Candidate for ()

Hannes E.
Hannes E. Leetaru
Senior Petroleum Geologist
Illinois State Geologic Survey, Champaign, Illinois USA


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AAPG’s outreach and professional development programs and the dissemination of geologic knowledge are what make AAPG a key resource for its members. I would never have become a petroleum geologist if it were not for AAPG. In 1977, Edd R. Turner, former president of AAPG, visited Syracuse University and brought to life what a career in petroleum geology is like by discussing his experience in the field illustrated by a real life project that he had worked on. Today the Visiting Geoscientist Program provides this same outreach to students across the entire globe. Edd inspired me to find a position in the industry and recommended, since Syracuse was not a petroleum geology feeder school, that I drive to Houston and knock on any door that has the word “petroleum” in its company name. I did exactly that and found a job at Getty Oil.

My interest in being active in AAPG was strongly influenced by John Amoruso and Robbie Gries, both former presidents, who taught me that volunteering in AAPG has to be part of my career as a petroleum geoscientist. These two individuals and many other AAPG volunteers have influenced me to aspire to become vice president-Sections of our Association. My career has spanned working in both exploration and development at Getty Oil Company and Union Pacific Resources and as a research scientist at the Illinois State Geological Survey. Throughout this entire time period I have relied on AAPG for training, mentoring and geologic information. In the beginning I was mentored by AAPG members and now I am one of the mentors for the next generation of petroleum geoscientists.

As vice president-Sections I will continue supporting AAPG efforts to improve member access to professional development and relevant geologic information. I also will make certain that the resources are in place for these programs. My AAPG activities include organizing a Hedberg conference, convening a summit on Teaching Petroleum Geology, helping convene a joint London Geological Society/AAPG conference, being co-general chair of an Eastern Section meeting and an officer for this same section, and being a member of numerous AAPG committees. These give me a good perspective on the diverse activities of AAPG and the challenges that we face fulfilling AAPG’s missions including outreach, professional development, encouraging research and the dissemination of geologic knowledge. Our membership has diverse needs that vary greatly from young professionals to those members working as consultants or for independents, major oil companies and national oil companies.

As AAPG becomes a more international organization we must always remember our rich heritage and continue to provide members with a vibrant society that offers a compelling reason for AAPG membership.

Academic Degrees

  • 1997 Ph.D., geology, University of Illinois, Champaign, Illinois
  • 1978 M.S., geology, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY
  • 1975 B.S., geology, State University of New York College, Fredonia, NY


  • 2005-present Senior geologist, Illinois State Geological Survey, Champaign, IL
  • 1996-2005 Petroleum geologist, Illinois State Geological Survey, Champaign, IL
  • 2000-present Adjunct faculty, University of Illinois, Champaign, IL
  • 1989-96 Associate petroleum geologist, Illinois State Geological Survey, Champaign, IL
  • 1988-89 Independent exploration consultant, Houston, TX
  • 1984-88 Senior geologist, Union Pacific Resources, Houston, TX
  • 1978-84 Advanced exploration geologist, Getty Oil Company, Houston, TX


AAPG Activities

Joined AAPG 1976
Member DEG, DPA, EMD

  • 2012-15 Alternate council member, DPA
  • 2011-14 Eastern Section liaison, Education Committee
  • 2011 Co-convener, Geological Society of London/AAPG conference
  • 2009 Co-convener, AAPG/SPE/SEG Hedberg Research Conference
  • 2007-09 DEG Honors & Awards Nominations, chair (07-08)
  • 2007-08 Vice president, DEG
  • 2006-09 GIS Publications, co-chair 2007-09
  • 2006-07 Co-chair, DEG Carbon Sequestration Committee
  • 2006-07 AAPG Tactical Operations Ad-Hoc Committee
  • 2005-06 Computer Application & Internet, chair 2005-06
  • 2005-08 DEG Advisory Board representing Eastern Section
  • 2004-05 Computer Application & Internet, vice-chair 2003-05
  • 2003-06 Reservoir Development Committee
  • 2003-04 President, Eastern Section
  • 2002 Co-general chair, AAPG Eastern Section Meeting in Champaign, IL
  • 2001-02 Vice president, Eastern Section
  • 2000-01 Secretary, Eastern Section
  • 1999-2000 Treasurer, Eastern Section
  • 1998-2001 Publications Committee
  • 1987-90 HoD alternate

AAPG Honors & Awards

  • 2012 Eastern Section of the AAPG A.I. Levorsen Memorial Award
  • 2008 Outstanding Educator Award from the Eastern Section of AAPG
  • 2007 AAPG Certificate of Merit
  • 2006 Eastern Section of the AAPG, DEG Best Paper Award
  • 2004 Eastern Section of the AAPG, Distinguished Service Award
  • 2003 Eastern Section of the AAPG, Vincent E. Nelson Memorial Best Poster Award
  • 2003 AAPG Certificate of Merit
  • 2002 Eastern Section of the AAPG, Certificate of Merit


Over 60 publications on carbon capture and storage, reservoir geology, sequence stratigraphy, and exploration.

Section 3. Vice President, Section

The Vice President, Sections, when elected earlier than the Vice President, Regions, shall perform the duties of the President in the absence or inability of the President to serve. The Vice President, Sections, when elected earlier than the Vice President, Regions, shall assume the office of President in case of a vacancy for any cause in that office; and shall perform such duties as may be assigned by the President. The Vice President, Sections shall, with his or her other duties, concern himself or herself with the activities of the Association in respect to United States Sections. A Vice President, Sections elected pursuant to the provisions of Section 12 of this Article II shall be presumed for the purposes of this Section 3 to have been elected on the date of his or her predecessor’s election.

Other Candidate

General Info

Candidates for AAPG office have been given the opportunity to respond briefly to the subject: "Why I Accepted the Invitation to be a Candidate for an AAPG Office."

Their responses and biographical information were provided by each candidate and edited only for grammar, spelling and format.

This information will also be provided as hard-copy in an early issue of the EXPLORER and available on the AAPG website through the election period. Ballots will be mailed, online in the first quarter of each year. Results will be posted mid-May.

Candidates were asked to limit their biographies to 350 words and responses to 500 words.

See Also