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2021 Speakers Coming Soon

2020 Speakers Bios

Sameer Baral

Sameer has over 10 years of experience in advanced data analysis and petroleum geology acumen to characterize plays and deliver development strategies, and is currently a Geoscientist Account Manager at Stratum Reservoir. Prior to Stratum Reservoir, he was a Operations Geologist at Canrig Drilling Technology, Geoscientist at IHS Markit, and Development Geologist at Thyssen Petroleum. Sameer holds B.S. in Mathematics and Geoscience from Denison University, and a M.S. in Geology from University of Houston. He is the Finance and NeoGeos Chair for the Houston Geological Society.


Thomas Bowman

Thomas has over 40 years of experience in petroleum exploration. He is currently a Geophysical/Geologic Advisor TDB Oil Corporation advising exploration and development drilling to prospect development. Prior to TDB Oil Corporation, he was a Senior Exploration Advisor at various operators (Tenneco Oil, Fina Oil and Chemical, and Bass Enterprises Production), Evaluation Manager at Aspect Abundant Shale, and Vice President of Geology at ZaZa Energy Corp. and Copestone Energy Partners. Thomas holds a B.S. and M.S. in Geophysics from Montana Tech.


Steve Brachman

Steve has over 38 years of experience in petroleum exploration. He is currently a Senior Vice President at Wapiti Energy overseeing all geological and geophysical evaluations. Prior to Wapiti Energy, he was a Geologist at numerous operators (Gulf Oil, SOHIO Petroleum, BP, Abraxas Exploration, and Southwestern Energy), Division Geologist at Pogo Producing Co., and Exploration Manager at Petro-Hunt. Steve holds a B.S. in Geology from Eastern Illinois University and M.S. in Geology from Penn State University.


Karen R. Christopherson - Chinook Geoconsulting, Inc.

Karen R. Christopherson is an experienced geophysicist who has been working for more than 35 years with nonseismic methods, particularly magnetotellurics (MT) and electromagnetics (EM).  She has participated in numerous MT/EM surveys exploring for geothermal, hydrocarbon, water, and mineral resources in many worldwide locations. She has an MS in geophysics from the University of Colorado Boulder and a BS in geology. In the late 1980s, after having worked for the United States Geological Survey and the BP America Technology Center, Christopherson founded her own firm, Chinook Geoconsulting. Her firm is based in Evergreen, Colorado, and focuses primarily on the acquisition and interpretation of resistivity data. Christopherson is a member of SEG, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, the Geothermal Resources Council, Women in Geothermal, and the Denver Geophysical Society. She served as second vice president of SEG during 1997–1998. She is also the instructor for SEG’s continuing-education course on MT/audio MT. Christopherson has authored numerous papers about the use of MT and EM for geothermal and hydrocarbon exploration.


Donald "Don" D. Clarke

Don Clarke is a consulting Environmental and Petroleum geologist who lives and works in southern California. He retired from his civil service work with the City of Long Beach (Unit Operator for the Giant Wilmington oil field) and the California State Lands Commission in 2004. His clients include Occidental Petroleum, California Resources Corporation, the Cities of Beverly Hills, Newport Beach and Hermosa Beach, Mid Con Energy, Emerald Energy, Geomechanics Technologies, Glamour Magazine and others. Don served on two committees for the National Research Council and was on the Board of Directors for the National PTTC and the Dibblee Foundation. Don has been active in the AAPG and has served the association in many ways and received many awards. Don has had a lifelong interest in astronomy and paleontology.


Bryan Guzman

Bryan has over 12 years of experience in business and product development. He is currently a Senior Account Manager at Premier Oilfield Group managing enterprise accounts throughout the United States. Prior to Premier Oilfield Group, he was a Senior Technical Sales Advisor at Ingrain Inc and Halliburton, Senior Account Manager at TGS, and Founder at Veilvox. Bryan holds a B.S. in Geology from University of Texas at San Antonio and M.S. in Analytics from Texas A&M University. He is the Treasurer for Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies and Vice President of the Houston Geological Society.


Conner Hansen

Born and raised in the Bay Area, CA, I am now based out of Reno, NV. From an early age, I’ve been an avid backpacker and outdoorsman. In 2008, I started a BS in geology at University of California, Santa Barbara. In 2011, I studied for a year at the University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand. I graduated UCSB in 2012, and started a MS at Idaho State University in Pocatello, Idaho in 2013. The focus of my masters thesis was on early Sevier-aged deformation in the Southwest Montana re-entrant. After completing my MS in late 2015, I worked at the Coeur Rochester silver mine in north central Nevada. I started my own sole-proprietorship in 2017, and now consult on greenfields gold exploration projects in the North American Cordillera.


Theodore Miller

Theodore Miller is a brown-field exploration geologist for Nevada Gold Mines, there he develops 3D geologic models, identifies drill targets, field maps, and logs core. Much like you, he has never taken a mineral exploration or economic geology course. Theodore has a BSc in geology from Wheaton College and a MSc from New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. While at NMT he studied soil science, remote sensing, and drones. Through networking and unpaid endeavors Theodore landed a position where he gets to hike for money and is here to share tips and tricks for those interested in doing the same.


Taylor Lee

Taylor Lee is a research geophysicist in the Geology and Geophysics section at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) at Stennis Space Center, MS. She came to NRL in 2017 while pursuing her master’s degree in petroleum geology at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She is now nearing the completion of her PhD (2021) at Mississippi State University. While at NRL her activities have been directed towards using machine learning to estimate global and regional scale seafloor and subseafloor properties. These predicted seafloor and sub-seafloor properties are then used in multidisciplinary modelling efforts, including estimating a global methane hydrate inventory.


Clint Miller, PhD

Dr. Clint Miller is an expert geochemist with over 10 years of experience in environmental consulting and currently serves as project manager in the Engineering, Construction, and Remediation (ECR) practice. During his career, he has been involved in projects across the globe including: Arctic Siberia, Chile, Greece, Japan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Syria, Taiwan, and the United States. He has significant experience in affected property assessment, soil and groundwater investigation, and remediation. Dr. Miller’s background includes extensive service to public and private-sector clientele.


Amanda Rico, PhD

Dr. Amanda Rico specializes in resume building, editing, and career solutions for senior and executive-level professionals. With 13+ years of experience ranging from generating materials for TEDx speakers & Healthcare executives to optimizing profiles for Energy & Petroleum managers, she is passionate about helping forward-thinking leaders level up.

She is a Houston Business Journal Oil & Gas career columnist and highly-requested professional development seminar speaker with a proven track record of working alongside public officials, career diplomats, and corporate executives such as Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Ambassador Kay Bailey Hutchison, Jeff Immelt, Jeff Shellebarger, and Jeff Miller.

A member of Career Directors, International – a first-tier, internationally-recognized resume certification organization – Dr. Rico is currently completing her Certified Advanced Resume Writer credential. Amanda earned her Ph.D. in English at Texas A&M University, and her M.A. and B.A. in English from the University of Oklahoma.


Jim Tucker

Jim has about 40 years of experience in petroleum exploration. He is currently a Geologist at Occam Resources researching petroleum and structural geology. Prior to Occam Resources, he was a Geologist Exploration Director at Arco, Integrated Studies Manager at CGG, and Geologist Specialist at Computational Geology and Saudi Aramco. Jim holds a B.A. in Geology from Rice University and M.S. in Geology from Texas A&M University.

Maitri Erwin

Maitri Erwin is a geoscience and technology projects leader, with experience in energy exploration and subsurface technology development. Maitri is an award-winning industry pioneer in applied geo-computing, the empowerment and advancement of women and minorities in geoscience and STEM, and the mentoring of future leaders. She is currently Principal Program Manager at Microsoft Azure for Energy.

Toti Larson

Toti Larson is a research scientist at the University of Texas at Austin Bureau of Economic Geology. He is currently the PI of the Mudrock Systems Research Laboratory (MSRL) industrial associates consortium. Toti holds a Ph.D. degree in geology from the University of New Mexico, an M.S. degree in geology from the University of New Hampshire, and a B.A. in geology from Albion College. His current research is focused on the geochemistry of mudrock systems and he applies machine learning tools to integrate large and complex multivariate datasets to classify mudrocks into chemofacies that can be tied to key rock and fluid attributes such as mineralogy, organic-matter richness, and porosity. Prior to his position at the BEG, Toti worked in the UT Austin Department of Geosciences where he developed new analytical techniques to measure concentrations and stable isotope values of dissolved gases from groundwater aquifers and oil and gas reservoirs. For seven years Toti worked as a research scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory on a wide range science problems, including a nuclear forensics project that actually sampled gas effluent from the rooftop of a plutonium processing facility. Other research projects Toti has applied his skills to include metamorphic petrology, deer bone archaeology, chemical weapons forensics, two-phase fluid flow experiments, ocean carbon cycling, carbon-capture, and most recently: mudrock sedimentology and chemistry.  

Rick D. Fritz

Richard (Rick) Fritz is a native Oklahoman who spent much of his youth around the oil patch in Osage County, Oklahoma.  His dad, granddad, great-granddad and many of his uncles worked as pumpers or roughnecks. Currently, Rick is president of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists a global organization of geoscientists, engineers, business professionals, etc. focused on geoscience and energy.

In addition, Rick is the president of Fritz Energy Partners. The goal of Fritz Energy Partners is to develop new resource play ideas using advanced geoscience, engineering and analytical methods.

Rick started his career in 1977 by working for Exxon (before +Mobil) in development geology in South Texas and later as an exploration geologist in the Mid-continent.

Post Exxon, Rick became president of Masera Corporation and supervised major exploration research projects in the U.S., and in the Middle East and Africa.  From 1999 to 2011, Rick was the Executive Director of AAPG. He was responsible for the management of AAPG headquarters in Tulsa, Oklahoma and the oversight of numerous programs for AAPG’s 34,000+ members.  In 2011 Rick was hired to work in SM Energy Company’s new venture exploration team in Tulsa.  Rick studied active resource plays to understand the parameters that made some successful and others marginal.  From 2015-18 Fritz was the CEO of Council Oak Resources, an EnCap private equity start-up focused on the Midcontinent. 

Rick bleeds orange having graduated from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater in 1978.  He is an active member of the OSU Geoscience Alumni Advisory Board and has working with Boone Pickens to improve the School of Geology at OSU through fundraising and oversight.

One of Rick’s favorite Oklahomans is Will Rogers.  Like Will, Rick is a “people person” and enjoys working with and managing professionals, especially young professionals. In his roles at AAPG and OSU Rick has enjoyed working on numerous programs for students.

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