Research ProfessorDavid Bowen

Contact Information:

Office: Traphagen Hall #106
Office Hours: Fall 2018: TR 10:45-11:45am


B.S., Geosciences, Hobart College, 1978
M.S., Earth Sciences, Montana State University, 1980
Ph.D., Geology, University of Colorado

Professional Affiliations:

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)

Geological Society of America (GSA)

Society for Sedimentary Geology (SEPM)

International Association of Sedimentologists (IAS)

Research Interests:

  • Tectono-stratigraphic evolution of sedimentary basins
  • Geology of energy resources
  • Stratigraphic framework of upper Paleozoic sequences, western Montana
  • Evolution of the Earth’s geo-biosphere and the role of microbes in sedimentation through time (Precambrian and Phanerozoic microbialites)
  • Precambrian sedimentation and tectonics; planetary analogues
  • Geologic characterization of subsurface reservoirs
  • Stratigraphic framework of dinosaur field sites in Montana


I have had a long career as a petroleum geologist with more than 35 years of experience in the oil and gas industry generating prospects, developing fields, implementing enhanced recovery projects, managing multi-disciplinary exploration and development teams, and consulting on international and domestic projects.  I have been a distinguished lecturer for the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), taught industry short courses in exploration methods and sequence stratigraphy, chaired numerous conference technical sessions, and co-chaired a regional meeting of the AAPG. 

Additionally, I have had a 25-year teaching and research affiliation with the Department of Earth Sciences at Montana State University and am currently a research professor.  I am the geologic lead for the Big Sky Carbon Sequestration Partnership, one of seven DOE funded regional carbon sequestration partnerships in the US and directed through the Energy Research Institute at Montana State University.  I am collaborating on several research projects including tectono-stratigraphic evolution of the Proterozoic Belt Supergroup in the Northern Rockies, tectono-stratigraphic evolution of Cenozoic inter-mountain basins of the Rocky Mountain region, stratigraphic framework of the Devonian Jefferson Formation and equivalent strata in Montana, stratigraphic framework of the Mississippian Big Snowy Group in central and western Montana, reservoir characterization of the Kevin Dome Big Sky Carbon Sequestration phase 3 project, and a project on rural community resilience to energy development in the Rocky Mountains/Great Plains region.  I have also collaborated on two major projects associated with the Museum of the Rockies, the geology exhibit for “THE VILLAS OF OPLONTIS NEAR POMPEII: Leisure and Luxury in the Age of Nero” and development of educational curriculum for the museum in association with sister museums in Japan.

Principal Collaborators:

Richard Bottjer, Coal Creek Resources, Denver

Dr. Bryan DeVault, Vecta Oil and Gas Ltd., Houston

Dr. David Eby, Department of Earth Sciences, MSU Bozeman

Dr. Julia Haggerty, Department of Earth Sciences, MSU Bozeman

Dr. David Lageson, Department of Earth Sciences, MSU Bozeman

Dr. David Mogk, Department of Earth Sciences and ICAL, MSU Bozeman

Dr. Lee Spangler, Director, Energy Research Institute, MSU Bozeman

Selected Publications:

1994 Bowen, D.W., Weimer, P., Krystinik, L.F., and Dejarnett, B.B., Application of high-resolution sequence stratigraphy to development of Pennsylvanian Morrow sandstone reservoirs, eastern Colorado and western Kansas, Keynote Paper, AAPG Hedberg Research Conference, Application of Sequence Stratigraphy to Oil Field Development, Paris, France.

1993 Bowen, D.W., Weimer, P., and Scott, A.J., The relative success of siliciclastic sequence stratigraphic concepts in exploration: examples from incised-valley fill and turbidite-systems reservoirs: AAPG Memoir 58, p. 15-42.

1993 Bowen, D.W., Weimer, P., Scott, A.J., Case studies of the application of siliciclastic sequence stratigraphic concepts in mature and frontier basins: Society of Petroleum Engineers Paper 026438.

1990 Bowen, D.W., Krystinik, L.F., and Grantz, R.E., Geology and reservoir characteristics of the Sorrento-Mt. Pearl field complex, Cheyenne County, Colorado: in Sonnenberg, S.A., ed., Morrow Sandstones of SE Colorado and Adjacent Areas: Denver, Colorado, RMAG, p. 67-77.