My research centers on the origins, evolution, and energy resources of sedimentary basins, employing multiple methodologies on outcrop and subsurface data sets. A principal research focus, in collaboration with Professor Donald Lowe, is the characterization of deep-marine siliciclastic coarse-grained sediment accumulations (submarine fans). A second, long-running research effort lies in the tectonic evolution of eastern Asia (China and Mongolia), as reflected in the fill of sedimentary basins. A third principal research area is the relationship between mountain building and climate, especially in the western U.S. and Asia, conducted in collaboration with Professor Page Chamberlain.
I co-teach undergraduate courses in sedimentary geology and energy resources and policy. My graduate courses include sedimentary basin analysis, petroleum geology, petroleum reservoir characterization and modeling, and interpretation of reflection seismic data.
Chair, Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences (2007-present); Grover E. Murray Memorial Distinguished Educator Award, American Association of Petroleum Geologists (2007); Circum-Pacific Council Board of Directors (2001-present); associate dean for academic affairs, Stanford School of Earth Sciences (1999-2007); Outstanding Educator Award, Pacific Section, American Association of Petroleum Geologists (1995); associate editor, Journal of Sedimentary Research (1994-97) Councilor of Sedimentology, SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology) (1991-93); honorary member, Pacific Section, SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology) (1991); Sproule Award, American Association of Petroleum Geologists (1987); associate editor, American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin (1983-89); fellow, Geological Society of America (1982); president Pacific Section, Society of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralogists (1982)