Michel T. Halbouty Distinguished Lecturer

The GSA Foundation is pleased to have established the Michel T. Halbouty Distinguished Lecturer Fund. The intent of the fund is to provide an honorarium for a Halbouty Distinguished Lecturer at GSA annual meetings.

The fund was established to select a top lecturer on a topic of relevance to natural resources (i.e. water, land, energy, and minerals). Selection of the lecturer will be on the basis of career accomplishments and reputation, as well as the topic of the lecture.

Michel T. Halbouty

Michel T. Halbouty

Halbouty was an internationally renowned earth scientist and engineer whose career and accomplishments in the fields of geology and petroleum engineering earned him recognition as one of the world's outstanding geoscientists.

Born in 1909 in Beaumont, Texas, he earned his B.S. in geology, an M.S. in geology and petroleum engineering, and his professional geological engineering degree from Texas A&M University. He also received a Doctor of Engineering (hc) degree from Montana College of Science and Technology, as well as a Doctor of Geoscience (hc) degree from the U.S.S.R. Academy of Sciences. The University of Nanjing, People's Republic of China, presented him with an honorary professorship in geology.

Halbouty began his career as a geologist and petroleum engineer with an independent oil company, and later as a consultant, before becoming chairman of the Michel T. Halbouty Energy Company in Houston. Throughout his career, he engaged in the exploration for and production of oil and gas. Widely recognized as one of the world's foremost geologists and petroleum engineers, he was acclaimed for his scientific expertise.

Halbouty authored more than 300 articles on geology and petroleum engineering, including several books on petroleum and contributions in encyclopedias. Many of his papers have been translated into Spanish, Russian, Chinese, and German.

Halbouty was a member of the National Academy of Engineering as well as many worldwide professional and technical societies, including the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, where he was a past president; the Society of Exploration Geophysicists; Geological Society of America, where he was a fellow; the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers (AIME); and the Society of Petroleum Engineers of AIME, to name a few. Halbouty was also one of the founding trustees when the GSA Foundation was established in the early 1980s. He served on GSA's Committee on Committees, Committee on Investments, and the Centennial Development Committee, was honorary chair of the Second Century Fund Committee, and in 1993 received GSA's Distinguished Service Award.

Halbouty was the first independent to explore and wildcat in Alaska. He discovered the West Fork Gas Field on the Kenai Peninsula in 1959, the first discovery by an independent in Alaska.

He chaired President Reagan's Energy Policy Advisor Task Force and was later appointed leader of the Transition Team on Energy by the president. He was appointed to many governmental, energy-related committees and commissions, and gave much of his time and expertise to ensure energy sufficiency for America and the world. Recognized as the perennial wildcatter, he was exceptionally active even toward the end of his life, and, despite his age, was in the Halbouty Energy Center office every day overseeing his wildcatting ventures.

"Michel Halbouty has had a remarkably long, effective, and illustrious career in the field of energy resources," Foundation Trustee Gordon Eaton said. "He has always held deep concern for all of this nation's natural resources, and it is this abiding concern for our country that led him to create this distinguished lectureship on the subject."


A panel consisting of members of the Annual Program Committee (APC) will select the awardee from the nominee pool. Nominees are solicited from the membership. The winner of this award will be notified in mid-March. The winner of this award will present an hour-long presentation which will be scheduled independently from the technical sessions. The award comes with an honorarium and will be presented to the awardee at the annual meeting.

The Halbouty Lecture topic of natural resources encompasses a broad swath of geology. Nominations of scholars across this range of topics are encouraged by the APC. The list of former lecture topics provides specific examples of potential breadth.

Nomination topics APC takes into account when selecting a lecturer:

  • finite limits on worldwide availability;
  • regional overviews (U.S.) of availability, quality, quantity, and use;
  • environmental damage from extraction or exploitation;
  • geologic aspects of environmental remediation;
  • overarching government policies concerning natural resources;
  • regional exploration; and
  • new exploration tools.

Distinguished Lecturer

Susan Brantley

Susan Brantley

How Fracking Affects Our Water

Presents at GSA Connects on 17 October 2023.

Nominate for this Award

Deadline for 2024 award nominations: 1 February 2024

Contact: awards@geosociety.org or +1-303-357-1060.

Past Lecturers
2023 Susan Brantley
How Fracking Affects Our Water
2022 Jani Ingram
Environmental Health Investigations on the Navajo Nation
2021 Asmeret Asefaw Berhe
On Soil Erosion and Biogeochemical Cycling of Essential Elements
2020 Tom Gleeson
Is Groundwater a Local and Global Resource? New Sustainability Ideas and Tools Across Scales
2019 Katharine Hayhoe
Climate Change: The Threat Multiplier
2018 Ben Bussey for Paul D. Spudis
The Resources of the Moon
2017 John (Jack) Shroder
Afghanistan Resources: Rapacious Extraction, Ruined Environments, and Chaos Continuation?
2016 Jen Russel-Houston
Contemporary Oil Sands: Retrospect and Future Potential
2015 Marcia McNutt
Deepwater Horizons: Lessons Learned for Better Disaster Preparedness
2014 Kevin Krajick
Diamond Hunters, Remote Lands and the Human Footprint
2013 John Hickenlooper
2012 Scott W. Tinker
Switch: The Global Energy Transition
2011 John F.H. Thompson:
Mineral resources — 21st century challenges for earth scientists
2010 Thomas Ahlbrandt:
The Global Petroleum Revolution: A New Era
2009 Sally M. Benson:
Can Sequestration of Carbon Dioxide in Deep Geological Formations Help Solve the Global Warming Problem?
2008 Peter J. McCabe:
Can CO2 Sequestration Help Solve the Global Warming Problem?
2007 William H. Schlesinger:
Human Impact on Global Biogeochemical Cycles
2006 Rodney C. Ewing:
The Nuclear Fuel Cycle versus The Carbon Cycle
2005 Spencer Titley:
Porphyry Copper Deposits and their Crustal Connections
2004 Richard R. Parizek:
Coal vs. Nuclear Energy: Hydrogeologic Perspectives
2003 Ward Chesworth:
Bread from Stones
2002 James Franklin:
Seafloor Minerals Research: Supporting Discovery of New Ore DepositsSeafloor Minerals Research: Supporting Discovery of New Ore Deposits
2001 John D. Bredehoeft:
Who Uses The Water West Of The 100th Meridian?
2000 Keith A. Kvenvolden:
The Yin and the Yang of Gas Hydrate