Candidate for ()

Robert K.
Robert K. Merrill
Catheart Energy, Sugar Land, Texas



Robert K. Merrill, Candidate for Editor

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Meet Robert K. Merrill, 2019 Candidate for AAPG Editor

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As a candidate for AAPG Editor, I ask for your support. From my experience editing special publications for AAPG and the GCAGS Journal, I have learned the editor has two roles. The editor is responsible for ensuring that the organization’s publications meet the highest standards for clear communication and technical rigor. Additionally, an increasing number of manuscripts are submitted by non-native English speakers. The editor must mentor all authors, so their technical writing meets AAPG’s standards for clear, concise technical writing, increasing their professional credentials.

My focus on clear, concise technical writing began in graduate school when my advisor gave me a copy of “A Scrutiny of the Abstract,” written by K.K. Landis, AAPG’s Editor in 1951 (revised, 1966). The importance of technical and communication rigor was impressed on me as a graduate student, where high standards for technical writing were the order of the day.

In my career, I have tried to adhere to the formidable task of writing technical material in a clear, concise manner while applying technical rigor to my descriptions. As AAPG Editor I can bring this attention to the Association’s publications to continue to provide technical material in the best format(s) to facilitate assimilation by the AAPG membership and the general geoscience community.

Professionally, I have benefited from my 43 years as an AAPG member, participating in AAPG activities through committees and organizing meetings, building relationships, participating in meetings with oral presentations and posters, and supporting the AAPG organization and the geoscience community by editing special publications. AAPG technical publications have given me insights that inspired me in my professional efforts.  My experience with executive committee positions, as I have served the geoscience community, gives me administrative insights that will serve me well in the position of editor.

The AAPG Bulletin and the AAPG special publications will continue providing valuable information to our community. As editor it is important to consider how we can use technology to make our membership aware of new publications and professional resources and determine new ways for our community to access these valuable publications.  For instance, I use AAPG Datapages almost daily. The AAPG Bulletin has become a digital journal.  There will always be a role for Special Publications, but we need to explore the best way to publish these valuable technical, thematic resources in a way that is both time- and cost-effective. Printed versions have long lead times from idea to printing, and publication costs are high, necessitating high sales prices. We need to shorten publication time so authors will see their manuscripts published faster and reduce publication costs to maximize distribution of the publications.

I believe that proactive recruitment of papers describing significant discoveries, technology, field studies, play and basin analysis will help the Bulletin maintain and expand its relevance to energy professionals today and for the future. With your support I can continue AAPG’s 100-year legacy of quality geoscience publications, providing technical insight to the current and next generation of geoscientists.

Academic Degrees

  • 1974 – Ph.D., Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz.
  • 1970 – M.S. Geology, Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz.
  • 1967 – B.A. Geology, Colby College, Waterville, Maine


  • 2005-18 – Catheart Energy Inc., Sugar Land, Texas
  • 2000-05 – Samson Companies, Technical Manager of Geology, Tulsa
  • 1997-2000 – Spirit Energy Division of Unocal Corporation, Chief Geologist, Sugar Land, Texas
  • 1989-97 – Unocal Corporation Exploration Geologist, Oklahoma City and Sugar Land, Texas
  • 1987-89 – Exploration Geologist, Oxy USA, Oklahoma City
  • 1974-87 – Exploration Geologist, Cities Service Oil and Gas Corp. Tulsa and Denver
  • 1973-74 – Instructor of Geology, Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz.
  • 1969-73 – Stratigrapher and Consultant, American Stratigraphic Company, Denver


AAPG Activities

Joined AAPG 1975

Member EMD

  • 2017-18 – Editor, GCAGS Journal
  • 2016 – Co-Editor, Giant Oil and Gas Fields of the Decade 2001-2010
  • 2006 – General Technical Program Chair, Annual Conference and Exhibition (ACE), Houston
  • 2002-06 – Preservation of Geoscience Data Committee
  • 2001-05 – Chair, AGI National Geoscience Data Repository Representative
  • 2001 – Co-Chair, Giant Fields of the Decade 1990-2000, ACE
  • 1990-95 – Treatise, Petroleum Geology Committee

AAPG Honors & Awards

  • 2006 – AAPG Certificate of Merit, General Technical Program Chair, ACE, Houston


  • 2017 – Giant Fields of the decade 2000-2010: Am. Assoc. Petroleum Geologists Memoir 113. 322p. Merrill, R. K., and Sternbach, C.A.
  • 2013 – Integrated 3D modeling of structural controls and permeability distribution in the Patua Geothermal Field, Hazen, NV:  Proc. 38th Workshop on Geothermal Reservoir Engineering, Stanford, Univ., 12 p. Peterson, Neil, Combs, J., Bjelm, L, Garg, S., Kohl, B., Goranson, C., Merrill, R., van de Kamp, P., and Lamb, A.
  • 2004 – An international perspective on entry into hydrocarbon-producing basins of Eastern Australia, PESA Eastern Australian Basins Symposiums II., Adelaide, p. 35 – 40. Merrill, R.K., Trujillo, S.K., Simpson, S.D. and Wall, R.M.
  • 1991 – Source and Migration Processes and Techniques for Evaluation:  Am. Assoc. Petroleum Geologists, Handbook of Petroleum Geology, 213 p. Merrill, R. K., ed.
  • 1984 – Development of the landscape of east-central Arizona, in Smiley, T.L., et al., eds., Landscapes of Arizona, The Geological Story:  Univ. Press of America Inc., p. 137-149. Merrill, R.K.
  • 1977 – Late Cenozoic Geology of the White Mountains, Ariz.:  Ariz. Bur. of Geology and Mineral Technology Spec. Paper No. 1, 65p. Merrill, R.K., and Péwé, T.L.
  • 1972 – Late Quaternary glacial chronology of the White Mountains, Ariz.:  Jour. Geology, v. 80, no., 4, p. 493-501. Merrill, R.K., and Péwé, T.L.,
  • 1971 – The Sheep Crossing Formation:  A late Cenozoic epiclastic formation in east-central Arizona:  Jour. Ariz. Acad. Sci., v. 6, no. 3, p. 226-229. Merrill, R.K., and Péwé, T.L.

With my broad interest in the geosciences, publications include papers on geomorphology of eastern Arizona, oil and gas geochemistry, and geothermal exploration. Presentations include observations on Late Quaternary climate and environments, generation and migration of hydrocarbons, overpressured gas accumulations, fractured reservoirs, regional exploration potential, prospect risk and reserve analysis and exploration portfolio analysis, reef development along the North American Atlantic Continental Margin, visual rock characterization, and the intersection of geology and human health. Thematic publications have always been an important resource for me, and I edited the Source and Migration volume for the Treatise on Petroleum Geology and Memoir 78 (Associate Editor) and Memoir 113, the last two volumes in the Giant Oil and Gas Fields of the Decade series.

Other Candidate

General Info

Candidates for AAPG office have been given the opportunity to respond briefly to the subject: "Why I Accepted the Invitation to be a Candidate for an AAPG Office."

Their responses and biographical information were provided by each candidate and edited only for grammar, spelling and format.

This information will also be provided as hard-copy in an early issue of the EXPLORER and available on the AAPG website through the election period. Ballots will be mailed, online in the first quarter of each year. Results will be posted mid-May.

Candidates were asked to limit their biographies to 350 words and responses to 500 words.

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