The Team


The Team at ATLAS is comprised of several geothermal experts in various fields.  This section includes short biographical information and linked resumes for primary Associates available for different types of exploration and pre-development projects.


Lisa Shevenell, PhD Hydrogeology.  President ATLAS Geosciences

Has 30 years of experience in geothermal exploration and system assessment while being a strong team builder and integrator of disciplines in many geothermal projects. As president of ATLAS, she has assembled a world-class team in geothermal exploration, following years of leading many of the same experts as Director of the Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy.  Shevenell has B.A. in geology from New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (1984) and a PhD in Hydrogeology from the University of Nevada, Reno (1990).  Shevenell conducted geothermal exploration in Central America in the mid-1980s as part of a USGS-Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) team. Additional basic and applied research was conducted while with LANL at numerous sites throughout the western U.S.  Work at Mt. St. Helens evolved into her PhD research on the geothermal systems that formed after the 1980 eruption.  Following her PhD, she worked at Oak Ridge National Laboratory for three years.  Shevenell has been a faculty member at the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology since 1993 where she has led numerous geothermal-related research projects and teams in Nevada.  While in Nevada, Shevenell has served on numerous state and national boards and committees:  member of the Nevada Geothermal Technical Advisory Panel to NV Energy, founding member of the National Geothermal Data System (and Steering committee member), founding member of the International Geothermal Data Federation, the Science Advisory Board to the National Geothermal Data Center initiative being led by the Arizona Geological Survey (2009-pres),  Geothermal Energy Association Technical Advisory Committee (2008-pres), Department of Energy Geothermal Risk Assessment Committee, Exploration Technology Group (2009), member of the Blue Ribbon Panel on Renewable Energy formed by Senator Harry Reid (2008-2010), and Board of Directors (2008-2014) member to the Geothermal Resources Council (various subcommittees), General program chair (2008) and technical program chair (2005, 2007, 2012) for  the annual Geothermal Resources Council Meeting, former member of the Renewable Energy Task Force reporting to the Governor and Nevada Legislature, co-founder and former Director of the Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy, and co-developer of the National Geothermal Academy (first run in the summer of 2011) and member of the Truckee Meadows Community College Geothermal Technician Training Curricular Advisory Board.  She has co-authored hundreds of papers and reports, delivered hundreds of presentations to scientific and non-technical audiences, and successfully been awarded over 90 grants and contracts from federal and private sources totaling over $15 million.

Shevenell Resume


Christall “Christy” Morris

Has worked in the geosciences since 1984. Early focus was on mining exploration and environmental permitting in the Great Basin, western US. Beginning in 1999 her focus narrowed to geothermal exploration and development of commercial power generation properties. She has worked in the fast paced growth of the geothermal industry as an environmental officer and executive, coordinating multiple projects and teams, on and off shore in Central America. She has contributed to the successful funding efforts in her industry positions including significant funds from public offerings and World Bank sponsored loans. Between 2005 and 2008, Christall served as the lead regulator for the State of Nevada fluid minerals program. In this position she oversaw the development and sustainability of the State’s oil, gas and geothermal resources. She served as Nevada’s representative in many federal and regional programs, including Geothermal Resources Council, Western Governors Association, Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission. She is a founding member of the Nevada Geothermal Society, a cooperative group of industry and regulatory agencies promoting geothermal energy.

Morris Resume


Paul Lechler, PhD Geochemistry:

Lechler has 38 years of experience in many aspects of geochemistry and geology, including analytical geochemistry, exploration geochemistry, environmental geochemistry, and the geochemistry of mineral deposits and geothermal systems.  Lechler has developed analytical methodologies and applied geochemistry to the solution of geologic and environmental problems using all natural media, including rocks, minerals, soils, sediments, vegetation, water, and air/gases.  He has geochemical experience in commercial and government companies and laboratories.  He has designed and built specialized laboratories for both research and contract analytical services, being responsible for state-of-the-science instrument selection and appropriate laboratory construction.  Lechler installed, calibrated, and developed analytical methods for the second Inductively-Coupled Plasma-Optical Emission Spectrometer to be purchased and installed in North America at the Indiana Geological Survey in 1977 and continued to select, purchase, and apply the latest analytical instruments over the span of his career.  He has experience with atomic absorption spectrometers, ICP-optical emission spectrometers, ICP-mass spectrometers, x-ray fluorescence and diffraction instruments, ion chromatographs and gas chromatographs, as well as wet chemical techniques and fire assaying for precious metals.  He Supervised the Analytical Geochemistry laboratories at the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology from 1983 to 2010 when he retired from the University of Nevada.  He built up the capabilities and reputation of the Bureau labs from very basic to state-of-the-science over those 27 years.  His last several years at the Bureau were spent developing analytical methods for the analysis of geothermal waters and gases.  He has conducted funded research and published extensively on many aspects of analytical and applied geochemistry and now runs his own mineral exploration company.  A complete resume can be found at:



Gary Johnson:

Gary Johnson has worked in GIS since 1991. He has a deep background in all phases of GIS technology, and has taught GIS courses at the University of Nevada, Reno for over 10 years. He has presented various projects at international and state GIS conferences. Whether the project is converting paper data to digital data or creating web applications, he carries all the tools to accomplish the task.



Johnson Resume


Mariana Eneva. PhD Geophysics

Dr. Mariana Eneva is the founder and CEO of Imageair, Inc. since 2004. She has extensive experience in remote sensing, using satellite radar interferometry (InSAR) to detect surface deformation, and satellite thermal infrared (TIR) data to identify surface temperature anomalies. Other experience includes applications of geophysics to geothermal resources, and pattern recognition with emphasis on the analysis of spatial and temporal patterns in geophysical data. Additional credentials include experience with induced seismicity, earthquake catalogs, mining seismology, seismic hazard, applications of nonlinear dynamics to geophysics, and hydroacoustics. Dr. Eneva is currently a Principal Investigator (PI) on an InSAR project with the California Energy Commission (CEC) to detect surface deformation baselines in geothermal fields of Imperial Valley, CA. She was recently a co-PI (2010-2011) on a DOE project with US Geothermal, using InSAR to detect surface deformation in the San Emidio geothermal field, NV.

Prior to that, she was a PI on two other CEC projects, one using InSAR to monitor surface deformation in the Salton Sea geothermal field, CA (2007-2009), and another analyzing ASTER TIR data for geothermal exploration in central CA (2005-2009). She was also involved in a project related to soil acidity (2009-2011), using SWIR and TIR data from ASTER. In the period 2005-2007 Dr. Eneva was a PI on a NASA project using satellite TIR data (ASTER and MODIS) and earthquake catalogs to characterize the thermal properties of faults in southern California. Her field experience includes co-organizing and participating in the collection of ambient seismic noise data at the Soda Lake geothermal field, NV (2010), and organizing field trips to take ground-based measurements concurrently with the satellite passage and collection of ASTER data (2006). Prior to founding Imageair, Inc., Dr. Eneva was a Senior Staff Scientist in the Geophysics Group of Science Applications International Corporation – SAIC (2000-2003), and Maxwell Technologies before the group’s transfer to SAIC (1998-1999). At SAIC she was a Program Manager of the seismic monitoring for a DOE EGS geothermal project at The Geysers in northern California, a PI on a NASA project applying InSAR to mining-induced subsidence, and a Co-PI on hydroacoustic and seismic projects. In the period 1990-1998 she worked as a Research Associate at the Department of Physics, University of Toronto, and the Department of Geological Sciences, Engineering Seismology and Rock Physics Laboratory, Queen’s University, Kingston (Ontario, Canada). At that time she consulted Canadian and South African mining companies on induced mining seismicity, rockburst potential, and seismic hazard in mines. Prior to this, Dr. Eneva was a National Research Council Post-Doctoral Associate at the Geophysical Data Center of NOAA in Boulder, CO (1989-1990), a Research Associate at the Department of Geological Sciences of Indiana University, Bloomington, IN (1985-1990), and a Research Seismologist at the Geophysical Institute of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia, Bulgaria (1984-1985). She holds a M.Sc. (1979) from the Department of Physics, Sofia University, and a Ph.D. (1985) from the Geophysical Institute of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia, Bulgaria; both in Physics, with specialization in Geophysics. She is a member of the American Geophysical Union and the Geothermal Resources Council.

Eneva Resume


Mark Coolbaugh, PhD Geology, Chief Geoscientist

Mark Coolbaugh earned an MS from the Colorado School of Mines (1978) and a PhD from the University of Nevada, Reno (2003).  He is currently with Renaissance Gold, and previously was a key member of the Great Basin Center for Geothermal Energy at the University of Nevada, Reno, greatly contributing to its overall success through 2010.  Coolbaugh has used regional spatial statistics to elucidate regional controls on geothermal systems in the western United States for the last ten years, with numerous transaction papers and peer-reviewed articles documenting this work (located under Experience on this web site).  His research has generated new research opportunities, including investigations of the relationship between regional crustal strain rates and geothermal activity and his work has directly led to the discovery of previously unknown geothermal systems, such as as at Teels, Rhodes, and Columbus Marshes (which were subsequently leased in BLM sales), among several other geothermal and mineral discoveries.  His geothermal and minerals exploration work has taken him around the world including Peru, Turkey, Canada, Mongolia, Spain, Argentina, the Philippines, Honduras, Venezuela, and Chile.

Coolbaugh Resume


Ileana Tibuleac, PhD Geophysics

Dr. Ileana Tibuleac has been a co-investigator on geothermal projects since 2008.  She is an observational seismologist, currently working as research assistant professor at the Nevada Seismological Laboratory, University of Nevada, Reno (UNR). Dr. Tibuleac’s current research interests include understanding 3D crustal and mantle structure in Nevada through analysis of seismic noise and tomography, developing geothermal exploration methods using ambient seismic noise and understanding earthquake generation and earthquake hazards in the Reno-Carson area. As a Southern Methodist University graduate, she has a strong background and interest in explosion and earthquake detection, location, and characterization through waveform modeling and analysis, in infrasound analysis and in array seismology.

Currently, she is working as Principal Investigator in a team with Drs. Glenn Biasi, David von Seggern and John G. Anderson to study the source characteristics of an unusually shallow earthquake sequence in Mogul, west Reno, from a discrimination perspective. Together with Dr. David von Seggern (UNR), She is developing a cost-effective, non-invasive, ambient noise – based methodology to characterize subsurface structure in a depth range of tens of meters to tens of km. The research team on this project has estimated a high-resolution model of surface wave velocity in the Reno Basin using inversion of Green’s Functions retrieved from ambient noise. For this purpose, the investigators have developed innovative ambient noise data processing algorithms, allowing the use of unconventional combinations of instruments including seismometers and accelerometers, analog instruments and geophones. As the seismic team leader, in collaboration with AltaRock Energy Inc., Dr. Ileana Tibuleac is working with David von Seggern and Glenn Biasi to develop an ambient-noise based, non-invasive methodology, to be used, in combination with other geophysical information, for characterization of Engineered Geothermal Systems potential drilling sites. In collaboration with Optim, LLC, (Dr. Satish Pullammanappallil) the investigators are developing, testing and calibrating a structural seismic exploration methodology, specifically for fault imaging, using the Earth’s reflection response retrieved from cross-correlations of ambient seismic noise recordings. Dr. Tibuleac is working with ImageAir Inc. (Dr. Mariana Eneva) on a methodology of imaging geothermal reservoirs using ambient seismic noise at Soda Lake, Nevada. Dr. Tibuleac is also working with Drs. Glenn Biasi (UNR) and Leiph Preston, from Sandia National Laboratory to build an integrated tomographic model of P, S and surface wave group velocity in Nevada for geothermal exploration purposes.

For three years, under the leadership of Professor. John G. Anderson, Dr. Tibuleac was part of a team of network seismologists working on Yucca Mountain seismic monitoring. During this time she became familiar with routine seismic network operations and with techniques used in seismic hazard estimation. For four years, in collaboration with Drs. Jessie L. Bonner and Ana Stroujkova, at Weston Geophysical Corporation, Dr. Tibuleac developed algorithms for surface wave detection and studied the influence of stochastic heterogeneity on Lg coda using waveform modeling. At Princeton, working with Professor Guust Nolet, Dr. Tibuleac analyzed and interpreted P wave amplitudes with the conclusion that focusing and defocusing in the mantle is an important factor for compressional wave amplitude variation, and this effect is underestimated by current tomographic models. While at Southern Methodist University, under the guidance of my thesis advisor, Professor Eugene Herrin, and later, together with Drs. Kent Lindquist and Roger Hansen, Dr. Tibuleac developed algorithms for small and intermediate aperture array processing and calibration.

Ileana Tibuleac received a Ph. D. in Geophysics from Southern Methodist University in May, 1999, with a dissertation entitled: “Array Measurements of P and PcP Slowness Residuals with Implications for Lateral Heterogeneity in the Lower Mantle beneath the Caribbean Sea and Other Geophysical Studies”. An article with the same title, one of the three in her thesis, was published in the journal Science. The main result of their work was identification and characterization of lateral heterogeneities in the lower mantle using data from the small aperture arrays TXAR and YKA (Yellowknife, Canada) and ray tracing.

Tibuleac Resume

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