(July 13, 2015)

Geology students, professor attend national conference

SHREVEPORT, LA — Centenary geology majors Collin Baker and Rykley Crowe, along with geology department chair Dr. David Bieler, recently attended the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) annual convention and exhibition in Denver. The students attended talks, visited with representatives from graduate programs, and gained a better understanding of the wide scope of the petroleum industry.

"Most undergraduates don't get a chance to attend events like this, so Collin and Rykley felt empowered," said Bieler. "The experience helped them clarify their interests in the field of geology and helped them think about specific career paths. That's important, because both of them will be working on research during the upcoming academic year."

Arches National ParkCollin Baker and Rykley Crowe explore the contact between two rock units in Arches National Park

Bieler often takes Centenary students to regional and national conferences like the AAPG in order to expose them to new developments in the field of geology and provide an opportunity to practice professional networking skills. The AAPG features a large exhibition area where graduate schools, government agencies, petroleum companies, and industry vendors are marketing their services and products and recruiting new business and employees.

"Attending a professional event like the AAPG convention really aligns with the Career component of Centenary's Trek program," said Bieler. "Because students get to see the broad range of what petroleum geologists really do — research, exploration, production — it is a rich career exploration opportunity that really complements something like an internship, which is often much more narrowly focused."

Baker, a rising senior at Centenary, is currently interning with Sklar Exploration, while Crowe, a rising junior, is interning with Anderson Oil and Gas.

Bieler and the students also made the most of the nearly 2,000 mile round trip journey to Denver and back, stopping along the way at Arches National Park, Mesa Verde, Colorado National Monument, and the Great Sand Dunes. In addition to taking in some of the most impressive scenery in the American west, the students had the chance to see first-hand geologic formations and topics they had previously studied in class.

Centenary's Trek program is designed to help students learn important skills and sharpen existing ones to use beyond their time at Centenary. All three components of the Trek Program (CAREER, CULTURE and COMMUNITY) connect back to our students' academic majors and help to enhance and support the academic mission of the College. Learn more on the Trek webpage.