Donna S. Anderson

Affiliate Faculty, Geology and Geological Engineering

Donna Anderson


  • Ph.D. Geology- Colorado School of Mines, Colorado – 1997
  • M.S. Geology – University of California Los Angeles, California – 1980
  • B.A. Earth Science – California State University Fullerton, California – 1974
  • Certified Petroleum Geologist #5522; Professional Geologist #3957, California, Professional Geologist #3785, Wyoming

Research Interests

Analyzing the sedimentary architecture of clastic and mixed carbonate/clastic depositional systems at many scales, using outcrop and subsurface data; evaluating architectural changes relative to tectonics and climatic controls. I have worked on the stratigraphy, sedimentology, and reservoir characterization of fluvial, deltaic, and deepwater sandstone and mudrock systems.

Courses Taught/Co-Taught

Petrology of Mudrocks (2017)
Rocky Mountain Clastic Sequences (2016, 2008)
Geology Field Camp, Molas Lake (2012-2016)
Petroleum Engineering Field Camp (2002-2010)
Graduate Seminar in Geology (2003-2005)
Sedimentary Geology for Petroleum Engineers (2001-2005)


  • Stratigraphic architecture of Lower Paleozoic unconformities and tectonic implications.
  • Regional cross-basinal correlation and stratigraphic analysis of Paleozoic and Mesozoic strata in Rocky Mountain region.
  • Mudrock sedimentology, stratigraphic architecture, and petroleum potential.
  • Fluvial architecture and stratigraphic modulation in the nonmarine Iles Formation of the Uinta-Piceance basin, in relation to fluvial reservoir heterogeneity and reservoir characterization.
  • Subsurface correlation and analysis of stratigraphic architecture of the Prairie Canyon Member of the Mancos Shale in the Uinta and northern Paradox basin, in relation to its possible origin as hyperpycnal deposits.
  • Stratigraphic and facies architecture of the Mancos Shale in western Colorado in relation to potential as a shale-gas resource.
  • Architecture and sediment delivery processes in the Lewis Shale-Fox Hills deltaic-slope system of the Greater Green River basin, Wyoming, in relation to mixed-mode sediment delivery within a tectonically-forced slope system.
  • Changing accommodation response of incised valley-fill systems across a foreland basin transect in the Bear River-Dakota of western Wyoming.


  • 2017 to present: Affiliate Faculty, Colorado School of Mines.
  • 2000-2016: Associate Research Professor, Colorado School of Mines (part-time): Research on the stratigraphy, sedimentology, and reservoir characterization of clastic systems Advised/co-advised eight M.S. Theses 2004-2011.
  • 2006-2015: Geological Advisor, EOG Resources, Denver, CO (retired). Responsible for developing unconventional tight oil/gas exploration plays and prospects and guide exploitation programs in the Rocky Mt region, in close association with geophysicists, petroleum engineers, and landmen. Also, responsible for in-house stratigraphy short-courses and development of technology-transfer opportunities across the company. Results included new field discoveries in the Niobrara and Codell formations of the DJ basin, WY-CO and in the Turner and Parkman formations of the Powder Rv. Basin, WY.
  • 1992-2006: Consulting Geologist, Stratigraphy and Sedimentology, Golden, Colorado (part-time): Stratigraphic and sedimentologic analysis for petroleum and geotechnical engineering problems using subsurface and outcrop data. Application of high-resolution correlation techniques to predict the geometries and lateral continuities of sedimentary rock bodies at multiple scales. Projects have involved fluvio-lacustrine, deltaic and shoreface systems in tectonically active settings around the world.
  • 1997-1998: Post-Doctoral Research Fellow in Stratigraphy, Colorado School of Mines: Research into subsurface correlation strategies for deepwater sandstone reservoirs using Red Oak field of the Arkoma Basin, Oklahoma. Results used in reservoir characterization analysis by Amoco Production Co.
  • 1980-1992: Exploration & Production Geologist, and Exploration Supervisor, Mobil Oil Corporation, Denver, CO: Developed play concepts, leads, and prospects for petroleum exploration in Offshore California and Wyoming Thrust Belt. Conducted stratigraphic field studies in Early Cretaceous estuarine-shoreface units of western Green River Basin and Thrust Belt. Supervised exploration teams in Rocky Mountain basins. Lead production geologist for heavy-oil steamflood project in fluvio-lacustrine reservoirs, South Belridge field, California.
  • 1979-1980: Graduate Research Assistant UCLA: Analyzed field geologic and petrographic data for provenance study of mid-Tertiary nonmarine units in order to reconstruct Miocene extensional/rotational tectonics of southwestern Coast Range and Transverse Range provinces of California.
  • 1974-1978: Staff Geologist for geotechnical/civil engineering firms, southern CA: Drilled, mapped, trenched, and wrote reports for slope stability and active fault investigations, geologic evaluations of nuclear power plant sites, and EIS/EIR’s in the western U.S.

Publications (Selected, Chronological)

  • Anderson, D.S., and Longman, M.W., 2017, Revisiting the Bighorn Dolomite (Ordovician) and Darby (Devonian) subcrop geometry across southwestern Wyoming: New light from an old well: AAPG Search & Discovery #51416.
  • McDowell, B, Milkov, A., and Anderson, D.S., 2017, The helium system: A modification of the petroleum system for inert gases: AAPG Search & Discovery # 42098.
  • Anderson, D.S., Melby, J.H., and Folcik, J.L., 2015, A short history of the “Jake” Niobrara horizontal oil discovery, Weld County, Colorado: Mountain Geologist, v. 52, p. 5-12.
  • Anderson, D.S., 2014, Rangely and southwest Rangely field summaries, in Roger, J.P., Milne, J.J., Cumella, S.P., DuBois, D. and Lillis, P.G. eds., Oil and gas field of Colorado 2014: p. 258-266.
  • Ramirez, K. Carr, M.M., Thompson, J.A., Miskimins, J.L., and Anderson, D.S., 2014, Geology, completions and reservoir engineering: Key drivers for the selection of field development in fluvial tight gas reservoirs: UrTec #2013-052
  • Cuba, P.H., Miskimins, J.L., Anderson, D.S., and Carr, M.M., 2013, Impacts of diverse fluvial depositional environments on hydraulic fracture growth in tight gas reservoirs: SPE 140413 PA, 25 p.
  • Ramirez, K.M., Cuba, P.H., Miskimins, J.L., Anderson, D.S. and Carr, M.M., 2012, Integrating geology hydraulic fracturing modeling, and reservoir simulation in the evaluation of complex fluvial tight gas reservoirs: SPE 151931, SPE/EAGE European Unconventional Resources Conference and Exhibition, Vienna, Austria, 16 p.
  • Cuba, P.H., Miskimins, J.L., Anderson, D.S., and Carr. M.M., 2011, Impacts of diverse fluvial depositional environments on hydraulic fracture growth in tight gas reservoirs: SPE 140413, SPE Hydraulic Fracturing Technology Conference and Exhibition, The Woodlands, TX, 22 p.
  • Estes-Jackson, J., and Anderson, D.S., eds., 2011, Niobrara exploration frontiers in the central Rockies: Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists, Denver, CO. CD-ROM, 524 p.
  • Anderson, D.S., and Harris, N.B., 2006, Integrated sequence stratigraphic and geochemical resource characterization of the Lower Mancos Shale, Uinta basin, Utah: Utah Geological Survey Open-file Report 483, 130 p.
  • Anderson, D.S., 2006, Architecture of crevasse and point-bar bodies of the nonmarine Iles Formation north of Rangely, Colorado: Implications for reservoir description: Mountain Geologist, v. 42, p. 109-122.
  • Anderson, D.S.and Miskimins, J.L., 2005, Using field experiences to develop a multidisciplinary foundation for Petroleum Engineering students: Journal of Geoscience Education, v. 54, p. 172-178.
  • G., Pasternack, I., and Anderson, D.S., 2004, Preliminary assessment of reservoir quality controls in Lewis Shale sandstone, south-central Wyoming, in Horn, M., ed., Wyoming basins and reversing the decline: Wyoming Geological Association, 2002 and 2003 field conference guidebook, p. 89-99.
  • Peterson, K., Olson, T.M., and Anderson, D.S., eds., 2003, Piceance Basin Guidebook 2003: Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists, Denver, CO, 505 p.
  • Anderson, D.S., 2002, Keeping pace: Continental (nonmarine) sequence stratigraphy in a high accommodation-sediment supply regime, Hornelen Basin (Devonian), Norway, in Armentrout, J.A., ed., Sequence stratigraphic models for exploration and production: Gulf Coast SEPM 22nd Bob F. Perkins Research Symposium volume, p. 201-216.
  • Anderson, D.S., Robinson, J.R., Estes-Jackson, J., and Coalson, E.B., eds., 2001, Gas in the Rockies: Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists, Denver, CO, 315 p.
  • Anderson, D.S., and Cross, T.A., 2001, Large-scale cycle architecture in continental strata, Hornelen Basin (Devonian), Norway: Journal of Sedimentary Research, v. 71, p. 255-271.

Professional Activities, Honors, Awards

Past President of: RMS AAPG (2005), RMAG (2004), RMS SEPM (1996).

Associate Editor AAPG Bulletin (2015-present), AAPG DPA Councilor (2012-2015), AAPG Advisory Council (2009-2012), Technical Program Chm AAPG ACE (2015), Technical Program Chm RMS AAPG Section Mtg (2014), General Chm RMS AAPG Section Mtg (2008).

Outstanding Scientist Award RMAG (2017), Distinguished Service Award RMS AAPG (2016), Distinguished Service Award AAPG (2014), Best paper Award EMD AAPG (2012), Best Poster Award RMS AAPG (2007), Outstanding Faculty Member in Geology and Geological Engineering (2006), Honorary Member RMAG (2006), Distinguished Service Award RMAG (2002)

Berthoud Hall 135
Fax: 303-273-3859