AAPG Convention — Short resume

Here’s my short resume that I’ll have posted on the AAPG Career Center bulletin board, with pull-off tabs at the bottom with my name, email, and cell phone number. I have a more detailed resume, of course, for those who are interested.

Kevin Nelstead


  • M.S. in Geology, Washington State University
    • Coursework included Sedimentary Petrology, Clastic Depositional Systems, Carbonate Depositional Systems, Paleoecology, and Structural Analysis.
  • B.S. in Geology, Montana State University.
    • Coursework included Petroleum Geology and Groundwater Resources.
  • 37 semester hours in Chemistry and Geochemistry, including a full year of Organic Chemistry and Organic Laboratory, as well as Isotope Geology and X-Ray Analysis in Geology.
  • High GPA and very high GRE scores – put my intelligence to work for you!


  • Eleven years experience with imagery interpretation, digital cartography, and GIS (Federal Government)
  • Five years experience as a high school science teacher in Eastern Europe.
  • Teaching Assistant for introductory Geology and Chemistry courses.
  • Research Assistant – Electron microprobe analysis and fission-track dating.

Recent Training:

  • Short Course: Applied Geology and Geochemistry of Gas Shales, AAPG Convention, June 2009.
  • ArcGIS courses from ESRI: 3D Analysis (Sept 2008), Spatial Analysis (March 2009), Geoprocessing (in progress).

Contact me here at the AAPG Convention: 720-xxx-xxxx

E-mail: knelst [-at-] yahoo.com

Currently residing in Lakewood, CO (Willing to relocate in the West)

9 thoughts on “AAPG Convention — Short resume

  1. lightsmith

    I won’t be praying for you, but I do wish you well in finding employment.

    Are you familiar with, or aware of, Thomas Gold’s “Deep Hot Biosphere” and his theory of non-biogenic “fossil” fuels? If so, what do you think of it?

    Frankly, whether fossil fuels are exclusively biogenic or not, I’d like to see plans for near-term manned exploration of the Moon or Mars scrapped, and the money spent on deep-sea and deep-earth exploration instead. Any resources we find there will be more economical than helium-3 from the moon or pure bars of gold and uranium stacked on Mars.

    Hope you WOW those employers.


  2. geochristian


    Thanks for wishing me well on my job search.

    I am familiar with the Gold’s “Deep Hot Biosphere” concept. Those who are most familiar with the occurrence of hydrocarbons in the Earth’s crust, that is petroleum geologists, almost universally reject this hypothesis.

    The arguments for the biological origin of petroleum deposits are as follows:

    1. All significant oil deposits are found in areas with sedimentary rocks. If hydrocarbons were leaking from the mantle, more deposits would be found in areas with igneous and metamorphic rocks.

    2. There are commercial hydrocarbon deposits in igneous rocks, but these are always in places where the magma moved through or intruded into organic-rich sedimentary rocks.

    3. There are no commercial accumulations of oil or gas in continental shields (large areas of crust with no sedimentary cover, such as the Canadian Shield).

    4. Carbon isotope ratios (the ratio of carbon-12 to carbon-13) for hydrocarbon deposits are consistent with a biological origin rather than a mantle origin. (Organisms preferentially use C-12, which is slightly lighter than C-13, so carbon in living organisms is slightly enriched in C-12 as compared to carbon from non-biological sources).

    5. Oil is made up of thousands of organic compounds. For many of these, it is possible to trace these compounds (biochemical markers) back to the source rocks, which are usually organic-rich shales. Laboratory investigations have backed this up, showing how oil and gas can be derived through chemical reactions from organic debris in sedimentary rocks.

    No one is saying that there are absolutely no hydrocarbons being outgassed from the mantle. But almost all petroleum geologists will say that there are no commercial deposits that are made from “deep hot Earth” origins.


  3. lightsmith

    geochristian, thank you for your detailed critique. The experts are probably right, but when you get back home, if you have time, I still have a couple of questions.

    I notice you are careful to use the “commercial” qualifier. Is it possible that petroleum-style hydrocarbons are known to originate in the mantle, but it is not economically feasible to extract them at this time because those currently found in sedimentary rocks are relatively more abundant and more accessible? In other words, if sedimentary oil is exhausted, might other sources become commercial which are not commercial now? Assuming, of course, that there is still demand, and we haven’t switched to solar/nuclear/biofuel/etc.

    Also, do you know why organisms might prefer to use C-12 rather than C-13? I guess that’s more a question for a biologist than a geologist, but if you happen to know, I’m curious. Is it just because there is more C-12 in the atmosphere? It would seem that once an organism has done the work of separating the carbon from the molecule it rode in on, it would be more efficient to use whatever it got, rather than throwing away the unlucky 13s and go back to cracking nuts looking for 12s.


  4. geochristian


    There are some mantle- or deep crust-derived hydrocarbon reservoirs that are not associated with organic-rich sedimentary rocks, but they are very small, and therefore non-commercial. For example, a deep well (6957 m, 22825 ft) was drilled in Precambrian igneous rocks in Sweden for research into this issue. A very small amount of oil (85 barrels) and gas were recovered. One dry hole doesn’t disprove the deep hot biosphere hypothesis, but this should have been an ideal test of the idea.

    Organisms prefer C-12 in processes like photosynthesis because the atom is slightly lighter than C-13, so it is slightly easier to break bonds involving C-12 atoms. There is a lot more C-12 in the atmosphere (99%) than C-13, but photosynthesis enriches this even a little bit more (measurable in parts per thousand).

    Geologists use isotopic processes in a variety of settings to determine how rocks and minerals formed, or to study past environments. For example, water containing oxygen-16 isotopes boils slightly easier than water containing the slightly heavier O-17 or O-18 isotopes. This means that oxygen isotope ratios can tell us something about temperatures in past times. Analysis of oxygen isotope ratios in Greenland and Antarctic ice cores is the primary means by which we have been able to reconstruct climate change for the past few millions years.


  5. Thomas

    Sorry to be off-topic, but I didn’t see a general comments section. I have been enjoying your site lately. I also noticed that you commented on siriusknotts.wordpress. Would you care taking a look at the conversation on the “Creation Museum’s New Natural Selection Exhibit” and letting me know what you think about what I said about geological layers? No big deal if you don’t have the time. God bless in your search for work.


  6. lightsmith

    Thank you for that additional information. I didn’t know there were oxygen isotopes which shifted the boiling point of water, but that kind of thing fascinates me.

    If there is indeed no untapped reservoir of “deep” hydrocarbons, and the cheap fuel will truly be gone when the shallower sources are exhausted, I wish you even more luck in finding a spot in industry which will help discover and retrieve as much as possible. When I consider how much of our food supply (and other essentials) has come to depend on cheap petroleum, I’m truly concerned for the future. At this point, I don’t see solar, wind, and nuclear filling the gap if the oil (and coal) runs out.


  7. Pingback: Updates: job search, Best of The GeoChristian, Dr. Dino « The GeoChristian

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