Speaker: Jon Rotzien, Ph. D

Topic: Deepwater Sedimentary Systems: Science, Discovery and Applications


Deepwater Sedimentary Systems: Science, Discovery and Applications helps industry professionals identify, understand and interpret deepwater sedimentary systems at various scales – both onshore and offshore. This course focuses on the best practices in the integration of geology, geophysics, engineering, technology and economics used to inform smart business decisions in these diverse environments. It draws on technical results gained from exploration and production drilling campaigns and global field analog studies. With the multi-decadal resilience of exploration and production in deepwater systems onshore and offshore, and the nature of its inherent uncertainty, this course serves as the essential reference for companies, consultancies, universities and government agencies seeking to understand deepwater systems and how to explore for and produce resources in these diverse environments. From an academic perspective, participants will use this course as the primer for understanding the processes, deposits and sedimentary environments in deep water – from deep oceans to deep lakes. This course provides conceptual approaches and state-of-the-art information on deepwater systems, as well as scenarios for the next 100 years of human-led exploration and development in deepwater, offshore environments. University students taught this material in today’s classrooms will become the leaders of tomorrow in Earth’s deepwater frontier. This course provides a broad foundation in deepwater sedimentary systems. What may take an individual dozens of academic and professional courses to achieve an understanding in these systems is provided in this course’s reference book (Deepwater Sedimentary Systems: Science, Discovery and Applications, Elsevier, 2022, 806 pages) and will be available for purchase at registration and day of the course. First 100 Registrants will also receive a copy of The Explorer’s Mindset: Lessons in Leadership in the Applied Geosciences and Energy Industry (Amazon KDP, estimated publish date August 27, 2023, 331 pages). 


  • Stanford University, Ph.D., Geology (2013)
  • Colorado College, B.A., Geology (2007)

Professional Interests:

Sedimentology, stratigraphy, sequence and seismic stratigraphy, basin analysis, source-to-sink and provenance analysis, reservoir characterization, subsurface interpretation, geologic risking and volumetric analysis, geologic mapping, play fairway mapping and prospect evaluation, oil and gas exploration, appraisal and developmet


  • 2015– President, Basin Dynamics, LLC, Consulting and Exploration, Houston, Texas
  • 2013–2015 Applied Geologist, BP, Exploration and Appraisal, Houston, Texas
  • 2012 BP, Gulf of Mexico Appraisal, Houston, Texas
  • 2010 Devon Energy, Southern Division Exploration, Houston, Texas
  • 2009 Shell, Bellaire Tech Center (BTC), Houston, Texas
  • 2008 Hess Corporation, GOM Pre-Development, Houston, Texas Academic Positions
  • 2020– Instructor, University of Texas McCombs School of Business, Finance Department, Energy Management Program, Austin, Texas
  • 2019– Adjunct Professor, University of Houston, Houston, Texas
  • 2018–2020 Adjunct Professor, University of Texas Permian Basin, Odessa, Texas
  • 2018– External Collaborator, The Drifters Research Group, Royal Holloway University of London
  • 2017– Instructor, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology Black Hills Natural Sciences Field Station, Rapid City, South Dakota
  • 2017–2018 Visiting Assistant Professor, University of Louisiana, Lafayette, Louisiana
  • 2017 Session Lecturer, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario
  • 2011–2013 TA/RA, Stanford University, Stanford, California J. R. Rotzien (April 2023)
  • 2007–2008 Paraprofessional, Economics and Business Department, Colorado College, Colorado Springs, Colorado