Talk With Students Is Enlightening
Greetings from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where I’m attending the International Petroleum Technology Conference operated by SPE with AAPG, EAGE and SEG as partners. I ’ll report on this meeting and my November travels to London, Athens and Ankara in my February 2008 column.
My January column will feature an article by AAPG treasurer and University of Wyoming professor Randi Martinsen.
November 1 was a special day for me as I had the privilege of speaking to the AAPG Student Chapter and the Geology and Geophysics Club members at Texas A &M University.
My subject was “Energy Work Force,” and the unprecedented opportunity for entry-level professionals in the petroleum industry – and what AAPG is doing to encourage students to choose petroleum geosciences as a career.
The group of 52 students and five professors showed keen interest and asked questions for 30 minutes after my talk.
Aggie Student Chapter President Aubrey Shellhorn Humboldt was excited about entering a team for the Imperial Barrel Award competition. Her only concern was, “how do we limit the team to only five students?”
Earlier in the afternoon I met with dean of geosciences Bjorn Kjerfve and acting associate dean and geology professor Ethan Grossman and Diane Barron, director of development for the College of Geosciences for the Texas A &M Foundation. I learned that enrollment in geology and geophysics has increased significantly in the past two years, and that one-third of all enrolling freshmen at the university do not specify a major.
Geosciences staff members are reviewing the high school records of incoming students to encourage those with strong science backgrounds to consider geology and geophysics.
We (AAPG members and industry) need to do more to interest high school students in our profession.
AAPG had two Section meetings in October.
The Rocky Mountain Section met at Snowbird, Utah, where several inches of new snow welcomed our arrival on Saturday, Oct. 6.
The Sunday morning field trip in Little and Big Cottonwood canyons in the Wasatch Range started with a chilly 22 degree F. temperature but soon warmed to a comfortable level. I have skied in the Wasatch Range for at least the last 15 years and was glad to learn what is below the winter snow.
Convention chair Paul Anderson organized an outstanding meeting, with 660 participants.
Our largest Section, GCAGS, convened in Corpus Christi Oct. 21-23, with 1,120 registrants.
During the meeting, featured luncheon speaker John Cousins, executive VP for ExxonMobil Exploration, said one-half of the current energy work force will be eligible to retire within the next 10 years (a situation we must help change).
I commend co-chairs Brent Hopkins and Dan Pedrotti for an excellent meeting.
With December coming on, it is a time for family and friends and to be thankful that we have each other.