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The Rocky Mountain Section of SEPM Awards
Three Annual Graduate Student Research Grants



DEADLINE for submittal is APRIL 1st, 2018

1) Submit one PDF document consisting of a cover page and a proposal narrative clearly stating both the plan for, and the significance of, the proposed research using this Word form. Text of the proposal is limited to three (3) pages, excluding figures, tables, references.2) Have two (2) letters of recommendation sent directly from Referee to Lyn Canter, PhD at lyn.canter @ with your name and the Grant you are applying for in the subject line. Please have your referee submit these in a PDF format.

DEADLINE for submittal is April 1st, 2018

Direct questions to:
Lyn Canter, PhD, Senior Geoscience Advisor,
Whiting Petroleum Corp., 1700 Broadway Suite 2300, Denver CO 80290-2300
Fax: 303-495-6732, Phone: 303-357-1453
Email: lyn.canter @


1.  The Donald L. Smith Research Grant is offered as a tribute to the late Professor Donald Smith of Montana State University (see AAPG Bulletin, v. 69, p. 1830-1832). This grant offers a $2,000 award to a Ph.D. degree candidate. The award is to be used for research that is directly applicable to better understanding the geology of the Rocky Mountain region.

Justin Ahern, U of Nebraska, Advisor: Dr. Christopher Fielding, Sedimentologic and stratigraphic investigation of the Heath Formation, Central Montana and Manning Canyon Formation, Utah: Implication for climate change.

2.  Edwin D. McKee Grant is offered as a tribute to the late Edwin McKee who worked for the U.S. Geological Survey for over 30 years (see AAPG Bulletin, v. 69, p. 491-493). This grant offers a $2,000 award to Undergraduate or Master's degree candidates. The award is to be used for thesis-related research in sedimentology and/or the application of sedimentology to a better understanding of the geology of the Rocky Mountain region. Here the Award is split.

Alicia L. Bonar, NM State University, Advisor: Br. Brian Hampton, Provenance and sediment dispersal trends during the final Early Permian (Wolfcampian) phase of the Ancestral Rocky Mountain orogeny in west-central NM.

Erin Lathrop, Utah State University, Advisor: Dr. Carol M. Dehler, Understanding the late Mesoproterozoic Earth system from the oldest strata in the Grand Canyon: C-isotope stratigraphy and facies analysis of the 1255 Ma Bass Formation, Grand Canyon Supergroup, AZ.

3. Fluvial Sedimentology Award is offered in the amount of $2,000 to support Masters or Doctoral level student research in modern or ancient fluvial sedimentology.

Anthony Feldman, NM Institute of Mining and Technology, Advisor: Dr. James Bruce Harrison, Glacial chronology and pedogenesis rates near Big Costilla Peak, NM


The Donald L. Smith Research Grant

1. Aubry A DeReuil, University of Utah, Advisor: Dr. Lauren P Birgenheier, Geomechanical and Sedimentological Analysis of the Mancos Shale in the Colorado Plateau

2.Dipanwita Nandy, Colorado School of Mines, Advisor: Dr. Steve Sonnenberg, Facies Characterization and Depositional Setting of the Upper Bakken Shale, Williston Basin - An Integrated study of Sedimentology, Inorganic Geochemistry and Geochronology

Edwin D. McKee Grant

1.Zachery Wistort, University of Utah, Advisor: Dr. Allan Ekdale, Paleoenvironmental significance of silica-dominated ramps in the geologic record

2. Kuwanna Dyer-Pietras, Binghamton Univeristy, Advisor: Dr. Robert Demicco, Cyclostratigraphy of the Green River Formation, Piceance Creek Basin, Colorado

The Fluvial Sedimentology Award

1. Zachary Foster-Baril, University: University of Idaho, Advisor: Dr. Elizabeth Cassel, Reconstructing Eocene topography and volcanism in the North American Cordilleran Hinterland, northern Washington and southern British Columbia

2. James Mauch, Utah State University, Advisor: Dr. Joel Pederson, Quantifying active salt tectonism and evaluating interactions with fluvial incision and deposition using deformed stream terraces in Spanish Valley, UT.


Donald L. Smith Research Grant ($2000 to a PhD student or split into 2 $1000 awards):

1. Maxwell Elliott Pommer, Colorado School of Mines, Advisor: J.F. "Rick" Sarg, Porosity Development in Stratigraphic Context: The Phosphoria Rock Complex, Wyoming and Idaho

2. Julia Mulhern, University of Utah, Advisor: Dr. Cari Johnson, Controls on the deposition and preservation of transgressive strata in a high-accommodation setting

Edwin D. McKee Grant

1. Cody J. Stopka, New Mexico State University, Advisor: Dr. Brian Hampton, Sedimentology and provenance from Upper Cretaceous strata in southern New Mexico: Implications for sediment dispersal along the southernmost margin of the Sevier foreland basin

2. Isaac Allred, Brigham Young University, Advisor: Dr. Sam Hudson, Fluvial architecture and facies distribution of the Cutler Formation within Fisher minibasin, Paradox basin, Utah: Reservoir modeling of a salt-influenced, source-proximal fluvial system using digital outcrop techniques 

The Fluvial Sedimentology Award

1.  Sharon K. McMullen, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Advisor: Dr. Shanan E. Peters, Controls on the stratigraphic distribution of non-marine fossils: a case study in the Jurassic Morrison Formation, western USA

2. Daphnee Tuzlak, Utah State University, Advisor: Dr. Joel Pederson, Investigating patterns of bedrock incision to understand fluvial processes and tectonic deformation around the Yellowstone Hotspot, Snake River Canyon, Wyoming


Donald L. Smith Research Grant

1. Evan Jones, Colorado School of Mines, Characterizing the Response of Fluvial Systems to Extreme Early Eocene Global Warming Events: A Petrographic Analysis of the Wasatch and Green River Formations, Uinta Basin Utah.

Edwin D. McKee Grant:

1. Kellie Kerner, New Mexico Tech, Relationship of Sedimentary Facies to Architecture of Faulted Nonconformitiesw: Implications for Induced Seismicity

2. Preston Scott Cook, Brigham Young University, Detailed facies analysis and sequence stratigraphic framework for the Preuss Sandstone in Wyoming, Utah and Idaho

Fluvial Sedimentology Award:

1. Jianqiao Wang, Colorado School of Mines, Fluvial megafans, their facies, architecture and reservoir prediction

2. Natalie Hollis, Idaho State University, Tracing the Stansbury Uplift with Detrital Zircon Signatures


Donald L. Smith Research Grant:

Robert C. Mahon, University of Wyoming, Advisor: Brandon McElroy, Determination of Relationships Between Hydraulic Conditions, Bed Material Flux, Bed Deformation, and the Stratigraphic Record

Edwin D. McKee Grant:

Aaron Rodriguez, University of Idaho,Advisor: P.E. Isaacson, Problems with the Devonian – Carboniferous Boundary in the Northern Rocky Mountains, USA

Fluvial Sedimentology Award:

Jesse R. Pisel, Colorado School of Mines, Advisor: David Pyles, Statistical Analysis of Channel-Belt Clustering in the Low Net-Sand Content Lower Wasatch Formation, Uinta Basin, Utah


Fluvial Sedimentology Award

William Schellenbach, New Mexico State University. Advisors: Timothy Lawton and Nancy McMillan, Assessment of Non-Marine Sequence Stratigraphy Models: Sequence stratigraphic analysis of the Drip Tank Sandstone Member of the Straight Cliffs Fm., Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah

Edwin D. McKee Grant

Gabriela Keeton, CU Boulder, Advisors: Matt Pranter and Dave Budd, Genetic Classification of Fluvial Sandstones Based on Outcrop Gamma-ray Data and Borehole Images, Williams Fork Formation, Piceance Basin, CO

Donald L. Smith Research Grant

Laura Neser, University of North Carolina, Advisors: Louis Bartek and Kevin Stewart, Timing of Laramide deformation in the Northern Rocky Mountains