Highlights of the 2000 AAPG Annual Convention, April 16-19, New Orleans

Title: Highlights of the 2000 AAPG Annual Convention, April 16-19, New Orleans

Author: Terri Olson and Donna Anderson

Publication: The Outcrop, June 2000, p. 12-13

What do you get when you combine 6900 people, a mile-long convention center, and the late-night attractions of Bourbon Street in New Orleans? A bunch of tired but happy geoscientists who recently attended the national AAPG convention.

A strong technical program emphasizing deepwater systems and plays consisted of approximately 750 presentations, split equally between oral and poster sessions. For the first time, PowerPoint presentations were allowed in oral sessions, with excellent results. However, a new poster format attempting to formalize presentations was less successful by nearly universal agreement.

Highlights of the technical program included a session commemorating the 25th anniversary of seismic stratigraphy, which featured many of the pioneers of that subject, and a session on “The New Global Economy” that featured presentations by executives from Shell, Saudi Aramco, Texaco, Kuwait, Chevron, BP, and Arthur Andersen. A recurring theme in several sessions was the resurgence in the demand for, and the price of, natural gas.

In the arena of new technology, one paper introduced a new induction tool that measures vertical as well as horizontal resistivity. Developed by Baker Atlas under sponsorship by Shell, the tool is expected to be available in onshore U.S. markets in about a year. Of specific interest to Rocky Mountain geologists were posters about Cretaceous and Tertiary sedimentary systems of Wyoming and Utah and oral presentations on Jonah Field and the Lewis Shale of Wyoming. Each attendee received a searchable CD-ROM of all 750+ abstracts, making customized topic and author selection quick and easy.

Related convention activities also were well attended. The All-Convention luncheon set a new record, with 850 people flocking to hear the acclaimed author Daniel Yergin, author of The Prize and The Commanding Heights. Yergin spoke to a theme, echoed by other speakers, of “globality” in which greater confidence in markets than in government, and the integration of economics and technology drive business in the 21st century.
Of the nine field trips run, six were sold out. Two very popular field trips were the Division of Environmental Geology riverboat trip and one to the mud-lumps of the Mississippi Delta; another popular trip was to an outcrop of a salt diapir in Nuevo Leon, Mexico. Over half of the 13 short courses were sold out.

More than 300 exhibitors, including those in the International Pavilion, received brisk traffic. Sandi Pellissier, RMAG office manager, reported that activity at the RMAG booth was good. She sold about 18 RMAG publications and handed out many membership applications.

The RMAG was well represented by a number of awardees. Susan Landon received an AAPG Honorary Membership. John Haun received a Distinguished Educator Award. Frank Sonnenberg received a Pioneer Award. Ed Dolly and Bob Sellars received Distinguished Service Awards. Ben Law and co-authors received the Robert H. Dott Sr. Memorial Award for the best AAPG special publication for 1998. Steve Veal received a Certificate of Merit from the Division of Environmental Geosciences. In addition, Ed Dolly was elected the chairman-elect of the AAPG House of Delegates.

Next year’s AAPG convention will be hosted by the RMAG in Denver, June 3-6. The call-for-abstracts, distributed at the New Orleans meeting, will be in your mailbox soon. We hope to see all of you there to celebrate “2001: An Energy Odyssey!”