New memorial grants-in-aid for the AAPG Foundation have been established in the names of two giants of the profession, the science and the Association.
The grants are the J. Ben Carsey Sr. Memorial Grant and the Wallace E. Pratt Memorial Grant, established through recent donations by Dorothy Carsey Sumner, Carsey’s daughter.
Sumner’s gift to the Foundation’s Named Grants-in-Aid program will endow two annual grants of $500 in their names, to be used to support graduate and post-graduate geoscience students.
At the same time, Sumner also gave money to increase the endowment to the Bernold M. “Bruno” Hanson Memorial Environmental Grant.
Both Carsey and Pratt, in addition to having lifetimes of success as exploration geologists, were former presidents of AAPG and recipients of the Association’s highest honor, the Sidney Powers Memorial Award.
Carsey was a longtime geologist for Humble Oil (later Exxon) who was responsible for numerous discoveries and exploration concepts in Texas, Louisiana, California and Alaska. When he retired from Exxon (in 1961) he became a consultant in the Houston area with his son, J. Ben Carsey Jr.
Carsey was active in AAPG affairs in a variety of ways, including as vice president in 1960-62; president in 1967-68; and was the Sidney Powers medalist in 1985.
Pratt, one of the original founders of AAPG, was not only considered by all to be among the all-time greatest geologists, he also was praised as a businessman, a scientist, a humanist, a philosopher and, in the words of his BULLETIN memorial (September 1982), “a magnificent human being.”
His geologic accomplishments would fill a large book. Pratt started his career working in the Philippines for the U.S. Bureau of Insular Affairs, and later did geological reconnaissances in Costa Rica and Mexico. He became the first chief geologist for Humble Oil in 1918 – the start of a “brilliant career” in which he would eventually become a vice president and member of the Executive Committee of the Standard Oil Co. (N.J.), which would become the Exxon Corp.
Among Pratt’s myriad achievements for and with AAPG, in addition to being an honorary member, included being the Association’s fourth president in 1920; the first recipient of the Sidney Powers medal (1945); the first recipient of the Human Needs Award (1972); and, as such, was the first to have received AAPG’s top two awards.
The Pratt Tower at AAPG headquarters in Tulsa is named in his honor.
To donate to the funds established in the names of Carsey and Pratt, or for information about the Foundation’s Grants-in-Aid program, contact Rebecca Griffin in the Foundation office, (918) 560-2644; e-mail to Rebecca Griffin or through the Web site at foundation.aapg.org.