Gulf Coast Section
The Section, represented by the Houston Geological Society, hosted this year’s AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition in Houston, Texas, 10-13 April, which gathered more than 8,400 people from 81 countries. The technical program included 400 oral presentations, 400 all-day posters and 150 posters in electronic (e-poster) format.
The 2010 GCAGS Annual Convention was hosted by the South Texas Geological Society in San Antonio in October. The meeting offered an outstanding technical program that included sessions on timely topics such as shale plays and Cretaceous carbonates, as well as a special symposium on the forming and filling of the Gulf of Mexico Basin. Approximately 100 oral and poster presentations were given, and the papers were published in the 853-page Transactions volume 60. An exhibition, short courses, field trips, student and teacher training programs, luncheons, and networking events rounded out a highly successful meeting that drew a total of 1,301 enthusiastic participants.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, the 2011 GCAGS Executive and Convention Organizing Committees regrettably cancelled the GCAGS 2011 Convention in Veracruz. The Organizing Committee wishes to thank all the stakeholders in this effort for their commitment and hard work to assemble the best possible technical program, field trips, short courses, exhibition offerings, student activities and social events.
Student and Faculty Support
The GCAGS Student Grant Committee received a total of 19 research proposals from 13 schools for the 2011 Program. Various levels of funding were approved for 16 proposals, to make a total of $22,500 in grants awarded.
The GCAGS Faculty Grant Committee received a total of five research proposals from five Gulf Coast schools for the 2011 grant program, the two top-rated of which received $10,000 and $5,000 awards, respectively.
The GCAGS held the section’s 2011 Imperial Barrel Award (IBA) competition on Friday, March 25 at the Schlumberger SIS facility in Houston. Ten teams took part in the competition. The University of Texas at Austin placed first, Louisiana State University was second, and the University of Louisiana Lafayette was third. The University of Texas at Austin went on to represent the Gulf Coast Section in the global competition at the AAPG Convention in Houston, where they took the ultimate first place prize! The University of Texas honored its IBA team by lighting the UT Tower orange on Thursday, April 28. The UT Austin championship team includes Chris Zahm (faculty advisor), Michael Fairbanks, Ashley Bens, Ben Siks, Erin Miller, and Justin Fitch.
AAPG Student Chapter Support: The GCAGS will continue to provide $1,000 in support for student travel to the Student Chapter Leadership Summit each summer.
Honors and Awards
Owen R. Hopkins, a dedicated petroleum geologist and past president of the Corpus Christi Geological Society, passed away on March 29, 2011. He will be greatly missed by the geological community. Owen was instrumental in starting the Maps in Schools, Bones in Schools, and Boulders in Schools programs. To honor Owen’s enthusiasm to teach others, the Board decided to rename the GCAGS Outstanding Science Teacher Award to become the Owen R. Hopkins Outstanding Earth Science Teacher Award.
Successful past Annual Conventions, and secondary income from publication sales and investments, have contributed to a sound financial status of the Gulf Coast Section, which allows the continuation of the support to existing programs to students, faculties, schools and affiliated societies.
My Relationship with AAPG
I have been an active member of AAPG since 1993. Joining AAPG was one of the best decisions of my professional life. As a member of AAPG, I have upgraded constantly, gaining competitive advantage in my work. Also, I have shared a passion for oil exploration with many colleagues and I have felt the excitement of belonging to a scientific community that helps move the world. It is an honor to be President of the Gulf Coast Section and has been a privilege to meet the leaders of all the Geological Societies affiliated with the GCAGS, the chairs of all committees, AAPG leaders and officers. The stable environment in our community is one of respect, tolerance, collaboration and friendship.