Every year I take the kids and a few of their friends to the Tulsa State Fair. I don’t ride the rides much any more – I mainly act as the automatic teller and security. I also hold a lot of funny things for the kids while they ride the rides.
Personally, I go to see the horses and to discover the newest fried flavor on the “stick.”
Of course, you can’t go wrong with the standard corn dog. However, I noticed this year instead of a foot-long corn dog they now have a foot-and-one-half-long corn dog. I assume this came from a research and development department – after 50 years someone said, “Let’s add an extra half a foot of dog and charge twice as much!”
It was working.
Last year they actually had deep-fried garlic mashed potatoes on a stick. This year the new flavor was chicken fried bacon on a stick!
I felt like I should just bring my cardiologist with me.
This fall I’ve enjoyed tasting the various flavors of the AAPG Section meetings. In September the Eastern Section held its annual meeting in Evansville, Ind., and the Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies held its annual meeting in Shreveport, La.
In Tulsa, we just completed the Mid-Continent Section meeting, hosted by the Tulsa Geological Society.
The good news is that all the meetings were well attended. The Eastern Section meeting had over 400 attendees and the GCAGS had nearly 1,000 attendees.
The Mid-Continent Section may have set a Tulsa record with over 900 attendees. Plus on the meeting’s last day they held a public forum called “America’s Energy Heartland, America’s Energy Future.” It featured several speakers who are top scientists and executives, and it was well attended – many students from the local schools were in the audience.
The great news is that all of the conference committees provided an excellent slate of science for the attendees.
Of course, each Section provided its flavor of the “shale talks” – the Marcellus in Evansville, the Haynesville in Shreveport and the Woodford in Tulsa. There also were numerous good talks on other subjects such as 3-D seismic stratigraphy applications and new uses of horizontal drilling to develop old plays (see this story for an example of what was presented in Tulsa).
Attendees were cautiously optimistic about the future and many were planning for new drilling next year. Also, there was widespread concern over potential government changes to tax laws and regulations. I encouraged them to join AAPG’s Division of Professional Affairs, as they are working through the GEO-DC office to actively educate the U.S. Congress and their staff on the impact of tax changes and aggressive regulation on our industry.
Of course, the students are always great at the Section meetings. They are energetic, mature and actively working on their professional development. Many have jobs but there were a lot of questions about future employment opportunities.
AAPG is doing everything possible to support the students and encourage the companies to continue to engage.
My next two meetings are the International Conference and Exhibition in Rio on Nov. 15-18, followed by the European Region meeting in Paris on Nov. 23-24.
It’s not too late to go to Rio – please contact us if you need to know how to obtain an expedited visa. Rio has a great technical program and promises to be a great event (see related story).
At each of these events I am always amazed and appreciative of the energy and efforts of the volunteers who build the meetings and develop the technical programs. We appreciate their dedication to the science and our profession.
And as a result I can’t wait to attend the Section meetings this next spring and enjoy their technical flavors.
I can’t wait until the next state fair, either. The last thing we saw on the way out was “chocolate covered bacon.”
At least it wasn’t on a stick.
Richard D. "Rick" Fritz, an AAPG member since 1984 and a member of the Division of Environmental Geosciences and the Division of Professional Affairs, has been AAPG Executive Director since 1999.