Janok P. Bhattacharya, 2008 GCAGS/GCSSEPM Convention
Welcome to the 58th Annual GCAGS/GCSSEPM Convention held in our own oil-capital of the world, Houston, Texas. Before proceeding, let me tell you my own version of the history of this convention. In April of 2007, in Long Beach California, I met with GCAGS Technical Program Chair, Art Donovan and our mutual colleague Keith Shanley to discuss the upcoming 2008 GCAGS/GSA meetings. The GSA convention was originally planned to be held in Chicago, but because of a lack of hotel availability was suddenly switched to Houston, and was scheduled to run three weeks before our meeting. We all agreed that combining the meetings would be a novel idea and would promote cross-pollination among the diverse societies involved, but we knew it would be a hard sell, especially since the convention center had already been booked for both meetings. For the next few months Art worked hard behind the scenes, and in the fall of 2007 sent the following message. “Hey Boys: who says miracles can’t happen?” Well, we made it happen and we are finally here, hosting the largest GCAGS-GCSSEPM meeting ever! No, this won’t be the intimate local meeting we are used to, but you have the opportunity to mingle, visit, and learn from geoscientists and students from all over the USA and around the world, as GSA typically attracts significant international attendees.
We hope you will sample a bit of everything, but if you miss your GCSSEPM colleagues we have several of our own events. I invite you to join us on Sunday afternoon; October 5th for our opening awards ceremony, where we will honor several of our outstanding colleagues and friends. Dr. Robert Nail will receive the GCSSEPM Service Award for his outstanding work on building and maintaining the GCSSEPM website. Dr. Richard Fillon will be conferred an Honorary Membership, in recognition of his outstanding contributions to understanding the geology of the Gulf Coast as well as his many important service contributions to GCSSEPM. We will also honor the best paper award-winners from last years meeting in Corpus Christi. Finally, Dr. James Coleman will receive the prestigious Doris Malkin Curtis Award for his career contributions to the development of new concepts for understanding the geology of the Gulf of Mexico Basin. Dr. Coleman’s name is virtually synonymous with “Gulf Coast Deltas” and we are pleased to recognize his seminal contributions to understanding our own Mississippi system as well as his global synthesis of coastal systems. Our lunch meeting, Tuesday October 7th, will feature SEPM president, Dr. Dale Leckie, Chief Geologist at Nexen Corporation and a distinguished speaker in his own right, who promises to deliver an engaging overview of one of the world’s largest unconventional petroleum reserves, in his talk titled “Canada’s Athabasca Oil Sands, Geology of the Second Largest Hydrocarbon Accumulation on Earth”.
Of course, this meeting would not be possible without the tireless efforts of a host of dedicated volunteers. I especially thank Mike Boyles, at Shell for agreeing to serve as the GCSSEPM Vice-chair and to Angela Hammond, also at Shell who took on the monumental task of co-editing these Transactions with Mike Smith. I also thank the GCAGS organizing committee, and especially General Chair Dave Rensink and of course technical program Chair Art Donovan, without whose co-operation there would be no joint meeting. On the GCSSEPM side I also have to thank our dedicated secretary, Lana Czerniakowski, winner of last years Distinguished Service Award, but who clearly needs to be nominated yet again for her superb organization skills. Of course all of the Executive committee has helped this year as well as our trustees led with dedication by Norm Rosen.
Later this year, GCSSEPM will host the 28th Annual GCSSEPM Foundation Bob F. Perkins Research Conference, “Answering the Challenges of Production from Deep-water Reservoirs: Analogues and Case Histories to aid a New Generation”, to be held December 7–9, 2008, Houston, Texas at the venerable Houston Marriott Westchase.
I again welcome you to Houston and look forward to greeting you at our Sunday reception and Tuesday luncheon and anticipate a super conference.