Lana Czerniakowski, 2006 Distinguished Service Award
People who know Lana Czerniakowski often wonder how she can do so much. She is not just a distinguished geologist, but a technical leader in her company, a respected supervisor, a home decorator and entertainer who could give Martha Stewart a run for her money, and a wife and mother of a happy, successful family.
Lana is originally from Michigan, and is a graduate of Wayne State University and the University of Michigan. As an undergraduate, she intended to be a math major, but her interest in the natural world emerged, and led her to geology. Her graduate advisors, James Lee Wilson and K.C. Lohman, imbued her with a classic knowledge of sedimentary rocks, and enthusiasm for new technology. Lana joined Conoco in 1981 in Denver, Colorado, and plunged into frontier exploration. She mastered the basics of petroleum geology quickly, and before long was active in carbonate research for the Ponca City Research Group. In Denver, she met her future husband Ron Stokes, also a geologist. Despite their affection for Denver, they moved on to Houston in 1987 to explore the Gulf Coast.
After her first offshore assignment, Lana was tapped to be Conoco’s carbonate specialist for the Alaska ANWR field expedition in 1990. Her work in far eastern ANWR revealed important stratigraphic and structural features in this frontier area. In 1992, Lana was transferred to Conoco’s Lafayette office, where she led programs in frontier exploration and Conoco’s deep-water Gulf of Mexico exploration. She subsequently advanced to Chief Geologist for the Gulf of Mexico, and after the merger of Conoco and Phillips Petroleum, she moved back to Houston to become Chief Geologist for the Lower 48 onshore exploration and development division. She presently is Director of a New Venture Exploration Project in Houston, focused once again on Alaska.
Lana has always demonstrated a desire to contribute to the science and profession of geology. She has made time to publish, mentor others, recruit and support new hires in their transition into industry. Lana served as alumni advisor to the Department of Geology and Mineralogy at the University of Michigan from 2000 to 2004.
She has served as Secretary-Treasurer of GCSSEPM from 2002 to 2006, 1999 GCAGS Transactions Editor (GCSSEPM Section), 2001 GCAGS Transactions Editor (Frontal Material), as well as 2001 GCAGS Vice Chairman (GCSSEPM Section). Lana is a member of AAPG, GSCSEPM, SEPM, GSA, HGS and RMAG. She is both a Wyoming Professional Geologist and Texas Licensed Geologist. Lana and Ron have two children, and currently reside in the Houston area.