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Student Spotlight: Chelsea Jolley

Chelsea Jolley, Rock Springs, WY
Photo by April Trevino

What sparked your interest in geology, and in your decision for your prospectus topic?

When I first started my undergraduate career at BYU-Idaho, I never once thought about the possibility of being a geology major. As required I took the 3 levels of science GE courses and they all happened to be taught by geology professors. That is when I realized how cool geology is and how it allows us to study and understand the history of the Earth. I quickly changed my major to Geology and found myself interested in sedimentology and stratigraphy. After competing on the BYU-Idaho Imperial Barrel Award (IBA) team (oil and gas competition), I realized that I really enjoyed petroleum geology and how it applied to the things I was learning in my courses. My interest in sedimentology/stratigraphy and how it applies to oil and gas exploration led me to apply to BYU to work with Dr. Sam Hudson. My thesis project involves studying a Late Cretaceous fluvial system that deposited sandstones, which are currently being drilled for natural gas production. This project allows me to utilize both outcrop and subsurface well and core data to understand how the fluvial system changes towards the basin.

What challenges did you have to overcome?

Weather in Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado!

What are your plans for research and work now?

I worked at Marathon Oil last summer as a petroleum geologist intern and will return there as a full-time employee in August.