Constance Nuss Knight, PhD, formerly known as Constance Dodge, hails from a family of German and Russian immigrants and credits her grandfather, William Stoll, with teaching her that she could do anything that boys could. It was an early fascination with rocks and nature that eventually drew Dr. Knight to the field of geology, though she began her college education studying music. Receiving a full-ride scholarship to the University of Arizona, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in geology in 1970, followed by a Master of Science in geology in 1973, during which time she served as a teaching assistant. Dr. Knight is deeply grateful to Theodore Dodge, a geologist, who helped set her up with her first internship during her time in college.
A registered professional geologist in Wyoming and Utah, Dr. Knight began her career in earnest with the American Oil Company, also known as AMOCO, where she worked as a senior petroleum geologist and was one of two women in the Denver office. Between 1978 and 2009, she worked intermittently as a geologist, consultant and independent contractor, also spending time as a senior principal environmental engineer with EG&G Rocky Flats from 1991 to 1995. In 1993, she obtained a professional degree in hydrology from the Colorado School of Mines, which she followed with a Doctor of Philosophy in hydrology in 1999. From 2001 to 2002, Dr. Knight was a geologist and borehole image analyst for Baker Atlas before joining Admiral Bay Resources Inc. as the vice president of exploration in 2005.
Subsequently, Dr. Knight served as the exploration manager for Robson Energy from 2005 to 2007 and returned to the role of vice president of exploration, this time with True North Energy Corp., from 2007 to 2009. Since 2009, she has been an independent geologist, though she ceased operating as a contractor in 2020. Over the years, she has brought her expertise to various schools, teaching geology and other earth sciences and giving presentations and lectures. Dr. Knight also proffers her expertise as a mentor through the Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists, helping young and aspiring professionals with their careers and education.
Alongside her primary responsibilities, Dr. Knight has been active with a range of professional organizations, including serving as the chair of the Denver chapter of the Society of Independent Professional Earth Scientists from 2016 to 2018. Other memberships of hers include the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, the Society of Petroleum Engineers, the Wyoming Geological Association and the Denver Well Log Society. She is also the author of numerous published works and notably served as the chief technical editor for “Application of Structural Methods to Rocky Mountain Hydrocarbon Exploration and Development,” something she cites as the highlight of her career.
Having accomplished much over the course of her career, Dr. Knight is particularly proud of developing an educational module for students and teachers at her son’s elementary school. Selling the copyright to Ward’s Science, the 44-page teacher’s guide and copy masters for 11 activities are still being produced as “Ward’s Discovering Rocks and Minerals Lab Activity.” For her excellence, Dr. Knight has been recognized on multiple occasions by the Denver Business Journal, which has named her among the Top 40 Women in Energy and the 100 professionals selected for their Who’s Who in Energy. In 2011, she was presented with the Distinguished Public Service to Earth Science Award by the Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists.
Happily married to her husband, Roger E. Knight, a retired engineer, for more than two decades, Dr. Knight considers the highlight of her personal life to be her children, Nathan W. Dodge and Elisa A. Landreth, and her five grandchildren. Over the years, she has sought to inspire them to learn about science and geology, and in the summer of 2019, she took her daughter and three grandchildren on a trip to the Grand Canyon. Looking toward the future, Dr. Knight intends to continue traveling and perhaps establish a drill and oil well alongside her husband.