Past Messages

Summer 2016

Spring 2016

Fall 2015

Summer 2015

Spring 2015

Summer 2014

Spring 2014

Spring 2012

Fall 2010

Spring 2010

Summer 2009

Convention 2008

Summer 2008

Spring 2008


Dorene West, Fall 2016

Dorene West

My term as president runs through the end of 2016, so this will be my final column. The roller coaster ride continues (Oil Price Roller Coaster 1946–2015,
). There is little doubt that our industry could look quite different once we reach the other side of this cycle.

This is an example of how one company appears to have successfully adapted to the change. The All-Convention Luncheon speaker at GCAGS, Charles Sheppard (Vice President Exploration, EOG Resources) discussed “U.S. Exploration Success (Lower 48 Onshore Focus)” and detailed how EOG has:

The GCAGS Convention was a success, with preliminary attendance estimated at over 600. There were 110 oral presentations, and more than 60 scheduled posters. The field trips were sold out, the short courses and lunches well attended, the Brewster’s and Bluegrass event on Monday night was a blast, and the weather was perfect (pretty much direct quotes from Dawn Bissell, GCAGS General Chair). I thoroughly enjoyed the convention, and was able to meet and network with many colleagues. Awards were presented at the Opening Session and Awards Ceremony on Sunday evening. GCSSEPM presented Dr. Mark Rowan with our highest award, the Doris Malkin Curtis Medal, for his outstanding research contributions towards the development of new concepts for understanding the geology of the Gulf of Mexico, and Bruce Hart received our Distinguished Service Award. Please take a few moments to read their citations on our website. At the GCSSEPM luncheon on Tuesday, Mike Blum gave a thought (and comment) provoking presentation on “Predicting Sedimentary System Response to Human Activities: The Once and Future Mississippi Delta.” Needless to say, we will be losing a lot of ground (delta plain) in the near future.

For the opening of Earth Science Week on Saturday October 8, 2016, we had a prime spot, just outside the entrance to the Paleo Hall at the Museum of Natural Science in Houston. We will have tables with microscopes and microfossils. Visitors were able to look through the microscopes, and learn from world class paleontologists (our members). As noted by Tony D’Agostino, “This is our one big outreach effort to the general public, especially the kids who are never exposed to this kind of geoscience. We have gotten strong positive feedback from the public and the museum folks since we started in 1999.” I would like to personally thank our Earth Science Week volunteers Alicia Kahn, Mike Styzen, Mike Nault, Adrienne D’Agostino, Marcie Phillips and others for their time. If you are interested, there are pictures and a video (Deep Time) from previous years on our Facebook page. If you would like to lend a hand next year, please contact Tony D’Agostino (we refocus oculars and answer questions).

The GCSSEPM Foundation will host the 35th Annual Perkins-Rosen Research Conference on December 8–9, 2016. The theme will be “Mesozoic of the Gulf Rim and Beyond: New Progress in Science and Exploration of the Gulf of Mexico Basin.” The Conference will be held at the Marathon Conference Center in Houston, Texas. Co-conveners are John W. Snedden, Mike Blum, and Chris Lowery. Preliminary abstracts may be downloaded at John W. Snedden is a Senior Research Scientist and Chris Lowery is a Postdoctoral Fellow, both with the Institute for Geophysics at The University of Texas at Austin. Mike Blum is the Ritchie Distinguished Professor at the University of Kansas. The conference will focus upon the Mesozoic of the Gulf Basin, from mountain source terrain to deep-water abyssal plain. A significant portion of the program will be devoted to the Mesozoic of Mexico and its potential for international exploration. A highlight will be a special SEPM sponsored research symposium, Mesozoic Source to Sink: Provenance and Process, led by Mike Blum. Please plan to attend, you won’t be disappointed!!

On December 1 Norm Rosen will be retiring, and Tony D’Agostino will be taking over, as Foundation Executive Director. Norm is not retiring completely, he will continue to be our Editor for the Perkins-Rosen Research Conference, and will assume the role of GCAGS Editor as well, indefinitely. We will miss his smiling face and wit at the Executive Council meetings! I would also like to welcome our new officers: President Elect Thomas Demchuk, Vice-President Joe Macquaker, and Treasurer Julitta Kirkova Pourciau. In addition I would like to thank those who have volunteered their time to the Section: Rosemary Mullin will assist Norm in editing GCAGS papers, and Sushanta Bose will be our Judging and Awards Chairman for GCAGS. I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but volunteering in professional societies is a great way to network. Please feel free to contact any of the officers or trustees if you would like to help out.

GCSSEPM now has polo shirts with embroidered Section and Foundation logos on the left chest and right sleeve. Officers and Trustees will be wearing them at the Perkins-Rosen Research Conference in December. If you are interested in obtaining one of these awesome Midnight Navy, Nike Golf Dri-FIT Polos with gold logos (mens’ and ladies’ sizes available), please see photos and ordering instructions on page 5 of our Fall newsletter.

Finally, I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of the Gulf Coast Section SEPM. I would like to express my appreciation to current and past officers including Foundation Executive Director Norm Rosen, Foundation Trustees Tony D’Agostino, Jory Pacht, Bruce Hart and Ron Waszczak, as well as Section officers, past-President Thomas Hearon, President-Elect John Suter, Vice President Sophie Warny, Treasurer Brandi Sellepack, and Secretary Jennifer Wadsworth. All of their efforts keep us operating and truly make working for the organization fun! I look forward to seeing everyone at the Research Conference!

Dorene West