Discovery is key to our program

Our faculty are engaged in several diverse projects that provide highly recognized insights on the nature of petroleum geology, the environment, paleontology and sedimentolgoy, and igneous petrology. We foster student involvement in all of our research endeavors. Most of our classes incorporate our research findings, exposing all of our students research. Furthermore, we support a number of undergraduate researchers who are directly responsible for pursuing significant results. We are now seeking qualified and motivated graduate researchers to tackle a number of independent avenues within our research expertise.

Petroleum Geology | Sedimentology and Paleontology | Petrology and Geochemistry

Undergraduate Research

Our faculty participate in UGROW and EURECA during the summer and academic year, respectively. These are interdisciplinary research programs that provide monitary and infrastructural support to undergraduates. We are also active in advising student research through independent study (GEOS 491X) courses.

Students may also embark on research with the Texas Stream Team at Midwestern State University, a network of certified students and professionals dedicated to protecting and promoting environmental stewardship of the Wichita Falls waterways. Please contact Ms. Raddiete Ghion for details.

Graduate Research

The Robert L. Bolin Graduate School of Petroleum Geology requires students to complete an original research project and thesis in one of the above areas of concentration. Perspective graduate students will seek out an area of concentration as part of the application process. Under faculty guidance, graduate researchers will engage in a well-defined topic that provides unique and novel insight, potentially leading to publication in the scientific literature.

Areas of Expertise

Petroleum Geology

W. Scott Meddaugh

Dr. Meddaugh’s current research interests are focused on several aspects of petroleum geology and reservoir characterization including:

  • Impact of geostatistics, reservoir modeling, heterogeneity, uncertainty, and human bias on reservoir performance forecasts, particularly for conventional oil and gas reservoirs and also on unconventional shale gas and shale oil.
  • Efficient incorporation of uncertainty in reservoir modeling, performance forecasting, and reservoir development decisions.
  • Interaction of reservoir rock and fluid with injected steam – impact of continuous injection and single vs. multiple cycle, cyclic steam stimulation (CSS) in non-clastic reservoirs. Application of reactive transport modeling (RTM) to understand the mineralogical and fluid changes induced by the injected steam as well as the impact steam injection on porosity and permeability.
  • Improved methods of accounting for historical production data uncertainty (e.g. allocation factors, low frequency well tests, “missing” data particularly for mature fields) particularly as it impacts decline curve-based assessments and dynamic model history matching.
  • Application of chemostratigraphy (core-based or cuttings-based) and stable isotopes as a reservoir characterization tool for carbonate reservoirs and for possible use as “sweet-spot” predictor (productivity and/or fracture susceptibility) for unconventional shale gas and shale oil plays.
  • Appropriate scale for characterization of permeability used in geostatistical reservoir models; particularly carbonate reservoirs where large permeability multipliers are typically needed during history matching.

More details: Dr. Meddaugh's ResearchGate Page

Key Research Facility: The Robert L. Bolin Petroleum Laboratory

Sedimentology and Paleobiology

Jesse R. Carlucci

Dr. Carlucci’s research focuses on integrating data from paleontology (trilobite abundances & systematics), paleoecology (quantitative analysis of diversity), and sedimentology (facies analysis, sequence stratigraphy) to explain the biogeographic distribution  of extinct organisms.  This type of work is useful in generating models of how basin geometry and environments were affected by physical changes on Earth.  Dr. Carlucci’s work features both a laboratory and field component, and current research areas are in the Arbuckle Mountains of Oklahoma, and the Valley and Ridge province of Virginia.

Ongoing projects

  • Trilobite phylogenetic systematics
  • Carbonate petrology, and evaluation of sedimentological indicators in meter-scale sequences.
  • Macro and micro-scale sequence stratigraphy, well log analysis in Oklahoma and Virginia
  • Geometric morphometrics and trilobite ontogeny
  • Biofacies and diversity analyses of Ordovician trilobites

More details: Dr. Carlucci's ResearchGate Page

Key Research Facility: Paleontology Prep and Sedimentology Lab

Petrology and Geochemistry

Jonathan D. Price

Dr. Price’s research focuses on the origin and nature of rocks (petrology) and the chemical systems from which they originate. He’s interested in magmatic materials and processes associated with volcanoes and their subterranean counterparts, plutons. His most recent projects utilize field exploration and mapping, geochemical analysis, and computer modeling to evaluate the crystalline rocks of southern Oklahoma, including the Wichita Mountains, the volcanic materials of the Trans-Pecos, west Texas, and the relatively young volcanoes of central Oregon. In addition to magmatism, Dr. Price is also interested in mineral growth and geochemistry in a variety of geologic settings.

Ongoing projects

  • Refinements to laser-ablation microanalysis
  • Evaluation of subsurface plutonic rocks in Southern Oklahoma
  • Alteration of volcanic products in and around the Dalquest Desert Research Station
  • Detailed (meter-scaled) evaluation of igneous intrusions
  • Geochemistry of gypsum deposits in west Texas and Oklahoma

More details: Dr. Price's ResearchGate Page  Dr. Price's Google Scholar Page

Key Research Facility: Petrology and Geochemistry Lab