Resume of Gary D. Aho

Education & Honors
  • B.S. Applied Geophysics, 1968, Michigan Technological University
  • M.S. Geophysics, 1969, Michigan Technological University
  • Sigma Gamma Epsilon (Honorary Earth Sciences)
  • 1997 Inductee into Michigan Tech’s Academy of Geological Sciences
  • Certified Professional Geologist, CPG-10426
  • Professional Geologist in the State of Utah
Professional Affiliations
  • Society of Mining Engineers
  • Society of Exploration Geophysicists
  • American Institute of Professional Geologists
  • National Mining Association
  • Colorado Mining Association
  • Past Chairman of the National Oil Shale Association
  • Past Chairman, Eastern Oil Shale Advisory Committee, University of Kentucky
  • Past Member, Western Oil Shale Conference Committee Colorado School of Mines
Summary of Experience
Executive Director, National Oil Shale Association


President of Sage Geotech Inc., providing consulting services to the mining and oil shale industries. Manages engineering work, geologic studies and feasibility studies. Served as Chairman of the National Oil Shale Association.

  • 2007-2010 Vice President of Operations for Oil Shale Exploration Company
  • 2011-2013 Vice President of Operations for Enefit American Oil Company


President and Director of Cliffs Synfuel Corp., Cliffs Oil Shale Corp., and Cliffs Copper Corp., which were all western subsidiaries of Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. Managed all of the company’s activities and resources in the western United States. Was ultimately responsible for closing all Western Division offices and selling assets. Managed environmental remediation programs at the company’s inactive mining sites in the west.


Manager-Western Division of Cleveland-Cliffs Inc.; VP and General Manager of Cliffs Engineering; VP of Cliffs Synfuel Corp.; VP of Cliffs Oil Shale Corp. Cleveland-Cliffs was the mining partner in two major oil shale development projects in Colorado and one in Utah. Cliffs Engineering had a staff of 55 people in Rifle, CO working on major oil shale projects throughout the west. Casper, WY office had 15 people working on uranium joint venture exploration and development projects. Morgantown, WV office had 12 people working on eastern gas shales project for the Department of Energy. When oil shale and uranium activities slowed, was responsible for closing Casper and Morgantown offices and minimizing staff in the Rifle office.


Manager-Oil Shale for Cleveland-Cliffs. Inc; VP and Manager Cliffs Engineering. Responsible for the company’s oil shale development activities and oil shale resources in CO and UT. Represented company in oil shale joint venture research and development projects that included major oil companies as partners. Managed Cliffs Engineer’s work for multiple clients and government agencies. Led western diversification efforts and served on President’s strategic planning advisory panel.


Chief Engineer-Western Division, Cleveland-Cliffs Inc., Rifle, CO. Organized engineering and geological team to develop the company’s interest in oil shale and other minerals in the western United States. Established joint ventures with major oil companies to conduct research and development programs for oil shale. Secured government contracts for oil shale engineering and research projects. Assisted uranium division in WY on feasibility studies.
Over the past 45 years, Mr. Aho has managed exploration, research, engineering, environmental, construction, and project development programs and has supervised a staff of 100 technical employees. He has experience in evaluating mining projects, investment opportunities, and finance options. He has been in and around operating mines and processing plants much of his career and understands what it takes to make them profitable. He has been a resource property manager with responsibility for all land issues, water rights, grazing permits, oversight of oil and gas exploration activities and environmental remediation programs.

He has over 35 years of experience in the U.S. oil shale industry and is familiar with both western and eastern U. S. oil shales. He has worked on numerous oil shale feasibility studies incorporating different mining and retorting plans. He is aware of international oil shale programs and actively monitors the oil and gas industry. He is an advisor on oil shale to both governments and corporations and currently serves as Chairman of the National Oil Shale Association.

He has gained experience in environmental remediation of abandoned mined sites and is currently project manager for a sizeable cleanup project in Nevada. Mr. Aho’s diplomatic skills have been crucial in dealing with the public, the landowners, the Native Americans, the companies and the agencies.

In recent years he has been responsible for land management on oil shale properties in Colorado and Utah. In this role he has negotiated oil and gas leases and monitored third party drilling programs. He has audited gas production and royalty payments for the land owner. He also assured that drilling and production contractors were in compliance with environmental and land use regulations and that reclamation was completed in a timely manner in accordance with state regulations and the landowner’s wishes.

Mr. Aho is an experienced, competent field hand but is also comfortable in a management role or making presentations before Boards of Directors or investor groups. He is a frequent speaker at conferences and commonly provides testimony to state and federal governments and agencies.

Contact Gary D. Aho

Cell: 970-618-0294

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Meet The Team

Gary D. Aho

Gary D. Aho

President of Sage Geotech Inc., providing consulting services to the mining and oil shale industries. Manages engineering work, geologic studies and feasibility studies. Served as Chairman and Executive Director of the National Oil Shale Association.

Howard W. Earnest

Howard W. Earnest
Senior Associate

Self-employed mining engineer providing engineering and management services in the following areas: mine planning; site closure; reclamation; exploration drilling programs; and operations oversight for oil shale and mineral extraction projects.

Roger Day

Roger Day
Senior Associate

An expert in project development and permitting, steerable drilling and well completion technology, pilot and commercial plant operation as well as other areas.

Bobby P. Faulkner

Bobby P. Faulkner
Senior Associate

Retired, providing consulting services to companies in U. S. and overseas related to mineral processing, pyro-metallurgical processes and development.

Glen Sykes

Glen Sykes
Senior Associate

President of SMEC, Inc. Specializes in underground mine design, construction and operations.

Ed Cooley

Ed Cooley
Senior Associate

Engineering Design, Process Development and Environmental Permitting Consultant to oil shale, oil and gas and sodium minerals industries.

Glenn Vawter

Glenn Vawter
Senior Associate

President of ATP Services, LLC, providing consulting services to government contractors, energy companies, and oil shale developers.