DL tours start in September

Ten Lecturers Set for New Speaking Season

AAPG’s prestigious Distinguished Lecturer program, which offers audiences a chance to hear the latest in geoscience research, understanding and practical applications, kicks-off its new season with three speaking tours planned for September.

This year’s DL program offers 10 speakers for North American tours, including this year’s AAPG Ethics Lecturer.

The roster also includes AAPG Elected Editor Stephen E. Laubach – one of the three speakers who will offer talks in September.

Laubach will tour eastern North America cities Sept. 12-23, and western North America cities April 2-13. His lecture is “Structural Diagenesis, Resource Plays, The Highlands of Scotland and Curriculum Development.”

The international DL slate has yet to be announced.

AAPG’s Distinguished Lecture program, funded largely by the AAPG Foundation, is the Association’s flagship initiative for spreading the latest in science, technology and professional information.

North America speakers typically take two tours during the season, one going to eastern locales and one to western locales. Each tour typically lasts about two weeks.

Last year’s season featured eight domestic lecturers, and despite a season featuring many weather-related travel issues, still was able to make 77 talks to 8,255 people.

This year’s roster – featuring experts from both the industry and academic worlds – once again will include talks that vary widely in subject content, from seismic detection of faults and fractures, to structural diagenesis related to the Highlands of Scotland, to climate models, to a provocative look at causes of mass extinctions on earth.

Some of the tours carry specific Foundation-funded purpose. This year they include:

The J. Ben Carsey lecture, an annual domestic tour provided by contributions for J. Ben Carsey Jr., of Houston, in honor of his father, who served as AAPG president in 1967-68.

Matthew J. Telfer
Matthew J. Telfer

This year’s Carsey lecturer is Matthew J. Telfer, of Border to Border Exploration, Austin, Texas. His first tour, of western North America cities, is Sept. 12-23; he will tour eastern North America Jan. 16-27.

Telfer’s lecture is “Energy Trends of the Future.”


The Hass-Pratt Distinguished Lecturer, a domestic tour provided by contributions from the late Merrill W. Haas, in honor of famed geologist (and Haas’ mentor) Wallace Pratt. The funding is granted for a lecture of an applied nature dealing with the exploration and discovery history of a field, or a subject having economic implications.

Dale A. Leckie
Dale A. Leckie

This year’s Haas-Pratt speaker is Dale A. Leckie, chief geologist at Nexen Inc., Calgary, Canada, who previously served as a DL speaker in 1996.

Leckie will tour western North American cities from Sept. 26-Oct. 7, and eastern locales April 9-20. He offers two lectures:

Anatomy of an Unconformity and Its Earliest Overlying Fill – The Basinwide Sub-Cretaceous Unconformity of Western Canada.

A Multidisciplinary Approach to Understanding the Geology of the Athabasca Oil Sands – Second Largest Hydrocarbon Resource on Earth.


The Allan P. Bennison Lecturer, which is an international speaker who makes a U.S. tour, funded by contributions from the late Allan Bennison, a long-time Tulsa geologist.

Paul Wright
Paul Wright

This year’s Bennison lecturer is Paul Wright, principal consultant carbonate specialist at the BG Group, Cardiff, Wales. He will tour western North America Nov. 14-18, and eastern North America March 5-9.

He offers three lectures:

  • Burial Corrosion as a Major Porosity Forming Process in Carbonates.
  • Paleokarstic Reservoirs: Misconceptions and Paradoxes.
  • How Do Shallow Water Limestones Really Accumulate?

Other Foundation-funded North America lecturers this season include:

Satinder Chopra
Satinder Chopra

Satinder Chopra, with Arcis Corp., Calgary, Canada, and a frequent contributor to the EXPLORER’s Geophysical Corner, is this year’s AAPG/SEG Joint Lecturer. His tours are Oct. 3-7 (western North America) and Oct. 31-Nov. 4 (eastern North America).

His lecture is “Seismic Detection of Faults and Fractures.”

Rodney H. Graham, research associate, Cambridge, England. His tours will be Oct. 17-28 (eastern North America) and March 19-30 (western North America), and he offers two lectures:

  • Exploration in Fold and Thrust Belts – A Personal Perspective.
  • The French Alps – Classic Geology Re-Interpreted in the Light of Passive Margin Geology and Allocthonous Salt Tectonics.

Joe H.S. Macquaker
Joe H.S. Macquaker

Joe H.S. Macquaker, associate professor in petroleum geology, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, Canada. His tours will be Oct. 3-14 (eastern North America) and Feb. 13-24 (western North America).

  • His lecture is “Are Shales Really That Dull? Shining Light Into Dark Places and the Effects of Opening Pandora’s Box.”

Joellen Russell
Joellen Russell

Joellen Russell, professor, department of geosciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, Ariz. Her tours will be Nov. 7-11 and March 12-16 (eastern North America), and Jan. 3-13 (western North America), and she offers two lectures:

  • The Once and Future Battles of Thor and the Midgard Serpent: The Antarctic Circumpolar Current and Glacial/Interglacial Climate.
  • Orographic uplift as Global Thermostat: Orography, Winds and the Water Vapor Feedback in Climate Models.

Peter Ward
Peter Ward

Peter Ward, professor in the departments of biology and earth and space sciences at the University of Washington, Seattle, and a prolific writer for both fields. His tours will be Feb. 27-March 2 (eastern North America) and March 5-9 (western North America).

Ward’s lecture is untitled at this time, but it will present a new context for mass extinctions on earth – focusing on non-extraterrestrial causes.


W. C.
W. C. "Rusty" Riese

This year’s AAPG Ethics Lecturer is W.C. “Rusty” Riese, retired geoscientist based in Houston, and a past vice president of AAPG. He is available to groups on an on-going basis as requested.

His lecture is “Oil Spills, Ethics and Society: How They Intersect and Where the Responsibilities Reside”

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DL Program: From Modest Roots to Global Impact

AAPG’s Distinguished Lecture program was established in 1941 – it is the Association’s oldest program and, arguably, most prestigious, annually reaching more than 300 groups around the world.

Distinguished Lecturers are unpaid volunteers who are recognized experts in their respective fields of industry and/or academia. Each speaker typically makes a two- or three-week tour to specific regions.

The program is funded largely by the AAPG Foundation.

To offset some of the travel expenses, however, host groups are responsible for sharing tour costs. Each sponsoring organization is responsible for local lodging, meals and local transportation while the lecturer is in their city.

The program has grown from a modest touring slate – and a $1,000 budget for the entire program – into a global science outreach that touches all continents.

The list of domestic DL speakers can be found on the AAPG website, along with their biographies and lecture abstracts.

The list of 2011-12 international Distinguished Lecturers is being finalized and will be announced in the next EXPLORER as well as on the DL website.

Katherine Giles
Katherine Giles
Ole Martinsen
Ole Martinsen

The new Distinguished Lecture Committee co-chairs are Katherine Giles, with New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, N.M.; and Ole Martinsen, with Statoil ASA in Bergen, Norway, and the 2011 winner of the AAPG Robert R. Berg Outstanding Research Award.

Both have been AAPG Distinguished Lecturers.

For more information about tours or to request a lecturer, contact the AAPG education department.

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