THE BATON ROUGE GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY
The History of the Baton Rouge Geological Society is an excerpt for an article written by Dave Pope entitled “Ten-year update histories of GCAGS member societies, Gulf Coast section SEPM, and the new Mexican Association of Petroleum Geologists.” The article was published (2003) in the Transactions of the 53rd Annual Convention of the Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies.
“The original Baton Rouge Geological Society was founded in 1952 and expired in 1958. During those six years, membership varied from a high of 75 (1953) to 35 in 1957. There was a large Shell Oil division office, several smaller company representatives present during that time. Shell and most of the others moved out and the society folded in 1958. Monthly meetings had been held usually with a speaker, at a popular restaurant, Bob and was to liquidate the treasury with a farewell party at the restaurant. Those who had held office or served as representatives were H.V. Andersen, Mike S. Cannon, G.O. Coignet, John Huner Jr., J.B. Kennedy, J.K. Larsen, Percy Lyons, John E. McDougall, W.W. Ogden, C.B. Pennington Jr., William A. Romans, Walter Rose, A. R. Stern, William M. Tonkin, and Felix Webster. The first representatives to GCAGS in 1952 were Rose and Larsen. The original society included the then State Geologist, Leo. W. Hough and a former State Geologist, John Huner. It also included two who would become AAPG honorary members and Powers medalists, Professors Henry V. Howe and Grover E. Murray. Howe founded the precursor of the present Louisiana State University Department of Geology and Geophysics, in 1934. In the mid-to-late twenties, he rode the train weekly to Shreveport to teach geology courses at Centenary College for the students and local industry members there. He is also responsible for establishing the Louisiana Geological Society, in 1934. Murray is the only person to serve as president of both the AAPG and the national SEPM. He also served successively as vice president of LSU, and president of Texas Tech and Texas Tech Medical School, in addition to receiving numerous other honors from the geological profession.
The present BRGS was founded in 1979 at the suggestion of Harry L. Roland Jr. and David E. Pope. It was incorporated that year and became affiliated with both AAPG and GCAGS in 1980. We hold monthly luncheon meetings, September through May each season, and the society has run a number of field trips. Some of the most popular ones have been to Avery Islandsalt dome, near New Iberia, and to the rugged Tunica Hills north of Baton Rouge where waterfalls are found in Clark Creek.
BRGS co-sponsored, with Louisiana State University, a student chapter of AAPG in 1980. Professor Ray E. Ferrell Jr. was the faculty representative and David Pope was the society liaison. In several of the recent years the chapter had the highest membership in the U.S. The society assists the students in offering low membership dues for BRGS and half-price admission at our monthly luncheons. BRGS assisted in the formation its Auxiliary, in 1982. Maxine (Mrs. Bobby L.) Jones and Ouida (Mrs. David D.) Tettleton were the prime movers in its founding. The auxiliary holds several functions each year and invites spouses to two of them. The ladies were very helpful when Baton Rouge hosted the 1986 and 1995 GCAGS/GCSEPM conventions, and they are now assisting us with the 2003 convention to be held in Baton Rouge.
BRGS began in 1979 with about 50 members; we now have about 150. We are growing slowly, with the environmental segment of the industry increasing over time. Other members are drawn from consultants, state and federal agencies, LSU, and the oil and gas industry.
The first officers (1979-80) were President Harry Roland, VP/President-elect David Pope, Secretary Lewis G. Nichols, Treasurer Michael W. Killeen, and Directors Charles G. Groat and Lloyd T. Leake. We now have six honorary members: H.V. Andersen, George T. Cardwell, William G. Haag, Donald H. Kupfer, Joseph D. Martinez, and D.E. Pope. Eight Louisiana StateUniversity professors have been named Outstanding Educators by GCAGS: James M. Coleman, Arnold H. Bouma, Clyde H. Moore, Harry H. Roberts, Jeffrey S. Hanor, Donald H. Kupfer, Judith A. Schiebout, and Banun Sen Gupta. Coleman has received the SEPM Shepard Award, was named (the first) executive vice-chairman of LSU in 1989, and was elected to membership in the National Academy of Engineering in 1990. He was appointed to the President’s Commission on Ocean Policy in July of 2001. Bouma was editor-in-chief of the international journal, Geo-Marine Letters, has received the Shepard Award, and has published more papers in the Transactions than any other author. He has also served as president of the National SEPM. C.G. “Chip” Groat has served as State Geologist and Director of the Louisiana Geological Survey, Executive Director of the American Geological Institute, Executive Director of the LSU Centerfor Coastal Energy and Environmental Resources, and is now Director of the U.S. Geological Survey. William E. Marsalis, was State Geologist and Director of the Louisiana Geological Survey, and Chief Geologist of the State Mineral Board. Chacko J. John is State Geologist and Director of the Louisiana Geological Survey. He is the current President of AAPG’s Energy Minerals Division and also President of GCAGS. Andersen, Coleman, Howe, and Pope are honorary members of GCSSEPM, Andersen is a past president, and Pope has also served as president of that organization as well as GCAGS. Several BRGS members have received outstanding paper awards. Charles R. Kolb and Jack R. Van Lopik have placed first in the GCAGS papers; Donald H. Kupfer has placed first and received the Levorsen Award; Coleman has won the Levorsen Award as has Roberts. John Suter, Harry Roberts, and Elizabeth Kosters haveplaced first in various GCSSEPM competition; Suter has won the AAPG Jules Braunstein Memorial Poster Award.Eight Baton Rouge geologists, all LSU professors, have had six volumes of the Transactions dedicated to them: 1957, H.V. Howe; 1966, G.E. Murray; 1970, C.O. Durham; 1986, H.V. Andersen; 1995, H.N. Fisk; and 2003, A.H. Bouma, J.M. Coleman, and H.H. Roberts. “
The Baton Rouge Geological Society thanks the Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies for the permission to reproduce this synopsis.