What is the SIPES Foundation?

SIPES Foundation

What is the SIPES Foundation?

The SIPES Foundation, a charitable and educational organization, was chartered in Texas in November 1981. In addition to awarding annual earth science scholarships and conducting educational seminars, the Foundation maintains an extensive earth science video film library, with films of technical programs that have been presented at past annual meetings and seminars.


Donations are welcomed by the SIPES Foundation to continue scholarship awards, seminars, and educational programs. Your gift may be made in honor of or in memory of a family member, friend or business colleague. All gifts receive written acknowledgment. If you wish to make a contribution online, please click the button below.

Foundation Leadership

2023-2024 Board of Directors

Thomas G. Pronold

President -Wichita, Kansas

Tom Pronold lives in Wichita, KS and is the manager of Bitter Spar LLC, an exploration and development company specializing in Kansas conventional drilling prospects.  He has been an active member of the SIPES Wichita chapter for more than 10 years.  He graduated from SMU with a Master’s degree in geology.  Tom is a member of AAPG.

Steve M. Smith

Vice President - Houston, Texas

Steve is the managing partner of SMS Exploration, LLC in Houston.  He has an extensive background as an exploration manager for several companies, including Linc Energy and Trek Oil & Gas.  Steve has an MBA from the University of St. Thomas and a BS in Geology from Baylor.  He is a past chairman of the SIPES Houston chapter.

Kevin B. Hill

Secretary - houston, Texas

Robert C. Leibrock

Treasurer - Houston, Texas

Bob Leibrock was an independent oil & gas operator in the Permian Basin for many years and continues to participate there as an investor.  He is a petroleum engineer and graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. He served as chapter chairman of both the Midland and Fort Worth SIPES chapters and is a prior president of the SIPES Foundation. 


Thomas M. Kirby - San Antonio, Texas

Christopher H. Reed - Tyler, Texas

Foundation Seminars

The SIPES Foundation presents a continuing education seminar annually during the SIPES Annual Meeting. Recent seminar topics have included

  • Energy 101
  • Deregulation and the Texas Energy-Only Market
  • Rocky Mountain National Park & Historic Estes Park
  • The History of Santa Fe
  • Tales from Seven Continents – Living an Explorer’s Dream
  • The USS Midway’s 47-Year Odyssey & Beyond and San Diego: The Birthplace of Naval Aviation
  • Discovering Dinosaurs in Utah: 150 Million Years of Earth History
  •  A Sense of Time and Place in New Mexico
  • New Department of Energy
  • Geology of Yellowstone National Park
  • To the Moon and Beyond!
  • Advanced Lawsuit Protection, Tax Reduction and Estate Planning Strategies

On June 13, 2022, the SIPES Foundation presented Major John Wesley Powell’s 1869 Journey Down the Green and Colorado Rivers of Utah on His Way to the Grand Canyon by Thomas C. Chidsey, Jr., Utah Geological Survey, Emeritus.

Past Officers of the SIPES Foundation

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