Earth Sciences Division (ESD) Department of Energy (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL)

Earth Sciences Division Staff: Donald Vasco

Donald Vasco

Donald Vasco


Geophysics Department



Phone: 510-486-5206

Fax: 510-486-5686


Biographical Summary

DON W. VASCO received his B.S. in geophysics from the University of Texas at Austin in 1981 and his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1987.In 1987 he worked at Berkeley Laboratory on the inversion of surface deformation to image volume change in the subsurface.For two years (1987-1989) he was a postdoctoral scholar at the  Phillips Geophysics Laboratory, working on the inversion ofairborne gravity gradiometry observations.During the years 1991-1992 he was a visiting fellow at the Australian National University.In 2000 he received the Cedric K. Ferguson award by the Society of Petroleum Engineers.He is currently a staff scientist at Berkeley Laboratory developing and implementing algorithms for geophysical and hydrologic modelingand inversion.Current research interests are inverse theory, asymptotic techniques for modeling flow and transport, modeling coupled processes, the analysis of surface deformation, and techniques for imaging reservoir heterogeneity.

Research Interests

Geophysical inversion and non-linear inverse problems; Seismic tomographic imaging; Use of geodetic observations to constrain subsurface fluid flow; Waveform inversion; Analysis and modeling of hydrological pressure, tracer, and multi-phase flow data; Combined inversion of geophysical and hydrological data.


  • 1981 B.S. University of Texas at Austin
  • 1987 Ph.D. University of California at Berkeley

Professional Experience

  • 1980 Research Assistant, University of Texas Marine Geophysical Institute at Galveston, University of Texas
  • 1981-1983 Research Assistant, Seismographic Station, University of California at Berkeley
  • 1983-1984 Research Assistant, Center for Computational Seismology, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory
  • 1984-1985 Teaching Assistant, University of California at Berkeley
  • 1985-1986 Research Assistant, Seismographic Station, University of California at Berkeley
  • 1986-1987 Associate Research Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory
  • 1987-1989 Post-Doctoral Scientist, (AFGL Scholar Program), Air Force Geophysics Laboratory
  • 1989-1991 Post-Doctoral Scientist, Seismographic Station, University of California at Berkeley
  • 1991-1992 Visiting Fellow, Research School of Earth Sciences, Australian National University
  • 1992-present Staff Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory


Cedric K. Ferguson Certificate, for the best peer reviewed paper published by an SPE journal in 1999.

Laboratory Services

  • 1998-1999 Library Committee
  • Research Support (September 1, 1995 through December 31, 1998)
    • High Resolution Reservoir Characterization Fossil Energy 1997-present $120K Using Dynamic, Seismic, and Well Log Data
    • Characterization of Reservoirs Using Surface JAPEX 1998-2002 $250K Deformation Data
    • Advance Computation for Geophysical Inverse LDRD 1996-1998 $130K Problems


  • American Geophysical Union;
  • Society of Exploration Geophysicists


University of California Graduate Opportunity Fellowship 1981-1982

Current Grants and Funding

  • Research consortium, 'Model Calibration and Efficient Reservoir Imaging', with Professor Akhil Datta-Gupta (225K/year, multiple years).
  • DOE Basic Energy Sciences grant 'Imaging Permeability and Fluid Mobility in a deformable medium' (225K/year, 3 years).