We joined the Houston Geological Society shortly after arriving in Houston as new-hire geologists in 1984. We met thousands of fellow geoscientists by attending, and organizing, hundreds of technical talks for 39 years. We learned about exciting discoveries, plays and technology from those who made them happen. Along the way, we became friends with a few legends. We are grateful for the deep friendships that arose while serving as HGS volunteers (and in officer roles). With a grateful heart, we are happy to share our committee’s plans to celebrate the centennial year.
The significance of the HGS Centenary requires more than a single event to celebrate it. The year 2023 will feature notable celebratory programs to reflect on the glorious past of HGS and society’s hopes for a promising future. Events will include:
- GeoGulf 2023 at the Norris Conference Center, April 22-25
- A special issue of HGS Bulletin in August
- HGS Past Presidents Lunch at Petroleum Club of Houston, Aug. 8 (date of the 1923 luncheon when HGS was chartered)
- A Gala Celebration at the Petroleum Club of Houston, open to all HGS members, Oct. 7
Setting the Stage
Plans began 10 years ago at the Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies board meetings for the 100th anniversary of HGS. We determined that GeoGulf23 would be hosted in Houston in the 2023 anniversary year. Thus, HGS celebrates in communal fellowship with our neighboring societies emphasizing that HGS is one of 13 stars in the “GCAGS constellation” and that we are all in this together. The logos for all 13 GCAGS affiliated societies are shown in an accompanying photo.
The HGS 100th Anniversary logo shows the HGS logo in the center, surrounded by the 13 stars of the GCAGS constellation of affiliated Gulf Coast societies. It is in effect, our “mission patch.”
Look carefully at the center of the HGS logo above. The previous 100 years were dominated by looking out from the San Jacinto Monument to offshore Galveston Bay. The expansion from onshore to offshore was a giant leap in technology and abilities that continues today into ever deepening waters.
A View to the Next Century
The accompanying promotional image for GeoGulf23, with its elevated view, represents our vision for what is to come. At the dawn of HGS’s second century, our view is slightly elevated in a new global thinking secured by our place in history and home to NASA. For the GeoGulf23 convention, we have selected our All-Convention Luncheon speakers, appropriately. Harrison “Jack” Schmitt, Apollo 17 moonwalker and Jessica Watkins, Artemis astronaut and potential future moonwalker. Both Jack and Jessica are geoscientists who will attend GeoGulf23 in person and inspire us all.
Our theme for GeoGulf23, “United we Explore the Gulf of Mexico and Beyond,” reminds us that geography, geoscience, heritage and community unite us. The content also binds the Gulf Coast Section to the AAPG. Our workflows unite geology, geophysics and engineering to optimize commercial solutions.
The Houston Geological Society, our host, is one of the 13 affiliated society stars in the GCAGS constellation. We celebrate the HGS’s 100th anniversary in Gulf Coast fellowship, with 100 technical presentations, 40 poster sessions, four field trips and three short courses taught by elite instructors on salt, tectonics and sedimentary systems. The program includes exhibits, social events, and three inspirational luncheons.
Our goal is to help attendees deliver the “energy of now.” GeoGulf23 offers two full days of job-ready practical geoscience, skills and actionable intelligence on basins, plays and opportunities. Globally recognized experts share insights on the Eagleford, Haynesville, Austin Chalk, Norphlet, Paleogene and deepwater petroleum systems.
The event will kick-off with the aforementioned All-Convention Luncheon featuring a passing-of-the-baton from one moonwalker to the next. Then, on Monday night, we unite with entrepreneurs and young professionals of the Houston chapter of the Society of Independent Earth Scientists at our social event, “United we Celebrate,” at the Moran Fireside lounge and patio.
Choose from two Tuesday luncheons. We unite with GCSSEPM as Daniel Minisini of Shell shares insights from interviewing dozens of brilliant geologists. Jeff Nealon of Chevron unites geology, geophysics and business in his Technology Tuesday luncheon: “Refocusing on the Gulf: How new seismic methods drive new investment.”
We chose the well-configured Norris Center, conveniently located (I-10 and Beltway 8) in lively City Center, to serve as homebase to this technically enriching, network building, inspirational and fun two-day immersive experience.
We unite in a round of applause for attendees, exhibitors and sponsors for their generous support. We appreciate the session chairs, the heart and soul of this meeting, and the many outstanding speakers they invited. Special thanks to the “10,000-hour” (Malcolm Gladwell) volunteer domain experts like Linda Sternbach (technical program chair), Jeff Lund (general vice chair, sponsorship), and Mike Erpenbeck (GCAGS president). Like myself, this is not our first GCAGS rodeo!
We built GeoGulf23 to leave a legacy. We hope best practices will pass to future GeoGulf conferences. Let our actions today unite us to explore the Gulf Coast (and beyond) long into the future. Thank you for contributing to this legacy.
For more information and to register, visit geogulf2023.org.