Engineering Geology

William L. Fisher
William L. Fisher

William L. Fisher, a past chairman of the AAPG Foundation's Board of Trustees, past president of the Association and an award-winning leader of both entities for nearly 40 years is the winner of this year's AAPG Foundation Chairman's Award.

The award, presented to recognize those who have made "extraordinary contributions (monetary or service) to the AAPG Foundation," will be presented to Fisher in Denver June 2 during the Chairman's Reception at the AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition.

Fisher, a dedicated contributor to the AAPG Foundation, is an Honorary AAPG member and a winner of the Sidney Powers Memorial Award, AAPG's highest honor.

For the Foundation he has been a Trustee Associate since 1993, a Member of the Corporation since 1996 and a Trustee Emeriti since 2013. He was a Foundation Trustee in 2001-06, and served as chair from 2006-13.

Apart from AAPG, Fisher is the Leonidas T. Barrow Chair and Professor in the Department of Geological Sciences of the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas at Austin. Previously, he served as the inaugural dean and the first director of the John A. and Katherine G. Jackson School of Geosciences, a school he was instrumental in founding as well as securing its substantial endowment.

He is a former long-time director of the Bureau of Economic Geology, former chairman of the Department of Geological Sciences and former director of the Geology Foundation.

For the national scene, Fisher has been an adviser to two presidents, several governors, members of the U.S. Congress and Texas legislature and numerous federal and state agencies. He was Assistant Secretary of Energy and Minerals in the U.S. Department of Interior under President Gerald Ford and as a member of the White House Science Council under President Ronald Reagan.

He also is an elected member of the National Academy of Engineering and has long been active in the Nation Research Council of the National Academies.

Fisher's research has focused in the areas of stratigraphy, sedimentology, and oil and gas assessment. In 1967 he introduced the concept of depositional systems - now a fundamental part of modern stratigraphy and sedimentology.

In 1987 he led an assessment team for DOE that turned around the then-prevalent view of natural gas scarcity.

He has championed the importance of technology in resource availability and has been a leader in the rethinking of the significance of reserve growth from existing, geologically complex oil and gas fields.

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