For the past 33 years, the Gulf Coast Section of the Society for Sedimentary Geology (GCSSEPM) has held an Annual Research Conference. The first was convened in Houston, Texas, in December 1980 under the leadership of their Past- President, Gene B. Martin and President, Bob F. Perkins. In 1982, the GCSSEPM Foundation took over the responsibility for the conference and the publication of its conference papers. The conference was renamed in 1999 after Bob F. Perkins, the Foundation’s first and only Executive Director until his death in 1999.
The GCSSEPM Foundation is a tax-exempt, non-profit, autonomous organization which promotes research and continuing education in the field of stratigraphy and related sciences. It disseminates information for these fields of study through a variety of means including lectures, conferences, publications, and educational courses. The Foundation also provides assistance to public and private schools, colleges and universities in teaching stratigraphy and related studies as well as career guidance.
The primary function of the Foundation is their annual Research Conference. The founder, Bob F. Perkins, set the tone for the future of this organization, and through his efforts of organizing, editing, and publishing, this conference has gained national and international prominence as the yearly sedimentary geology research meeting to attend. In addition to his organizational skills, Bob handled all advance registrations as well as conference advertising and publicity.
The Foundation is now in the capable hands of Dr. Norman C. Rosen, the current Executive Director, who took over after the death of Bob Perkins. Norman has been around the editing and geology business since his graduation from Louisiana State University with a PhD in 1968. His first position was as geologist and editor at the Geological Survey of Iran, a United Nations mission. He has since worked in many areas abroad and in the US. He first helped the GCSSEPM as an assistant editor in 1982 and has been very active with the Section serving in various positions until becoming the Executive Director.
I attended my first Bob F. Perkins Research Conference in 2012 and it proved an excellent experience. The agenda was organized to allow for a great deal of free discussion and plenty of time to meet just about everyone attending. The editors had done their jobs as the talks followed the prescribed topics and all presented new and very thought-provoking information.
The 2012 conference was attended by more than 160 geoscientists from all over the world. Thirty-seven oral presentations and six posters were presented over the three days under the theme, ‘New Understanding of the Petroleum Systems of Continental Margins of the World’. Each afternoon following the presentations, authors were available for discussion and arm-waving sessions. In my opinion, this is the real ‘meat-and-potatoes’ of this conference – a place where experts studying different areas with new and often different points of view can share ideas.
Put it on your calendar – the 2014 Annual GCSSEPM Foundation Bob F. Perkins Research Conference is set for January 26-28, 2014, again at the Houston, Texas OMNI Westside Hotel. This conference should attract cutting-edge researchers covering the theme of ‘Sedimentary Basins: Origin, Depositional Histories, and Petroleum Systems’.