Meissner, Edwards to be Honored Posthumously
Two AAPG honorees, including the winner of this year’s highest Association award, will be honored posthumously during this year’s opening session of the AAPG Annual Convention in San Antonio.
The two are Fred F. Meissner, the 2008 recipient of the Sidney Powers Memorial Award, and John D. “Jack” Edwards, honored with a 2008 Distinguished Service Award.
Meissner died at his home in the Denver area September 18, just weeks after being notified of receiving the highest honor given by the Association. He was 75. Edwards died Dec. 24 in Boulder, Colo. He was 82.
Meissner will be the second posthumous recipient of the Powers Award, the first being Meissner’s friend and colleague, Norman H. Foster in 1999.
Meissner was a much-honored exploration geologist, college professor and consultant, and a pioneer of the concept that methane gas could be extracted from coalbeds. He authored over 45 publications, papers and poster sessions focusing primarily on hydrocarbon generation, migration and accumulation.
He was widely known for his technical acumen and his teaching ability.
Born and raised in Denver, his connection to the Rocky Mountains was cemented with his earning a geological engineering degree in 1953 and a master’s at the Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colo., in 1954, the year he joined AAPG.
Following service with the U.S. Corps of Engineers in the Korean War, he began his professional career with Shell Oil Co., where for the next 17 years he worked with a number of leading petroleum explorationists and, notably, with M. King Hubbert, acknowledged by Meissner as his mentor.
As Meissner’s reputation as a scientist grew his assignments became diverse and his undertakings included teaching in-house courses at the lab and at international offices.
Meissner joined Trend Exploration in Denver in 1973, which was formed by AAPG member Tom Jordan and included Norm Foster on the management team. There, Meissner worked on a number of important discoveries, including the giant Irian Jaya field in Indonesia.
He then worked with Trend’s successor company, Filon Exploration, and later with Webb Resources and Bird Oil. In all the affiliations, he was a principle with titles ranging from exploration manager to vice president.
In 1978 he gave a landmark paper at the Montana Geological Society’s Williston Basin Symposium, which incorporated the concept that source rock may be a frequently overlooked reservoir rock and that the change in phase from solid organic matter to a liquid during hydrocarbon generation causes abnormally high pressure in source rocks – and this is a primary and significant cause of fracturing in both source and adjacent reservoir rocks.
From 1986 to 2004, he was an adjunct professor at his alma mater, where he sat on thesis committees, taught a graduate course in advanced petroleum geology and was a guest lecturer.
In 1991 he began his consultancy where he worked basins worldwide as well as teaching short courses, including for the Rocky Mountain Section of the Petroleum Technology Transfer Council.
Meissner’s AAPG activities includes serving as an associate editor from 1981-83 and 1985-87, serving on the Education, Convention and Publications committees and as a Distinguished Lecturer in 1980-81.
Meisssner won the EMD Best Paper Award in 1984, and received AAPG Honorary membership in 2001 and the Grover Murray Memorial Distinguished Educator Award in 2005.
Despite being weakened by his battle with esophageal cancer, on Sept. 1 – about two weeks prior to his death – Meissner led a field trip for about 30 members of the geology study group to which he belonged, “Geology and Mining History Along a Portion of the Mineral Belt Trail, Leadville, Colorado.”
John D. “Jack” Edwards was an international geologist, educator and secretary-treasurer of the AAPG Foundation Trustee Associates.
He was with Shell Oil for much of his career (1949-87), serving as chief geologist and being credited with the discovery of the then largest oil field in Brazil. After retirement he served as adjunct professor at the University of Colorado in Boulder and at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colo.
He was considered an expert on future energy needs and concerns, and in 2002 testified before the U.S. Senate about strategies for future energy concerns.
Edwards was active in AAPG activities in a variety of areas in addition to his role with the Trustee Associates, including chairmanship of the Committee on the Future of Earth Scientists, several terms in the House of Delegates and, in 1989-90, as an AAPG Distinguished Lecturer.