CER Members





JAMES SLUTZ (Chair) is the Senior Study Coordinator for the National Petroleum Council (NPC), an independent federal advisory committee to the United States Secretary of Energy.  Prior to NPC, Jim led a global consulting practice with projects in North America, Asia, and Europe. Previously, Mr. Slutz served as Acting Assistant Secretary of Fossil Energy at the United States Department of Energy (DOE).  He also previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Oil and Natural Gas at DOE. Prior to joining DOE, Slutz served as the Indiana Oil and Gas Director, regulating the State’s upstream oil and gas industry and natural gas storage wells.  He is a former Vice-Chair of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission. Jim serves as a member of the Committee on Earth Resources and is an advisor to the National Bureau of Asia Research. Jim has published papers in collaboration with the American Enterprise Institute, the East West Center, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, and the National Bureau of Asia Research. Mr. Slutz holds an M.B.A. degree from The Ohio State University, Fisher College of Business, and a B.S. degree from The Ohio State University, School of Natural Resources.


CARMEN T. AGOURIDIS is an Extension Associate Professor of Ecosystem Protection and Restoration in the Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering (BAE) at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Agouridis’s research focuses on using applied research to address current issues in the natural resource management, particularly restoration of water systems impacted by agricultural, urban, or mining activities. Other research includes mined land reclamation, environmental policy, geospatial analysis, and water quality assessment. Her research also examines methods to improve stormwater management using low-impact development techniques such as rain gardens and stormwater wetlands as well as novel approaches such as weep berms and woodchip bioreactors. Dr. Agouridis serves as director of the Stream and Watershed Graduate Certificate, co-director of the Environmental Engineering Undergraduate Certificate, and was formerly co-director of the Greenhouse Environment and Sustainability Residential College. She has served as principal or co-principal investigator on over $6.4 million in grants, authored over 40 refereed publications and nearly 30 extension publications, and advised over 30 undergraduate and graduate research projects. Dr. Agouridis received the American Society of Biological and Agricultural Engineers’ 2014 A.W. Farrall Young Educator Award. She is a certified professional engineer in Kentucky. Dr. Agouridis holds a B.S. in agricultural engineering and an M.S. in agricultural and biosystems engineering from the University of Tennessee. She holds a Master’s in public policy and Ph.D. in biosystems and agricultural engineering from the University of Kentucky.


CHRISTINE MASAE KEOLANI "LANI" BOLDT is a civil engineer with expertise in establishing, developing, and directing research and activities related to health and safety issues in underground and surface mining.  Her career included 4 years with the U.S. Forest Service, followed by 17 years with the U.S. Bureau of Mines and 11 years with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) at the Spokane Research Laboratory, from which she retired in 2007 as Research Branch Chief.  Her experience lies in identifying issues associated with surface and underground mine engineering and mining processes that relate to workforce safety and finding effective, long-term solutions to address these potential health and safety hazards.  Specific areas in which she has worked include the use of mine waste as underground backfill and the geotechnical stability of surface mine wastes, reducing the hazards of working with large, mobile equipment (trucks and surface mine haulage equipment), and developing and quantitatively evaluating the effectiveness of self-directed team training in small work groups in sand and gravel mines.  A Certified Mine Safety Professional, Dr. Boldt also has participated in numerous federal committees related to mine and dam safety, and has received awards for her work in engineering and technology transfer with the U.S. Bureau of Mines.  She received her B.S. in civil engineering from Gonzaga University, her M.S. in engineering from Washington State University, and her Ph.D. in leadership from Gonzaga University.


MICHAEL J. CARROLL is a petroleum geologist and proven oil finder with more than 30 years of experience in the oil and gas industry.  His career began with Conoco in Oklahoma City where he had early success logging samples and identifying new drill sites. After tours of duty in offshore and onshore Louisiana and Texas with Aminoil and Louisiana Land and Exploration, he became part of an effort at British Petroleum that ventured into the Deepwater Gulf of Mexico, working in areas of Mississippi Canyon, Viosca Knoll, and Atwater Valley. He worked as the lead stratigraphic explorationist prior to the drilling of the first well at the Mars discovery. He was the initial British Petroleum geologist on both the Ursa and Europa projects.In 1993 he formed Principle Energy Development, LLC and began consulting and putting together oil and gas ventures as an independent. During this time period he was involved with projects in Ghana, Senegal, and Benin. This phase of his career continued until 2001 where he served as Exploration Manager for Louisiana Delta Oil, LLC. In 2004 he became an exploration geologist with Hunt Oil in Dallas where he successfully made several discoveries in the Lower Wilcox. In 1981 he became the first president of the National Association of Black Geologists and Geophysicists and remains very active in the organization. A native of Richmond, Virginia, he graduated with honors from Virginia State College with his bachelor’s degree. He then studied carbonate geology in northeastern Mexico and subsequently attended the University of New Orleans where he became the first African-American graduate of their master’s degree program in petroleum geology.

DANIEL P. CONNELL is Director of Market Strategy and Business Development for CONSOL Energy Inc., which is a producer and exporter of bituminous thermal and metallurgical coal from the Northern Appalachian Basin. In his current position, Dan is responsible for developing new market opportunities and applications for CONSOL’s products, and he plays a leading role in defining the company’s overall marketing, operating, and growth strategies. Since joining CONSOL in 2003, Dan also has worked in the company’s research and development (R&D) and strategy and engineering groups, where he focused on the development and economic analysis of advanced power generation and environmental control technologies, technical marketing for thermal and metallurgical coal customers, coal market analysis, strategic planning, and major transactions. As a member of CONSOL’s R&D group, Dan led or played a key role in the development of 10 successful proposals for externally-funded R&D projects. He served as CONSOL’s principal investigator and administrative lead for the Greenidge Multi-Pollutant Control Project – a $33 million clean coal technology demonstration project sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, and he was CONSOL’s lead investigator on a number of research projects focusing on advanced energy systems, air emissions control technologies, water treatment technologies, and ambient air quality. Since then, Dan has been responsible for all technical aspects of CONSOL’s thermal and metallurgical coal sales including coal quality, coal contract technical provisions, and customer technical support. His duties have included oversight of CONSOL’s coal and coke analysis laboratories, quality management, and mine planning and reserves functions. Dan also led the development of a strategic plan for CONSOL Coal Resources, CONSOL’s coal master limited partnership, and he was a key team member for several major transactions including the successful spin-off of CONSOL’s coal business from its natural gas exploration and production business. Dan earned his B.S. in chemical engineering, summa cum laude, from the University of Notre Dame, and he is a graduate of CONSOL’s Leadership Education and Development (“LEAD”) program.


DOROTHY J. MERRITTS is a geologist with expertise in streams, rivers, and other landforms, and on the impact of humans and geologic hazards on landscape evolution.  In the western United States, she conducted pioneering research on the San Andreas Fault of coastal California, and her international work focuses on fault movements in South Korea, Indonesia, Australia, and Costa Rica. Her primary research in the eastern United States is in the Appalachian Piedmont, particularly in Pennsylvania and Maryland, where she is investigating the role of human activities in transforming the valley bottom landscapes of eastern North America since European settlement.  She is a professor in the Department of Earth and Environment at Franklin Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  In 2011-12 she was Allen Cox Visiting Professor at Stanford University, California, and in 2004-2005 she was the Flora Stone Mather Visiting Distinguished Professor at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.  She was chair of the 2008-10 National Research Council Committee on Challenges and Opportunities in Earth Surface Processes and served on the Steering Committee for the National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping. She was the co-recipient (with Robert Walter) of the 2011 Kirk Bryan Award for outstanding research from the Geological Society of America. She is author of two textbooks on environmental geosciences, author or co-author on more than 60 scientific articles, and the editor and contributing writer for numerous scientific books. She received her B.Sc. from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, her M.Sc. from Stanford University, and her Ph.D. from the University of Arizona.

JEROME C. MUYS, JR. practices law with Sullivan & Worcester LLP where he is partner.  He joined the firm after approximately 25 years with the office of Swidler and Berlin.  Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Muys served as a staff attorney in Land and Natural Resources Division of the United States Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., which involved enforcement litigation under the full range of environmental statutes administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  From 1978-1985, following graduation from law school, he served as a staff attorney in the Office of Enforcement at EPA Headquarters, principally as a member of the EPA’s Hazardous Waste Enforcement Task Force.  Mr. Muys’ practice historically has focused on regulation of hazardous waste, air, water, groundwater and related environmental protection proceedings before the EPA, the federal courts and state administrative agencies, including representation of companies and trade associations in the energy, automotive and consumer products sectors.  More recently, Mr. Muys’ practice has expanded to include renewable energy project development, with particular attention to the environmental requirements applicable to same.  He received his A.B. in political science from the University of North Carolina, and his Juris Doctor and LL.M (Taxation) from George Washington University.

JOEL L. RENNER has spent much of his career working with geothermal energy. He began his career with the U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) in 1970 and evaluated geothermal resources, saline minerals deposits and coal resources.  He participated in several USGS assessments of the geothermal resources of the United States and was also the lead geologist for the initial Department of Interior geothermal lease sales.  He was the geothermal lead at the U. S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory (INL) from 1986 until his retirement in early 2008.  At the INL he led a multi-disciplined group studying reservoir engineering, tracer interpretation, and conversion of geothermal-energy to electricity.  He led reviews of geothermal potential throughout the United States, Africa, the Caribbean and Indonesia.  Mr. Renner has also conducted coal studies, oil and gas evaluations, and investigated both industrial minerals and metal ore deposits while employed by Gruy Petroleum Technology and Ernest K. Lehman and Associates, a mineral exploration and evaluation consultancy.  Since retiring from the INL he has provided technical expertise on geothermal resources and exploration programs to U. S and international government and private clients.  He was a co-convener of the Exploration Working Group of the International Partnership for Geothermal Technology.  He is a member of the U. S Geothermal Energy Association’s Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee, the Geothermal Resources Council, the International Geothermal Association and the American Geophysical Union.  He received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Carleton College and his master’s degree in geology from the University of Minnesota.

DAVID B. SPEARS began his professional career on the Gulf Coast as a petroleum geologist for Chevron USA from 1983 to 1991.  For the past 23 years, David has worked for Virginia’s Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, serving as Senior Geologist, Economic Geology Manager, Policy Analyst, and since 2009 as State Geologist.  His work has involved resource analysis of coal, natural gas, and gold deposits as well as policy development for several Virginia governors on offshore drilling, shale gas, and geologic hazards.  He is a member of the Geological Society of America, the Society of Economic Geologists, and is currently President-elect of the Association of American State Geologists.  He has been a Certified Professional Geologist since 2002.  He received a B.S. in geology from Lafayette College in 1981 and an M.S. in geology from Virginia Tech in 1983.