as (1) provide students with the scientific principles, concepts and methodologies required to understand interrelationships in the natural world, (2) identify and analyze environmental problems, (3) to evaluate the relative risks associated with these problems and (4) to examine alternative solutions for resolving and/or preventing them."   Ms. Chatwin is very much a “hands on” teacher who conducts numerous classroom experiments and field trips. “My philosophy is to get my kids outside and to experience the world first hand and get them to learn and see out-of-the-box”.

2014 Outstanding Geoscience Student Award Winners

Mr. Alexander West was our winner from the University of Arkansas. Alex is a Master’s Degree student whose thesis is unravelling the Pennsylvanian stratigraphy of northeast Oklahoma from seismic and wireline data. He was a member of Arkansas’ 2013 AAPG Imperial Barrel Award Team. Reflecting on his career choice, “The fact that geology is the study of the earth and its history, presents real life complex puzzles that are always needing to be solved. These puzzles are something that I truly love about the study of geology.”

Ms. Alex Steullet was our winner from The University of Oklahoma, where she is pursuing her Master’s Degree focusing on integrating petrology, geochemisty and paleomagnetism on the origin and diagenesis of the Marcellus Shale. In 2011, Ms. Steullet received the “Outstanding Undergraduate Research” award at the 2011 GSA Northeast Section meeting. “The importance of petroleum geology in people’s lives also enthralls me, that is, so much depends upon these resources and their potential.”

Master’s Degree student, Mr. Alan Lepera III from Oklahoma State University was our next award winner. Alan is working on understanding relationships between dike emplacement, fracturing and continental fragmentation within the 1500 km-long Okavango Dike Swarm in Botswana, Africa. His research will be presented at the 2014 European Geosciences Union meeting in Vienna, Austria. After interning with Devon Energy in 2013, Alan’s career focus is in petroleum geology. “A career in geology presents an opportunity to address long-standing questions about tectonics, fluid dynamics, and petroleum systems…”

Mr. Tyler Tripplehorn was our award winner from the University of Tulsa. Tyler’s pursuing his Master’s Degree characterizing and modelling the basement features of the Arbuckle Region of southern Oklahoma. Tyler was a member of the university’s 2013 AAPG Imperial Barrel Award team and is currently a Graduate Assistant and Academc Counselor for students on Academic Probation. “The first geology class I had was taken during a time when I was still uncertain about what career I wanted to pursue. That class…introduced me to what has become a major aspect of my life and something that I have pursued ever since.”              The Case for Geosciences.

Inaugural Student Grants to Attend 2013 AAPG Mid-Continent Section Convention

In keeping with our long term objectives, the Foundation awarded its first grants to three area graduate students to attend the October AAPG Mid-Continent Section Convention in Wichita, KS.  Grant preference was given to students who were also presenters at the meeting.  The 2013 grants were $375 each to offset registration and travel expenses.  This year's grants were awarded to:
Miranda Childress, Oklahoma State University, co-author of Integrated Reservoir Characterization of Mississippian-age Mid-Continent Carbonates.
Elizabeth Marchese, University of Arkansas, who presented Porosity Development within Lobes to Downslope Ramp Deposits on a Prograding Carbonate Shelf of the Kinderhookian to Osagean Series in Northwest Arkansas.
Sumit Verma, PhD student at the University of Oklahoma, lead author of Challenges in Prestack Inversion with Mega-Merge Seismic Surveys: An Oklahoma Redfork Example.
The next AAPG Mid-Continent Section Convention is scheduled for October, 2015.  As that date nears, we will post grant application materials on the website.  Stay tuned...

2013 Teacher of the Year!

Ms. Alexandra Holter, teacher at Jenks Middle School, was this year's awardee for Excellence in the Teaching of Natural Resources in the Earth Sciences.  Ms. Holter incorporates hands-on, interactive teaching where possible and is passionate about understanding earth science and how it relates to the world we live in.  She was presented with $1,500 in support of her excellent teaching skills.  Ms. Holter holds a Master's degree in Math/Science from the University of Tulsa.

2013 Outstanding Geoscience Student Award Winners

The Foundation was proud to recognize four outstanding geoscience students from the region's major universities.  As part of this recognition, each student received a $1,500 cash award to assist with their continuing education.

Mr. Tyler Foster was our winner from the University of Oklahoma. Tyler completed his MS in Geology at OU compiling a 4.0 GPA. Tyler's interest in geology dates back to childhood in Kansas when he wanted to know why there were hills in some areas and not in others. His inquisitiveness in geological processes has not ended with graduation and he intends to eventually pursue a PhD. Tyler has accepted a geologist position with BHP Billiton in Houston.

Ms. Stacy Trowbridge was our winner from Oklahoma State University.  Stacy graduates this year and will continue her studies in the graduate program at the University of Tulsa.  At OSU, Stacy earned honors as an Academic Excellence Scholar, a Skinner Geology Scholar, and a Chesapeake Energy Scholar.  

Mr. William Cains of the University of Arkansas was our fourth awardee this year.  Currently a graduate student with a 4.0 GPA, William was a member of the University's Imperial Barrel Award Team that placed second in the regional competition.  The IBA is a global competition sponsored by the AAPG.  William's father, also a geologist, sparked his interest in geology early on by pointing out the exposed geologic features while canoeing down the Buffalo River.

Mr. Justin Smith was our awardee from the University of Tulsa. Justin graduated with a BS in Geophysics sustaining a 3.6 GPA and is currently working for Hillcorp Energy in Houston where he expects to continue his education towards a Master's degree at the University of Houston.

Over $,1400 Raised by second TGS Picnic Raffle

A repeat of last year's raffle at the annual Tulsa Geological Society Annyual Picnic raised $1,418 dollars for the foundation.  Congratulations to Ron Snyder and his team of volunteers for a second successful event!