Episode 92: SEG20 Keynote Address and Opening Session

In this episode, the keynote address and SEG president’s State of the Society address from the Opening Session at the 90th Annual Meeting hosted virtually for the first time in its history.

First, the SEG President Rick Miller presents the State of the Society address, summarizing the year in applied geophysics and what to expect in 2021 at the Society and in the industry. Then Rick is followed by the keynote address from Dr. Michael Oristaglio.

It is not too late to register and get engaged with SEG20! Learn more and register at SEG today.

Seismic Soundoff · 92: SEG20 Keynote Address and Opening Session

It is not too late to register and get engaged with SEG20! Learn more and register at SEG today.

  • Rick Miller – 1:00
  • Michael Oristaglio (with an introduction by SEG20 General Chair, Wafik Beydoun) – 21:11

Biography – Michael Oristaglio
Michael Oristaglio is cofounder and inaugural director of the Energy Studies Multidisciplinary Academic Program at Yale University, where he is a senior research scientist and lecturer in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences.

Michael’s current topics of research include seismic and electromagnetic wave propagation in the Earth; well logging and rock physics; seismic imaging, geophysical inverse theory, and large-scale simulation. Since 2010, he has worked on a project that is studying ways of mitigating climate change by capturing carbon dioxide released at coal-fired or natural-gas-fired power plants and storing it underground (instead of releasing it to the atmosphere where it contributes to the greenhouse effect that drives global warming).

The project at Yale West Campus under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Energy National Energy Technology Laboratory in Pittsburgh is doing lab and computer experiments to better understand a natural process called mineral carbonation. In this process, carbon dioxide dissolved in water reacts with rocks that are rich in magnesium-iron silicate minerals, such as basalt, and turns into solid form as magnesium-iron carbonate minerals. Mineral carbonation is part of the carbon cycle, in which carbon dioxide moves through the atmosphere, oceans and solid rock over long periods of geologic time. Artificial mineral carbonation of large volcanic basalt formations that occur near the Earth’s surface would provide the surest form of sequestering carbon dioxide underground if it can be made to work on a fast time scale.

For the last five years, he has been working with the startup Canadian company Gedex on the development of a new generation of airborne geophysical sensors for mapping and monitoring of Earth’s near-surface (the first 500 meters below ground level). One of the new sensors is a sensitive gravity measurement that can detect, among other things, tiny changes in groundwater levels from place to place and season to season.

Since 2011, he has been the project manager for the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) advanced modeling project called SEAM Phase II. This project is a collaboration of oil and geophysical services companies from around the world to build large, detailed Earth models, including models of unconventional shale reservoirs. The models are built to represent a region of the Earth probed by a modern 3D seismic survey (roughly 10 km by 10 km by 10 km) at a resolution of about 5 meters and, thus, contain billions and billions of individual cells with varying rock and fluid properties. The digital models are used in computer simulations directed at improving methods of seismic exploration for oil and gas and at developing new methods for seismic monitoring of hydraulic fracturing.

From 1982 to 2009, he worked for oilfield services company Schlumberger in a variety of positions, including director of research technical communities for Schlumberger Oilfield Services, manager of the Schlumberger research innovation fund, and portfolio manager and technology advisor for Schlumberger Mergers & Acquisitions.

Biography – Rick Miller
Rick Miller received a BA in physics from Benedictine College, an MS in physics (emphasis in geophysics) from the University of Kansas (KU), and a Ph.D. in geophysics from the University of Leoben, Austria. Since 1983, he has been at the Kansas Geological Survey, a research and service division of KU, where he is a senior scientist and courtesy associate professor of geology. His scientific interests focus on applying shallow-seismic methods to a wide assortment of problems from energy to engineering to the environment.

SEG is Miller’s professional home, and the Society has recognized his contributions advancing the science and serving the profession with the inaugural SEG Harold Mooney Award (1995), the SEG Distinguished Achievement Award (2002; given to Miller’s research group), and the Life Membership Award (2014). His service to SEG includes terms as President (2019-2020), second vice president (2011–2012), first vice president (2012–2013), treasurer and chairman for the SEG Global Inc. Board of Directors (2014–2018), and representative to the SEG Council nine times since 1989. An SEG member since 1984, Miller has served on several boards, most notably The Leading Edge Editorial Board (chair, 2009), a half-dozen committees, and task force appointments (Inter-Society, Near Surface, IDC, and China). He served SEG twice as a technical program co-chair for the International Conference on Engineering Geophysics (2015, 2017) in the United Arab Emirates, four times as a workshop convener, and three times as a continuing education instructor. In 2012, he was selected to be the inaugural Near-Surface Honorary Lecturer.

Miller was a guest editor on 17 TLE special sections and an author on 33 TLE articles. He has edited or co-edited two SEG books and has been an author on more than 135 Annual Meeting expanded abstracts, 113 refereed articles (24 in GEOPHYSICS, two in Interpretation), and eight SEG book chapters.

Original music by Zach Bridges.

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This episode was hosted, edited, and produced by Andrew Geary at 51 features, LLC. Thank you to the SEG podcast team: Ted Bakamjian, Jennifer Crockett, Ally McGinnis, and Mick Swiney.
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