October 2009

RickPageI am writing this month’s letter for our president, Juan Cabasos, who is on a leave of absence. For those who don’t know, Juan’s Dad passed away suddenly, and Juan is tending to family matters. I know I speak for our entire membership in extending our heartfelt condolences to Juan and his family, and I encourage everyone to send him words of encouragement and prayers. I also want to send my best wishes for recovery to John Ralph, this season’s CBGS president. He continues to experience medical complications involving the illness he has battled for several months now. I know he would appreciate hearing from all of us. Get well soon John, we miss you!

The annual Kickoff BBQ event was a big success! If you were one of the 129 people who attended the affair held at the BBQ-Man Cantina, then you know no one went home disappointed. Many thanks to our bar sponsor, CGG-Veritas (one of several reasons no one went home disappointed, or early!). I was particularly gratified to see representation from all three of our local universities, Del Mar College, Texas A&M Corpus Christi, and Texas A&M Kingsville. In addition to faculty members from each of these fine institutions, we had 20 students in attendance, all majoring in the geosciences. Each school told me that the numbers of geoscience majors and/or geology course enrollments are up. This is very encouraging indeed as the long-term needs for trained geoscientists of all specializations has not diminished, despite the severe recession and the (apparently) dichotomous energy policy of the current administration (I could digress here, but I’ll save that rant for my term). Thanks to Juan (Core Lab) and Ed Egger (3DI) for sponsoring the students.

Perhaps the most important and encouraging result of the Kickoff event was the exciting progress Owen Hopkins showed regarding the Bones in Schools project. On display, along with the artist herself, was the original Dinah Bowman mural of the late Pleistocene south Texas coastal plain, depicting many of the fauna and flora arranged in a typical lower Nueces River valley setting. Don’t forget the grand unveiling of the 14 foot by 7 foot permanent mural display, complete with articulated Columbian Mammoth leg bones, being held Sunday, October 18, 2009, 3:00 PM, at the Northwest Branch Library, located at 3202 McKinzie Rd. All are invited to attend.

Owen, in his tireless efforts to provide primary schools with educational material related to the earth sciences, also showed two versions of the enhanced poster he has created from the mural. Much like the Maps in Schools initiative, the CCGS wants to put a framed poster in every school in the Coastal Bend. And toward that end, during the evening’s impromptu fund-raising, members stepped up and pledged to cover the cost of 25 schools (at $250 ea)! An image of the smaller poster is displayed on the following page (and as a side-note for those who may not be aware, you can view the poster in color, as well as the entire Bulletin, on our website, www.ccgeo.org). If you wish to contribute to this worthwhile effort please contact one of the Society’s officers or Owen, or if you haven’t paid your annual dues yet, include a contribution with your renewal.

But that’s not all. Owen and Dinah, with the help of Jean Meadors, Children’s Librarian of the Northwest Branch Library, have created a Learning/Activity Book which contains sketches and information of each animal depicted in the mural. You may have previously heard this referred to as the coloring book, but it is now so packed with interesting knowledge about each animal that it has really become more of a “paleonaturalist’s” guide for young people.

And, as if that weren’t enough, Owen is working on producing a colorful T-shirt, using another Bowman Pleistocene original. The purpose of the shirt is primarily to call attention to the CCGS and its community efforts in education. Getting more community awareness of our society and its generous support of education is one of Juan’s goals during his administration, and the shirt is a small way of advancing that cause. And it doesn’t hurt at all that it is just plain cool-looking. The posters and T-shirts will be available soon for purchase. Proceeds go to the Maps and Bones in Schools fund.

Dennis Taylor, in his second year as the Bulletin technical editor, continues to find pertinent, interesting, and topical material for each issue of our Bulletin. This month he has scored quite a coup with an original publication by William C. Ward on the “Geology of the Canyon Lake Spillway Gorge”, a Hill Country ravine which only recently formed following a catastrophic flood. Dennis didn’t stop there as he convinced Jeff Fuchs, one of our own recent TAMUCC geology grads, now starting his first year of graduate school at the University of Alabama, to write about his field camp experiences in Turkey. Thank you Jeff and William, and especially Dennis, for providing our readers with such wonderful, original material.

This is always such a busy time of year for our members, what with kids back to school, national and regional conferences, and the start of the technical luncheon season. I will mention only a few events here, but encourage you to check the listings of Meeting and Area Seminars included in every issue. And please contact Marian Wiedman, the Bulletin editor, if you know of an appropriate area meeting not currently listed.

The GCAGS annual convention in Shreveport (September 27-29) will be over by the time you read this, so perhaps those who went can fill in the rest of us on what we missed. The annual SEG convention is October 25-30th in Houston this year. And, if you like to golf, or just like hanging around with golfers, please consider entering the CBGS Golf Tournament, October 23, at the Rockport Country Club. Contact Ed Egger at (361) 882-8400 to sign up.

Our first technical luncheon meeting is October 21st and is hosted by the CBGS. The featured speaker is Bill Goodway, the 2009 SEG North American Honorary Lecturer, who will talk to us about “Connecting Active and Passive seismic to Describe Geomechanical Rock Properties”, a subject of great interest to anyone trying to explore or develop heterogeneous reservoirs.

Allen Lassiter, this season’s CCGS V.P./Program Chair, has already lined up a pair of excellent talks for November and December, including one given by our own Randy Bissell! So, don’t forget, every third Wednesday of the month you can be sure there will be another timely and interesting topic to enlighten you. This is shaping up as another exciting and productive season for the CCGS, and I am glad you are joining us for the ride!

Rick Paige
President-Elect, 2009-2010