These comments are extracted from the citation for the Outstanding Explorer Award which Richard Beardsley received in 2002. It was written by his good friend, William Harmon.
Dick Beardsley began his commitment to the study of geosciences at Penn State University, where he was marshall of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. After graduating in 1969, he worked for Chevron Geophysical in Houston, Texas, through 1972. He returned to the Appalachian Basin in 1973 to work as an exploration geophysicist for Columbia Gas.
Dick first identified the potential of the Appalachian Basin in 1974, as he began assimilating data and exploring the lower Paleozoic section of the basin. Redefining and mapping the Middle and lower Ordovician sections of the basin became a lifelong project. In 1989 Dick was elected vice president of geology and geophysics for Columbia Natural Resources, where he advanced an aggressive agenda of exploration and mapping of the Appalachian Basin. Dick’s prediction of the prolific nature of these formations was proven by aggressive drilling by Columbia in the 1990s. He retired from Columbia in March 2001 and became an officer and member of Triana Energy, a company formed exclusively to pursue new exploration targets in the Appalachian Basin.
Dick is broadly recognized for his extraordinary vision and contribution to the exploration of the traditionally underestimated Appalachian Basin. He is responsible for the identification of each of the first four major Trenton-Black River discoveries made in recent years in Appalachia. His persistence and exceptional success has spurred a revival in the basin that has attracted numerous new investors and expanded interest in exploration activity all across the region.
Dick is a certified professional geologist and an active member of several professional associations, including the AAPG, the AGS, the SEG, and the AIPG. His commitment to the profession is demonstrated by his tireless support of others seeking to learn and explore. He has mentored a generation of new geoscientists in the region and has served on the defense committee for several doctoral dissertations.
While he is respected and admired by his co-workers and peers for his professional accomplishments, Dick is loved by his community for the many humanitarian acts for which he is commonly known. He now resides in Charleston, West Virginia, with his wife of 31 years, June; and their three children, Elisabeth, Andrew and Kathryn; and two dogs.
The Richard W. Beardsley Grant was established through an endowment to the AAPG Foundation by the Eastern Section of AAPG in honor of Dick Beardsley, for his exemplary work as an explorationist in the sedimentary basins of eastern North America. This grant is awarded through the American Association of Petroleum Geologists Foundation Grants-in-Aid program to a deserving student studying petroleum exploration in the AAPG Eastern Section, or secondly to a deserving student enrolled at a college or university (public or private) in the AAPG Eastern Section.