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Jason Braunberger hit a milestone when he passed the National Association of State Boards of Geology® 4-hr Practice of Geology (PG) test, earning the certification of Professional Geologist (PG-3919) from the Wyoming Board of Professional Geologists. Why Wyoming? North Dakota and Montana do not have licensing or registration boards, but all states but California welcome reciprocity. Because of his work in the EERC’s Center for Oil and Gas and the Plains CO2 Reduction Partnership Program, Braunberger spends quite a bit of time in Wyoming in the Powder River Basin area. While the certification was not required for his job at the EERC, it was the next step in Braunberger’s career.

“It shows current and prospective clients that I have achieved a professional level of competency in my field,” he said, “but more than anything, it was a personal milestone I achieved after a lot of hard work in the field of geology.”
Braunberger spent more than 6 months poring over five textbooks in preparation for the PG exam, which covers applied aspects of field geology. He holds a B.S. degree in Geological Sciences from North Dakota State University and passed the coursework-related 4-hr Fundamentals of Geology (FG) exam in 2012, both required for the PG exam, and he has over 5 years of work experience related to geology (4 years are required).

A Research Manager at the EERC, Braunberger leads a dynamic group focused on static geologic and geomechanical modeling and numerical fluid flow simulation with respect to enhanced oil recovery and carbon dioxide storage in deep sedimentary basins. He and his team develop stochastic and deterministic facies models of the subsurface, perform petrophysical analyses of geophysical well log data, and analyze core for geologic characteristics in pursuit of maximizing oil and gas resources in an environmentally safe and economical way while managing carbon dioxide emissions.
Right after college, Braunberger worked as an Exploration Geologist at the Ken Snyder Gold Mine in Midas, Nevada, hiking in the mountains looking for samples of gold and inputting data into modeling software to try to predict where gold might be found.

“I’m still looking for gold,” Braunberger said of his work at the EERC, “but now it’s black gold.”