Geosciences at Virginia Tech

Geosciences Advisory Board


PURPOSE: The purpose of the Advisory Board (AB) of the Department of Geosciences at Virginia Tech (Department) is to bring an external perspective on the various internal and external strategies and operations in the Department, to provide input on what may be happening external to the Department that may have significant impact on it, and to provide input and advice to the Department on any subject relevant to the Department as requested. More specifically the duties include: 1) being a resource to the Department, 2) being alert to what is happening in the world and communicating significant occurrences, perspectives, and opportunities in a timely fashion, 3) engaging in ongoing dialog with the Department via telephone, email, etc. 4) being proactive and visible to students and faculty, 5) providing feedback as requested in a timely and effective manner.

EXPECTATIONS: The AB serves in an advisory capacity to the Department. The AB is expected to make recommendations and provide input to the Department on issues related to its business, but is not expected to make decisions for the Department, nor to participate in the decision making process of the Department.

COMPOSITION: The AB is composed of seven (maximum) members who are professionals committed to the success of the Department and who have considerable experience in industry, government, academia, or the private sector, but who are not currently employees of Virginia Tech. A quorum will require 5 members only.

APPOINTMENT: In consultation with the Department faculty and members of the AB, the Department Chairman will appoint new members to the AB as vacancies occur.

TERM OF MEMBERSHIP: AB members shall be appointed to serve a term of three years which coincides with the business year of the university, that is, July through June. Members may be appointed to additional terms at the discretion of the Department Chairman. Membership on the AB may be terminated at the discretion of the Chairman at any time, and members are free to resign and terminate their membership at any time.

DEPARTMENT CHAIRMAN: The Department Chairman will serve as the primary link between the AB and Department. The Department Chairman will communicate the input and recommendations of the AB to the Executive Committee of the Department and the faculty, and will report back to the faculty on the activities of the AB.

MEETINGS: The AB will meet at least once per year as called by the Department Chairman in consultation with the AB Chairman. Additional meetings may be called as needed. AB members, the Department Chairman and members of the Department Executive Committee will normally attend meetings. The Department Chairman and the AB Chairman may invite additional individuals who are not among the above to attend AB meetings. The AB members may reserve part of each meeting for separate deliberations.

AGENDA: The agenda for the AB meetings will be prepared by the Department Chairman in consultation with the AB, and will be mailed to all attendees three weeks prior to the meeting.

GUIDELINES: The Charter of the AB is designed as a set of guidelines to define its purpose and scope. Upon approval of the Charter by the Department, the Department may change the provisions by majority vote of the faculty as outlined in the Departmental Governance Guidelines.


The Geosciences Advisory Board was formed in 1997, and its first meeting was in October of that year on campus.

Mike Bahorich
Vice President, E&P Technology
Apache Corporation
2000 Post Oak Blvd., Suite 100
Houston, TX 77056-4400
Phone: +1.713.296.6415

John P. Grotzinger
Professor of Geology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Department of Earth Sciences
Cambridge, MA 02139
Phone: +1.617.253.2127

Gordon M. Matheson
President and CEO, Schnabel Engineering Associates
1054 Technology Drive
Glen Allen, VA 23059

James C. Niemann
ChevronTexaco, GOM Deepwater Business Unit
935 Gravier St., Rm. 1521
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone: +1.504.592.6924
Fax: +1.504.592.6699

Kenneth Eriksson
Chair, Virginia Tech Geosciences
Phone: +1.540.231.6521
Fax: +1.540.231.3386

Geosciences Scrapbook

Professors Ed Robinson and Cahit Çoruh