Ricardo Antonio Olea (Meneses)

Research Mathematical Statistician
Eastern Energy Resources
US Geological Survey
12201 Sunrise Valley Dr., MS 956
Reston, VA20192
email: olea@usgs.gov

BMElab, Senior Visiting Research Scientist, 2004-2005
Most recent updating:  January 2007


  • Geostatistical and statistical applications to petroleum geology and engineering
  • Development of interactive geostatistical software for spatial and spatiotemporal modeling
  • Spatiotemporal analysis of epidemics
  • Contamination assessment for public health and remediation
  • Study of recent marine sediments as indicators of climatological changes
  • Computer well-log correlation applied to petroleum geology and nuclear waste disposal
  • Sampling optimization of attributes with geographical distribution
  • Economic evaluation of projects


UNITED STATES GEOLOGICAL SURVEY (USGS), Research Mathematical Statistician [November 2006 - Present]
Provides statistical support to a team of 50 scientists and conducts independent projects aiming at advance understanding and prediction of fossil fuel reserves in the United States.


  • Emeritus Scientist, 2003 - Present
  • Senior Scientist, 1995 - 2003
  • Associate Scientist, 1987 - 1995
  • Research Associate, 1985 - 1987

As Senior Scientist, conducted original applied research, provided technical support, and prepared grant proposals primarily in the areas of geostatistics, applied mathematics, and computer science applied to earth sciences. Carried out responsibilities both individually and in national or international collaboration with other nationally and internationally reputed scientists. Delivered results in the form of publications, lectures, graduate-level classes, short courses, computer programs, and maps. Produced as author or coauthor 140 publications in journals, books, technical reports, and proceedings. Provided information and advice to state, national, and international agencies, organizations, and societies. Served the profession through participation in the activities of technical and scientific organizations.

Achievement Highlights:

PRIVATE CONSULTANT [1985 – October 2006]
Conducts activities both independently and as an associate with Davis Consultants, Inc.

Achievement Highlights:

  • Offered several seminars on geostatistics in North and South America, Europe, and Africa.
  • Completed an environmental study of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contamination in the Hudson River for the General Electric Company.
  • Worked for Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohhstoffe (BGR) in the selection of sites for the permanent disposal of highly radioactive waste by computer well log correlation.
  • Characterized waste sites in Thailand using computer well log correlation to investigate groundwater contamination.
  • Evaluated the feasibility of tertiary oil recovery in Chile for Empresa Nacional del Petróleo.
  • Conducted technical feasibility studies on the use of geochemistry in oil exploration in Tunisia for Marathon Oil Company

BALTIC SEA RESEARCH INSTITUTE (IOW), Visiting Research Scientist [Second semester 2006, May to October 2006]
Worked on stratigraphic applications to infer climatological conditions during the last 10,000 years and was active in the geostatistical characterization of geotechnical properties of sea floors.

STANFORD UNIVERSITY, Blaustein Visiting Professor [Winter Quarter, 2006]
Offered seminars and conducted technical review of S-GEMS, a major software development of spatial statistics.

THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT CHAPEL HILL, Visiting Research Scholar [Jan 2004 – June 2005]
Conducted original research and teaching in areas of mathematical modeling applied to epidemiology and possible interactions between environmental conditions and public health.  Contributed to software developments.

Achievement Highlights

·        Started and completed collection of information about mortality and duration of the Black Death epidemic (http://www.unc.edu/depts/case/BMElab/projects/BlackDeath/).

·        Coauthored a book on interdisciplinary epidemic modeling (http://www.springeronline.com/sgw/cda/frontpage/0,11855,5-10049-22-47261433-0,00.html).

·        Discovered a scaling law between city size and duration of Black Death (http://muse.jhu.edu/journal/human_biology/toc/hub77.3.html)

·        Was co-instructor for the one-semester course Model-based Exposure Mapping and Risk Assessment.

·        Served on the committee for the successful graduation of one master student and a doctoral student.

Advisor, Engineer, Financial Modeler, and Seismologist

During this time, this government-owned company was in charge of the exploration, development, and production of all oil and gas resources in the Chile. Prepared 90 technical reports documenting new methodologies and communicated findings.

Achievement Highlights

  • Prepared several highly accurate seismic interpretations, one of them leading to the discovery of the Río del Oro oil field in Tierra del Fuego.
  • Pioneered the use of reservoir simulation in the Chilean oil industry.
  • Initiated computer formation evaluation, which resulted in more thorough assessments and well completions.
  • Wrote several computer programs for the routine economic evaluation of exploration plays, which radically changed the company's decision-making process.
  • Performed economic evaluation for negotiating joint international venture contracts.
  • Introduced computer-contour mapping, which resulted in the elimination of inconsistencies and opened the possibility to assess sampling reliability.


Doctor of Engineering in Chemical and Petroleum Engineering with minor in project evaluation and management, University of Kansas, 1982
Master of Science in Computer Science, University of Kansas, 1972
Mining Engineer with a minor in geophysics (6-year program), Universidad de Chile, 1967


Member, International Association for Mathematical Geology, with 15 years of service on the Board of Directors:

  • Board Member (2000 - 2004)
  • President (1996 - 2000)
  • Secretary General (1992 - 1996)
  • Councilor (1989 - 1992)
  • Member of organizing committees for five international conferences.

Member, Society of Petroleum Engineers
Active Member, American Association of Petroleum Geologists
Member, Geological Society of Washington


  • 2004, William Christian Krumbein medal, highest honor awarded by the International Association for Mathematical Geology
  • 2003, Emeritus Scientist, University of Kansas
  • 1993, Best Paper Award, Mathematical Geology, the flagship journal of the International Association for Mathematical Geology
  • 1990, Task Committee Excellence Award, American Society of Civil Engineers
  • 1966, Juan Brüggen prize to best graduating mining engineer in the country, Instituto de Ingenieros de Minas de Chile