Each year billions of dollars worth of valuable geoscience data necessary for research and exploration are lost, disposed of or destroyed.
Count Patrick J. Gooding among those who want to stop that trend.
“The examination of rock samples and cores is the greatest single source of information for coal, mineral and petroleum exploration,” said Gooding, geologist and manager for the Kentucky Geological Survey Well Sample and Core Library.
“The benefits from well samples, cores and other geoscience data are timeless,” Gooding stated in the recent AAPG Annual Report, “because as new geological and engineering concepts evolve, and as new analytical techniques are developed, there is a constant need to go back and re-examine samples.”
Gooding, chairman of the AAPG Preservation of Geoscience Data Committee, is committed to the ongoing effort to provide permanent storage to preserve geoscience data.
His passion for research, examination and exploration emerged and evolved as a young boy growing up in Trinidad and Tobago, when he would lead his brothers, cousins and friends on boating and hiking expeditions along the rivers and mountain trails.
Later his fascination of rocks navigated him to the depths of the ocean floor where he spent most of his time looking at coral reefs.
Mentored by his two older brothers who worked for BP, it was easy for Gooding to choose a career in geology.
“I suppose I had it in my blood from a very young age,” he said. “(They) introduced me to the oil fields, and this led me to a career in geology.”
And just as dedicated as he is to the geoscience data preservation effort, Gooding was once a dedicated and decorated athlete.
Weighing 200 pounds at age 16, Gooding was competing against men twice and sometimes thrice his age in shot put, discus, javelin and hammer throw at both the junior and senior level for the Trinidad and Tobago National Track and Field Team.
Gooding was named Trinidad and Tobago’s Athlete of the Year in 1969 and his “record-setting performances” secured him the World Sports Commonwealth Plaque in 1970.
He came to America in 1971 on a track and field scholarship.
Gooding earned a bachelor’s degree in physical geography as well as geology and a master’s degree in petroleum geology, all from Eastern Kentucky University. He continues to work on his doctorate in geology from the University of Kentucky.
As manager of the KGS Well Sample and Core Library, Gooding said he is committed to “making the facility one of the finest in the country.”