The Bureau of Economic Geology The University of Texas at Austin Jackson School of Geosciences
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March 2006

The Friday seminar speakers, Brian Anderson and Alex Blacque, were from Fugro LCT in Houston, specializing in gravity and magnetic acquisition and processing. Their talk was at 8:30 in the Main Conference Room. [Abstract] 03/30/06

Scott Tinker

Scott Tinker, president-elect of the Association of American State Geologists (AASG), with the help of Wanda LaPlante and Kate Kipper, organized liaison meetings March 19–22 in Washington, D.C., for state geologists to visit with key congressional staff, federal agencies, and other Washington organizations. This semiannual effort is aimed at bringing scientific issues to the forefront so that legislators and other decision makers can benefit from the knowledge state geologists and their colleagues hold concerning natural resources and the environment. Key meetings this trip included visits with the U.S. Geological Survey, American Geological Institute, Independent Petroleum Association of America, State and House Resources and Appropriations Committees, USDA Forest Service, Office of Management and Budget, National Geographic, National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges, and others. 03/28/06

Jim Gibeaut

James Gibeaut and Tom Tremblay of the Bureau's Coastal Studies Group are presenting talks March 30 in College Station at a symposium sponsored by the Texas A&M University Chapter of Sigma Xi: Sea-Level Rise, Hurricanes, and the Future of Our Coasts. Jim's talk is titled "Changes in Barrier Island Environments during Sea-Level Rise." Tom will speak on "Texas Coastal Wetland Change as a Result of Relative Sea-Level Rise." [Link to Symposium Flyer] 03/27/06

Michelle Foss

Michelle Michot Foss, head of the Bureau's Center for Energy Economics in Houston, presented Friday's Technical Seminar (March 24). Michelle's talk, "Update on CEE Activities: Natural Gas Issues and Outlooks," [Abstract] was presented in the Main Conference Room.

CEE staff gave several presentations recently. Michelle spoke February 16 at the USAEE Louisiana Chapter meeting, presenting "Energy Roundup: Issues on Deck for 2006," dealing with market and policy issues for 2006. She also delivered "Gulf Coast Oil & Gas within the US and Global Context" February 15 at a monthly luncheon of the Lafayette Geological Society.

CEE's senior energy economist, Gürcan Gülen, presented at the Workshop on Natural Gas Industry February 15 in Washington, D.C. The workshop was organized in collaboration with NARUC for the delegation of energy industry representatives from Ghana. The delegation is in the United States as part of a regulatory exchange visit to attend NARUC Winter Meetings, visit regulatory agencies, and interact with natural gas industry professionals. 03/21/06

Julia Gale

Bureau scientist Julia Gale's Friday seminar presentation was held on March 17, St. Patrick's Day. Julia spoke on "Predicting Fracture Porosity Evolution in Dolostone." [Abstract] 03/14/06

Steve Laubach attended the conference on Structurally Complex Reservoirs held by the Geological Society February 28–March 2 at Burlington House, London. The title of Steve's presentation was "Vertical and Lateral Scales of Heterogeneity in a Fractured Reservoir Analog, Middle Triassic to Lower Jurassic La Boca Formation, NE Mexico." Co-authors are

Steve Laubach

JSG graduate students Meghan Ward and Leonel Gomez. 03/10/06

Carol Zito

Carol Zito has joined the Bureau as an Administrative Associate. She will manage the Bureau's human resource activities and be our liaison with campus for all HR issues. Before joining the Bureau, Carol held administrative positions at other universities, most recently at San Diego State University, where she worked with the MBA Consulting Program and Internship

Bureau through the Aztec Business Alliance at the College of Business Administration. 03/10/06

The Austin Geological Society hosted a poster session at its March 6 monthly meeting at the Bureau of Economic Geology. High school students whose earth science projects qualified for the Austin Area ScienceFest displayed the results of their research. Topics included earthquakes, water quality, water

ScienceFest

The Bureau congratulates earth science students Jeffrey Schmidt, Jessica Guest, Jenna Kromann, Holly Hummer, Thomas Taylor Morris, and Ian Pryor for qualifying for the Austin Area ScienceFest. Now it's on to the State competition!

chemistry, and clay properties. The students enjoyed a tour of the Bureau led by Sigrid Clift and also heard talks by scientists Roberto Gutierrez, Sue Hovorka, and Ramón Treviño about their careers and current research projects. 03/08/06

Scott Tinker

Scott Rodgers demonstrates the power of 3-D models at the Bureau's 3-D Geology activity.

Sue Hovorka helps students pan for pyrite.

Nedra Bonal, Jackson School graduate student, teaches students about density at the Bureau's Not All That Glitters Is Gold activity.

Click on pictures to enlarge.
More than 30,000 people from all over the state came to campus March 4 to attend 2006 Explore UT, the annual open house

organized by the University. The Jackson School coordinated six activities that included the Bureau's 3-D Geology virtual reality tour and a hands-on session called Not All That Glitters Is Gold that were presented by Nedra Bonal, Sigrid Clift, Sue Hovorka, Amanda Masterson, Scott Rodgers, and Carol Zito. 03/08/06

Dani Kurtzman, a postdoctoral fellow who joined the Bureau after earning his Ph.D. in hydrogeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 2005, delivered the Bureau seminar on March 10 at 8:30 a.m. in the main conference room. His topic was "The Use of Fracture Surveys and Hydraulic Tests for Improving Predictions of Flow and Transport in Fractured Chalk." [Abstract] 03/07/06

Daniel Kurtzman
Scott Tinker

Bureau Director Scott W. Tinker delivered his talk on "The Future of Global Energy" March 3 to stakeholders attending a luncheon in Austin held as part of a Redesignation Program coordinated by Central Texas Clean Cities, a Department of Energy program housed within Austin Energy. The theme of the gathering of fleet managers and fleet owners was peak oil, a subject that was the

topic of an op ed piece published by Scott (see editorial). 03/06/06

The Bureau is pleased to introduce several new scientists who recently joined our research staff:


Peter Eichhubl, Research Scientist, holds a Ph.D. in geology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Peter's research combines the fields of fault and fracture mechanics and low-temperature geochemistry addressing deformation mechanisms of the upper crust, structural control of mass and heat transfer in sedimentary basins, effects of chemical mass transfer on the mechanical and hydraulic behavior of fractures

and faults, and the chemical interaction between fluids and minerals. As a member of the FRAC research group he will focus on the characterization and prediction of fractured and faulted reservoirs.


Vanessa Nuñez-López, Research Scientist Associate, received an M.S. in petroleum engineering and an M.A. in energy and mineral resources from The University of Texas at Austin and has completed further graduate coursework in petroleum engineering at UT. Her expertise lies in developing screening criteria for miscible CO2 flooding; evaluation of CO2 EOR/sequestration

opportunities, especially in the Gulf Coast; and reservoir characterization of sandstone and carbonate oil and gas reservoirs.


Gil Strassberg, a Postdoctoral Fellow, earned his Ph.D. in civil engineering at The University of Texas at Austin in December. As a civil engineer, he has been involved in a variety of water resource projects centered on the application of geographic information systems in groundwater studies. As a water resources engineer in Israel , he developed regional water plans, coordinated water

management policies and operations, and applied hydrologic and statistical models to support water management decisions.


Wayne Wright, Research Associate, received his Ph.D. in geology at University College Dublin, Ireland. Wayne is currently concentrating his studies on the Permian Basin synthesis, focusing on the Pennsylvanian (Carboniferous). He is experienced in integrated reservoir, field, and regional studies combining subdisciplines such as sedimentology, sequence stratigraphy,

biostratigraphy, seismic interpretation, geochemistry, and geochemical modeling. He has reservoir experience in the Middle East, India, Pakistan, South America, and North Africa.


We also welcome three new support staff who strengthen our capabilities in information technology and core storage and processing:


Carlos Garza joined the IT staff as a Computer Equipment Maintenance Technician. He is the first point of contact at the helpdesk, responsible for analyzing and troubleshooting computer, peripheral equipment, and software problems reported by the staff. Carlos also schedules and performs maintenance and updates operating system software on computer desktops and

laptops and troubleshoots printer problems. He helps with setup and installation of computer equipment and peripherals and also installs software upon request. He also helps maintain the inventory of equipment.


Richard Gutierrez joined the Houston Research Center (HRC) as a Technical Staff Assistant. He is responsible for handling all lawn maintenance at the HRC and assisting with general maintenance of the facility. Richard pulls core and cuttings for in-house viewing and prepares materials for shipment to other locations. He also helps with the ongoing inventory of materials at the HRC. He

gained experience working as a temporary employee at HRC in 2004 and 2005.


Reuben Reyes, a Senior Operating Systems Specialist on the IT staff, functions as a systems administrator for the Bureau's computer network. He provides in-house network security expertise and coordinates network services provided by UT Telecommunications and Networking and outside consultants. Reuben is responsible for providing the advanced technical expertise required to

support and advance the overall software functions of the computing installation. He is charged with remaining current on Bureau-deployed technologies and industry trends. In this capacity, he participates in all IT staff activities and projects. 03/02/06

   

 

 
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