, CFRE, recently joined the Bureau and will assume external affairs responsibilities. Mark comes to the Bureau with an extensive background in all facets of diverse resource development, including corporate relations, major gifts, foundations, annual funds, and campaign and communication management. His focus will be on creating new partnership opportunities between corporations and the Bureau and developing and implementing communication and outreach. His most recent position as Director of Corporate Relations with The University of Texas at Austin's Development Office and his affiliations with industry organizations will facilitate Mark's leadership in building these relationships for the Bureau. Mark brings an abundance of experience in the areas of public relations, development, and nonprofit management, as well as more than 10 years as a petroleum landman. He received dual Bachelor's degrees in Radio-TV-Film and History from The University of Texas at Austin. We welcome Mark to the Bureau!
Subsurface CO2 monitoring techniques developed by members of the Bureau's Gulf Coast Carbon Center were featured in the recent Research Spotlight of Eos, journal of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). The article discusses a process-based approach developed by Katherine Romanak (pictured above), Changbing Yang, Susan Hovorka, and P.C. Bennett to identify CO2 leakage from deep geologic reservoirs into the shallow subsurface. The monitoring techniques are designed to determine seepages from reservoirs even in areas of naturally varying levels of CO2 and where little or no background data exists. The procedures were developed as part of the Secarb Cranfield research program and tested at the IPAC-CO2 study at the Kerr Farm in Saskatchewan, Canada, to determine whether high levels of CO2 in the soil were naturally occurring or the result of reservoir leakage.
The Bureau played a large supporting role at the recent 2012 annual convention of the Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies (GCAGS) October 21–24 at the Austin Convention Center. Bureau contributors included President Scott Tinker
, General Chairman Dallas Dunlap
, Technical Program Chair Lesli Wood
, GCSSEPM Tech Co-Chair Kitty Milliken
, GCAGS Judging Chair John Hooker
, GCAGS Editor Tucker Hentz
, GCSSEPM Editor Changbing Yang
, GCSSEPM Judging Chair Gregory Frebourg
, Editor Committee members Seay Nance
and Scott Hamlin
, Short Course Chair Stephen Ruppel
, Sponsorship Chair Laura Zahm
, Registration Chair Vishal Maharaj
, Printing Chair Qilong Fu
, Publicity Chair Cathy Brown
, Webmaster Scott Rodgers
, and Spouse/Guest Activities Chair Sigrid Clift
. Among those presenting were Iulia Olariu, Ursula Hammes, William Ambrose, Robert Loucks, Jeffrey Paine, Tiffany Caudle, Svetlana Ikonnikova, Gürcan Gülen, Eric Potter, Susan Horvath, Qilong Fu, Lorena Moscardelli, Reuben Reyes, Thomas Tremblay, Edward Collins, Robert Reed, John Andrews, Jong-Won Choi, Brad Wolaver, Bridget Scanlon, Michael Young, Michael Hudec, Martin Jackson, Timothy Dooley, Jean-Philippe Nicot, Tip Meckel, Changbing Yang, and Alexander Sun.
According to GCAGS Executive Director Kate Kipper, more than 1,100 attended the convention, which comprised 155 talks, 5 field trips, 4 luncheon presentations, and 4 short courses. Bureau researchers Stephen Ruppel, Robert Baumgardner, Gregory Frebourg, Lucy Ko, Robert Loucks, Jiemin Lu, Seay Nance, and Harry Rowe
(pictured above center) presented a day-long core workshop titled "Characterization of Mudrock Reservoir Systems" to an audience of 58 GCAGS geoscientists. The workshop included cores from eight major mudrock successions in North America, all of which are being studied as part of the Bureau's Mudrock Systems Research Laboratory (MSRL). GCAGS General Chair Dallas Dunlap
, Bureau Core Research Center (CRC) staff Nate Ivicic, James Donnelly, Ben Granau, Josh Lambert, Joseph Smitherman, Daniel Valencia
, and Brandon Williamson
, as well as Bureau Media Manager Cathy Brown
, provided critical behind-the-scenes support to make the workshop a success.
The Reservoir Characterization Research Laboratory
) celebrated 25 years of carbonate research at its annual meeting, October 7–12. More than 100 participants from 28 companies attended the meeting in Austin and field trip in Carlsbad, New Mexico. The meeting began with a core workshop in which 13 cores ranging from Carboniferous to Miocene were examined, followed by 2 days of technical presentations of RCRL research ranging from East Texas to Indonesia. On October 10, 48 participants from 20 companies and 9 UT graduates students traveled to Carlsbad and the Guadalupe Mountains on a field trip covering mid-Guadalupian Grayburg Formation successions of the Shattuck Valley Escarpment and the upper Guadalupian Yates-Tansill-Capitan strata in the Walnut to Rattlesnake Canyon area. Initiated by Charles Kerans
and F. Jerry Lucia
in 1987, the RCRL has as its mission using outcrop and subsurface geologic and petrophysical data from carbonate-reservoir strata as the basis for developing new and integrated methodologies for better understanding and description of the 3D reservoir environment.
On November 5, Senior Research Scientist Jeffrey Paine
spoke to students at the Career Panel of the Society of Exploration Geophyicists (SEG) at its annual convention in Las Vegas. Jeff discussed careers in the realm of sponsored research in general and near-surface geophysics in particular, examining basic job requirements and inherent funding issues.
The presentation included highlights from a number of recent Bureau projects as well as other examples from Earth and beyond where geophysics has played an important role, ranging from earthquake-induced landslides in China to studies of the spiral bands of Mars.
Jeff is a 30-year veteran of the Bureau and is currently conducting studies in geophysics applied to geologic hazards (sinkholes, faults, etc.) and the geological context of historical and future coastal change.
From coast to coast, the film Switch continues to generate widespread interest in its discussion of the world’s energy future. The documentary by Harry Lynch, filmed at 27 key energy sites in 11 countries around the world, features Bureau Director Scott Tinker in search of factual answers to the often-emotional discourse regarding the world’s energy choices. Although reviewers occasionally mistake its deliberate objectivity for a lack of “passion,” for most, Switch’s balanced, informative assessment of the issues is its greatest strength. John Anderson of Variety wrote: “Switch is ostensibly about the transition the world needs to make from old fuels to new, especially in light of the exploding economies of India and China—countries that, as everyone here readily admits, will have no inclination to stem pollution as they strive for First World status. Ultimately, the film is no more optimistic about the world’s energy outlook than any other documentary, but it’s considerably more honest, and manages to be quite effective without saying ‘boo.’”
Bureau Mudrock Systems Research Laboratory (MSRL) researchers led a group of more than 50 high school and middle school science teachers on a trip to examine Cretaceous rock exposures west of Del Rio, Texas. Trip leaders included Steve Ruppel, Bob Loucks, Greg Frebourg, and Harry Rowe. Daniel Valencia and Evan Sivil assisted. The teachers came from schools across south Texas that are involved in the GeoForce program, which was the sponsor and organizer of the trip. The primary focus of the trip was the Upper Cretaceous, Eagle Ford-equivalent Boquillas Formation, but the group also examined Del Rio, Buda, and Austin rocks, as well as the Lower Cretaceous Salmon Peak. The Jackson School's GeoForce team, led by John Hash with assistance from Matt Hofer, Lindsay Stephens, and Edgar Garza, coordinated all trip activities.
More than 300 delegates from 34 member companies attended the 2012 AGL Annual Meeting, held in Austin November 13–14. Attendees heard 18 presentations on salt tectonics that were based on work by AGL researchers Dan Carruthers, Tim Dooley, Mike Hudec, Chris Jackson, Martin Jackson, Gang Luo, Maria Nikolinakou, and Ruud Weijermars, along with a guest presentation by Jean-Paul Callot from the University of Pau, France. Especially key to the success of the meeting was support provided by BEG staff Nancy Cottington, Sammy Jacobo, Amanda Masterson, and David Stephens.