The Bureau of Economic Geology The University of Texas at Austin Jackson School of Geosciences
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April 2010

The Structural Geology & Tectonics Division and the Sedimentary Geology Division of the Geological Society of America have jointly created the Stephen E. Laubach Structural Diagenesis Research Award Fund to promote research that combines structural geology and diagenesis, as well as curriculum development in structural diagenesis. The
rant is intended to encourage multidisciplinary approaches that may reveal new insights into long-standing problems and reveal new avenues for inquiry. In creating the new award, GSAstates "This award highlights the growing need to break down disciplinary boundaries between structural geology and sedimentary petrology, exemplified by the work of Dr. Stephen Laubach and colleagues."


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From March 3 through 5, Bureau Director Scott Tinker and scientists Bruce Cutright and Bill Ambrose visited Reykjavik, Iceland - specifically the Iceland National Energy Authority (NEA), United Nations University - Geothermal Training Programme (UNU-GTP), and the Iceland GeoSurvey (ISOR). The three also met with members of NEA, UNUA-GTP, and ISOR to discuss common interests in geothermal energy and oil and gas exploration. During the discussions, ISOR General Director Dr. Olafur G. Flovenz and Dr. Tinker reached an agreement in principal to develop a program of joint research in petroleum related resources and geothermal energy. The structure and scope for these two areas of interest are now being developed jointly. Highlights of the visit included a tour of Hellisheidi and Svartsengi (pictured above) geothermal power plants and the world-famous Blue Lagoon. Scott's presentation at Reykjavik University about global energy capped the visit.


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From left to right: Julie Duiker, Shirley Dutton, and Wanda LaPlante On April 1, the Jackson School of Geosciences recognized professional excellence at the Walter Awards Banquet at the UT Alumni Center. The event, hosted by Dean Sharon Mosher, honored three Bureau folks for their outstanding contributions.

The Jackson School Staff Excellence Award went to contracts and grants specialist Julie Duiker, and Senior Research Scientist Shirley Dutton received the School’s Research Award. Last year’s Staff Excellence Award winner, Wanda LaPlante [read feature story], also received special recognition for her career contributions to the Jackson School. Other Walter Award winners include Outstanding Service, Renee Waters; Outstanding Educator, Jay Banner; and Joseph C. Walter, Jr., Excellence Award, Mead Allison.


From March 25 through 31, Susan Hovorka visited China to talk about GCCC research as part of a Bureau delegation that included Eric Potter and Honglui Zeng. Sue visited Dr. He Dengfa and Xiao Jianxin at China University of Geosciences in Beijing, gave a lecture at BGP (China National Petroleum Company) in Zhuozhou City, Hebei Province, and visited RIPED and Peking University.

Dr. Sue Hovorka. Click to see larger image.
Eric Potter made presentations at BGP, RIPED, and China Petroleum University (CUP) on consortium research progress and opportunities at the Bureau, emphasizing unconventional gas research. In these sessions, Hongliu Zeng also presented on the theory and practice of thin-bed seismic resolution for seismic sedimentology. At BGP, President Wang Tiejun and Vice President Xia Yiping hosted. At CUP, Vice President Wu Xiaolin; Prof. Zhu Xiaomin, Dean of the Geoscience Faculty; and Prof. Sun Xudong, Director of the International Office served as hosts. And at RIPED Dr. Wang Daofu, President of RIPED and Chief Geologist of Petrochina hosted.


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Dr. Sue Hovorka. Click for larger image.
In conjunction with the AAPG annual meeting in New Orleans in April, Tip Meckel, Sue Hovorka, Katherine Romanak, and Stuart Coleman of BEG's Gulf Coast Carbon Center led a premeeting field trip to Natchez, MS, hosted by Denbury Onshore LLC. Hilary Olson and Larry Lake provided educational resources from STORE, and Bob Holt from the University of Mississippi provided information on groundwater monitoring. Fred Walsh, Ken Cameron, and Shane Kelly provided information on Denbury's activities in the region. Twenty-three field-trip participants observed the geologic carbon-storage-monitoring activities taking place at Cranfield field associated with large-volume CO2-EOR. Highlights of the trip included a tour of Denbury Resources' gas-separation facility, venting of CO2 from a flow line at an injection well, viewing of core of the injection and confining zone intervals of the Tuscaloosa Formation, and viewing of the monitoring instrumentation designed and operated with funding from the National Energy Technology Laboratory and collaboration with Sandia Technologies, LBNL, ORNL, USGS and LLNL. BEG research at Cranfield, part of the Phase 3 SECARB regional partnership program in sequestration managed by the Southern States Energy Board, has effectively monitored a million-ton injection with diverse methodologies. More photos of the trip are available here.


Wanda LaPlante

Wanda LaPlante, Executive Assistant to Director Scott Tinker, was featured in an April 15 Daily Texan article titled "Time-Honored UT Employee Plans to Retire: Assistant Eager for Free Time." In it, Wanda's 30+ years of service at the Bureau is lauded, particularly the last 10 years, during which she has worked for the Director. "I'm a people-person," Wanda is quoted as saying, "and that's what I love about my job."

Scott Tinker is quoted as well: "She had to train me on how to be a director"! For more, see the full story.

 

 

 

 
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