Geology ‘Chef’ Serves Up a Tasty Idea

A man in the kitchen is wearing a chef’s hat, a KISS THE GEOLOGIST apron and holding a butane torch and a marshmallow.

AAPG member Devin Dennie, a petroleum geologist with Devon Energy, has a second life introducing video geoscience “feasts” to the public as co-creator of “Geology Kitchen.” Photos courtesy of Explorer Multimedia
AAPG member Devin Dennie, a petroleum geologist with Devon Energy, has a second life introducing video geoscience “feasts” to the public as co-creator of “Geology Kitchen.” Photos courtesy of Explorer Multimedia

Stay with us.

Some look at geology and see history; others see desert.

“Describing layers of rock,” says Todd Kent, co-creator of “Geology Kitchen,” a new educational earth science web series, “brings about imagery of layer cake, and so we got the idea to add segments that were shot in the kitchen.”

The other part of the “we” is AAPG member Devin Dennie, his filmmaking partner, and, together, they decided to construct an instructional video online – brief, fast-paced episodes – where food items and their preparation are used to introduce the wonders of earth science to a 4th and 6th grade audience.

Dennie, a petroleum geologist with Devon Energy, does most of the research and is the on-camera host for the films. Kent, a professional filmmaker, said he is “the production guy.”

Together the two formed their non-profit (and now award-winning) production company, Explorer Multimedia Inc., in 2003.

It is a “frugal organization,” Kent said, with the two friends doing most of the work themselves in their spare time.

Past productions for the two include “Oklahoma Rocks” and “RockHounds: The Movie” – works that were intended to make geology a bit more accessible and interesting to the general public.

The hurdle they faced with their new food-themed production was not just the what, but the how.

“The Geology Kitchen format is specifically tailored to the methods of online media consumption,” Kent said of the AAPG-sponsored endeavor – meaning these episodes can be downloaded from iTunes and be shared on social media sites, like Facebook.

Look good? It should. All of these “food” samples are rocks, in the Geology Kitchen.
Look good? It should. All of these “food” samples are rocks, in the Geology Kitchen.

“Young people live, work and recreate online,” he continued, “and to target that audience you need to understand how they receive and process information.”

Not just how much they take in, as it turns out, but how much room is left for other information, which explains why he and Dennie keep these videos between four and six minutes in length.

It’s not, Kent believes, that the attention spans of this age group are smaller; it’s that the amount of information vying for that attention is so much greater.

“With so many choices on what to see, read, watch or play, kids tend to have smaller increments of time in which they choose to invest their attention.”

Kent and Dennie’s primary goal, then, was to introduce concepts to pique kids’ interest (or appetite, if you will) and/or to supplement teachers’ curriculum.

“A fifteen minute video may be interesting,” he said, “but, believe it or not, it may be too much of a time investment for kids.”

An Appetizing Analogy

The videos are produced and will be distributed by their own Explorer Multimedia.

“One of the benefits of having an online project is the interactivity,” Kent said, “and that can be accomplished through the utilization of social media platforms. By maintaining a presence on sites like Twitter, YouTube and Facebook we can have contact with our viewers and the response has been very positive.”

It seems to be working.

“We’ve received, emails, tweets and comments from both students and teachers who are enjoying the show and requesting specific topics for us to cover,” Kent said.

And here is where it gets fun: It’s geology and science with more peanut butter, grapes and marshmallows than graphs, charts and lectures.

“There is a great episode where we rented an industrial cotton candy machine and made cotton candy as an analogy for various types of mineral formation.”

Another episode, which Kent says is their most popular, is titled “Three Types of Rocks,” where everything from ice cream, Rice Krispies treats and S’mores were used to demonstrate the formation of igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks.

The purpose of all this is not merely to recreate the scene in “Close Encounters of Third Kind,” where Richard Dreyfuss sculpts his pile of mashed potatoes into a reasonable facsimile of Devils Tower – it is to use the processes of cooking, of the food itself, to introduce scientific concepts to children.

“Education and outreach,” he says, “are tricky things to accomplish – and earth science in particular carries a stigma. Too many people see it as a dry and boring topic.”

The Delightful Aftertaste

The key – and the challenge – is making these scientific concepts relatable to an audience in a format they enjoy.

To do that, though, required some help, which is where AAPG came in.

“Over the years we’ve collaborated with the AAPG on a few projects and were aware of their commitment to education and outreach so we were hopeful that they would support this project.”

He said he hoped the fun and uniqueness of Geology Kitchen would appeal to the organization.

It did.

AAPG Foundation program coordinator Jane Terry said of the project, both specifically and generally, “Social media allows worldwide viewers to learn about a topic in a short video format.”

And even though the videos, which can easily be downloaded and used on a number of platforms, are only an introduction, Kent says the geology cooked up in the kitchen can produce amazing results.

“An understanding of earth science,” he said, “leads to a better understanding of the energy industry.”

Comments (0)


See Also: Book

Desktop /Portals/0/images/_site/AAPG-newlogo-vertical-morepadding.jpg?width=50&h=50&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=90amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true 4455 Book

See Also: Bulletin Article

This article addresses the controls exerted by sedimentologic and diagenetic factors on the preservation and modification of pore-network characteristics (porosity, pore types, sizes, shapes, and distribution) of carbonates belonging to the Bolognano Formation. This formation, exposed at the Majella Mountain, Italy, is composed of Oligocene–Miocene carbonates deposited in middle- to outer-ramp settings. The carbonates consist of (1) grainstones predominantly composed of either larger benthic foraminifera, especially Lepidocyclina, or bryozoans; (2) grainstones to packstones with abundant echinoid plates and spines; and (3) marly wackestones to mudstones with planktonic foraminifera.

The results of this field- and laboratory-based study are consistent with skeletal grain assemblages, grain sizes, sorting, and shapes, all representing the sedimentologic factors responsible for high values of connected primary macroporosity in grainstones deposited on the high-energy, middle to proximal outer ramp. Cementation, responsible for porosity reduction and overall macropore shape and distribution in grainstones to packstones deposited on the intermediate outer ramp, was mainly dependent on the following factors: (1) amount of echinoid plates and spines, (2) grain size, (3) grain sorting and shapes, and (4) clay amount. Differently, in the wackestones to mudstones, laid down on the low-energy, distal outer ramp, matrix is the key sedimentologic factor responsible for low values of scattered macroporosity and dominance of microporosity. The aforementioned results may be useful to improve the prediction of reservoir quality by means of mapping, simulating, and assessing individual carbonate facies with peculiar pore-network characteristics.

Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/sedimentologic-and-diagenetic-controls-italy.jpg?width=50&h=50&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=90amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true 3706 Bulletin Article

West Edmond field, located in central Oklahoma, is one of the largest oil accumulations in the Silurian–Devonian Hunton Group in this part of the Anadarko Basin. Production from all stratigraphic units in the field exceeds 170 million barrels of oil (MMBO) and 400 billion cubic feet of gas (BCFG), of which approximately 60 MMBO and 100 BCFG have been produced from the Hunton Group. Oil and gas are stratigraphically trapped to the east against the Nemaha uplift, to the north by a regional wedge-out of Hunton strata, and by intraformational diagenetic traps. Hunton Group reservoirs are the Bois d'Arc and Frisco Limestones, with lesser production from the Chimneyhill subgroup, Haragan Shale, and Henryhouse Formation.

Hunton Group cores from three wells that were examined petrographically indicate that complex diagenetic relations influence permeability and reservoir quality. Greatest porosity and permeability are associated with secondary dissolution in packstones and grainstones, forming hydrocarbon reservoirs. The overlying Devonian–Mississippian Woodford Shale is the major petroleum source rock for the Hunton Group in the field, based on one-dimensional and four-dimensional petroleum system models that were calibrated to well temperature and Woodford Shale vitrinite reflectance data. The source rock is marginally mature to mature for oil generation in the area of the West Edmond field, and migration of Woodford oil and gas from deeper parts of the basin also contributed to hydrocarbon accumulation.

Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/Bulletin-hero-2013-07jul.jpg?width=50&h=50&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=90amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true 3770 Bulletin Article
Understanding the distribution and geometry of reservoir geobodies is crucial for net-to-gross estimates and to model subsurface flow. This article focuses on the process of dolomitization and resulting geometry of diagenetic geobodies in an outcrop of Jurassic host rocks from northern Oman. Field and petrographic data show that a first phase of stratabound dolomite is crosscut by a second phase of fault-related dolomite. The stratabound dolomite geobodies are laterally continuous for at least several hundreds of meters (sim1000 ft) and probably regionally and are one-half meter (1.6 ft) thick. Based on petrography and geochemistry, a process of seepage reflux of mesosaline or hypersaline fluids during the early stages of burial diagenesis is proposed for the formation of the stratabound dolomite. In contrast, the fault-related dolomite geobodies are trending along a fault that can be followed for at least 100 m (328 ft) and vary in width from a few tens of centimeters to as much as 10 m (sim1–33 ft). Petrography, geochemistry, and high homogenization temperature of fluid inclusions all point to the formation of the dolomite along a normal fault under deep burial conditions during the Middle to Late Cretaceous. The high 87Sr/86Sr ratio in the dolomite and the high salinity measured in fluid inclusions indicate that the dolomitizing fluids are deep basinal brines that interacted with crystalline basement. The dolomitization styles have an impact on the dimension, texture, and geochemistry of the different dolomite geobodies, and a modified classification scheme (compared to the one from Jung and Aigner, 2012) is proposed to incorporate diagenetic geobodies in future reservoir modeling.
Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/linking-process-dimension-texture-and-geochemistry.jpg?width=50&h=50&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=90amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true 3772 Bulletin Article

See Also: Energy Policy Blog

BOEM has just issued its programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS) for comment--through April 7. In announcing the decision, BOEM stated, that its review of geological and geophysical surveys in the Mid- and South-Atlantic planning areas "...establishes multiple mitigation measures designed to minimize the impacts to marine life while setting a path forward for survey activities that will update nearly four-decade-old data on offshore energy resources in the region."

Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/atlantic-seismic-survey-2014-03mar-03.jpg?width=50&h=50&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=90amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true 12377 Energy Policy Blog