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 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: .