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Sam Hudson

Associate Professor - AAPG Student Chapter Faculty Advisor

Office: S-337 ESC


  • 2008 PhD., University of Utah
  • 2004 M.S., University of Nevada
  • 2002 B.S., University of Utah


I am a professor in the Department of Geological Sciences at Brigham Young University. I earned my PhD from the University of Utah working with Cari Johnson, which focused on using geochemistry to understand the evolution of the South Caspian Basin and implications for the petroleum systems it contains. Before that I attended UNLV, working with Andrew Hanson to understand hydrocarbon migration along the salt structures of the La Popa basin in Mexico. I also worked for six years in the energy industry at ConocoPhillips as part of their technology and exploration groups. Much of my research is still directed to, and funded by, the energy industry. I am sedimentary geologist who loves working at all scales - everything from a single ripple all the way up to an entire basin. In fact, the use of fine-scale, process-based sedimentology to understand large scale basin dynamics is my favorite kind of geology. I work all over the world, having done recent projects in Alaska, Azerbaijan and Greece, but I also spend a fair amount of time working the Cretaceous of the Western US. I try to strike a balance between ‘shaly’ projects that utilize geochemical methods to understand basin evolution and ‘sandy’ projects that look at stream, delta and turbidite systems. Great projects use both of these approaches in cooperation. A strong part of my research is application to real problems – most of my funding comes from the energy industry (petroleum, geothermal), and most of my students (graduate and undergraduate) go on to find careers as applied geologists. Geology is awesome, feel free to contact me if you have any questions.


* For publications, see link to my Google Scholar profile above

Current and Former Graduate Students

  • Isaac Allred – MS, 2016
    • PhD from Kansas
    • Research Geologist at Indiana Geological and Water Survey
    • Thesis: Spatial Trends and Facies Distribution of the High-Energy Alluvial Cutler Formation, Southeastern Utah
  • Ethan Cook – MS, 2017
    • Operations Geologist with Antero Resources
    • Thesis: Near-Salt Stratal Geometries and Implications for the Evolution of the Onion Creek Diapir Moab, UT
  • Scott Meek – MS, 2017
    • Assistant Professor of Geology at Snow College
    • Thesis: Characterizing the Low Net-to-Gross, Fluviodeltaic Dry Hollow Member of the Frontier Formation, Western Green River Basin, Wyoming
  • Trevor Tuttle – MS, 2018
    • Geologist at Ovintiv
    • Thesis: Paleo-Environmental Interpretations and Weathering Effects of the Mowry Shale from Geochemical Analysis of Outcrop Samples in the Western Margin of the Wind River Basin near Lander, Wyoming
  • Alex Washburn – MS, 2019
    • PhD candidate, Texas Tech
    • Thesis: Constraining Kura and South Caspian Basin Maikop Source Rock Stratigraphy, Deposition, and Timing Using Chemostratigraphy of Redox-Sensitive Metals and Re-Os Geochronology
  • Chelsea Jolley
    • Geologist with Marathon Oil Corporation
    • Thesis: Basinward Trends in Fluvial Architecture, Connectivity, and Reservoir Characterization of the Trail Member, Ericson Sandstone, Mesaverde Group in Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado, USA
  • April Trevino – MS, 2019
    • Thesis: Fluvial Architecture and Reservoir Modeling Along the Strike Direction of the Trail Member of the Ericson Sandstone, Mesaverde Group in Southwest Wyoming
  • Joseph Phillips – MS, 2020
    • Geologist with Occidental Petroleum
    • Thesis: Building a Predictive Model for Stratigraphic Transitions and Lateral Facies Changes in the Cretaceous Almond Formation, Wyoming
  • Annie Smoot Brown – MS, 2021
    • Geologist with Geosyntec Consultants
    • Thesis: Using Facies Analysis and Reservoir Characterization of the Albian-Cenomanian Nanushuk Formation to Assist in Better Understanding Interactions Between Shoreface, Deltaic, and Fluvial Systems on the North Slope, Alaska
  • Sarah Naone – MS, 2022
    • Geologist with Occidental Petroleum
    • Thesis: Facies Architecture and Provenance of the Highly Progradational, Fluvial Dominated Deltaic Depositional System of the Cretaceous Nanushuk Formation on the North Slope of Alaska
  • Jonathon Sevy, MS in progress
    • Thesis: Geochemical Analysis of Pindos Basin Turbidites Using Associated Shales


  • Geology 101: Introduction to Geology
  • Geology 111: Physical Geology
  • Geology 210: Field Studies
  • Geology 370: Sedimentology & Stratigraphy
  • Geology 420, 422: Field Camp and Geological Writing
  • Geology 491R: Geology Seminar
  • Geology 525: Petroleum Systems Analysis
  • Geology 576: 3D Subsurface Mapping and Evaluation
  • Geology 590: Special Topics - Advanced Sedimentology
  • Geology 590: Special Topics - Basin Analysis
  • Geology 590: Special Topics - Energy Systems