June 1999


The Association of American State Geologists (AASG) presented its newly established Pick and Gavel Awards, which recognize leaders who have made major contributions to advancing the geosciences, during a March 16, 1999, reception at the Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C. The recipients were: SEN. LARRY E. CRAIG (R-Idaho); REP. NICK JOE RAHALL (D-W.Va.); REP. BARBARA CUBIN (R-Wyo.); and RICHARD L. LAWSON, president, National Mining Association.

The American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) presented its 1999 Public Service Award April 11, 1999, to JAMES E. BROOKS, professor emeritus of geological sciences and provost emeritus at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, Texas. AAPG presented the award during its annual meeting in San Antonio.
   Brooks earned his bachelor’s degree from DePauw University, his master’s degree from Northwestern University, and his Ph.D. from the University of Washington. He worked as a geologist with the Illinois Geological Survey, Gulf Oil Corp., and DeGolyer and MacNaughton before he joined SMU in 1952. From 1981 to 1997, he was president and director of SMU’s Institute for the Study of Earth and Man, initiating programs involving the international geoscience community. He is a member of the Dallas Committee on Foreign Relations and the Board of Directors of the Dallas Council on World Affairs, and has also received the DePauw Distinguished Alumnus Award, Scouting’s Silver Bear Award, and the Dallas Geological Society’s Community Service Award.
   AAPG’s 1999 Distinguished Service Award went to EDWARD B. PICOU JR., a consulting micropaleontologist with a long career in Gulf Coast exploration and production activities. Picou earned his bachelor’s degree in geology from Louisiana State University in 1955. After serving in the Army, he joined Shell Oil Co. Picou championed the application of paleontology to hydrocarbon exploration. In 1989, he became exploration consultant at Shell. He retired in 1991, and currently works as a consultant for Gulf Coast exploration and production companies.

The Society of Economic Geologists elected new officers in April. A few of the members include: President RICHARD H. SILLITOR; Vice President HOLLY J. STEIN; Executive Director JOHN A. THOMS; President-Elect JAMES M. FRANKLIN; Past President STEPHEN E. KESLER; Vice President-Elect FREDERICK M. BECK; Past Vice President DAVID L. GROVES; and SEG Foundation President ROGER A. NEWELL.

The Petroleum Technology Transfer Council (PTTC), a not-for-profit organization formed by the U.S. oil and gas industry in 1994 to accelerate dissemination of technology to independent exploration and production companies, elected its new board members in March: Chair of the Board of Directors LEO A. SCHRIDER, senior vice president for Beldon & Blake Corp. in North Canton, Ohio; Immediate Past Chair ROBERT L. NANCE, president and CEO of Nance Petroleum Corp. in Billings, Mont.; and Vice Chair WILLIAM CLARK SOUTHMAYD JR., manager of engineering and operations, Oneok Resources Co. in Tulsa, Okla. For a list of additional board members, visit the PTTC web site at <> and go to “Click for Press Releases.”

The Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI) in Oakland, Calif., gave its 1999 George W. Housner Medal, its highest honor, to EGOR POPOV, professor emeritus of civil and environmental engineering at the University of California at Berkeley. The institute honored Popov for research that has contributed to developing practices and policies for reducing earthquake hazards. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1976, and has been a member of EERI since 1969. A leading researcher in seismic design of steel structures, Popov was the first chairman of the Committee on Seismic Provisions for Steel Buildings with the Association of Iron and Steel Engineers.

STEPHEN G. WELLS became president of the Desert Research Institute (DRI) of the University and Community College System of Nevada this year. Wells previously served three years as executive director of DRI’s Quaternary Sciences Center. Before joining DRI, he was professor of geomorphology at the University of California at Riverside, and was professor and chair of geology at the University of New Mexico. He earned his Ph.D. in geology from the University of Cincinnati and his bachelor’s degree in geology from Indiana University.
   DRI also gave its 1999 Nevada Medal to WALLACE S. BROECKER, a geochemist who has tied the global transport of heat energy by ocean currents to abrupt shifts of Earth’s climate. He is Newberry Professor of Geology at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Broecker also received the 1996 National Medal of Science.

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