Sections & Regions
Gulf Coast Section
The Gulf Coast Section of AAPG strives to not only improve its long-time successful programs in continuing education and student and faculty aid, but also to do its part in helping achieve various other AAPG goals and to increase its support and encouragement of the Affiliated Societies in their own local efforts.
The high-quality technical progams and published “Transactions” of each Annual Meeting have been the flagship activities of the Section. The Annual Meeting hosted by the Shreveport Geological Society this past fall, which was focused on shale plays, continued the Section’s tradition of providing a valuable learning and networking venue, and exceeded attendance expectations. This year’s Annual Meeting will be hosted by the South Texas Geological Society in San Antonio on October 10-12. Again, a strong technical program of oral and poster presentations is being developed, and will include a special symposium on the forming and filling of the Gulf of Mexico Basin, with an emphasis on Jurassic and Cretaceous tectonics, source rocks, and petroleum systems. Other highlights will be an exhibition, field trips, short courses, a special student program with workshops on technical and career management topics, a teacher training program, an IBA training session, and some enjoyable social events.
The Section continues its strong support of student and faculty research by means of its two grant programs. Through the Student Grant Program, the Section provides grants of up to $2000 each to student awardees conducting geoscience research in the Gulf Coast area. Total annual funding usually is in the range of $25,000 to $30,000. Also, the Section, through its Faculty Grant Program, awards one $10,000 grant and one $5,000 grant each year for Gulf Coast research by faculty. Applications for both of the 2010 grant programs are currently under review by the Grant Committee, which will make award recommendations to the Section’s Board of Directors for approval at its Mid-Year Meeting on April 30.
To further aid university students in the Gulf Coast area, a new Scholarship Fund-Matching Program was begun by the Section on January 1, 2010 and will continue through June 30, 2011. This program should provide an incentive to the Section’s Affiliated Societies to raise funds for their registered scholarship foundations. The Section will match newly raised funds one-to-one, up to a total of $10,000 per each Society, except for the large Houston Geological Society, which will be allowed to receive matching funds up to $10,000 for each of its two separate foundations.
In addition to its own programs, the Section supports and helps facilitate the programs of various AAPG committees and other organizations under the AAPG umbrella. For example, the Section has increased funding this year for the Imperial Barrel Award Program and continues its efforts to encourage more university teams to participate in the competition. The number of teams that will participate in the Section competition on March 26 will be seven, up from five teams last year. Likewise, the Section looks forward to an increased involvement with the AAPG Young Professionals Committee in its efforts to help young geoscientists get their careers off to a solid, successful start. Also, as part of the revitalization of the Petroleum Technology Transfer Council, several new volunteers recently have been recruited from the Gulf Coast Section membership to serve in the PTTC Producer Advisory Groups.
As for many organizations with an annual turnover of officers, continuity is an ongoing issue. However, to help mitigate this problem, the Gulf Coast Section, several years ago, created a Continuity Committee, whose role has become increasingly valuable in long-term planning, especially with regard to Annual Meeting scheduling and operations standardization. As another means of achieving continuity, the Section has, within the past year or so, solidified its relationships with contracted service providers who are crucial in the areas of convention management, Web site management, Transactions publication, and registration and abstract processing.
In closing, I would like to convey, on behalf of the New Orleans Geological Society and the rest of the Gulf Coast Section, a hearty welcome to the 2010 AAPG Annual Convention & Exhibition to be held in New Orleans on April 11-14.We wish you a productive HoD meeting and a very rewarding learning and networking experience at the Convention!