Center for Economic Geology Research Scientists Selected to Participate in the 2021 Research Experience in Carbon Sequestration (RECS) Program

Garrett Gay and Ying Yu

Research scientists Ying Yu and Garrett Gay from the UW School of Energy Resources (SER) Center for Economic Geology Research (CEGR) were selected to attend the 2021 Research Experience in Carbon Sequestration (RECS) program.

Founded in 2004 by Pamela Tomski, the RECS educational platform is a Department of Energy (DOE) sponsored event supported by the office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management (FECM) and DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL). RECS is focused on carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) and serves as the premier CCUS education and training experience in the United States.

The program features leading experts in the CCUS and energy fields, including University of Wyoming contributors. The interactive educational program provides instructional, networking, and team-based exercises to completely immerse participants in CCUS, and covers topics in science, technology, policy and business as it relates to CCUS.

“My vision for RECS was to help cultivate the workforce needed for large-scale CCUS deployment, build a community of the top CCUS talent, and showcase field sites in different regions of the country that are early movers of the technology,” says Tomski, who also serves as a data analytics advisor for SAS Institute, the data analytics company, advising DOE and EPA on advanced analytics approaches and solutions. . 

Admission to the program is highly competitive, with enrollment limited to 30 participants comprised of graduate students or early career professionals based in the United States.

Yu and Gay are both part of the innovative team at SER dedicated to advancing the feasibility of Wyoming’s first Class VI wells for the storage of carbon dioxide in underground geologic reservoirs.

A geologist, Gay earned his B.S. in geochemistry from the University of Rochester, and recently completed his M.S. from the University of Wyoming in Geology and Geophysics. He has been with CEGR in a permanent capacity since October 2021 and has brought a wealth of knowledge and dedication to the team.

 “It’s really exciting to be able to connect and learn from leaders and peers in the CCUS world,” says Gay. “CCUS is such an important opportunity not only for the School of Energy Resources but the state of Wyoming overall!”

The opportunity to be part of and learn from a select group of experts on CCUS is an exceptional experience praised by both Gay and Yu.

“I’m amazed by the fact that this educational and networking event has been continued for over 18 years,” adds Yu. “I’m excited about this opportunity.”

A petroleum engineer, Yu is a young professional and burgeoning scholar in flow through porous media and unconventional reservoir injection technologies. She earned her B.S. in Geology and Earth Sciences from Northwest University in Xi’an, China followed by her M.S. and Ph.D. in petroleum engineering from the University of Wyoming. She joined the research team at SER in February 2021.

In addition to Yu and Gay’s attendance at the program, CEGR’s Selena Gerace led a session on social license to operate and what it means for Wyoming’s energy future,while Charles Nye will provide an overview on monitoring CCUS sites. SER’s CCUS leadership team Scott Quillinan, Fred McLaughlin, and Erin Phillips are slated to lead a session later this week. Their panel discussion will provide a background on CCUS in Wyoming and introduce students to geologic data interpretation for CCUS.

“I am honored to be involved with RECS again this year,” says Phillips. “The RECS program brings together many talented students and instructors with expertise in all aspects of CCUS.”

UW has been significantly involved in the program over the years bringing specialized expertise and insights on CCUS development to the discussion.

“Partnering with UW offers great field site examples and use cases for the RECS participants to understand various aspects of the CCUS chain,” says Tomski. “We are excited to include UW in the RECS program to showcase key projects and the robust opportunities that lay ahead for Wyoming in the CCUS field.”

The 10-day intensive experience will last through December 10. More details on the program can be found on the RESC website at


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