Speaking with The Poughkeepsie Eagle, chemistry instructor Tasia Stadnichenko discussed her oil shale research at Vassar and her plans for continuing it during a year’s leave of absence at the National Research Council in Washington, DC.  “The new method of study of coal and oil shales,” she said, “uses…thin sections of two to eight one-hundredths of a millimeter in thickness which are prepared from the rock.  These strips are studied under the microscope in connection with a specially devised electric furnace, and this is the essential part of the study of oil shales in coals….  At the present time it is thought that the oil supply of the United States may last for 75 years.  There is a great deal of oil shale in Utah, in Nevada, in Wisconsin; while in one county of Colorado there is deposit of oil shale sufficient to supply this country for 300 years.”

The Russian émigré continued her government work concurrently with teaching at Vassar until 1935, when she became a full-time geologist with the United States Geological Survey.  “She was considered the foremost geochemist investigating the origin, constitution and microscopic structure of coal and other carbonaceous sedimentary deposits.”     M. B. Ogilvie and J. D. Harvey, The Biographical Dictionary of Women in Science