Dr. Dunbar joined Baylor in 1994 after ten years in the petroleum industry. From 1979 to 1984, Dr. Dunbar was involved in seismic acquisition research with ARCO Oil and Gas. His first assignment was to conduct a series of field experiments to access the application of shear wave reflection methods to delineating thin gas sands and fractured carbonate reservoirs. In 1982 he became the supervisor of the Marine Seismic Acquisition Research Group at ARCO. This group designed and tested new marine seismic sources and improved three-dimensional acquisition methods. In 1984 he entered the Ph.D. program at the University of Texas at Austin. His dissertation dealt with the mechanics of continental breakup and the subsidence of passive margins. This work included research cruises in the Gulf of Mexico and Bransfield Straight, Antarctica. After completing his Ph.D. in 1988, he joined the Basin Analysis Section of Shell Development Company. There he participated in studies involving the structural, stratigraphic and hydrologic evolution of sedimentary basins.
Dr. Dunbar's current research interests are in the development and application of the near surface geophysical methods in the study of water reservoirs, flood water retention structures, and coastal processes. As part of this work he has developed a new acoustic profiling system that provides enhanced images of the first few meters below the water bottom in shallow water environments. This system has been used to study the rate at which water reservoirs fill with sediment and to search for hurricane washover deposits in coastal lakes. In other work he and his students have used ground-penetrating radar to investigate the shallow stratigraphic record on Galveston Island, Texas to determine the nature of its Holocene evolution.