AAPG Visiting Geologists Program

The AAPG Visiting Geologists Program is intended to provide a forum for communication among petroleum geology professionals and students, faculty, and university administrators. A forum such as the VG Program is an effective means of offering first-hand factual information on the current energy situation, the role of geology in society, new developments and resources, industrial aid to education, information of mutual concern to academia and industry, and most importantly, careers in geology.

Normally, the host institution pays for lodging and meals during the visit. I pay for travel (air fare) to the institution. Nothing is paid for by the AAPG.

Speaker topics available from Dick Gibson to accompany VGP visits

The current state of the oil industry: Perspectives for students
What's the deal with oil? Based on this essay
Geology, Geophysics, and Oil Exploration in the Former Soviet Union
Subsurface geology of the Pantex Plant, Texas: An Environmental Restoration Problem
Gravity, Magnetics, and Oil Exploration in the Williston Basin
Satellite Gravity: A tool for oil exploration and tectonics
Exploring for oil in Nevada: You can't just drill anywhere
See also Gibson's Speaker's Bureau

From 1993 to 2002, Dick Gibson spent a day each year at Indiana University, meeting with students in an informal but recruiter-like setting to discuss any and all questions related to the geoscience profession. Topics have ranged from the tectonics of Wyoming to "how to write a cover letter." Beginning in 1995, Dick became one of the AAPG's Visiting Geologists, continuing the program at Indiana University and adding other schools.

In April 1995, Dick Gibson visited St. Cloud State University (host, Dr. Garry Anderson) and Winona State University (Dr. James H. Meyers), both in Minnesota, and the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire (Dr. Paul E. Myers). The visits included technical talks on the Former Soviet Union and the Pantex Nuclear Weapons Plant environmental site characterization. In addition, Dick led discussions on the role of geoscientists in environmental site characterization projects in Dr. Nancy Jannik's Advanced Hydrogeology Class (Winona State), and gave brief presentations on the state of the oil industry to 5 different classes at UW-Eau Claire, totalling over 100 students. Informal discussions with individuals and small groups of students are a hallmark of the VG Program, and such visits occurred at each school.

Dick also participated in a "Forum on Employment Opportunities in Geosciences" at Indiana University, organized by Steve Young (Exxon) and conducted as part of the 1995 annual meeting of the Department of Geological Sciences' external Advisory Board, of which Dick was member from 1977 to 2003. His 3-week visit to the Indiana University campus in October, 1995, was also a good opportunity for extensive casual student interaction. Dick also spent a week at Indiana U. in September, 1996. And a good time for extended interaction with students came at the Indiana University Geologic Field Station, where Dick helped teach G429 from 1989-2002 and G329 from 1999-2002. Gibson visited Eastern Washington University, where Prof. Ernie Gilmour was host, in late February, 1997.

Three schools were visited in February 1999: University of Tennessee (Knoxville), at the invitation of grad students Chris and Jen (Bergin) Whisner. At Oxford College of Emory University, near Atlanta, Georgia, Dr. Steve Henderson and Dick developed an oil exporation lab for students in a Natural Resources class. The students had a budget, bought data, drilled wells, and were at the mercy of changing prices of oil as unexpected headlines were announced during class. And finally, at Stockton College, New Jersey, Dr. Michael Hozik, host, Dick spoke to the Department on his environmental experiences at the Pantex Nuclear Weapons Plant, and to a Physical Geology class on career opportunities in the geosciences.

In the spring of 2000, Dick visited the University of Montana, Missoula, (Steve Sheriff, host) for two days, and also gave a talk at the Montana Bureau of Mines & Geology in Butte (James Madison, host). Another visit to Indiana University took place in October, 2001, and in March 2003, Dick spoke to a Petroleum Geology class (Dr. Mark Person) and was a judge at the Indiana U. Dept. of Geological Sciences' Student Research Day. Spring 2002 saw a visit to Colorado State University in Ft. Collins, and in March 2003, Dick travelled to Lafayette College in Easton, PA (Dr. Larry Malinconico). He also gave a talk on employment at New Mexico Tech, Socorro, in January 2003 (host, Dave Wilson).

In 2006, Dick returned to the University of Montana at Missoula (Steve Sheriff, host) for a visit that included talks on using satellite-derived gravity for oil exploration, as well as his Pantex talk. In November Dick went to Southern Oregon University (Bill Elliott, host) to conduct a lab, give lectures, and participate in a field trip.

In 2009, Dick returned to Oxford College of Emory University, in Georgia (Steve Henderson, host) to conduct the oil exploration lab and give talks to two classes and accompany a field trip. In October 2009, Dick gave guest lectures to a Geology of Montana class and a Subsurface Methods in Hydrocarbon Exploration class at Montana Tech. He also taught one section of the Montana Tech Geology Field Camp in 2008 and 2009.

For more information about the AAPG Visiting Geologists Program, visit VGP at AAPG, or contact Dick Gibson.


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Richard I. Gibson, Gibson Consulting - 301 North Crystal St. - Butte, Montana 59701 - Phone/Fax: 406-723-9639 - E-mail