Industry-Rice Earth Science Symposia

IRESS – 2018

Whole Earth Carbon Cycling – bridging academia and industry

IRESS: February 22-23, 2018 – Rice University, Houston, TX

pre-IRESS workshop: Feb 21, 2018 – Rice University, Houston, TX

sponsored by:

Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences, Rice University

Baker Institute’s Center for Energy Studies, Rice University

National Science Foundation

VENUE LOCATION:  Baker Institute of Public Policy
click here for map of university
Visitor parking is available in the underground garage at the Jones Business School or next to entrance 20 from Rice Blvd.

IRESS 2018 – Unconventional views of whole Earth carbon cycling: from formation to production

(IRESS 2017 – Building a passive margin)

This workshop will bring together a diverse set of experts from academia and industry to follow carbon from its geology to its biology to its use as the energy that sustaints 7 billion people on our planet.  How has carbon cycling evolved on Earth? How do these long term geologic processes lead to the formation of hydrocarbon source rocks.

We will also discuss carbon in the context of energy, from the origin of hydrocarbon source rocks to the generation of reservoirs to new technologies for rock characterization, hydrocarbon exploration, and enhancing production.  Finally, we will discuss carbon economics and policy in terms of energy, environment and society.  IRESS 2018 represents a unique opportunity to have a vigorous discussion about carbon in the context of economic growth and the habitability of our planet.

Center for a Sustainable Earth

To sustain 7 billion people in the world, it is necessary to consider energy, natural resources and the environment as one continuous spectrum, all part of a highly complex and interconnected system. We must worry about our impacts to the environment, but we also need reliable energy resources to sustain our economies and bring the world out of poverty. There are no simple solutions.  As a community, however, we may not be well prepared to tackle the complexity of the energy-environment nexus because we are more polarized and specialized than ever.  To find economically sustainable ways forward will require a new generation of leaders who can understand how our planet, from its deep interior to the oceans and atmospheres, from the ecology of the biosphere to the ecology of the human landscape, interact with one another.  We are at a crossroads, where further progress requires an interdisciplinary approach, where we bring industry and academia together, and where we bring physicists, geologists, chemists, engineers and biologists together with economists, artists, writers, politicians and more. Houston, through the IRESS initiative launched in 2014 and sponsored by Rice University’s Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences (EEPS), offers a unique opportunity to bring together leaders in Earth and environmental science from both industry and academia.  The Rice EEPS department is one of the world’s leading innovators of generating new frameworks for understanding complex system dynamics from the Earth perspective.   To learn more, click here.


IRESS DAY 1 – 22 Feb 2018

Theme 1: Whole Earth Carbon Cycling

Marie Edmonds (Cambridge University) – volatile fluxing through volcanoes

Lee Kump (Penn State) – long term carbon cycling

Chris Reinhard (Georgia Tech) – nutrient and carbon cycling

Cin-Ty Lee (Rice) – Cretaceous carbon

Theme 2: Unconventional Science

Lori Summa (ExxonMobil) – sedimentary basins

Daniel Minisini (Shell) – sedimentology of tight shales; Eagle Ford case study

Andrew Madof (Chevron) – gas hydrates 1

Dinner Keynote

Hugh Daigle (UT Austin) – hydrocarbon migration

IRESS DAY 2 – 23 Feb 2018

Theme 3: Energy, economics and environment

Ken Medlock (Rice) – energy economics and policy – shale gas

Fugitive methane – speaker TBA

A strategic plan towards sustainable energy and natural resources – speaker TBA

Theme 4: Unconventional technologies

Taras Bryndzia (Shell) – geochemical and physical properties of shale

Priyank Jaiswal (Oklahoma State) – geophysical imaging of biocementation

Tobias Hoink (Baker Hughes) – Reservoir stimulation and the quest for permeability

Machine learning – TBA

pre-IRESS Day 0 – 21 Feb 2018

Theme 0: Deep Earth-Atmosphere Interactions

Laura Carter (Rice) – Magma/crust interaction and volatile fluxing

Rajdeep Dasgupta (Rice) – Planetary evolution and carbon

Hehe Jiang (Rice) – Long term climate, tectonics and weathering

Jade Star Lackey (Pomona) – Volatile fluxing through skarns

Gerald Dickens (Rice)

Adrian Lenardic (Rice) – Planetary dynamics and habitability

Richard Zeebe (U Hawaii) – Nutrient cycling in oceans

Steering Committee

Ken Abdulah (Subsurface Clarity)

Dorothy Ballentine (Sneider Exploration)

Kevin Biddle

Ed Biegert (Shell)

Martha Lou Broussard

Cal Cooper (Apache)

Rajdeep Dasgupta

Gerald Dickens

André Droxler

Bryn Dugre

John Jeffers (Southwestern)

Mitch Harris (Chevron)

Cin-Ty Lee (committee chair)

Kenneth Medlock III (Baker Institute, Center for Energy Studies)

Jeff Nittrouer

Martin Schuepbach (Schuepbach Energy)

John Sneider (Sneider Exploration)

Samuel Stubbs (Pillsbury)

Manik Talwani

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Corporate Sponsorship

For additional sponsorship information, please email