Twelve EAS Students Recognized for Research and Presentation Excellence at 2023 Sheriff Lecture

25th Annual EAS-Houston Geological Society Event, Including Student Poster Session, Attended by 160 Persons

Twelve University of Houston Department of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences students were recognized for research and presentation excellence by a panel of volunteer judges from EAS and the Houston oil and environmental industry. The Robert E. Sheriff Lecture was held on November 13, 2023, from 5-9 p.m. It was well attended by 160 participants.

From Left: Dr. Charles Sternbach, Linda Sternbach (HGS), and Dr. Juan Carlos Fernandez-Diaz.
Sheriff Lecture Article, HGS Bulletin, December 2023

The organizing committee for the 2023 Sheriff event included Dr. Robert Stewart (chair), Dr. Paul Mann, Dr. Jiajia Sun, and Linda Sternbach (HGS). Organizers from Houston Geological Society included Linda Sternbach, David Risch, Sandy Rushworth, and Andrea Peoples.

Paul Britt, president of HGS, welcomed participants to the 100th anniversary of the HGS and the 25th anniversary of the Sheriff lecture, a joint activity of HGS and the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences (EAS). Dr. Tom Lapen, chair of the EAS department, summarized the department’s accomplishments over the past year.

The Sheriff Lecture featured two speakers. Dr. Juan Carlos Fernandez-Diaz, a research assistant professor in the UH Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and co-director of the NCALM Lidar Group at UH, presented a 30-minute lecture entitled “Two Decades of Exploration and Discoveries Enabled by the National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping.” Dr. Charles Sternbach, president of Star Creek Energy and an adjunct professor at UH EAS, presented a 30-minute lecture entitled “The Habitat of Giant Fields in the Gulf of Mexico: Are There More Giants To Be Found?”

Both presentations were followed by an extensive Q&A session.

Results of the Sheriff EAS Student Poster Competition

Advanced Ph.D. Category in Atmospheric Sciences

Deveshwar Singh

First Place (Prize: $300)
Deveshwar Singh, Deep-BCSI: A deep learning-based framework for bias correction and spatial imputation of PM2.5 concentrations

Mahsa Payami

Second Place (Prize: $200)
Mahsa Payami, A 1D CNN-based digital twin of CMAQ: Predicting NO2 concentration over the most populated urban regions in Texas

Thishan Dharshana Karandana Gamalathge

Third Place (Prize: $100)
Thishan Dharshana Karandana Gamalathge, Influences of California wildfires on CO2, CO, and CH4

Advanced Ph.D. Category in Geology

Juan Pablo Ramos Vargas

First Place (Prize: $300)
Juan Pablo Ramos Vargas, How oceanic and oceanic plateau crustal structure controls deepwater plays, Colombian basin

Olajumoke Akinpelu

Second Place (Prize: $200)
Olajumoke Akinpelu, Proposed Cretaceous hydrocarbon play based on syn-rift Cretaceous source rocks, deepwater Niger delta, Nigeria

Md Upal Shahriar

Third Place (Prize: $100)
Md Upal Shahriar, Along-strike, crustal transition from the rifted volcanic margin of the Guinea Plateau in Senegal to the non-volcanic margin of Mauritania

Advanced Ph.D. Category in Geophysics

Jennifer Welch

First Place (Prize: $300)
Jennifer Welch, Unveiling the hidden threat: Drought-induced, inelastic subsidence in expansive soils

Yin-Kai Wang

Second Place (Prize: $200)
Yin-Kai Wang, Processing and interpretation of elastic waves from a 3D fiber-optic VSP in the Permian basin in West Texas

Boming Wu

Third Place (Prize: $100)
Boming Wu, Convolutional neural network-assisted, least squares migration

M.S. and First-Year Ph.D. Students in Any Specialty

Samantha Baker

First Place (Prize: $300)
Samantha Baker (M.S. geology), Temporary sediment storage in proglacial lakes near Kangerlussuaq, Greenland

Joseph McNease

Second Place (Prize: $200)
Joseph McNease (M.S. geophysics), Modeling pore pressure amplification in heterogeneous, poroelastic media using Biot theory

Gabriel Lopez

Third Place (Prize: $100)
Gabriel Lopez (M.S. geology), Calibration of stalagmite deltaO18 for paleoclimatic interpretations in Cueva Ensueno, Hatillo, Puerto Rico

Thank You to 29 Volunteer Judges Who Evaluated 45 Student Posters

The organizers and student presenters would like to thank the following volunteer judges of the student poster session for sharing their time and expertise in the judging of the 45 student posters.

Nine Judges From the EAS Faculty

Dr. Fred Hilterman, Dr. Jagos Radovic, Dr. Martin Cassidy, David Hume, Dr. Honghai Zhang, Dr. Siyu Zhou, Dr. Jinny Sisson, Dr. Mukul Bhatia, and Dr. Kurt Tollestrup

Twenty Judges from the Houston-Area Geosciences Community

Troy Meinen (Environmental Resources Management), Katerina Vassilellis (Baker Hughes), John Tobeck (BGE, Inc.), Steve Schutter (Murphy Exploration and Production International), Sharma Dronoraju (AKD Professional Services, Inc.), Julian Chenin (Bluware), Bryan Bottoms (Detring Energy Advisors), Jim Tucker (Occam Resources), Sandy Rushworth (Consultant), Kristin Biggs (Retired Chevron), Ed Cazier (Westlawn Americas Offshore), Brian Horn (Cairn Oil and Gas), Venki Anantharamu (Ikon Science), Bryan Gottfield (Consultant), Dan Ebrom (Ebrom Geophysics), David Risch (Retired BHP), Joseph Ebrom (Petroleum Advisors), Madison Woodward (W&T Offshore), Bill De Mis (Consultant), and Fang Lin (Chevron)