Geoscience students support petroleum graduate school

Haleigh Wallace

As part of a new graduate program starting this fall, geoscience students will be able to receive their master’s degree in petroleum engineering.

Devin Colley, geoscience senior said, “Other geoscience majors I’ve known, and most of the kids that have come through the program in my five years, have gone on to pursue careers in petroleum geology.”

The university added a master’s degree in the field as well as founding the Robert L. Bolin Graduate School of Petroleum Engineering.

Kari Bickhard, geoscience senior said, “I work as a TA and as an office/lab assistant, so when the news first got started it sounded like a rumor. Students came in to ask questions about when the new program would start and the application process involved long before there were even answers. The new program will not have any problems starting out with a strong and healthy pool of applicants.”

Bickhard said she believes the new addition is an excellent one for this campus.

“MSU has stood behind the importance of the Geoscience through economic booms and busts and has a strong and growing undergraduate program to show for it,” Bickhard said. “The Robert L. Bolin Graduate School of Petroleum Geology will take the current level of dedication and quality the department is capable of to the next level.”

Students will have the option of completing a five-year degree plan which includes bachelor’s and master’s curriculum or a two-year program for undergraduates in geology or related fields.

Colley said, “Not only can you specialize in petroleum, but environmental geoscience, igneous petrology and geochemistry, and sedimentology stratigraphy/paleontology, too.”

Colley also said he would like to see the university as not only a great undergraduate university, but as also a great place to pursue even higher degrees of specialization in any field.

“The addition of a new graduate school in Geology is definitely a step in that direction,” Colley said.

A gift granted to the university in 2012 has led to new and highly advanced equipment and software for the Bolin Geology Lab, the establishment of the Robert L. Bolin Distinguished Professor of Petroleum Geology recognition, and more support for a desert research station.

The Bolin gift was presented to the university by the Bolin family of Wichita Falls in honor of Robert L. Bolin, a successful oil businessman. The family continues to manage oil firms in town and in Midland.

Related: Reception marks founding of petroleum geology graduate program