Industry-Rice Earth Science Symposia


Minerals and Energy: science, economics and policy

March 21, 22 (2019)

a partnership between

Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences, Rice University

Baker Institute’s Center for Energy Studies, Rice University

The Deep Carbon Observatory

The Rice Space Institute

with additional support and sponsorship from



Schuepbach Energy

Arkenstone Fine Minerals

A reliable and sustainable supply of natural resources, from hydrocarbons to the mineral resources ineeded to support alternative energies, is critical for sustaining a prosperous and peaceful future of the 7 billion people on our planet. While our needs for natural resources grow, we must also be responsible stewards of our environment, from our backyards to the scale of our planet. The purpose of this symposium is to break down the barriers between scientists, policy makers, industry leaders and business entrepreneurs to collectively generate a deeper understanding of our planet’s natural resources.

Preliminary themes

Day 1.
  • Policy and economics of natural resources
  • Geology of strategic minerals
  • Energy storage
Day 2.
  • Metal transport – volcanism and beyond
  • Metal transport – life and the oceans
Preliminary speaker list
  • Sibani Lisa Biswal (Rice – Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering/Materials Science and Nano-engineering) – Advances in Lithium-Ion Batteries: Planning for the Next Generation of Energy Storage
  • Brian Frost (Anadarko) – Hydrocarbon migration pathways with 3-D seismics
  • Robert Hazen (Carnegie Institution of Washington) – The evolution of minerals through Earth’s history
  • Cin-Ty Lee and Kevin Biddle (Rice U, Dept. Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences) – The origin and economics of Lithium ores
  • Pilar Lecumberri-Sanchez (U Alberta) – hydrocarbon transport of rare earth elements and other metals
  • Kenneth Medlock (Rice U, Baker Institute Center for Energy Studies) – Geopolitics and economics of strategic mineral resources
  • Shaunna Morrison (Carnegie Institution of Washington) – Data science in mineral exploration
  • James Reilly (USGS director) – strategic minerals
  • Simone Runyon (U Wyoming) – Hydrothermal type ore deposits: a review
  • Matthew Steele-MacInnes (U Alberta) – ore forming fluids
  • A. E. Williams-Jones (McGill University) – The nature and origin of rare earth element deposits, a tale of magmas and fluids.
Preliminary field trip (Mar 23-25, 2019)

We will visit organic-rich source rocks of the Cretaceous Eagle Ford formation (a major unconventional hydrocarbon play) and the Terlingua area mercury mines, formed when Tertiary magmas intersected these Cretaceous organic-rich source rocks.  We will investigate the connection between source rocks, volcanic ash, and metal enrichment.  We will also be able to see how structure, magmatism, hydrothermalism and wallrock composition conspire to make an ore deposit.

Organizing committee

Cin-Ty Lee (co-chair, Rice U)

Kenneth Medlock (co-chair, Rice U)

Rajdeep Dasgupta (Rice U)

Shaunna Morrison (Carnegie Institute of Washington)

Simone Runyon (University of Wyoming)

Kirsten Siebach (Rice U)

Robert Stern (UT Dallas)

Mark Torres (Rice U)

Advisory Committee

Ken Abdulah (Subsurface Clarity)

Dorothy Ballentine (Sneider Exploration)

Kevin Biddle

Ed Biegert (Shell)

Martha Lou Broussard

Cal Cooper (Apache)

Gerald Dickens

André Droxler

Bryn Dugre

John Jeffers (Southwestern)

Mitch Harris (Chevron)

Jeff Nittrouer

Martin Schuepbach (Schuepbach Energy)

John Sneider (Sneider Exploration)

Samuel Stubbs (Pillsbury)

Manik Talwani