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Paul Weimer, 2001 Distinguished Service Award

weimerPaul Weimer was born on 30 October 1956 in Denver Colorado. He grew up in the foothills west of Denver, approximately 1½ miles above sea level. Yet, he has spent most of his professional career studying the geology of the Gulf of Mexico one mile below sea level!! The GCSSEPM has played a significant role in his professional career, both in helping him choose a Ph.D. dissertation topic, and later as his professional society of choice for research conferences.

He received his B. A. degree from Pomona College (Claremont, CA) in 1978, with honors in Geology. His undergraduate thesis was on the deep-water sandstones within the Holz Shale in the Santa Ana Mountains in south California; this endeavor undoubtedly initiated his lasting interest in deep-water rocks. During the summer of 1978, he worked as an intern at Amoco Production Co. in Denver, CO, focusing on subsurface studies in the Williston basin. He received his M.S. degree from the University of Colorado in 1980. His M.S. thesis was a integrated field mapping and subsurface study in the Ridgway area of southwestern Colorado, along the northwestern flank of the San Juan Mountains. This field work influenced his lifetime love of Colorado geology.

From August 1980 to August 1984, he worked as an exploration geologist with Sohio Petroleum Co. in San Francisco. He focused on the North Slope of Alaska, working in exploration teams that developed prospects for Mukluk, NPRA, and the KIC at the northern portion of ANWR. He also began working on the sequence stratigraphy of deep-water deposits.

In August 1984, Paul moved to Austin where he began his Ph.D. studies at the University of Texas at Austin. During his first semester at UT-Austin, he began working in the deep Gulf of Mexico on the Mississippi Fan as part of a class project. It was the heady days after the completion of DSDP Leg 96 (Mississippi Fan). The initial results were presented at the Fifth Annual GCSSEPM Conference. At this conference, Paul decided that his research future was in the deep Gulf of Mexico, and a significant contribution could be made if the entire Mississippi Fan could be documented in detail. Petty Ray Geophysical allowed him unprecedented access to their probe seismic data set, which became the primary data set for his dissertation. His results were printed in several different publications, including the AAPG Bulletin in 1990, for which he received the J. C. Cam Sproule Award (Best Paper).

While at UT-Austin, Paul co-organized a three-day symposium on the geology of the North Slope of Alaska for the May 1985 AAPG-Pacific Section meeting. This resulted in a two-volume publication of North Slope geology that Paul co-edited with Irv Tailleur in 1987 (Pacific Section SEPM publisher). Paul also co-organized a two-day symposium on the seismicstratigraphy of deep-water fans at the 1987 SEPM Midyear meeting. This resulted in a volume on turbidite fans published in 1991 by Springer-Verlag.

Paul completed his Ph.D. degree at UT-Austin in 1989. He then worked for Mobil’s Research and International organizations between November 1988 and July 1990. Responsibilities included studies in the Gulf of Mexico, west Texas, and many international basins.

In August 1990, Paul began teaching at the University of Colorado. He worked with Roy Kligfield to develop an applied research consortium to study the sequence stratigraphy and structural geology of the northern deep Gulf of Mexico. Ten years and four research consortia later, this has been the primary avenue for him to conduct research and train students for industry. To date, he has graduated twenty-three M.S., three Ph.D. and one Honors BA students!! This is a monumental credit to his dedication for advancing science through education and leadership. During this time, he also edited four additional volumes. He presently is finishing co-writing a book on the petroleum geology of turbidite systems. He has done extensive professional work for many different societies. He served as an AAPG Distinguished Lecturer in 1989 and 1999, and will be the Esso Australia Distinguished Lecturer in July-August 2001.

Paul’s work with the GCSSEPM began in 1990, when he served on the Technical Program Committee for the 11th Annual Research Conference. In 1994, he and Arnold Bouma co-convened the 15 th Annual research Conference, which focused on deep-water reservoirs of the world. The conference was important and extremely successful, not only for bringing together deep-water specialists from around the world, but also because of the high quality proceedings volume produced, that is now in its fourth printing!!

He continued to work on research conferences for GCSSEPM, serving on the technical program committee for the 1996 and 1997 conferences. He was President of the GCSSEPM during 1997, where, among other things, he committed to convene the 2000 Research Conference. As he began to organize this conference, other people joined as co-convenors (Roger Slatt, Jim Coleman, Hans Nelson, Arnold Bouma, Mike Styzen and David Lawrence). In December 2000, the 20th Annual Research Conference was held in Houston. The program was distinctive for its global contributions, technical caliber, and because of the 1100 page proceedings volume on CD-ROM that accompanied the conference. This conference was over-subscribed soon after it was publicly announced, and has been deemed a major success in providing significant new public information on deep-water reservoirs around the world. Atotal of 534 people attended this conference. Paul is now serving as a co-conveyor for the 2001 Research Conference to be held in Houston in December. This conference will follow the same deep-water theme as the 2000 conference, but with more regional and exploration-scale applications.

Paul’s efforts have provided significant contribution to the GCSSEPM. His most concerted efforts where ensuring that both the 1994 and 2000 research conferences were international in scope, and of high quality. The CD-ROM volume that accompanied the 2000 conference now sets the standard for quality and completeness. He continues to enjoy working with the GCSSEPM because, as he states, “it is a bureaucracy of one”. Amazing science for the industry and academia can be accomplished through these research conferences because the GCSSEPM is so supportive and open to doing things innovatively and quickly. It is, therefore, fitting that he be recognized for his service to the GCSSEPM with the 2001 Distinguished Service Award.

Roger M. Slatt