Group honors WKU geology professor as outstanding educator
- Department of Earth, Environmental & Atmospheric Sciences
- Monday, October 4th, 2021
Dr. Mike May, a professor of geology in the Department of Earth, Environmental & Atmospheric Sciences (EEAS) at WKU, is the 2021 recipient of the Outstanding Educator Award for the Eastern Section of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG).
The award was formally announced Sunday by AAPG at the 50th Eastern Section Meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Eastern Section includes 22 states, the District of Columbia and Ontario, and represents 12 member societies in the eastern U.S. The annual meetings include topics in conventional hydrocarbon exploration and production, unconventional resources such as shale gas, carbon sequestration, and environmental solutions.
Dr. May has been educating students at WKU for more than 25 years. He was hired in 1996 after receiving graduate degrees from the University of Kansas (M.S., 1986) and Indiana University (Ph.D., 1992). Prior to his time at WKU, he worked for two major oil companies (Exxon in Midland, Texas; Shell in Houston, Texas) and two environmental consulting firms near Kansas City (1993-1996). He also held a summer internship with the USGS at the Nevada Test Site (1983) and he was an associate instructor at the Indiana University Geological Field Station in southwest Montana (1982).
Dr. May brought all of this experience to the Geological Sciences program at Western Kentucky University, notes Dr. Fred Siewers, Emeritus Associate Professor of Geological Sciences and past Department Chair of EEAS. His courses included sedimentology-stratigraphy, sequence stratigraphy, Illinois basin studies, aqueous geochemistry, introductory geology and labs, field methods, petroleum and subsurface geology, and subsurface methods. Additionally, he taught environmental geology, Petra software, professional preparation, energy & society, geophysics and even mineralogy. His different courses at WKU show how he was able to integrate his first-hand experiences prior to and throughout his academic appointment to the classroom, lab and field.
In addition, Dr. May directed over half a dozen master’s theses and these graduates have gone on in careers to earn doctorates, work for energy companies, environmental companies, state and federal government and some have themselves become educators. His work with undergraduate and graduate students is supported by his relatively wide array of publications ranging from hydrogeology/environmental geology to heavy-end hydrocarbons such as in asphalt rock in Kentucky.
Contact: Mike May, (270) 745-6891
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