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Dr. James Lee Martin Memorial Scholarship in Petroleum Geology

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Dr. James Lee Martin
Dr. James Lee Martin

The Dr. James Lee Martin Memorial Scholarship in Petroleum Geology was established by the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System on Aug. 27, 2013, to benefit The University of Texas Jackson School of Geosciences. The endowment honors Dr. James Lee Martin.

A native of San Antonio, Martin graduated from Brackenridge High School and attended San Antonio College for two years before attending The University of Texas at Austin, where he graduated with a bachelor’s in geology in 1956. While a student at UT he was employed part time with the Bureau of Economic Geology.

Upon graduation Martin joined Texaco, Inc., in Midland, Texas, as a petroleum geologist. In his early days as a trainee, he worked throughout West Texas and southeastern New Mexico. In 1968, Martin took a leave of absence from Texaco to attend the University of New Mexico at Albuquerque and received his PhD in geology in 1971. While at UNM he was a member of Sigma Gamma Epsilon National Honor Society.

James and Jackie Martin at the Ring of Kerry, Ireland.
James and Jackie Martin at the Ring of Kerry, Ireland.

Martin returned to Texaco in Midland and within a short time was transferred to New York, where he was appointed to the vice presidential staff of Texaco’s world headquarters. Texaco later transferred him to head up its geological laboratory in Houston.

In 1973 Martin left Texaco to become an independent petroleum geologist. He developed a successful consulting business and conducted industry workshops and consulting work throughout the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and Russia.

James with his daughter, Karen, in Mesa Verde National Park.
James with his daughter, Karen, in Mesa Verde National Park.

Martin loved petroleum geology and was a lifelong student. He read extensively and amassed more than 650 books relating to geology, which his family donated to a library in Houston.

Professionally, he was a member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), an AAPG founding member of the Energy Minerals Division, a certified professional geological scientist with the Association of Professional Geological Scientists, and a member of the West Texas Geological Society, the Roswell Geological Society, and the Houston Geological Society.

James and his granddaugher, Melissa, mapping a prospect.
James and his granddaugher, Melissa, mapping a prospect.

Martin and his wife of 58 years, Jackie, traveled extensively. They visited every state — even driving the Alaska Highway from beginning to end. Together with their daughter, Karen Lou Martin Nelson, and granddaughter, Melissa Martin Nelson, they visited more than 200 national parks and monuments, as documented in their granddaughter’s national park passport. Martin had a lifelong love of golf, having grown up three blocks from a golf course. A highlight of his golfing days was playing at St. Andrews in Scotland.

It is Mrs. Martin’s wish that whoever receives the Dr. James Lee Martin Memorial Scholarship in Petroleum Geology love and honor the profession as much as Dr. Martin did. 

Having completed his journey on earth, Dr. Martin left for heaven on March 1, 2012.  He was a man of great faith and in his private life and personal career he had the highest moral and ethical standards.  We love and miss you PaPa. - Jackie, Karen and Melissa

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