Updated:
June 30, 2006

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April 2001

Scott Tinker (Director), Luis Sanchez-Barreda (Research Fellow), and Doug Ratcliff (Associate Director) made a whirlwind trip to Central America from April 25 through May 1, 2001, to meet with government and university officials in Costa Rica and Belize. In Costa Rica, the three met with Ivan Vincenti Rojas, Vice Minister of the Environment and Energy, to discuss the Bureau’s setting up a proposed data system. Meetings were also held with Fernando Gutierrez, Vice Minister of Science and Technology, and representatives of INBio and the Earth School.

Ivan Vincenti Rojas, Vice Minister of the Environment and Energy of Costa Rica, and bureau Director Scott W. Tinker

The Honorable Said Musa, Prime Minister of Belize, and Director Scott W. Tinker.

The trio then journeyed to Belize to meet with the Honorable Said Musa, Prime Minister of Belize. The Bureau has completed two projects in Belize to date and is in the final stages of negotiating a third project. All three projects concern land use and deforestation. Meetings were also held with Minister of Environment John Briceno and Dr. Leopold L. Perriott, Vice President of the University of Belize. (Details)

Did you know that the Texas coastline is 367 miles long? With the help of high school students and teachers in Galveston, Port Aransas, and Port Isabel, long sections of the Texas coast are being measured and monitored as part of the Texas High School Coastal Monitoring Program.
The students' work provides coastal communities (as well as Bureau researchers) with important data about the Texas shoreline, such as its length, topography, and weather. (Click here to learn more.)

The Bureau has become a supporting member of the new Environmental Science Institute (ESI), a multidisciplinary institute for research in environmental studies at The University of Texas at Austin. Its mission is to bring together faculty and students in the life, Earth, physical, and social sciences at UT to form a focused, interdisciplinary program of environmental research. Please visit their Web site at http://www.geo.utexas.edu/esi. 04/26/01

Core recovery rig

Bureau staff Steve Laubach, Leonel Gomez, and Julia Gale led a core recovery effort in the vicinity of Big Lake, Texas, as part of an effort to apply innovative fracture characterization techniques to plays on University Lands. 04/26/01

Bureau researchers Susan D. Hovorka and Bridget R. Scanlon were exhibitors at the annual Poster Session Meeting of the Austin Geological Society on Monday, April 30, 2001. Sue's poster presentation was titled "Reducing Atmospheric Greenhouse Gases by Injecting Them Underground." Bridget's poster presentation, with co-authors Rima Petrossian and Edward S. Angle (both of the Texas Water Development Board), was titled "Evaluation of Recharge Beneath NRCS Reservoirs in the Brazos River Basin of Hale County, Texas."

Bureau researcher Hongliu Zeng presented "Seismic Sedimentology and 3-D Seismic Expression of High-Frequency Sequence Stratigraphy in Miocene, Starfak and Tiger Shoal Fields, Offshore Louisiana" at the Bureau’s Friday morning seminar on April 27, 2001in the BEG Main Conference Room. [Abstract]

Bureau Director Scott W. Tinker addressed the Subcommittee on Energy of the Committee on Science of the U.S. House of Representatives at the subcommittee's Hearing on Fiscal Year 2002 Budget Authorization Request for the Department of Energy on April 26, 2001. Scott's testimony addressed DOE funding and budget cuts, advocating increased funding for oil and gas research. For a complete copy of his testimony, click here.

Steve Laubach and Julia Gale presented a workshop titled "Natural Fracture Reservoir Quality Prediction and Diagnosis" to members of the PTTC Eastern Gulf Region at the Capitol Club in Jackson, Mississippi. The day-long event highlighted results of the Bureau's industry- and DOE-supported fracture research program. Visit FracCity, the Bureau's fracture program Web site. 04/26/01

The Bureau welcomes Eric C. Potter as its new Associate Director for Energy Research. Eric comes to the Bureau after 25 years at Marathon Oil Company. He will be responsible for administering the fossil energy research program at the Bureau and will oversee and coordinate all energy research projects. 04/23/01

Bureau Senior Research Fellow Dr. Frank L. Brown has begun teaching a Sequence Stratigraphy seminar for interested Bureau researchers. Frank is a world leader in sequence stratigraphy, as well as depositional-systems research and application. The course covers the basics of sequence stratigraphy and how to apply the principles to seismic, well logs, and cores. The 30-hour course, taught on five consecutive Wednesdays, includes optional reading and exercises.

Left to Right: Dr. Charles Woodruff, granddaughter Hope Garner, wife Cheryl Garner, and Eddie Collins

On Saturday, April 21, 2001, Bureau Research Associate Eddie Collins and Austin-area geological consultant Dr. Charles "Chock" Woodruff led a local field trip in honor of the late Ed Garner, who passed away September 3, 1999. Ed worked for the Bureau for nearly 40 years, during which he published many fundamental and often-cited geological papers. In addition to his excellent contribution to research, Ed served as the Bureau's public information geologist, answering questions about Earth science for thousands of citizens. (Details)

Bureau researcher Tucker Hentz presented "Sequence-Stratigraphic and Seismic Conceptualization of the Miocene Succession, Starfak and Tiger Shoal Fields, Offshore Louisiana: Implications for Gas-Resource Development in Mature Fields of the Federal OCS" at the Friday morning seminar on April 20, 2001. (Abstract)

On April 19–20, 2001, the American Geological Institute (AGI) hosted "Identifying Geoscience Human Resources Data Needs: A Workshop for Educators and Employers" in Washington, D.C. Bureau Director Scott Tinker traveled to Washington to attend the workshop and presented the paper "Current and Future Opportunities in the State Geologic Surveys." (Abstract)

Senior Research Scientist Charlie Kerans has accepted the new internal Bureau position of Senior Technical Advisor (STA) to Director Scott W. Tinker, effective Monday, April 16, 2001. The position was developed to ensure continued communication of the highest quality science and to uphold vigorous scientific research at the Bureau. Charlie’s duties include guiding technical program development and encouraging integration of Bureau research within and between Bureau projects and program areas. The position carries no supervisory functions and is a part-time job; Charlie will continue as lead scientist of the Reservoir Characterization Research Laboratory.

Dr. Mark Andrew Tinker, Quantum Technology Services, Inc., was the guest speaker at the Friday, April 13, 2001, BEG seminar. Dr. Tinker's presentation, titled "From Bungled Bombs to Submarine Tragedies, Seismology Isn't Just for Earthquakes," was enthusiastically received. (Abstract)

A UT Department of Geological Sciences external review committee visited the Bureau on Tuesday, April 17, 2001. The distinguished visitors, including scientists from Harvard University, Queen's University, and Scripps Institution of Oceanography, heard presentations by Bureau researchers on salt tectonics, fossil energy research, LIDAR, coastal studies, and visualization and virtual imaging.

Attending Tuesday's review session were, from left to right, Dr. J. Freeman Gilbert, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Dr. Raymond A. (Ray) Price, Queen's University; Dr. John D. Bredehoeft, Hydrodynamics Group, Sausalito, California; and Dr. Heinrich D. (Dick) Holland, Harvard University. Presenting is Dr. James C. Gibeaut, Bureau of Economic Geology.

At 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 11, 2001, Professor Carlos Aiken and
Dr. Xueming Xu
from The University of Texas at Dallas discussed their recent work on the acquisition and construction of 3-D outcrops. They have developed 3-D, photo-realistic, virtual outcrops using reflectorless laser rangefinders and digital photographs. Their work is currently highlighted in the April 2001 edition of AAPG Explorer. Bureau geologists Dave Jennette and Jerry Bellian teamed up with Professor Carlos Aiken and Dr. Xueming Xu from The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) the week of April 1–7 to study an outcrop of deep-water channel complexes on the southern California coast. This week of data acquisition, sponsored by Chevron, marks the Bureau‘s first attempt to combine classical high-resolution, bedding-scale reservoir description with UTD's state-of-the-art cybermapping. (Details and photos)

Bureau researcher Dr. Stephen E. Laubach, together with Drs. Linda Bonnell and Robert Lander of Geocosm LLC, presented a workshop for PTTC members titled "Predicting Reservoir Quality Using Diagenetic Models" in San Antonio on Wednesday, April 11, 2001. For an abstract of the workshop, go to http://www.energyconnect.com/pttc/resquality.htm.

Bureau researcher Dr. Alan R. Dutton addressed a full house on Tuesday, April 10, 2001, at the TEAN (Texas Environmental Awareness Network) monthly meeting in Austin. Alan discussed the Texas 50-year water plan and provided many ideas for classroom activities for the members, who develop environmental education activities and curricula for K-12 classes in Texas.

Roberto Gutierrez and Ramón Treviño spent the afternoon of Friday, April 6, 2001 judging entries at the 14th Annual Texas State Science and Engineering Fair held at the Austin Convention Center. Both helped judge entries in the Senior Earth and Space Science division. Although astronomy and space exploration were the most popular topics, first place went to a student who used radish plants, worms, and her backyard to quantify the ability of worms to enhance soil fertility. The winners will now go on to the International Science and Engineering Fair held in Detroit May 7–13, 2001.