Other Medal Recipients


Mark G. Rowan, 2016 Doris M. Curtis Medal

Mark G. RowanIt is our pleasure and honor to present Mark G. Rowan with the 2016 Doris M. Curtis medal from the Gulf Coast Section of the SEPM. The Doris Malkin Curtis Medal recognizes geologists for their career contributions to the development of new concepts for understanding the geology of the Gulf of Mexico Basin and other basins globally. Mark Rowan epitomizes the type of research scientist deserving of this prestigious honor. For the past 30+ years Mark has delved into structural problems of the GOM at local, regional, and crustal scales. Throughout his career he has been at the forefront of researchers in developing new ideas, incorporating and revising old theories, and bringing in ideas from outside the GOM and applying them there.

Mark received a B.S. in biology from CalTech in 1976, an M.S. in geology from Berkeley in 1982, and a Ph.D. in geology from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1991. He worked for Sohio Petroleum Co. (1982–1985), Geo-Logic Systems (1985–1989), and Alastair Beach Associates in Glasgow, Scotland (1989–1992). He then returned to the University of Colorado as a Research Assistant Professor before founding his own company, Rowan Consulting, in 1998.

Although Mark's background includes research in many types of tectonic environments, his primary research and consulting interests are focused on the styles and kinematics of salt tectonics, the processes of salt-sediment interaction, the architecture and evolution of passive margins, and the applications to petroleum exploration. In these areas of research, Mark is one of the most visible and well recognized structural geologists in the world. He has collaborated with virtually every other well-known figure in salt tectonics, whether in academia or in the petroleum industry. His work ethic is second to none and his publication record is outstanding as he has been the author or coauthor of approximately 80 peer-reviewed papers and 170 abstracts.

In addition to his well-cited research, Mark is an excellent instructor and he teaches one of the most attended and sought-after courses in the petroleum industry. His Salt Tectonics School is consistently one of the highest rated classes presented by Nautilus USA and the AAPG. Many international exploration companies, service companies, and national oil companies have brought him for private runs of the school to their staff. Although he has been teaching the school for almost 20 years, it remains pertinent as he constantly updates the material with new concepts, figures, and seismic examples. As a result of his international reputation, Mark has been named as an AAPG Distinguished Lecturer and an AAPG International Distinguished Instructor.

Carl Fiduk and Thomas Hearon