Sara Venable

SaraVenableHowGrowing up I was more interested in catching crawfish in the creek behind our house then in looking at rocks. That was a long time before I ever heard the word Geology and even longer before I knew people don’t just catch crawfish, they eat them too. The setting was the suburbs of Austin, and my earliest geological memory was observing the massive limestone rocks which had been blasted apart so a more level freeway could be built.

After high school, I lived at home and attended Austin Community College. I loved my classes there and would have stayed forever if they had let me. I signed up for Physical Geology to fulfill a science requirement. We learned about plate tectonics, which was a concept that thrilled me to no end- that plate movement explains mountain building, volcanoes and earthquakes was like discovering a whole new world of explanations for the Planet. I formally declared Geology as my major because I thought it was so cool.

Later a classmate in my Environmental Biology class was talking about Texas A&M in Corpus Christi. I had never heard of it, but by that time the internet was in full swing, so I hopped on my stepdad’s dial-up computer and saw the “Island University” homepage which was an aerial photo of the school. They offered Geology as a major and were close to the beach; how could I go wrong?

I moved to Corpus Christi, and a couple years later as graduation approached I started wondering what job in my field of study could possibly replace delivering pizza. A few weeks later an email came across the listserv that a local company was looking for a Geotech. I wasn’t sure about working in the oil industry, but I figured the worst thing that could happen was I would find out I didn’t like it. So I went to work learning the oil business working with Jeff Osborn and Allen Lassiter. It turned out I was luckier than many of my classmates in Austin who had majored in the then red-hot field of Computer Science. By the time I graduated, the dot-com bubble had burst, and instead of being out looking for work, I was in an office correlating logs and working on my first prospect. Well that deal didn’t get drilled for another five years, but it was one of the prettiest logs I’ve ever seen.

My days over the last eight years have been a mixture of logs, well tests, seismic, velocities, calculations, agreements and attempting to stay organized. It has been quite the ride, and I am thankful to have stumbled in this field which provides endless opportunities for learning and moving forward.

And that my friends is how I got into Geology.

Sara Venable–Geologist