Matson, Braunstein Awardees Announced

Braunstein awardee Nikki Hemmesch Photo courtesy of Colorado School of Mines.
Braunstein awardee Nikki Hemmesch Photo courtesy of Colorado School of Mines.

The best paper and poster award winners have been announced for the AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition in Denver.

The George C. Matson Award, presented for the best oral presentation, goes to Barbara Tilley, with the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, for the paper “Isotopic Evidence for Fault-Induced Gas Mixing in Sweet Spots of the Sukunka Gas Field, Western Canadian Foothills.”

Her co-authors were Pradeep Bhatnagar, Scott McLellan, Bob Quartero and Byron Veilleux, all with Talisman Energy, Calgary; and Karlis Muehlenbachs, with the University of Alberta.

The Jules Braunstein Award, presented for best poster presentation, goes to gaduate student Nikki Hemmesch and her adviser, Nick Harris, both with the Colorado School of Mines, for “Sequence Stratigraphic Architecture for the Late Devonian Woodford Shale, Southern Permian Basin, West Texas.”

The awards will be presented at the opening session of the next annual convention, set April 11-14 in New Orleans.


The awards announcement came shortly after Hemmesch died suddenly on July 9 while returning from a Kazakhstan field trip.

Hemmesch, who as president of the AAPG student chapter at Colorado School of Mines had been recognized in Denver as heading one of AAPG’s top student chapters, reportedly collapsed upon arrival at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany.

Initial reports from Germany indicated that blood clots in her leg had dislodged and affected her heart. School officials reported she never gained consciousness after her collapse.

At Colorado School of Mines she was a Ph.D candidate in geology and last year’s recipient of the school’s Robert Burch Graduate Scholarship. During her time at the school she and Harris created the Woodford Shale Consortium, a research group that serves many members of the oil and gas industry.

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