Past Messages


Tony D'Agostino, Winter 2002

d'agostinoJust a few things to cover and then my closing comments on the year.

I'm extremely grateful for the efforts and enthusiasm of the 2002 Executive Council and I look forward to 2003 when I will serve as Past-President on the soon-to-be-elected 2003 council under President-Elect Dick Fillon. Watch for the election ballot inserts in the fall newsletter and be sure to vote! Election results will be posted on the website in mid November. Election winners will be invited to the council meeting prior to the BFP conference in December. The GCSSEPM council comprises a representative cross-section of the practitioners of sedimentary geology and stratigraphy, from seismic interpreters to biostratigraphers to geologic mappers and oil company managers. The broad appeal and applicability of our various specialties is one of our great strengths. I believe the membership and others that take part in our activities enjoy the benefits of an energetic and proactive society. The GCSSEPM is now a world-recognized leader in support of research, professional education and growth, and dissemination of new information pertinent to our general theme of "promoting the science of sedimentary geology".

We will wrap up the program for the year with two major meetings. The 52nd Annual GCAGS/GCSSEPM Convention convenes on October 30 in Austin, Texas. If you haven't already registered please do so. There is an exciting program of talks, posters, and short courses, not to mention the chance to meet with vendors and buddies and enjoy 6th Street. The GCSSEPM is sponsoring two sessions on the general theme of Practical Stratigraphy. Special thanks goes out to Marc Edwards, the Program Chair, and session chairs Bonnie Weise, George Klein and Peter Trabant. We will also be awarding Honorary Membership Awards to Peter Vail and Bill Galloway and a well-deserved Distinguished Service Award to GCSSEPM Foundation Trustee Michael Nault. Finally, special thanks to all the members of the GCAGS steering committee under Doug Ratcliff for the mammoth effort necessary to pull off a meeting this size.

The climax of our program for the year will be the 22nd Annual GCSSEPM Foundation Bob F. Perkins Research Conference entitled; Sequence Stratigraphic Models for Exploration and Production: Evolving Methodology, Emerging Models and Application Case Histories. The conference will take place from December 8th-11th at the Adam's Mark Hotel in Houston. Please to go for further details and registration information. The conference is co-chaired by John Armentrout, Jory Pacht, Marty Perlmutter and Grant Wach. Having had the privilege of editing several of the manuscripts for this conference I feel it is safe to say that attendees will enjoy the typical high level of new ideas, fantastic documentation and stimulating discussion that they have come to enjoy in conferences past.

A new, and somewhat smaller highlight will be the GCSSEPM participation in national Earth Science Week (ESW) activities at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, in October. This will mark the second year the GCSSEPM will be a major participant in the activities at the museum. We will be hosting a learning area where children and parents will be able to examine sedimentary rock specimens and microfossils, view a PowerPoint slide show on the utility of microfossils and study a series of posters explaining stratigraphy and depositional environments.

In three short paragraphs I've given you a "heads-up" about three major activities of the GCSEPM that take place every year. Though they can be summed up and advertised in a few words, the events are critically important to the section. These events impact thousands of geoscientists, and in the case of the ESW event thousands of lay-people. They all have to spring from the efforts of a relatively small number of individuals that comprise the annual Executive Councils, the foundation trustees, and precious few volunteers. I hope you will foster and promote the section through your continued support via membership, donations to the Foundation, and most importantly, participation as a council member, trustee, or volunteer. Please do not hesitate to step forward and participate in one or more of these meaningful ways. Don't wait for someone else to volunteer; it's time for you to pitch in.

In my earlier letters I voiced my views on the changing environment within the industry. Over the last two decades we have seen training, research, technology development and financial support (for same) all dwindle, and in some cases disappear altogether. These functions were once viewed as essential to company health. The goals were future growth, technological and competitive advantage, and the ability to expand into new markets or exploration realms. Many of the functions that were once handled by the upstream companies, for good or bad, have now migrated to professional societies like ours. Individuals or small groups that recognize the value of these activities in terms of professional growth, career development and research advancements have driven the migration. If this changeover is to succeed, and those goals are still valued by the industry, financial support through grants and memberships is of utmost importance. Please take every opportunity to support the section financially and take every advantage of company grants and fund-matching programs. If you are a manager who has to approve expensing of membership dues please remember how critical they are to keep the section viable. We cannot meet our new responsibilities and maintain the current level of activity without the necessary financial backing from the consumers of our product.

Finally, I believe 2002 has been another successful year for the GCSSEPM and I hope the rest of 2002 is good to you and us. I look forward to seeing you in Austin or at the BFP Conference in December. Never hesitate to contact me or any other Executive Council member or Foundation Trustee if you have any questions, observations, or suggestions. Thanks for listening.