Annual Report 2012: FY July 1, 2011-June 30, 2012
The purpose of the Astrogeology Committee is to provide AAPG members a forum for ideas on astrogeology and its relationship to terrestrial geology and energy issues.
Objectives: Organizing symposia at AAPG and other earth science meetings, recommending speakers for distinguished lectures, encouraging technical sessions and field trips on astrogeology at AAPG meetings, and acting as liaison with groups having similar interests, such as NASA and other geological societies. The Committee encourages digital and/or paper publications on astrogeology. All who are interested in astrogeology, planetary science and their application to energy, environmental and other resource issues are invited to join the Astrogeology Committee.
Relevance: Observation of analogues of terrestrial process on other bodies in the Solar System expands our understanding of Earth’s history, structure and evolution. Climate change on Earth is better understood when the two end members of Venus and Mars are considered. Comet composition provides a starting point for understanding the origin and evolution of our oceans. The recent interest in mining rare earth elements and platinum group metals from asteroids and helium-3 and titanium deposits on the moon is facilitated by our understanding of the origin and economics of ore deposits on Earth. The Astrogeology Committee seeks to promote our understanding of Earth and earth process and the application of this understanding to support the development of space resources for the present and the future.
Primary Goal in 2011-12: The primary goal for the 2011-2012 business year was to complete the submission and review process for papers in the upcoming AAPG Special Publication 101 Energy Resources for Human Settlement in the Solar System and Earth’s Future in Space. This special publication, dedicated to William R. Muehlberger, is a review of energy resources in the Solar System, including materials that could sustain future human expeditions and settlements as well as meet Earth's energy challenges in space and on Earth during the 21st century. The three main themes of the special publication are (1) non-terrestrial sources of energy and materials for Earth importation, (2) manufacturing of propellants for exploration of the solar system and transportation systems in space, and (3) sustaining human habitation and settlement of the solar system. As of the end of the business year, all papers for this publication had been through review and most had been revised. The Special Publication is scheduled for release in late 2012.
Other activities include the following.
- Arranging symposia at AAPG conventions that emphasize all aspects of astrogeology and their application to exploration for energy (or other) resources, including evaluation and production.
- The Astrogeology Committee sponsored two post-convention field trips at the 2012 AAPG Annual Convention in Long Beach, with the trip to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory led by Don and Cynthia Clarke. Jim Reilly led the field trip to the SpaceX facilities where field-trip participants saw the Falcon Rocket and Dragon spacecraft.
- The Astrogeology Committee also sponsored both an oral and poster session on astrogeology at the Long Beach convention, with Brian Pitts and William Ambrose as co-chairs. Presenters included Douglas Cook, David King, Art Johnson, Lorena Moscardelli. Bruce Cutright, Richard Denne, and William Ambrose.
- Establishing a series of AAPG Astrogeology student chapters in conjunction with the overall AAPG Student Chapter system. The goal of these chapters is to connect students who are interested in astrogeology and space exploration with professionals in the aerospace and planetary science community. Activities for the student chapters can include monthly technical meetings with a guest speaker, specific projects in which a local sponsor and/or representative from the Astrogeology Committee participates and establishing contact with representatives from the aerospace industry and professional organizations in planetary science. Matt Duncan, Astrogeology Committee student liaison, is spearheading these efforts.
Website: The Astrogeology Committee continues to develop its website. Among the posted items are mission statement, goals, business plan, list of committee members and responsibilities, calendar of events, AAPG convention activities including technical sessions, field trips and forums, abstracts, presentations, calls for papers and PowerPoint presentations in an Outreach section. The Committee greatly appreciates the services of Janet Brister who designed, created and updated the website. It can be accessed at the AAPG website Committees area.
James F. Reilly, Interim Chair
William A. Ambrose and Bruce Cutright, Co-Vice Chairs
Committee members: The Astrogeology committee welcomed new members Michael Raines, Herbert Vogler III, and Lorena Moscardelli. Jim Reilly served as interim chair and Bruce Cutright and William Ambrose served as co-vice chairs. Don Clarke and Brian Pitts were co-vice chairs for the 2012 AAPG Annual Convention in Long Beach. Matt Duncan was student liaison, Ronald Hart was AAPG staff liaison officer, Laura Zahm served as AAPG Outreach Committee liaison, and William Houston was AAPG EC liaison. Bruce Cutright will continue serving as committee co-vice chair in 2012-13 and Darwin “Trey” Boardman is serving as the new co-vice chair for the 2012-14 term, replacing William Ambrose.