Eight EAS Students Recognized for Research and Presentation Excellence at Sheriff Lecture

22nd Annual EAS-Houston Geological Society Event, including Student Poster Session, Held as Virtual Event

Eight University of Houston Department of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences students were recognized for research and presentation excellence by a panel of volunteer judges from EAS and the Houston oil and environmental industry.

Timothy Chisholm
Timothy Chisholm (Hess), Sheriff Lecturer

Due to the coronavirus, the Robert E. Sheriff Lecture was held on November 9, 2020, from 5-8 p.m., as a fully virtual meeting that was attended by 140 participants.

The organizing committee for the 2020 Sheriff event included Dr. Regina Capuano (chair), Dr. Steve Naruk (co-chair), Dr. Daniel Hauptvogel, Dr. Jiajia Sun, and Dr. Paul Mann. Technical support was provided by Ngozi Onwuama and Andrea Arias-Rodriguez of the UH College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

Edip Baysal
Dr. Edip Baysal, EAS Outstanding Alumnus

Organizers from Houston Geological Society included Alyssa Cushing, Bryan Guzman, and Andrea Peoples.

The 33 EAS student poster submissions were accompanied by three-minute-long videos prepared by the presenters. The students were also interviewed by the judges using Microsoft Teams. The submitted posters were grouped into three judging categories as shown below. There were 400 visitors to the virtual poster session.

Dr. Tom Lapen, chair of the EAS department, introduced the event by summarizing the accomplishments of the department over the past year.

The Sheriff Lecture featured Mr. Timothy Chisholm, a vice-president of Hess Corporation in Houston, who presented a one-hour lecture entitled "Hess’s Journey into an Emerging Superbasin and Ultra-High Impact Exploration for an Independent E&P Company.” His presentation was followed by an extensive Q&A session.

During the event, Dr. Edip Baysal, an EAS Ph.D. graduate in geophysics from 1982, was recognized as the 2020 Outstanding EAS Alumnus. Baysal, who was introduced by his mentor and Ph.D. co-advisor Dr. Fred Hilterman, is now retired from Paradigm Geophysical and is a long-time adjunct professor at EAS.

Results of Sheriff EAS Student Poster Competition

Edip Baysal
Photos of EAS Student Awardees (from left): Rachel Clark (Advanced Ph.D.), Zhehao Li (Advanced Ph.D.), Hualing Zhang (Advanced Ph.D.), Sean Romito (Advanced Ph.D.), Andrew Stearns (2nd-Year M.S.), Lila M. Bishop (2nd-Year M.S.), Bryan Moore (1st-Semester M.S.), and Michael Martinez (1st-Semester M.S.)

Advanced Ph.D. Category (19 poster submissions)

First Place Tie (Prize: $450)
Rachel Clark, Marine sedimentary record of Holocene of Thwaite’s Glacier’s margins, Amundsen Sea, West Antarctica

First Place Tie (Prize: $450)
Zhehao Li, Simultaneous source separation by residual learning of deep, convolutional neural networks

Third Place (Prize: $100)
Hualing Zhang, Crustal structure of the Sergipe-Alagoas rifted-passive margin, northeastern Brazil, based on gravity modeling

Honorable Mention (Prize: $50)
Sean Romito, Understanding the sub-salt rifting history of the South Gabon basin through interpretation and modeling of the directly conjugate Camumu and Almada margins, offshore northeastern Brazil

Second-Year M.S./First-Year Ph.D. Category (7 poster entries)

First Place (Prize: $450)
Andrew Stearns, Quantifying Hurricane Harvey sediment transport in the Houston-Galveston region

Second Place (Prize: $250)
Lila M. Bishop, Direct hydrocarbon indicators associated with Oligocene-Recent folds of the Sandino forearc basin, offshore Pacific margin of Nicaragua

Undergraduate/First-Year M.S Category (7 poster entries)

First Place (Prize: $350)
Bryan Moore, Along-strike structure and zonation of the Barbados accretionary prism: Taper angle vs. subducting highs

Second Place (Prize: $150)
Michael Martinez, Predicting areas of giant oil and gas field discoveries along the South America-West Africa conjugate margins

Thank You to the Volunteer Judges

The organizers and student presenters would like to thank the following volunteer judges of the student poster session for sharing their time and expertise.

From the EAS Faculty:
Julia Wellner, Emily Beverly, Kurt Rudolf, and Gary Guthrie

From the Houston-Area Geosciences Community:
Sebabrata Sakar (Schlumberger), Bryan Ott (Hess), John Solum (Shell), Dian He (Shell), Peter Lanzarone (BP), Shawn Wright (Hess), Mark Richardson (Exxon retired), Changrui Gong (Apache), Barbara Hill (Schlumberger), Andrew Pulham (Consultant), Yanet Cuddus (Schlumberger), Di Chen (Schlumberger), Zheng Huang (Consultant), Ella Saudale (Consultant), Carolina Mejia (Landmark), and Courtney Anzalone (Schlumberger)