Laura Zahm

Childhood ambitions:
To travel the world and to find a job solving puzzles.
BS University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1993 and MS The University of Texas at Austin in 1997
My Career
Companies I've worked for on my Career Path:
Wisconsin Geological Survey from 1990-1993 in Madison, WI, I worked in the dirt room. Bureau of Economic Geology from 1994-1997 in Austin, TX Marathon Oil Company from 1997-2000 in Littleton, CO iReservoir Reservoir Characterization Specialists from 2000-2002 in Littleton, CO Bureau of Economic Geology from 2003-2005 in Houston, TX ConocoPhillips from 2005-2008 in Houston, TX Bureau of Economic Geology from 2008-Present in Austin, TX
Current company:
Years in the petroleum business:
My Pathway
First Well/Research Program:
Reservoir Characterization project of Olson Field in the Permian Basin.
My Geo-Specialties:
Carbonate Sequence Stratigraphy, Reservoir Characterization, and Petrophysics
My fondest career memory or proudest moment:
Doing field work along the Pecos River, I had never paddled a canoe before and suddenly I was faced with new outcrops to describe, rapids to paddle a fully loaded canoe through and trying to not look intimidated. After 10 trips down the river over the last 12 years, the river is my home away from home. The stratigraphy and scenery have made me the geologist that I am today.
My lifetime career goal:
Share my passion for the geosciences with as many young people as possible to help foster the geoscientists of the future.
My Inspiration
My inspiration and motivation comes from:
A love of puzzles, every new core, outcrop, or seismic volume holds information to help me unravel the depositional evolution of that system and how the fluids within will flow.
My most memorable idols/mentors:
James Lee Wilson, Charlie Kerans, and Scott Tinker. I am very fortunate to have worked closely with all of them, have them share their passion for what they do, and learn some of their tricks of the trade.
My Impact
AAPG member since:
AAPG committees:
Outreach, Youth Education Activities, Grants-in-Aid, House of Delegates Honors and Awards
Society Affiliations:
Austin Geological Society and SEPM
My Best Advice:
Every time you give a talk pretend that you are standing on an iceberg. Each word is a chip off of that iceberg. When you choose your words, choose wisely so that at the end of the talk you are still above water.

Laura Zahm’s interests include carbonate reservoir characterization for the purpose of building 3D geologic models which capture the depositional systems spatial variations, the petrophysical properties of carbonate facies, and integrating multiple scale data from SEM to seismic. Her research has focused on the Cretaceous carbonates of Central Texas and elsewhere in the world. She has also worked on several Permian reservoirs in West Texas. Laura completed her Master’s degree at UT in 1997 and then went to work for the Marathon Oil Technology Center from 1997-2000. In 2000, she joined the iReservoir reservoir characterization team from 2000-2003.   She was part of the Jackson School family with BEG at the Houston Research Center and the BEG in Austin working on projects in Texas and Brazil from 2008 to 2013. In 2013, she joined the exploration research team for Statoil based in Austin. Laura Zahm has been involved on AAPG committees and served as a representative to the AAPG HOD since 2003. She is dedicated to outreach with particular focus on K-12, with three children of her own this allows her to blend her two passions.

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