Kerans Wins the Berg Outstanding Research Award

Jackson School Professor Charles Kerans in the field. Credit: Kelly Hattori.

Jackson School of Geosciences Professor Charles Kerans has received the 2022 Robert R. Berg Outstanding Research Award from the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG).

The Berg Award recognizes a singular achievement in petroleum geoscience research.

Kerans, who holds the Robert K. Goldhammer Chair of Carbonate Geology in the Department of Geological Sciences, is the fourth scientist and first faculty member affiliated with the Jackson School to receive it.

First bestowed in 2008, the award will be presented to Kerans at AAPG’s upcoming annual conference in Houston this summer.

“At this point in my career, this broad recognition for the work I, my amazing students, and my colleagues at DGS (Department of Geological Sciences)and the BEG (Bureau of Economic Geology) have done is important and reflects well on the substantial resources and opportunities provided by the Jackson School,” said Kerans. “It is also especially nice to have colleagues who are willing to support and nominate me as well as to have an organization like AAPG — where I have had a long association over my career — bestow the award.”

After receiving his doctorate from Carleton University in Ottawa and completing a postdoctoral fellowship at Western Australian Institute of Technology, Kerans established a research program at the Bureau of Economic Geology beginning in 1985. In 2006, he was named the Robert K. Goldhammer Chair of Carbonate Geology in the Department of Geological Sciences. He continues to be active in the Reservoir Characterization Research Lab (RCRL) consortium at the bureau that he helped to establish in 1987, and is now one of the longest-running, industry-sponsored consortiums studying carbonate reservoir systems in the world.

Kerans’ expertise is in characterizing carbonate stratigraphic successions across the geologic record. Kerans and the RCRL have pushed several new approaches to 3D visualization of outcrops as a way of better understanding complex subsurface carbonate reservoirs where nearly half of the world’s remaining petroleum resource is situated. Throughout his career, Kerans has had a focus on field work that is unique: he has conducted research on major oil fields and outcrop analogs across the globe and has led countless field trips for both academic and industry groups to help others “see” the amazing geologic record of these marine systems. In fact, he has been doing field geology continually since his sophomore year as an undergraduate in 1974.

“Charlie has compiled a remarkable record of exceptional research marked by a score of best paper awards from SEPM, AAPG, and other professional organizations,” said William Fisher, Professor and Leonidas T. Barrow Centennial Chair Emeritus in Mineral Resources in the Department of Geological Sciences.   And now come the major medals in his field—first the Society for Sedimentary Geology’s Francis J. Pettijohn Award in 2015, now the AAPG Berg and many more to follow—for this consummate scholar of carbonate rocks”.

For more information, contact: Anton Caputo, Jackson School of Geosciences, 512-232-9623; Monica Kortsha, Jackson School of Geosciences, 512-471-2241.