Top Energy Training

Credits & Attribution


The initial training program development was funded by a gift from ExxonMobil and General Electric to Colorado School of Mines, The Pennsylvania State University, and The University of Texas at Austin. Ongoing development and implementation funding is provided by gifts from ExxonMobil, General Electric, and the Environmental Defense Fund to the three universities. The three universities designate a ‘gift’ when there are no specific required deliverables, no memoranda of agreement, nor any contracts as part of the funds transferred to the university.

The detailed curriculum was developed at the sole discretion of the three universities (principal investigators and instructors).

Project Leadership Team

  • Dr. Linda Battalora, Teaching Professor, Petroleum Engineering Department, Colorado School of Mines
  • Mr. James Ladlee, Interim Assistant Director of Energy, Entrepreneurship, and Community Development Programs
  • Dr. Hilary Olson, Lecturer and Research Associate, Petroleum & Geosystems Engineering, University of Texas at Austin

Content Experts

  • Mark Clement, retired, East Texas Oil Field Case Study
  • Mike Parker, Environmental & Regulatory Consultant Parker Environmental and Consulting, Retired, ExxonMobil
  • Bill Sydow, Director, Nebraska Oil & Gas Conservation Commission

Colorado School of Mines Faculty

  • Mike Batzle *, Professor, Department of Geophysics
  • Alfred William Eustes III, Associate Professor, Department of Petroleum Engineering
  • Steve Sonnenberg, Professor, Department of Geology & Geological Engineering
  • Dr. Azra Tutuncu, Professor, Petroleum Engineering Department, Colorado School of Mines

Penn State Faculty

  • Mike Arthur, Professor, Department of Geosciences
  • Terry Engelder, Professor, Department of Geosciences
  • Mr. James Ladlee, Extension State Program Leader for Energy Entrepreneurship and Community Development, Penn State
  • David Yoxtheimer, Hydrogeologist, Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research

University of Texas at Austin Faculty

  • Matt Balhoff, Associate Professor, Department of Petroleum & Geosystems Engineering
  • Paul Bommer, Senior Lecturer, Department of Petroleum & Geosystems Engineering
  • Dr. Hilary Olson, Lecturer and Research Associate, Petroleum & Geosystems Engineering, University of Texas at Austin
  • Jon Olson, Chairman and Professor, Department of Petroleum & Geosystems Engineering

* We wish to acknowledge Dr. Mike Batzle, a highly recognized geophysicist who specialized in reservoir fluid properties and rock physics research studies. Mike was a passionate teacher and had a unique personality that enabled him to bond with people from all ages and backgrounds. Shortly after shooting his Top Energy Training lecture, he unexpectedly passed away. We acknowledge his contributions to the Top Energy Training project. We were very fortunate to know him and work with him closely in preparation of the first two courses.   He will be deeply missed not only by us at Top Energy Training, but by the entire geoscience community.


Courses 1 & 2

We would like to acknowledge WPSU Penn State who developed the course, instructional videos, and interactive content. The team consisted of a talented group of instructional designers, producers/directors, editors, videographers, multimedia specialists, art director, animators, web developers, project managers and technical staff and support.

We would like to acknowledge the marketing contributions and media support provided by Striker Communications.

Research and writing support was provided by Anna Went, Dan Walsh, Sanchit Khurana, and Anukalp Narasimharaju.

Special thanks to Channel Austin and Rocky Mountain Audio/Video Production, Unlimited.

Courses 3 & 4

Disco Learning Media, Inc.
Alpheus Media

Other organizations and agencies

  • Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission
  • Environmental Defense Fund
  • IOGCCC –Interstate Oil & Gas Compact Commission
  • Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
  • Texas Railroad Commission

Institutional Support

Senior Leadership

  • Ramona Graves, Professor and Dean, Colorado School of Mines, CERSE
  • Tom Murphy, Director of Penn State’s Marcellus Center of Outreach and Research (MCOR)
  • Jon Olson, Professor and Chair, Department  of  Petroleum & Geosystems Engineering, UT Austin
  • Kate Domico, Executive Director, Learning Design and Public Media, Penn State


  • Patti Hickman
  • Bob Igo
  • Isabel Reinert

Administrative Support

  • Dori Coy
  • Angela Harbst
  • Morgan Reightler
  • Emilia Clayton

Location Access

  • Clean Earth
  • Ensign Energy Services
  • Noble Energy Wells Ranch, Colorado
  • New Pig Energy
  • Shell Appalachia
  • Terra Aqua Resource Management (TARM)

Photo/Video Attribution

  • 123RF/Antonio Ribeiro
  • Alphasense Ltd
  • American Oil & Gas Historical Society (AOGHS)
  • Mike Arthur
  • Associated Press
  • Baker Hughes
  • Michael Black
  • Jim Blecha
  • Paul Bommer
  • Amy Castner
  • Chesapeake Energy
  • CP Geosystems
  • Department of Natural Resources
  • Drake Well Museum
  • Drilling Contractor 2015. All rights reserved
  • Terry Engelder
  • Diane Espy
  • Gaston Museum
  • Huntington Digital Library Archive
  • iStock
  • KTLA
  • LA Public Library
  • Jim Ladlee
  • Library of Congress
  • Loco Steve, Orpington, UK
  • Mather & Bell
  • Gary Mitchell
  • NASA
  • National Film Board of Canada
  • NPR
  • Prism Gas Detection and PVT. LTD.
  • Project Gutenberg (
  • Schlumberger
  • Shutterstock
  • Society of Petroleum Engineers, All Rights Reserved
  • StateImpact, NPR
  • State of California
  • The Drake Well Museum/Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission
  • The Huntington Library, San Marino, California
  • Azra N. Tutuncu
  • UCLA Film and Television Archive
  • Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo — Istituto di Scienze della Terra
  • University of Aberdeen (United Kingdom)
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • USDA
  • USGS
  • Bill Wallace, WPSU Penn State
  • Hee Yun Yang

Special Acknowledgements

Special thanks to Michael Black and Jim Blecha for contributing photos to significant portions of this website. Michael Black contributed several drilling and completion photos. Jim Blecha contributed western and southern state photos, as well as photos in Canada.

Web site design & development by Jeffrey M. Phillips for Disco Learning Media, Inc.

Additional Image Credits

Petroleum Geology and Engineering

Hydrocarbons and Petroleum Geology

Petroleum Technology

The Drilling Process in Detail

Formation Evaluation

Environmental Concerns

The Global Water Cycle

Water in Oil and Gas

Other Environmental Concerns

Health, Safety, Security, Environment and Social Responsibility 

Emerging Concerns and Communications

Underground Injection

Induced Seismicity

Introduction to Subsurface Containment

Rhetorical Strategies

Knowing Yourself & Social Networks

Difficult Situations