A strong technical program and good times in the oil patch are combining to give this year's AAPG Annual Convention a "must attend" status.
The convention, built around the theme "Perfecting the Search -- Delivering on Promises," will be held April 9-12 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. Pre-registration numbers are at near historic highs, and Houston officials expect the meeting to be among the larger gatherings in AAPG history.
The meeting will feature a large exhibits hall (with more than 260 exhibitors), luncheon speakers with urgent and timely topics, a full component of short courses and field trips plus a variety of settings to encourage networking and socializing.
"This is the eleventh time the AAPG annual meeting has been held in Houston," said Charles Sternbach, the convention's general chairman -- but only once before (1979) "did a Houston meeting correspond with exceptionally strong product prices.
"Houston today is a thriving energy capital, crossroad of technology and gateway of ‘know how' to the world," Sternbach said. "The Houston meeting will provide global networking opportunities with representatives and decision makers from more than 80 countries."
Sternbach said organizers planned the meeting to be "technically outstanding and business relevant."
"Themes were developed to get session chairs and authors to focus on active messages that focus on learning, discipline integration and the business of our profession," said technical program coordinator Bob Merrill.
"We have taken to heart the wise saying that ‘geology is a science, exploration is a business,'" Sternbach said, adding that the sessions and forums are "intended to help geoscientists fulfill commitments to an energy-hungry world, investors and fellow geoscientists."
Another special feature of the technical program, the annual Michel T. Halbouty Lecture, will be offered by AAPG member and former NASA astronaut Harrison "Jack" Schmitt. His talk, "Wildcatting the Moon," will be presented at 5:10 p.m. Monday, April 10, in General Assembly A of the George R. Brown Convention Center.
Several convention activities begin on Saturday, April 8, but the meeting officially begins at 3:45 p.m. Sunday, April 9, with the opening session, which this year will feature a multi-media pre-show look at the industry from its roots to today; talks from author Peter Tertzakian and AAPG President Peter R. Rose; and presentations of this year's AAPG award winners, including remarks from Sidney Powers medalist Robert Mitchum.
The opening session is followed by the traditional Icebreaker reception in the exhibits hall. Technical sessions begin on Monday, April 10.