Dr. Paul Mann
Information For Graduate Students

Graduate student opportunities: I am always looking for self-motivated and hard working students who are both interested in the field of tectonics and willing to go the extra mile and include "one more data set" in their thesis or dissertation study. This type of training is valuable both to those wanting to go to careers in the oil industry and also for those interested in academic research and teaching. Once you get to industry you will be zoomed in on prospect sized areas. Our program provides students a good opportunity to understand the regional scale which you may never have the opportunity to learn once you are within the industry.

I no longer offer RAs to MS students.  Due to changes in 2013 in the way the University of Houston administration subsidizes grad students, I am no longer recruiting MS students or supporting them as RAs.  The problem is that under the new rules, I can support two PhD students for the price of one MS student.  The only exception I would make for supervising a MS student are those qualified MS students who are willing to pay 100% of their own support either through their own funds or a sponsoring company.  

In the case of a self-supporting MS student I will still expect a high degree of professionalism and maturity during an intensive, 110%, two-year commitment to their science that will include field-related travel, reporting of results at a minimum of one national or international meeting, and at least one published paper resulting from their thesis. This paper needs to be submitted by the time of their graduation date. Highly motivated master's students complete more than one publication.

I ask that master's students devote the summer following their first year of classes to their research rather than taking a summer internship with an oil company. The reason for this is that the summer is essential to making the type of progress needed to complete one or more publications in two years (and take classes during the academic semesters).

For PhD students, You will need to make a longer 3-5 year committment that will culminate with you leaving here as a globally-recognized expert on whatever topic you chose. Your path will include: 1) extensive field work (either at land or sea or both, or here using office-based geophysical data); 2) frequent presentations at national and international meetings such as AGU, GSA, and AAPG; 3) development of a network of colleagues outside of the University of Houston especially since you will need that network to find a job, and 4) producing a minimum of three published papers resulting from your study. These papers need to be accepted by the time of their graduation date. The current record for first-authored publications from a single PhD dissertation is five and is shared by two students (Rogers, PhD, 2001; Escalona, PhD, 2002). Castillo (PhD, 2001) produced three publications and was only a PhD student at UT for three years.

Thesis and dissertation topics. From Day One, Year One as an entering graduate student, I will start to quiz you about developing your topic and will expect you to devote time to this each week (rather than taking two semesters of courses and an internship and then reappearing "ready to start" a full year later). Many of the students come with firm ideas and data to work on (eg, they have been given a specific data set from an oil company), but others don't have it so easy and have to find their own data or find a field area that addresses a significant problem. To facilitate slow and steady progress, our group has weekly meetings where each student makes an oral presentation of the progress they have made that week on their research topic and their plans for the following week. This steady, forward motion is essential to keeping on track for completing research that is of publishable quality in as little as two years.

The payoff of all this work, planning, and close supervision. A list of students I have worked with who have won awards for presentations at national and international meetings can be found here (add link to CBTH awards). Their present jobs are listed on the list of graduated students.  I will send you an update of this list).

Visit us! The best way to see if this program is a good fit for you is to visit us in person here in Houston, Texas. Please contact me or plan a one or two day visit UH to discuss how you might develop your topic into a UH thesis or dissertation study. We can arrange for you to stay with one of the grad students working on a topic that may interest you (see list of current graduate students at: .

Location of UH EAS Departmenthttp://www.eas.uh.edu/docs/geos/Campus%20Directions.pdf

Best time to visit: Our group meets from 10-11 am on Fridays in room 427 of the SR2 Bldg.  This is a good time to get an overview of the activities. 

UH application process: Please refer to this website for deadlines and requirements.  


For questions about applications please contact Sylvia Marshall.