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


Sergey Fomel and co-developers of the Madagascar Open-Source Project  have announced a 2-day school and workshop titled "Reproducible Research in Computational Geophysics" to take place in Vancouver on August 30-31, 2006. The meeting will explore capabilities of the newly developed Madagascar Project, which is already producing results for research groups within the Bureau and is generating intense interest among SourceForge members. To learn more about the Madagascar Project and the upcoming meeting, click here. 07/28/06  

Sergey Fomel recently participated in the European Association of Geoscientists & Engineers workshop in Vienna titled "Open Source E&P Software—Putting the Pieces Together." The EAGE workshop was attended by about 45 international representatives whose goal is to spur the emergence of an open-source software environment for exploration and production. Sergey introduced "Madagascar" — a new computational platform for geophysical data processing and reproducible numerical experiments. The open-source project, hosted by SourceForge, is one of the most active of more than 123,000 total open-source projects and more than 10,000 scientific projects. 07/27/06

Sites in Odessa and Jewett were named as finalists today in a national competition to host FutureGen, the $1 billion initiative sponsored by the Department of Energy (DOE) to design, build, and operate a 275-megawatt energy facility that produces electricity and hydrogen from coal with near-zero emissions by capturing and sequestering carbon dioxide. press release

Key BEG and FutureGen Texas staff react to the recent announcement that both proposed sites from Texas made the DOE's short list of FutureGen finalists.

"It is a grand slam for both the Odessa and Jewett proposals to be named to the FutureGen short list,” said State Geologist Dr. Scott Tinker, Director of FutureGen Texas and the Bureau of Economic Geology at The University of Texas at Austin. To learn more about FutureGen Texas, click here. 07/25/06

Bill Ambrose, BEG Research Scientist, was elected President of the Energy and Minerals Division (EMD) of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) on July 1 and will serve through June 2007. EMD is one of three divisions of AAPG, the largest professional association of geoscientists in the world. Organized in 1977, and consisting of approximately 1,350 members, EMD provides a forum for professional development in energy minerals (coal and uranium), unconventional hydrocarbons (coalbed methane, gas hydrates, gas shales, oil shale, and tar sands), energy economics, geothermal energy, and geospatial information. EMD also sponsors a wide variety of field trips, short courses, luncheons, technical meetings, as well as providing networking to its members and coal geologist certification. Bill has a long-standing involvement with EMD, co-authoring two Best Papers for the Division in 1991 and 1992. As EMD President in 2006, Bill has served as EMD Representative on the Distinguished Lecturer Committee, the Gas Hydrates Committee, the Unconventional Gas Resources Committee, and the Astrogeology Committee. 07/24/06

Bureau scientists are among the leaders of the Jackson School Structural Diagenesis Initiative, whose goal is to "develop an understanding of how fracture and fault growth and chemical diagenetic processes interact to govern the attributes of structures in the Earth." A link to the new initiative web site is featured on the JSG web site. Research on all aspects of subsurface fractures is supported by Industrial Associates of the FRAC Consortium and Jackson Research Fellowships. more 07/24/06


From July 9 through 11, Ian Duncan, Steve Laubach, Michelle Foss, and Scott Tinker attended the JSG Latin American Forum on Energy and the Environment in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The forum, hosted by the Jackson School of Geosciences and their partner this year, the Instituto Brasileiro de Petróleo, was conceived as a way to strengthen relationships between the energy and environmental sectors in Latin America and the United States. 07/21/06

Scott Tinker will serve as President of the Association of American State Geologists through June 30, 2007. AASG is an organization of the chief executives of the state geological surveys in 50 states and Puerto Rico. The surveys serve as an information source for their state governments' executive, legislative, and judicial branches, and most are now involved in the regulation and resource management of water, oil and gas, land reclamation, and environmental issues. 07/22/06

Bob Loucks has been selected to receive the Levorson Award for Best Oral Presentation at the 2006 meeting of the Southwest Section of AAPG, which was held in Midland, Texas, in March. The paper (co-authored by Steve Ruppel) is titled "Depositional Setting, Lithofacies, and Pore Networks of the Mississippian Deepwater Barnett Shale Facies in the Fort Worth Basin." The paper is based on early results of an ongoing multidisciplinary analysis of the Barnett and other potential shale reservoir facies currently under study at the Bureau. Bob will receive his award at next year's SW AAPG meeting in Wichita Falls, Texas. Way to go Bob!! 07/20/06

Lesli Wood recently returned from co-leading a field trip from Anchorage, Alaska, across the Brooks Ranges to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, July 9 through 18. Clark Wilson, UT Department of Geosciences chairman co-led the trip, and Gil Mull, “Mr. Alaskan Geology,” was also a co-leader. After visiting glaciers around Seward and Denali, the group hooked up with several students and faculty from the University of Alaska at Fairbanks for a trip over the Alaska Pipeline Haul Road from Fairbanks to the Arctic Ocean at Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. The trip is part of a summer field excursion for six graduate students, who then flew from Prudhoe Bay to Point Barrow to take part in an NSF cruise, co-led by Larry Lawver with the UT Institute for Geophysics, for a 6-week, NSF-funded study of the Arctic Ocean. During the trip, several outcrops were examined for future field study as part of QCLIA’s developing research initiative in the surface and subsurface study of the Alaska North Slope. 07/20/06

On July 19, Coastal Geologist Jim Gibeaut traveled to Clear Lake to present to the Galveston Bay Council BEG research on the effect of future sea-level rise on barrier-island environments. The title of his talk was “ Wetland Habitat Transition Induced by Relative Sea-Level Rise.” This work incorporates past and ongoing Bureau projects involving wetlands mapping and status and trends analysis, airborne topographic lidar surveying and analysis, and shoreline-change analysis. Results are being used for coastal management efforts. 07/20/06

Scott Tinker was invited to serve as a member of the National Petroleum Council for the 2006–2007 membership term to represent the views of Texas in public policy decision making. U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman sent Scott a letter to announce his appointment to the Council, which is a self-funded advisory body to the Secretary of Energy whose members represent all sectors of the oil and gas industries and related interests. In the letter, Secretary Bodman says that the council, created by President Truman in 1946 to continue industry and Government cooperation that began in World War II, provides essential advice, information, and recommendations on matters related to oil and natural gas and the oil and natural gas industries. This appointment follows close on the heels of Scott’s candidacy for AAPG President. Congratulations, Scott! 07/11/06

Makayla Hensley is working with FRAC this summer assembling digital photomosaics of SEM images and doing general office work. A student at Dripping Springs High School, she enjoys volleyball and horse-back riding and aspires to manage the school wrestling team in the near future. After graduation Makayla intends either to join the U.S. Coast Guard or study to become a Speech and Hearing Therapist. Welcome, Makayla! 07/11/06

On Saturday, June 24th, the Bureau hosted a full day of filming salt-tectonics research for a 4-hour television series called “Faces of Earth,” which the Discovery Channel will broadcast in 2007. The film, which aims to give a face to the geoscience community, is being produced by Evergreen Films, LLC, maker of Emmy-award-winning productions about dinosaurs. The American Geological Institute is sponsoring the series, and the Jackson School of Geosciences Foundation is a contributor. Bureau Director Scott Tinker will most likely co-host the series. Using two HD digital video cameras, a film crew shot a physical model run in the Applied Geodynamics Laboratory, with commentary, on and off camera, by Tim Dooley and Martin Jackson. The scene then shifted to the AGL work area, where Martin Jackson continued his commentary, on camera, while the crew’s own experiment (Fun with Silicone) was captured by time-lapse photography. The film will feature material contributed by Tim, Martin, and Mike Hudec. The film crew’s next assignment was to shoot Charlie Kerans in the Guadalupe Mountains. Better wear red, Charlie! 07/05/06

On June 29, Dr. Foss gave a presentation at the NABC Business Forum's 2006 Conference on India's Energy Challenges, Opportunities, Strategies & Solutions in Houston, Texas. [PDF] 07/03/06

   

 

 
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