AAPG Pacific Section thrilled attendees with a stunning interactive Google Earth-based virtual field trip. That was only the start of the multiday technical program that was both innovative and technically enriching.
Imagine being able to experience the stunning and intricate layered geology of the Monterey Formation through a Google Earth high-resolution, interactive program. Richard Behl, geology professor at California State University at Long Beach, likes to take geologists into the field, walking through the cool surf and sunny climate. At the Pacific Section virtual conference in late June, Behl offered up what he described as a “Monterey Formation Bucket List” of beach outcrop stops traversing more than 500 miles along the California coast from Crystal Cove and up to Bowling Ball Beach near Point Arena. To learn more, visit CSULB MARS Project: Monterey and Related Sediment.
Highlights from the Program
Pacific Section President Becca Schempp and the PSAAPG conference team arranged the virtual conference so that the more than 20 technical talks were spread out over the week of June 21-24, with plenty of time for attendees to enjoy virtual networking, happy hours and online chat.
“The past year has been a challenge and anything but normal. We hope to return a smidge of normalcy to you,” Schempp said in her opening comments. “The PSAAPG committee worked diligently to provide a great technical program and field trip that you can enjoy from the comfort of your home or office. The multiday format let attendees tune in for a few hours a day while still tending to their daily duties.”
The other creators of the PSAAPG 2021 program include Section President-Elect Vaughan Thompson, Lisa Alpert, Rick Behl, Simmie Chahal, Plamen Ganev, Bob Lindblom, Jenny Prosser, Johnathan Rice, Renee Richards, Larry Knauer and Tony Reid.
Featured topics included geological studies of the Long Beach Oil Field, the Belridge Field area, an introduction to machine learning, bed-level chemostratigraphy and a comprehensive regulatory and environmental session addressing the dangers of methane and carbon dioxide emissions.
AAPG Secretary Jonathan Allen was a featured speaker.
“I can say that the San Joaquin Geological Society and the Pacific Section community has definitely been one of the tightest and friendliest professional groups that I’ve had the pleasure of being part of,” he said. “I think that the connections and friendships that I established in my nine years in Bakersfield have been both lasting and meaningful.”
‘Everyone Has Their Faults. Mine’s in California … ‘
The Pacific Section awards ceremony was remarkably upbeat and light-hearted. Robert Lindblom, a longtime AAPG and Pacific Section organizer, made people laugh by bringing up his famous San Andreas necktie.
“Here I am, looking at myself in the on the zoom screen putting on my favorite tie, which was noticed by my fellow geologists. This is my San Andreas necktie, and it shows the San Andreas Fault running 600 miles along southern California. When I wear it, people come up and look at it and then tell me they didn’t realize that they lived so close to the San Andreas Fault,” said Lindblom.
PSAAPG Distinguished Service Awardees included Richard Behl and Lisa Alpert. Tim Elam and Laura M. Bazeley accepted Honorary Life membership in the Pacific Section. Simmie Chehal and Renee Richards accepted the Young Professional Distinguished Service Awards, and Todd Greene accepted the Distinguished Lecturer Award.
Schemp looked back at the end of the week-long program and said, “I think the geological community needed to get back together after 2020. It was so nice to see people’s faces and hear from all of the attendees during the end of the program. We unmuted everyone and it was only somewhat chaotic!”