Cockrell School of Engineering
The University of Texas at Austin

Hilary Olson

Photo of Olson, Hilary


Director of Education, Training and Outreach - CPGE

Phone: (512) 653-8356
Office: CPE 5.168A

Educational Qualifications:

Ph.D., Geology, Stanford University, 1988

B.S. cum laude, Earth Sciences, University of Notre Dame, 1983

PGE Courses:

PGE 382 (Geological Concepts for Engineers)

PGE 379 (Applied Subsurface Geology)


My technical research integrates biostratigraphic and paleoenvironmental data (foraminifera), core, well-log and seismic data to examine the Earth’s stratigraphic record. Regional experience includes the Gulf of Mexico, Faeroe Basin, San Joaquin Valley (CA), New Jersey Margin and onshore Texas. Current Gulf of Mexico research is being sponsored through an industrial associates program. My education, training and outreach programs address the areas of unconventional resources and CO2 storage, with audiences ranging from state and federal regulators to the public. K-12 teacher professional development activities are focused on energy and earth science education and have received support from the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy. My involvement in STEM education for pre-university age girls highlights: (1) the societal impacts of addressing energy, climate and water issues in the 21st century, and (2) building confidence in middle-and high-school age girls.  

Awards & Honors:

North American Micropaleontological Section, SEPM, Elected President, 1999.

Distinguished Lecturer, Ocean Drilling Program, 1998-1999.

Dallas Geological Society Public Service Award, 1995.

Highlighted Publications and Google Scholar Profile:

Nelson, C.H., Damuth, J.E., and H.C. Olson, 2018, Late Pleistocene Bryant Canyon Turbidite System: Implications for Gulf of Mexico mini-basin petroleum systems, Interpretation, v. 6 no. 1, p. SD89-SD114.

Olson, H.C., Damuth, J.E., and Nelson, H.C., 2016, Latest Quaternary sedimentation in the northern Gulf of Mexico Intraslope Basin Province: II.  Stratigraphic analysis and relationship to glacioeustatic climate change, Interpretation, v. 4, no. 1, p. SC81-SC95.

Cunningham, R., Snedden, J., Norton, I., Olson, H.C., Whitaker, T., and J. Virdell, 2016, Upper Jurassic Tithonian-centered source mapping in the deepwater, northern Gulf of Mexico, Interpretation, v. 4, no. 1, p. SC97-SC123.

Damuth, J. E., and H. C. Olson, 2015, Latest Quaternary sedimentation in the northern Gulf of Mexico Intraslope Basin Province: I. Sediment facies and depositional processes, Geosphere, 11, 1689-1718.

Olson, H.C., J.W. Snedden and R. Cunningham, 2015, Development and application of a robust chronostratigraphic framework in Gulf of Mexico Mesozoic exploration, Interpretation, v. 3, no. 2, p. SN39-SN58.

Ellins K.K., Snow E., Olson H.C., Stocks E., and Olson J., 2013, The TeXas Earth and Space Science (TXESS) Revolution: A Model for the Delivery of Earth Science Professional Development to Minority-Serving Teachers, Journal of Geoscience Education, v. 61, no. 2, pp. 187-201.

Olson, Hilary C., and John E. Damuth, 2009, Character, Distribution and Timing of Latest Quaternary Mass-Transport Deposits in Texas-Louisiana Intraslope Basins Based on High-Resolution (3.5 kHz) Seismic Facies and Piston Cores, in D. Mosher et al., eds., Submarine Mass Movements and Their Consequences, Advances in Natural and Technological Hazards Research, Volume 28, Springer Science+Business Media, p. 607-617.    

Olson, H.C., and P.R. Thompson, 2005, Sequence biostratigraphy with examples from the Plio-Pleistocene and Quaternary, in Koutsoukos, E. A. M., ed., Applied Stratigraphy, Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, New York, p. 229-245.

Goff, J. A., J. A. Austin, S. Gulick, S. Nordfjord, B. Christensen, C. Sommerfield, H. Olson, and C. Alexander, 2005, Recent and modern marine erosion on the New Jersey outer shelf, Marine Geology, 216, 275-296. 

Olson, H.C., and C. Smart, 2004, Pleistocene climatic history reflected in planktonic foraminifera from ODP Site 1073 (Leg 174A), New Jersey margin, NW Atlantic Ocean, Marine Micropaleontology v. 51, p. 213-218.

Olson, H. C., A. Gary, and G. Jones, 2003, Similarity curves as indicators of stratigraphic discontinuities, in Micropaleontological Proxies for Sea-Level Changes and Stratigraphic Discontinuities, edited by H. C. Olson and R. M. Leckie, SEPM Special Publication 75, p. 89-96.

Leckie, R. M., and H. C. Olson, 2003, Foraminifera as proxies of sea-level change on siliciclastic margins, in Micropaleontological Proxies for Sea-Level Changes and Stratigraphic Discontinuities, SEPM Special Publication 75, p. 5-20.

Damuth, J. E. and H. C. Olson, 2002, Neogene-Quaternary contourite and related deposition on the West Shetland Slope and Faeroe-Shetland channel revealed by high-resolution seismic studies, Mar. Geophys. Res., 22, 369-399.