Powers Searches for Power for the Future
College of Science & Mathematics - Geosciences
When most people stop at the gas station to fill up their car, few give much thought to where exactly the fuel coming out of the pump actually came from. That job is better left to people like Southeast Missouri State University graduate Elizabeth Powers.
“As an exploration geologist, I use geological and geophysical data to explore for new oil and gas reserves that will eventually fill your gas tank, heater and make petrochemicals 10 years from the initial discovery,” she says.
Elizabeth graduated from Southeast in 2004 with a Bachelor of Science degree in geosciences. Her Southeast degree was the kick start to her career as an exploration geologist for Shell Oil.
“From Southeast, I enrolled at the University of New Orleans for my master’s degree in geology. My masters program was interrupted due to Hurricane Katrina, so I transferred to Kansas State University and finished my masters in two years, despite the hurricane destroying half of my thesis samples,” Elizabeth says.
In 2006, she began working for Shell Oil in the unconventional oil division, and she is now working in deepwater sub-salt exploration in the Gulf of Mexico.
“I have been very lucky in my career as it has offered me many opportunities to travel,” she says. “Thanks to my career with Shell, I have traveled to Malaysia, Brunei, Taiwan, Canada, Mexico, Spain, The Netherlands, Utah, Washington, Oregon, Wyoming, California and New Mexico. It really has given me a global network of colleagues and friends and fantastic geology field trip opportunities.
“What I truly love about my career is the opportunity to share with others how my love for rocks and science has placed me in a high-profile career,” Elizabeth says. “I have shared my experiences with students at the Sally Ride Science Festival, Energy Venture Camps, University of Texas GeoForce program and at industry recruiting conferences.”
Elizabeth says her favorite memories of Southeast include hanging out in the geosciences department computer lab and interacting closely with supportive professors who guided her on her technical career path.
“What I really remember are the close friends I made and the respect and knowledge that my geoscience professors gave me,” she says.
“Another dear memory is my involvement with the Wesley House,” Elizabeth says. “We would gather nearly 30 people twice a week and play volleyball at the recreation center, then afterwards would go to Applebee’s until late.”
Elizabeth currently resides in Houston, Texas. In her spare time, she enjoys reading fiction, writing short stories and traveling. She is also looking forward to learning how to play golf.