Past Messages


Ron Waszczak, Spring 2001

waszczakI truly do love the Gulf Coast Section SEPM, and I am delighted to serve her membership and the organization in the capacity of officer and as volunteer. I am drawn to this service, wanting to follow the good example of predecessors and contemporaries from industry, academia and government whom have collectively provided the time, energy and vision that has been required to move the Section forward. The GCSSEPM objective -- "to promote the science of stratigraphy in the Gulf Coast states through research in paleontology and sedimentary geology, especially as it relates to petroleum geology" -- remains alive and has worn well a 48-year history. By the virtues of our annual activities, the Gulf Coast Section has undoubtedly become the premier Section of the SEPM!

I thank the past and present members of the Council, Foundation, and Committees for their dedicated efforts that make our programs successful. I thank too those authors whom have found the GCSSEPM the preferred forum for their publications. A truly special thanks is due to those corporations that specifically and generously financially support our Research Conference series.

This past December, the GCSSEPM completed her 20th and most successful research conference "Deep-Water Reservoirs of the World". A record 534 were in attendance. A record of 59 presentations were given which addressed Gulf of Mexico, North American and international reservoirs, ancient outcrop-analog reservoirs, and studies of the modern deep-water sea floor. A record of 1104 pages comprised the Proceedings volume. The volume content is, for its second year, in CDROM -- a format that we have adopted as standard for state-of-art scientific and technical publishing. The success of this Conference is a testament that the GCSSEPM does indeed serve the specific wants and needs of her following!

I welcome the opportunity to work with this year's leadership to bring to reality programs for 2001, and to plan programs for implementation in 2002 and beyond.

This coming December, GCSSEPM will expand upon the deep-water focus in its upcoming 21st Annual Research Conference "Petroleum Systems of Deep-Water Basins". The Committee, led by Dick Fillon and Allen Lowrie, has in hand the first manuscripts, and throughout the year they will be working with authors to finalize the program. Mark your calendar for this Conference, which is scheduled for this December 2 through 5 in Houston. Also during this year, the GCSSEPM will continue formative plans for future Conferences, one of a "Sequence Stratigraphy" theme to be led by John Armentrout, and another of a "Shelf Edge Deltas" theme to be led by Harry Roberts.

Mark your calendar too for the GCSSEPM Annual Convention that will be held in conjunction with the Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies Convention, this October 17 through 19, in Shreveport. This is the 48th anniversary of the joint-convention partnership of GCSSEPM with GCAGS, and the theme is appropriately "2001: Odyssey to Success". Our Convention Committee, led by Mary Barrett and Lana Czerniakowski, has in hand the first abstracts, and during the next months they will be working with GCAGS to finalize that program.

While at Convention, join us at the Joint Opening Session and at the GCSSEPM Luncheon. Be there as GCSSEPM recognizes these folks with these awards: Charlie Smith of the Geological Survey of Alabama, Honorary Membership; Dick Buffler of the University of Texas at Austin, Honorary Membership; and Paul Weimer of the University of Colorado, Distinguished Service. For papers published in the Transactions of the 2000 Convention, the GCSSEPM will recognize these authors with Best Paper Awards: 1st place, Dick Fillon and Paul Lawless; 2nd place, Ed Denmen and John Adamick; and 3rd place, Marc Edwards. At the GCSSEPM Luncheon, meet and greet our invited guest and speaker, Dag Nummendal, President of the National SEPM.

I further welcome the full participation of the membership in these other important Section affairs…

Firstly, President Elect D'Agostino is now drafting his Committee for the 2002 Annual Convention which will be held in Austin. Initial preparation includes identifying a Vice Chair, Program Chair, Editor and Judging and Awards Chair. Additionally, Tony is now working to identify candidates for the GCSSEPM ballot for the 2002 offices of President Elect, Vice President and Secretary. Please contact Tony if you would like to input to these decisions.

Secondly, Secretary Corbo continues work with Business Representatives to gather the news and the views of our members for publication in the GCSSEPM newsletter. Ilene and the Business Reps would appreciate receiving contributions that would be of member interest. Our newsletter maintains a focus on mid-length reports of scientific projects and research. Also welcomed are your short notes of change in career or profession. Submissions to the News are due one month prior to publication of the February, July and October issues.

Thirdly, Vice President Santogrossi is working on creative ways to grow our membership. Our member number, about 300, remains stable, but it is low relative to potential. Tricia's general task is to appeal to residents of the Gulf Coast whom practice or are being educated in the fields of stratigraphy, sedimentary geology, paleontology, and petroleum geology. Tricia's initial focus will be specifically on non-member participants of the Section's Annual Convention and the Foundation's Research Conference.

Though growing membership is a daunting task, it is a necessity. It will expand the pool of candidates from which offices on Council and Foundation are filled. It will provide additional dues payments that are needed to fund Section activities. It will increase the readership of our newsletter, which is intended to serve as an effective broadcast venue for timely information exchange.

So, I thank you, each and every member of the Gulf Coast Section, for your continued participation and support.