AAPG Sidney Powers medalist and Honorary member John W. Shelton recently was given the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Illinois for his “stellar 60-plus-year career in the oil industry, academia and service to the community.”
Shelton, who received his master’s degree in geology from the school in 1951 and his Ph.D. in 1953, was recognized as “a brilliant scientist, inspiring teacher, prolific author, dedicated researcher and the driving force behind the creation of Datapages, AAPG’s digital library, and Search and Discovery, its petroleum industry information website.”
His career began in 1953 with Shell Oil Co. in Denver. In 1963 he moved to Oklahoma State University where he was a professor of geology for 17 years. In 1980 he joined Paul McDaniel at ERICO and later Masera in Tulsa.
When Masera closed in 2000 he officially retired, but actually spent the next 10 years as a full-time volunteer at AAPG headquarters, supervising the launch of Search and Discovery and implementing AAPG Datapages, the Association’s digital library and publishing program.
His leadership continued during the growth of the digital library – he is often called the “father” of AAPG’s digital efforts – and an AAPG award in his name was created that recognizes the best contribution to the Search and Discovery website over the year.
Shelton, who received the Sidney Powers medal in 2011, held two offices on the AAPG Executive Committee – elected editor in 1975-79, and vice president in 1988-89. He is an AAPG Foundation Trustee Associate.
His Powers citation reads:
“John Shelton had the vision to see the importance of digital publications to AAPG’s future. He launched and nurtured AAPG’s digital program to the benefit of AAPG members worldwide. Disseminating useful scientific information is AAPG’s primary purpose. Digital publications have accelerated that process and John Shelton was responsible for its beginning.”