Robbie Gries 2013 Distinguished Alumna

Robbie Gries ( '66 Geology) is a distinguished geologist and a woman of many “firsts” with a reputation for hard work, integrity, and an ability to accomplish ambitious endeavors. This year, she was recognized as Warner College of Natural Resources Honor Alumna at the CSU Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Awards for her outstanding achievement and service to her profession and the University.
Graduating from Colorado State University in 1966, Gries was the first female student to attend geology field camp and the first woman to earn a bachelor’s degree in geology from CSU. She went on to earn a master’s degree in geology from the University of Texas, and accepted a job as a geologist at Texaco, Inc. in 1976 where she continued her legacy of firsts.
Gries was among the first women geologists at Texaco to be allowed well site access. Later, while working for Reserve Oil, she was one of the first two women accepted for membership in the Denver Petroleum Club. She was the first woman to serve as president of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), and the first woman to receive AAPG’s Michel T. Halbouty Outstanding Leadership Award in 2012.
Robbie is a creative and innovative geologist with excellent business intuition. She is a tenacious pioneer and a role model for geosciences students and industry peers alike,” said Warner College of Natural Resources Dean Joyce Berry.

Gries has a 40-year career of diverse experience in the petroleum industry and has combined her passion for science with the business side of oil and gas. She 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 Wyoming as well as exploration projects in the Rocky Mountain region. She has served as director for the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, and as president of AAPG she visited professional petroleum societies in 44 countries and conducted visits and lectures at almost 50 universities. 

She is a founding member of the CSU Geology Advisory Council, and has been active as an officer, leader, and scientific contributor to the Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists. She is also a Fellow and past treasurer of the Geological Society of America.
In addition to her involvement in established professional organizations, Gries has also pioneered new ventures and initiatives to further advance the profession. She co-founded GeoScience World, an Internet resource that provides digital access to geological publications to more than 19 countries. She is also a founder of People House, a Denver-based center for human potential started in 1974.
Gries personal firsts have helped pave the way for the advancement of female geologists, but she also helped create AAPG’s Professional Women in Earth Sciences (PROWESS) Committee, whose purpose is to help women geoscientists overcome obstacles to career advancement.  She is also the 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.

Gries has also distinguished herself in the field of geology through the many awards she has received. The Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists awarded her Best Technical Paper in 1980 and Mountain Geologist Best Technical Paper in 1986. AAPG awarded her the Levorsen Best Technical Paper Award in 1985.  She has also been honored for Distinguished Service by the Denver Geophysical Society (1986) and by the Rocky Mountain Association of Geolgoists (1987).  In 1991, AAPG presented Gries with the Distinguished Service Award.  In 2006, the Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists awarded Gries the Special Humanitarian Service Award.

Gries and her husband, David E. Bailey, currently reside in Lakewood, Colo. Their daughter, Lynn Gries, is a trauma surgeon and teaches at the University of Arizona Medical Center.

Posted on October 10, 2013 by Bryony Wardell