Vol. 19, No. 1
Tom Dignes has organized a Marine Micropaleo Research Group (MMRG) meeting to be held at the AAPG meeting. The purpose of the MMRG is to bring together micropaleontologists and other interested people for short presentations and discussions in an informal social setting. The theme of this years meeting is "integration" with Marie Pierre-Aubry and Bill Berggren speaking on "Problems in Chronostratigraphy: Stages and Series, Unit and Boundary Stratotypes and GSSPs", and Michael Dumont speaking on "Multiple Microfossil Applications in Marginal Marine Environments". Our special thanks to Chevron Overseas Petroleum, Inc. for supplying refreshments for this year's event. Please plan to join in for a pleasant evening of informal shop-talk and schmoozing with fellow micropaleontologists.
NAMS will have a significant presence at the 1999 AAPG meeting in San Antonio. We will host three events: an evening MMRG meeting, a technical session (oral and poster) entitled "Paleobiological, Geochemical, and Other Proxies of Sea Level Change", and tentatively, a field trip entitled "Stratigraphy and Micropaleontology of the Austin Group". Jason Lundquist, a doctoral student at UT-Austin will be the fieldtrip leader and Hilary Olson and I are organizing the technical session. We have proposed the technical session to promote NAMS and the application and integration of micropaleontological data in the reconstruction of sea level change and the response of the microbiota and geochemical proxies to sedimentary and oceanographic change associated with sea level fluctuations. Our plan is to have a mix of invited and volunteered talks/posters for the session. We are also planning some sort of publication from the meeting. Options may include a special issue of Palaios or a SEPM special publication series such as "Concepts in Sedimentology and Paleontology". Our goal is to have papers submitted at the time of the meeting next spring. Anyone interested in contributing a paper to such a theme issue/volume is welcome. We strive to have a fast turnaround time for publication. Contact either Hilary or myself if you are interested in presenting a paper/poster and/or contributing to a special publication.
NAMS is considering two initiatives: (1) establishing a student research award and (2) using NAMS as a vehicle to enhance industry-academia contacts. We are investigating the possibility of securing funds to support a student research award. One possible source of funds might be through publication sales. Another is through individual and industry contributions to an endowment from which the interest would be used for the award. The executive committee is considering these options.
The biannual NAMS Newsletter is an efficient, and arguably effective way to communicate with our membership. We also have a great website that is currently maintained by Ben Sloan and Hilary Olson (http://www.ig.utexas.edu/NAMS/NAMS.html). In particular, the Newsletter is a great way to share news and information, advertise or promote upcoming events, and to disseminate other useful information. In this age of information overload, the Newsletter provides a dependable biannual connection with the membership. In fact, we are indebted to our current Newsletter Editor Ben Sloan and past Editors (Mervin Kontrovitz, Donna Meyerhoff Hull) for their outstanding contributions to this purpose. To further enhance the value of the Newsletter and NAMS website to our membership, I'd like to propose that we find ways to promote industry-academia contacts. In particular, who might someone contact in industry if they have an outstanding student interested in pursuing employment in the oil and gas industry? Likewise, what if a particular company was interested in conducting a detailed study of a particular area but couldn't devote the in-house people-power to that project? Farming-out specific projects to academia, i.e., faculty and graduate students, could be mutually beneficial. To do this sort of thing we need to compile information about our membership. For example, academics could provide information about the nature of their research, including details about the ages, facies, and techniques used. In addition, perhaps it would be useful to know what graduate-level courses the faculty members teach, or the complementary courses that are available to their graduate students in their home departments. For people in industry, general information about the types of projects they have worked on, types of projects that the company might be interested in having conducted through graduate student research, and if this person would be willing to serve as a contact or liaison to their company's personnel department (i.e., disseminate information about possible routes of employment within the company). I envisage NAMS being able to provide this sort of useful information to a membership that embraces both academic research and industry professionals.
We would like to know what you think of these proposals. You can contact me or any of the board members (email@example.com). The annual NAMS business meeting will be held Sunday May 17, 9:30-11:00 am in the Cedar Room of the Wyndham Hotel. All NAMS members are welcome to attend.
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