Rod Bernasek was born in 1938. He was a petroleum geologist from Nebraska who was highly regarded as a professional by all who knew and worked with him. He successfully explored for oil and gas in many sedimentary basins of the Rocky Mountains, the Midcontinent, California and Alaska. He was a practical explorer who took great delight in researching old records in his pursuit of drilling opportunities.
Rod grew up in rural Nebraska and embodied the best qualities of the people of that region – hard working, thorough, honest and imaginative. He was educated at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln (UNL), graduating with his BS degree in 1965 and MS in 1967. After graduation, Rod was first employed by Pan American Petroleum (later Amoco/BP) in Denver where he gained further insight and training in hydrocarbon exploration. He subsequently worked for a variety of smaller independent oil and gas firms and as a consultant in his later career.
Rod genuinely enjoyed working at the grass roots level of putting drillable oil & gas prospects together using his extensive training and geologic skills. It was a task at which he excelled. Rod’s later life was, unfortunately, plagued with illness which ultimately led to his death at age 69 in 2007.
Rod was extremely proud of his home state, his home university and his Czech heritage, which found a welcome home in Nebraska. He would be delighted to see this grant helping young students.
The Rodney A. Bernasek Memorial Grant is awarded annually to a graduate student studying geology at The University of Nebraska at Lincoln. It is endowed through the American Association of Petroleum Geologists Foundation Grants-in-Aid program.