Lunchtime Keynote Lectures

Sunday | Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday
12:15–1:15 p.m., Oregon Convention Center, Room D135/136
Bring your lunch, relax, and be informed at GSA’s new Lunchtime Keynote Lectures.


Patricia Woertz

Toward a Shared Energy Future: Carbon Sequestration and the Global Corporation

Patricia A. Woertz
GSA Geology and Society Division Distinguished Lecturer

Patricia Woertz is chair, CEO, and president of Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM), a leading agricultural processor working to improve its environmental performance, particularly through carbon sequestration research and its BioEnergy program.

In 2007, ADM teamed with the Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium, the Illinois State Geological Survey, and Schlumberger Carbon Services to advance one of the nation’s first large-scale geologic carbon sequestration research studies. The demonstration project will inject carbon dioxide from the company’s Decatur, Illinois, ethanol plant 8,000 feet underground into the Mount Simon Sandstone, a large, saline-bearing rock formation. ADM is partnering in the project to help determine whether this technology can improve the environmental footprint of alternative fuels by capturing and storing carbon emissions associated with their production.

Woertz will discuss how partnerships among corporations, government agencies, academic institutions, and nongovernmental organizations are essential to effecting environmental improvement while ensuring that the food and energy needs of a growing global population are met. She will outline the challenges and opportunities inherent in these complex collaborations and provide perspective on how shared scientific and environmental goals are serving as rallying points for organizations in various sectors.

Sally Benson

Can CO2 Sequestration Help Solve the Global Warming Problem?

Sally Benson
Michel T. Halbouty Distinguished Lecturer

In little more than a decade, carbon dioxide (CO2) capture from point source emissions and sequestration in deep geological formations has emerged as one of the most important options for reducing CO2 emissions. Two major challenges stand in the way of realizing this potential: the high cost of capturing CO2 and gaining confidence in the capacity, safety, and permanence of sequestration in deep geological formations. Building on examples from laboratory and field based studies of multiphase flow of CO2 in porous rocks; this talk addresses the current prospects for carbon dioxide sequestration.

  • Which formations can provide safe and secure sequestration?
  • At what scale will this be practical and is this scale sufficient to significantly reduce emissions?
  • What monitoring methods can be used to provide assurance that CO2 remains trapped underground?
  • What can be done if a leak develops?
  • What are the potential impacts to groundwater resources and how can these be avoided?
  • The status of each these questions will be discussed, along with emerging research questions.

[ more about Benson and the lectureship ]


Lucile M. Jones

The Great Southern California ShakeOut: A Successful Experiment in Communicating Science and Policy

Lucile M. Jones

Lucy Jones has been a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) seismologist and visiting research associate at the Seismological Laboratory of Caltech since 1983. She is currently chief scientist for the Southern California Multi Hazards Initiative, integrating hazards science in urban areas with economic analysis and emergency response for increased community resiliency. This includes leading the Great Southern California ShakeOut. Jones serves on the California Earthquake Prediction Evaluation Council and has received numerous awards, including the Alquist Award from the California Earthquake Safety Foundation and the USGS Shoemaker Award for Lifetime Achievements in Science Communication.

Jones will discuss “The Great Southern California ShakeOut,” a week of special events featuring the largest earthquake drill in U.S. history on 13 November 2008. More than five million participants, including schools and businesses, engaged in a mock-M7.8 earthquake scenario, as described at The next “ShakeOut” is scheduled to take place on 15 October 2009, just days before Jones’ talk.

The primary message of the ShakeOut, according to Jones and the USGS, is that what we do now, before a big earthquake, will determine what our lives will be like after. Benefits derived from the ShakeOut include improved communication with the general public as well as groups and organizations; strengthening of partnerships within the southern California emergency response, engineering, and science community; and clear lessons for scientists interested in policy communication.

Jones will outline four elements of successful policy communications identified during the Great ShakeOut. GSA members interested in conveying policy to decision makers and the public are invited to use the new GSA policy networking Web site, PolicyComNet, to rally with colleagues and organize communications employing these four elements.

Scott Burns

The dynamic landscapes of volcanoes and vineyards in the Pacific Northwest

Cynthia Gardner
Scientist-in-Charge, Cascades Volcano Observatory

Scott Burns
Professor, Portland State University

Cynthia Gardner and Scott Burns will each give a brief talk, and questions are welcome. This final lunchtime keynote lecture ties in nicely with the Annual Meeting theme, and we hope you have time to stop by with your lunch to listen to these two dynamic individuals.



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