When one lives in Louisiana, even in the northern part, February and early March are full of tidings of “laissez les bon temps rouler!” or “let the good times roll!’’ Only geoscience nerds like you and I would apply that to May’s exceptional 2019 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition in San Antonio. So, start these good times rolling now by registering early on or before March 21 for a great discount. The variety of presentations, short courses, field trips and receptions is fantastic, and there is something at every turn to enjoy and learn from. In your busy schedule, drop in on some of the sustainability and environment offerings this year – they too are a compliment to AAPG organizers, staff, volunteers and (importantly) presenters who promote the modern and future sustainable development possibilities for our industry. My special thanks to the Theme 6 organizers – Hal Macartney, Vanessa Nuñez, Michael Jacobs and Jens-Eric Lund Snee – they worked hard to put together the program described below. Our two keynote speakers would not have been obtained without the assistance of AAPG President Denise Cox and ACE 2019 General Co-Chair Lorena Moscardelli.
You are invited to begin with us on Saturday evening, May 18, at the Grand Hyatt reception of Professional Women in the Earth Sciences (PROWESS), the House of Delegates and the Division of Environmental Geology and a gathering of women and men who celebrate our diversity and service to the geosciences and AAPG. During the week, there are oral and poster sessions and two different keynote speakers addressing the environment and sustainable development.
• Induced seismicity and water management issues are presented in a Monday morning (May 20) oral session and a Tuesday morning (May 21) poster session. Texas examples from the Permian and Fort Worth basins are numerous, but study areas are as diverse as central and eastern United States, Finland and China. These are world-class discussions of problems and solutions – the Permian Basin is one of largest hydrocarbon-producing areas in the world. Do you love the beauty of the night skies in West Texas? Then make a special point to see the poster session of Bill Wren from the McDonald Observatory who discusses the “Dark Skies Initiative,” a collaborative project of the observatory and the Permian Basin petroleum industry to prevent light pollution.
• Sustainability and carbon are presented in a Tuesday morning oral session and a Wednesday morning (May 22) poster session. If for some reason you do not think there is a role for geoscientists during a future energy transition, then you much check out these talks and poster sessions (and attend the DEG/Energy Minerals Division Wednesday luncheon). This is advanced reservoir study at its best with examples from the United States, Canada, Brazil and China. A special publication of “Environmental Geosciences,” DEG’s journal, is in the planning stages concerning carbon capture and sequestration with an invitation extended soon to all relevant presentation authors.
• DEG is hosting a special session Tuesday afternoon on environmental impact and sustainability, and we begin the session with featured keynote speaker Iain Stewart. Stewart is professor of geoscience communication at the University of Plymouth, UK, and director of its Sustainable Earth Institute. He also serves as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization chair in geoscience and society. He is known to the public through his work and BBC documentaries about planet Earth and on controversial subject matters including induced fracturing and climate change. He will speak to AAPG about “Communicating Contested Geoscience to the public: ‘matters of fact’ vs. ‘matters of concern.’” Stewart’s services to the Earth sciences have been recognized by AAPG, the Geological Society of America, the Royal Geographical Society and the Geological Society of London, to name a few.
• Both DEG and EMD invite you to our co-hosted luncheon on Wednesday, May 22. Our keynote speaker will be Eirik Wærness, the senior vice president and chief economist of Equinor (formerly Statoil). His talk will be “Global energy transition – an uncertain outcome driven by developments in policy, technology and behavior.” Wærness’s background makes for a fascinating vision of future scenarios. He is responsible for macroeconomics, energy and commodity market analyses, and he is also head of corporate strategy for mid- and downstream markets. In addition to this and other leadership positions at Equinor and elsewhere, from 2014 to 2018, he participated in different energy initiatives under the World Economic Forum. He is a member of the Global Commission on the Geopolitics of Energy Transformation, a group set up by the International Renewable Energy Agency.
Lastly, never forget to be renewed by spending time in the outdoors looking at sediment or rocks. The pre- and post-convention ACE 2019 field trips offer a wonderful chance to do so and are led by highly-qualified groups of scientists. I hope to see you at the convention!