Mike was born and raised in Cambridge, Maryland which is located on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay. His interest in the Miocene formation fossil outcrops, coastal geology and Native American artifacts led him to decide to pursue a degree in geology.
He enrolled in 1967 at Marshall University in pursuit of a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology and graduated in 1971 with that degree. While at Marshall he met a woman with long auburn hair and brown eyes who sat down next to him in his very first geology class, Geology 201. This woman, Beverly Hathaway, turned out to become the love of his life whom he married the day after both of them graduated from Marshall.
Mike’s first job was with Kentucky West Virginia Gas Company, a subsidiary of the Equitable Gas Company, which took him to the oil and gas fields of Eastern Kentucky. As a beginning Field Geologist, he was charged with performing several duties involved with all aspects of drilling and completing the Devonian Shale and Mississippian Big Lime formations. At one point he was looking after 8 company owned cable-tool rigs, 1 contractor cable-tool rig, and 1 contractor mud rotary in the Hazard District.
In 1974 Mike took a job with the Quaker State Oil Refining Corporation at their Belpre, Ohio office located across the river from Parkersburg, West Virginia. Mike started out as an Engineer, next as a Senior Geologist, then finally as District Geologist over a 21 year span. During this period he authored a paper titled “The Starr Fault System of Southeastern Ohio” that described a previously undiscovered series of faults that to this day remains as one of the few named structural features in that part of Ohio. He also presented talks on the Berea Sandstone in Ashland County, Ohio where Quaker State had several active water floods.
In 1995 Quaker State sold all of its Appalachian based assets and moved to Houston, leaving behind a legacy that extended back to the days of Col. Edwin Drake of Titusville, Pennsylvania fame. Mike then took a job with the GeoGraphix software company as their Northeast Account Executive with a territory covering the Appalachian, Illinois and Michigan basins comprising 29 of the 48 states of mainland USA.
The price collapse of the late 1990’s caused an end to his association with GeoGraphix. Mike then founded Brannock Resources, a consulting firm that has provided geological interpretation and data management services for numerous small and large independents as well as several Appalachian-based gas utility corporations since 1999.
Mike is a past President and Vice-President of the Appalachian Geological Society. He is also a member of the Ohio Geological Society and a Certified Petroleum Geologist of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. He received the W. O. Ziebold Lifetime Membership Award from the Appalachian Geological Society in 2017.
Mike and Bev have raised two daughters who are both graduates of Marshall. Kristina, an Assistant Professor at the University Of Cincinnati College Of Medicine, is a graduate of Marshall University School of Medicine. Kathy is employed in Marshall University’s Registrar’s Office and helps numerous students with their course scheduling plus other duties. Kathy also met and married her Marshall University sweetheart, Travis Capehart, of Beckley, West Virginia.
B. SC. Marshall University 1971
Geologist: Kentucky West Virginia Gas Co. 1972-74
Engineer, Sr. Geologist, District Geologist: Quaker State Oil Refining Corporation 1974-1995
Account Executive: GeoGraphix 1995-98
Owner: Brannock Resources 1999-Present
Member: Appalachian Geological Society (past President), Ohio Geological Society,
American Association of Petroleum Geologists
AAPG: Certified Petroleum Geologist, Energy Minerals Division
Author: “The Starr Fault System of Southeastern Ohio”, 1993
Awarded the W. O. Ziebold Lifetime Membership by the Appalachian Geological Society, 2017