It’s been a busy few months for the Energy Minerals Division. Here are a few updates on recent events.
At the end of August, EMD officers and other volunteers participated in an encore “Freeware for Freelancers” webinar presented to the Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists as part of the Rockies Members in Transition webinar series. The panel provided an overview of free software and data resources available to geoscientists who are transitioning to new careers in consulting and might not have access to expensive software packages that professional geoscientists often use. This was a follow up from two free EMD webinars and an article in the July 2021 issue of the RMAG Outcrop submitted by webinar contributors. Check the Energy Minerals Division YouTube page for access to the original presentations, which include information on a variety of geoscience software covering GIS, seismic, data visualization and more.
In early September, we held a one-day virtual workshop titled “Geothermal 101,” in collaboration with the Texas Bureau of Economic Geology, which provided an introductory overview of the geologic, engineering, legal, regulatory and policy issues around development of geothermal energy resources. Many thanks to Ken Wisian, Nicole Wagoner, Ursula Hammes and Mike Bingle-Davis for their efforts organizing the workshop, Susan Nash, Jerry Jefferis and the AAPG staff for their logistical support, and to all the presenters and participants who made the event a success. Be on the lookout for more geothermal offerings from EMD in the near future.
At the International Meeting for Applied Geoscience and Energy recently in Denver, our Theme 9 sessions covered a wide range of topics, including geothermal, gas hydrates, uranium, thorium and helium. In our hybrid in-person/virtual panel discussion on “What’s new in Energy Minerals,” several EMD officers and committee chairs provided updates on Division activities and the developments around the commodities they cover. We also discussed the opportunities and issues facing the energy sector as the transition to a broader energy landscape continues. (See related article on page 22.)
Opportunities to Get Involved
Interested in getting involved with EMD? The terms of several committee chairs and councilor positions are ending, and though I hope at least a few of our current volunteers will consider continuing to serve, there will undoubtedly be opportunities for new participants to contribute to or lead EMD’s various commodity and administrative committees, which can be found at the AAPG website, AAPG.org, under “About” and “EMD” under “Divisions,” and then find the “EMD Committees” link. Please reach out – we need you! And if you don’t see anything in the current EMD portfolio that fits your interest, let us know by proposing a new technical committee. We are currently considering a proposal for a Hydrogen Commodity Committee to address the “rainbow” of hydrogen resources, and there are certainly other resources and issues (can anyone say energy storage or CCUS?) that could find a niche with EMD.
The Future of EMD
There are many potential changes coming to AAPG and, by association, EMD, but that doesn’t mean we should be static or complacent. New efforts now will help lay the groundwork for whatever the future holds. Worried EMD won’t exist in the NewOrg? Don’t! Whatever form a combined AAPG-SPE might take, there will certainly be a place for energy geoscientists interested in and working on the energy resources and issues currently addressed under the EMD umbrella. We might be working under a different name, but the need for a forum to discuss the array of resources being studied and developed by energy geoscientists will remain. If you’re concerned that volunteering now might mean committing to a term that gets cut short, don’t be! Some titles might change and officer or committee positions may or may not continue in their current forms, but the need for volunteers to drive the science and member-focused mission of the Energy Minerals Division and the Association more broadly will continue.
And, in a NewOrg we will have new collaborators bringing new ideas, approaches, and insights – not that we can’t take advantage of that regardless of what happens with the merger. Greater collaboration among energy geoscientists is going to be the way forward and will help us power the future.
Visit the EMD webpage for more information about our committees, activities and upcoming events. You can also find us on LinkedIn and Facebook.