Honors and Awards Committee
Distinguished Member of the House
Citation: To Stephen A. Sonnenberg, an outstanding leader and exemplary professional, for his unparalleled and long-term service and distinguished leadership to the AAPG House of Delegates.
Stephen A. Sonnenberg is a native of Billings, Montana and received Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in geology from Texas A&M University and a Ph.D. degree in geology from the Colorado School of Mines.
Steve was always interested in science growing up and geology became a natural extension of that interest. He is a second generation petroleum geologist and growing up lived in the oil towns of Billings, Denver, Oklahoma City and Houston plus a short time in Bolivia.
He is currently Professor of Geology and holds the Charles Boettcher Distinguished Chair in Petroleum Geology at the Colorado School of Mines. He specializes in unconventional reservoirs, sequence stratigraphy, tectonic influence on sedimentation, and petroleum geology. He began teaching at Colorado School of Mines in 2007 after working in the petroleum industry for over 25 years.
Steve joined AAPG in 1975 and became an AAPG Certified Petroleum Geologist in 1983. During the last 36 years, he has served on many committees and in many leadership capacities.
He served the Association as Vice President (1995-96), President-Elect (2002-03), and President (2003-04). His service on committees includes: Distinguished Lecture, Visiting Geologist, Education, Treatise of Petroleum Geology, Sample Preservation, Budget and Finance, Mentoring, Ethics, Resource Evaluation, International Pavilion, 100th Anniversary, Corporate Advisory, Conventions, Imperial Barrel, Technical Advisory and Committee Oversight Committee.
He has served on the Advisory Council three times (1997-99; 2004-07; 2010-2011) and was chair of the Council in 2004-05. Steve has served the Division of Professional Affairs as Vice President (1990-91), President-Elect (1997-98), President (1998-99) and Past President (1999-2000).
Steve served as general chair for the 2001 Annual Convention in Denver and was Technical Program Chair for the 2009 Annual Meeting. Steve actively supports the AAPG Foundation and became a Trustee Associate Member in 2000. Steve has been honored by AAPG with its Distinguished Service Award in 1999; honorary membership in 2008 and has also been the recipient of seven Certificate of Merit awards. The DPA has also honored Steve with its Distinguished Service Award (2001) and Exemplary Service Award (2002). Steve has served many terms in the House of Delegates since 1983.
He has served on many of the House committees including: Rules and Procedures, Constitution and Bylaws, Resolutions, Credentials, Future of Earth Scientists, and Honors and Awards. Steve was Chair-Elect of the HoD from 2008-2009 and Chairman of the House from 2009-2010.
Steve enjoys snowshoeing, hiking and fly fishing. He has led close to 20 raft trips through the Grand Canyon.
—R. Randy Ray