Frequently Asked Questions


Who is funding the program?

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.


Who selects the curriculum and ensures the content is balanced in approach?

The curriculum is chosen by university faculty and researchers at the three different universities, including those with expertise in environmental sciences, groundwater and surface water management, hydrogeology, structural geology, geomechanics, petroleum geology, reservoir engineering, drilling engineering, chemical engineering, petroleum engineering, geophysics, and technical communications. Through a nationwide survey of oil and gas regulatory agency personnel and intensive evaluation of pilot classes, we have been able to focus on the information most needed by new state oil and gas regulators.


What role do funding corporations or other entities have in setting the detailed curriculum content?

None, the detailed curriculum is at the sole discretion of the three universities (principal investigators and instructors).


Who oversees the program?

The program is led by a principal investigator at each of the three universities:

  • Jim Ladlee (Penn State)
  • Dr. Hilary Olson (The University of Texas at Austin )
  • Dr. Azra Tutuncu (Colorado School of Mines)

What other groups, agencies or companies are working with you on this project?

The Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission is working with us to ensure our training meets the needs of state regulatory agencies who oversee oil and gas operations throughout the United States. By partnering with the IOGCC we are moving towards a nationwide best-practice standard in oil and gas regulatory performance.


What do I need to do to qualify for the field/lab experience?

Successful completion of the final course assessment is required to attend the field/lab experience. Once you answer all of the questions correctly, you will be able to print a course completion certificate verifying your mastery of the online materials.


What do I need to know about the final course assessment?

The final course assessment will test your knowledge of the material covered in Courses I and II. You will need to answer all of the questions on the final assessment correctly to pass the course. You will be able to make several attempts to complete the final assessment.

At the end of each lesson, there will be a few ungraded self-check questions to help you gauge your understanding of the content. These self-check questions will prepare you for the final assessment.

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