Missouri S&T has received the largest gift in its history: an in-kind donation of proprietary seismic data valued at $6.5 million from Calico Jack Holdings LLC and Zion Energy LLC, both Houston-based oil and gas exploration companies.
“This remarkable gift provides our students with a rare opportunity to hone their interpretative and mapping skills using a geologic and seismic data set that is currently in development for drilling,” says Dr. David Borrok, chair of the geosciences and geological and petroleum engineering department. “Working with this kind of active data set is a huge advantage because it puts our students on the front line of actual exploration scenarios.”
The data, which has been donated to S&T’s geosciences and geological and petroleum engineering department, is a 3-D geologic and seismic survey of 85 square miles along the Texas Gulf Coast.
“We hope this proprietary data set will assist students in multifaceted ways,” says Stephen Zeboski, a 1981 geology and geophysics graduate of Missouri S&T and the founder of Calico Jack Holdings LLC.
“Geoscience students can use this data as a learning tool for interpretation and mapping. Petroleum engineering students can use the data for reservoir analysis to assist in prospect generation. I truly valued the time I spent at Rolla, and I am thankful for the events in my career that brought me to this point. Understanding that it started with my education, I have always felt a desire to give back.”
Zeboski’s business partner, Mike Looney, founder of Zion Energy LLC, earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in geology from the University Texas at Austin. The two geoscientists have been business partners since 1989 and formed their first company in 2001.
“I’ve been involved in raising contributions for the School of Geological Sciences (at the University of Texas) so I understand the value of gifts of this nature,” says Looney. “Having a modern 3-D seismic data set will help students learn and expand their skills at interpreting data. This is necessary for generating and developing the geologically sound oil and gas prospects that are key to successful exploration.”
The data will be used in classes including Exploration and Development Seismology, Introduction to Geophysical Data Analysis, Seismic Stratigraphy and Seismic Data Processing.
“This gift positions our students on the front line of the exploration frontier,” says interim Chancellor Christopher G. Maples. “It will have a direct impact on their learning experience and their employment prospects as graduates. Among the many forms of alumni support Missouri S&T is fortunate to receive, gifts of this nature provide an extraordinary advantage because these are learning tools the university could never acquire in any other way.”
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