Lights! Camera Action! ACE 2012!
The 2012 Annual Convention and Exhibition in Long Beach, California, April 22 – 25 will be another terrific event brought to you by AAPG and the volunteer Organization and Technical Program cast. The excitement is mounting as our geoscience community is anticipating learning, sharing and networking at the oral and poster technical sessions, field trips, and short courses. The Exhibition Hall will, as always, offer you a peek at the state of the art technologies and favorite vendors and publication purveyors.
Registration – At six weeks before the start of the Convention we have 3,492 registrants - slightly above the 2010 New Orleans registration, 740 above the 2007 Long Beach meeting, and only 470 below last year’s Houston registration at this time.
Technical Program – The committee was very pleased with the number of top quality submittals received - 1,383 abstracts. We expanded the poster space and sessions as much as possible, but could only accept 79%. We regret not being able to include several highly regarded authors and talks. We were able to accept 417 oral presentations and 669 posters for 53 oral sessions and 58 poster sessions. The Technical Program Committee came together as a high functioning team to assemble the technical program. We appreciated the flexibility and understanding offered by the Theme Chairs.
Short Courses – Eleven short courses were offered and, at this time, seven are sold out or are a “go”.
Field Trips – As we have seen in the past, field trips are a priority for attendees in California. Of the twenty field trips that were offered, twelve are sold out, and an additional six are a “go” for a 90% early registration success rate.
Sponsorship – As of March 12 (six weeks before the convention) we have $771,100 raised in total sponsorship. This compares to $663,000 raised for the 2011 ACE in Houston at the same time. Join me in a standing ovation for Larry Knauer for leading this effort.
Speakers – All of the luncheon speakers are bringing perspectives on topics of immediate interest to the membership. Robin West, the All Convention Luncheon Speaker, has served on the White House staff and advised international and national oil and gas companies. He brings a global view on the state and politics of our industry. The DPA/PROWESS luncheon panel features Sally Benson (Stanford University Global Climate and Energy Project) and Sharon Mosher (Jackson School of Geosciences at The University of Texas). DEG brings Steve Leifer to the table on Hydraulic Fracturing: Separating Myth from Reality. The EMD is exploring alternative energy with Lee Allison on Geothermal Exploration. SEPM’s speaker from 2011, John Grotzinger (Cal Tech and JPL) is our Michel T. Halbouty Lecture speaker with an introduction by Jim Reilly.
Other Highlights – Our future can be directed through understanding our past. The History of Petroleum Geology Forum on Sunday offers five talks with a global exploration perspective ranging from 1843 Poland to China.
The Discovery Thinking Forum on “New Discoveries in Old Areas” is sure to play to a full house. The kick-off talk is from Oxy geologists on the prospect that is bringing companies from around the world to explore California again – the Gunslinger Discovery. Unconventional discoveries from the Wolfberry, Bakken and Granite Wash are also highlighted in this forum.
The AAPG Distinguished Ethics Lecturer, Rusty Riese, will encourage you to explore ideas with his talk on “Oil Spills, Ethics and Society – How They Intersect and Where the Responsibilities Reside.”
A special treat is a showing of the AAPG Foundation-funded documentary “Switch” at the Cinemark movie theatre adjacent to the Convention Center. Past AAPG President Scott Tinker guides the viewer to answer the question “What will it really take to make the transition from oil and coal to alternative energy resources?” You may recognize this documentary from the working title “The Bridge.”
Credits – The convention will be a blockbuster due to the starring roles played by Larry Knauer (General Co-Chair) and Technical Program Co-Chairs Gene Fritsche and Kurt Neher. Key supporting roles were played on the technical side by Stefano Mazzoni (Field Trips), Heidi Hoffower (Short Courses), Marieke Gaudet (Posters), Dalton Lockman and Dan Schwartz (Technical Advisory Committee liaisons and AAPG Technical Vice Chairs), Jon Allen (AAPG Oral Sessions), Gareth Jones, SEPM Vice Chair, Stephen Testa, EMD Vice Chair, and Paul Britt and Bob Countryman (DPA Vice Chairs).
Bob Ballog (Teacher Program), Jeff Gartland andTerry Thompson (Judging), Linda Specht (Guest Program), Dave DeFelice (Student Volunteers) and Cynthia Huggins all deserve awards for their service coordinating the “other” programs that reach out and provide the glue that makes a convention successful.
I am very grateful to all of these stars, the rest of the committee members, and AAPG Staff for their extraordinary work and for the opportunity to collaborate on this convention. It has been a great experience!