2012 ACE, Long Beach
Thank you for attending the 2012 Annual Convention and Exhibition in Long Beach! I heard from many attendees who ran into college classmates and colleagues from years past and made many new acquaintances and friends during the course of the meeting. These connections and the insights you gained from the high-quality technical program and the exhibitors increased the value of the time you committed to the convention. Final attendance at the meeting was 5,272, just over the budgeted number for total attendance.
Of course, none of this would have come to fruition without the numerous hours volunteers and AAPG staff put in the past two years. It was very rewarding to be involved with remarkable Organizing and Technical Committees. The outstanding technical program was guided by Technical Program Co-Chairs Gene Fritsche and Kurt Neher. Dalton Lockman and Dan Schwartz (AAPG Technical Vice Chairs), Gareth Jones (SEPM), Chris Phillips (DEG), Paul Britt and Bob Countryman (DPA) and Stephen Testa (EMD) worked closely with Gene and Kurt and the Theme Chairs to ensure the program was timely, relevant, and engaging. The Theme Chairs for ACE 2012 - the unsung heroes who found session chairs and worked with them on the program - were Tony Reid, Amy Sullivan, Carlos Macellari, Andrea Fildani, Sean Guidry, Chris Werner, Steve Sonnenberg, Barry Katz, Rusty Riese, Stephen Testa, Chris Smart, Peter Hennings, David Ferrill, Steven Getz, Hilario Camacho, Sean O’Conner and Mason Dykstra. I am deeply grateful to you all.
The History of Geology forum kicked off the technical meeting with one of its larger audiences. The shale sessions and the Discovery Thinking forum were all standing room only. The room was also full for the Halbouty Lecturer, John Grotzinger. We are looking forward to seeing the images from Curiosity when it lands on Mars in August. We learned that the complexity of the Mars Science Lab project makes drilling horizontal wells through a one-foot thick zone look easy.
Over 1,030 people participated in the 18 field trips and nine short courses. We engaged many organizations in the field trips and short courses through their sponsorship. These included AAPG, SEPM, Pacific Sections of AAPG and SEPM, Association for Women Geoscientists, three Pacific Section societies, AAPG Student Chapters, DEG, and the AAPG PROWESS committee.
The documentary “Switch” was a near sellout and was well received. Attendees enjoyed a question and answer session with AAPG Past President Scott Tinker and Director/Producer Harry Lynch following the screening.
On the convention innovation front, I heard that several dual-career couples were happy that they could simultaneously attend the convention for the first time in years. They had been taking turns going to sessions so one could stay with their children. The childcare providers, Kiddie Corp, offered a professionally run, stimulating program for the children.
The Imperial Barrel Award ceremony was made accessible to more attendees this year. Several hundred members attended the ceremony held one hour before the Opening Session. University of Louisiana, Lafayette (representing GCAGS) took first place. Khon Kaen University, Thailand (representing Asia Pacific Region) took second place while Colorado School of Mines (from the Rocky Mountain Section) won third. Students from all twelve teams appreciated the recognition they received from the attendees at the ceremony.
General Vice Chair Larry Knauer led a very successful sponsorship campaign, bringing in over $762,700. This will help support the valuable services our members receive from AAPG.
The committee and I appreciate all those who attended, gave talks, shared their work through a poster, or exhibited. The AAPG ACE continues to offer the highest value convention experience for petroleum and energy geoscientists. I look forward to seeing you in Pittsburgh at ACE 2013.