Advisory Board


Meet the Advisory Board!

Larry Archibald head shot

Mr. Larry Archibald
Non-Executive Director

Woodside Energy Ltd.
Houston, TX

Larry E. Archibald was recently appointed as a non-executive director at Woodside Energy Ltd (effective Feb 2017). Woodside is Australia’s largest exploration and production (E&P) company and has a global presence. Larry is also a non-executive director for MainSail Energy Inc, a Canadian E&P start-up funded by private equity. Larry is also a consultant for Warburg Pincus, a large New York-based private equity firm.

Larry has over 35 years of technical and executive leadership experience in the oil and gas industry. From 2008 to late 2015 he was the Senior Vice President of Worldwide Exploration and Appraisal for ConocoPhillips where he had accountability for annual budgets in the range of $2 bn - $3+ bn. Between 1999 and 2007, Archibald worked in a variety of exploration and commercial leadership roles for BP, including leadership of exploration programs in Russia, the Gulf of Mexico, Norway, Angola, and worldwide new ventures.

Archibald earned a bachelor’s degree in geology from Colgate University in 1979, a master’s degree in geosciences from the University of Arizona in 1982 and an MBA from Regis College in 1986. Larry joined the Geosciences Advisory Board in 2016.

Photo Ms. Nancy Beckvar
Education & Outreach Committee Chair
Seattle, WA

Nancy Beckvar received her MS (86) in Stratigraphy and Paleontology from the Department of Geosciences in 1986. As an Environmental Scientist for NOAA's Assessment and Restoration Division in Seattle, WA, she worked on a variety of coastal hazardous waste site projects around the United States.

Nancy has served on the Geosciences Advisory Board since 2008.


Dr. John Dreier
Alumni & Development Committee Chair
Private Consultant
Golden, CO 80401

Phone: 303-619-9410

John Dreier has served on the Department of Geosciences Advisory Board since 2010.

Photo of Robbie Gries

Ms. Robbie Gries
Founder and President
Priority Oil & Gas LLC
Denver, CO

Robbie Gries is founder and President of Priority Oil & Gas LLC, a Denver-based natural gas production, petroleum exploration and development company with producing properties in Kansas and exploration projects in Colorado and Wyoming. Ms. Gries has been active in the petroleum industry for 40 years, and has been an independent in this industry since 1980. She has combined the business side of oil and gas with her passion for the science of geology and published over 30 professional papers.  Ms. Gries was President of the AAPG where she has also been honored for Distinguished Service, an Honorary Member and is a Trustee Associate for the AAPG Foundation. She has been a Director for the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, an Honor Alumnus of Colorado State University and has a Master’s degree in geology from The University of Texas at Austin. She is past president of the Colorado Women’s Forum and 1997 recipient of the Woman Leader of Excellence Award from the Colorado Women’s Leadership Coalition.
Photo of Stanley Hart Dr. Stanley Hart
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Dept. of Geology and Geophysics, MS 25
Woods Hole, MA 02543

Stanley Hart, an isotope geochemist, has been a Senior Scientist, Department of Geology and Geophysics, at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution since 1989. His career, affiliations, and honors and awards are outlined in his CV. Dr. Hart joined the Geosciences Advisory Board in 2015.
Photo of Leslie Katz Ms. Leslie Katz
Montgomery & Associates
1550 E. Prince Road          
Tucson, AZ  85719

Leslie Katz is new to the Advisory Board, joining in October 2016.  She received both a B.S. in Geosciences and an M.S. in Hydrology from the University of Arizona, graduating in 1987.  After brief stints with the City of Tucson and Pima County, Leslie joined Montgomery & Associates (M&A), a locally-based hydrogeologic consulting firm, in 1989.  A principal and member of the board of directors, Leslie has provided hydrogeologic and project management services to a diverse group of M&A clients, including industrial, power sector, mining, tribal, municipal, and governmental entities.  Her areas of specialization include environmental investigation and remediation, surface water / groundwater interaction, wellfield design and management, and groundwater quality assessment.
Photo Mr. Ray Leonard
Advisory Board Chair
Hyperdynamics Corporation
12012 Wickchester Lane, Suite 475
Houston, TX 77079

Phone: 713-353-9400
Fax: 713-353-9421

Ray Leonard received his BS with Honors in Geosciences (75) from the University of Arizona, and MA in Geology (77) from the University of Texas-Austin.

He is President and CEO of Hyperdynamics, a NYSE-Amex listed company exploring for Oil and Gas in West Africa. His 33-year career in International Oil and Gas Exploration includes Executive Positions with Amoco, the Russian Oil Major YUKOS, and the Kuwait Energy Company. He has been active in the debate on world oil reserves, presenting at national and international forums. Ray joined the Geosciences Advisory Board in 2010.


Mr. Christopher "Kit" Marrs
Western Alaska Copper & Gold Co.
2645 E. Camino La Brinca
Tucson, AZ 85718

Phone: 520-237-1475


Kit Marrs received both his BS (1975) and MS (1979) in Geosciences from the University of Arizona.

Kit has over 25 years of experience as an exploration geologist and project manager in Alaska and Mexico. He specializes in volcanogenic massive sulfide, porphyry copper and precious metal vein deposits. He has managed mining exploration projects in remote locations that includes technical and contract personnel, geologists, surveyors, pilots, drilling crews, and laborers. He also has experience in formulating, financing, permitting, and implementing real estate development projects.

Kit has served on the Department of Geosciences Advisory Board since 2005.

Dr. Philip Pearthree
Research & Collaboration Committee Chair
Arizona Geological Survey
PO Box 210184
Tucson, AZ 85721

Phone: 520-209-4128

Phil Pearthree began serving on the Department of Geosciences Advisory Board in 2011.
Photo of John Pekala

Mr. John M. Pekala
Ramboll Environ
2111 East Highland Avenue
Suite 402
Phoenix, AZ 85016

Phone: 602-734-7710
Fax: 602-734-7701



John Pekala received his BS in Geosciences from the University of Arizona in 1993 and his MS in Geology (Coastal Sedimentology and Stratigraphy) in 1996.

John is currently a Senior Manager at Ramboll Environ in Phoenix, AZ and a registered Professional Geologist in Arizona and California, with 20 years of experience in environmental consulting.  His work has included implementing sediment, soil, and water quality investigations, management of water quality monitoring programs, performing environmental due diligence and compliance reviews, evaluating environmental issues for Brownfield redevelopment project sites, evaluation and selection of remedial alternatives, conducting site remediation activities, and providing consulting support for environmental litigation cases. 

John joined the Department of Geosciences Advisory Board in 2011.

No Photo

Dr. Marc L. Sbar
University of Arizona
Adjunct Professor, global seismology

Phone: 281-804-8912

Marc Sbar received his PhD in earthquake seismology from Columbia University in 1972. He served on the faculty of the University of Arizona Department of Geosciences from 1977 - 1983. In 1983, he changed gears and became an exploration seismologist working for BP and ConocoPhillips. Marc currently works as a consultant in geophysical analysis solving interesting and challenging problems in predicting reservoir properties.

Marc has served on the Department of Geosciences Advisory Board since 2008.

Photo Dr. William H. Wilkinson
W. H. Wilkinson, L.L.C.
Phone: 602-765-3727

William Wilkinson received his BS and MS degrees in geology from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, with a three-year break for service in the US Army.  He received his PhD (81) from the Department of Geosciences at the UA.

Will is retired Vice President, Africa, for Freeport-McMoRan Exploration Corp. in Phoenix, AZ.  He was responsible for project direction, reconnaissance and acquisitions throughout the continent.  He has nearly 35 years of experience in mineral exploration and has worked in base and precious metal exploration in 25 countries on five continents. Will has worked in the southwestern United States for Anacoda, Duval Corporation, Westmont Mining and Phelps Dodge.

Will has served on the Department of Geosciences Advisory Board since 1995.