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Dear AAPG Members and ACE 2018 Attendees,

On behalf of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), its divisions, the Society for Sedimentary Geology (SEPM), and our host, the Utah Geological Association (UGA), it is my pleasure to welcome you to the 101st Annual Convention and Exhibition (ACE)—ACE 101: Bridging Fundamentals and Innovation.

In 2017, at the beginning of this process, AAPG told the volunteer committee that the success of the meeting hinges entirely on the quality of the technical program… talk about pressure! Well, I am very happy to say, I think this year’s program is one of the best (and no, I am not biased), and we hope you agree. If you see Technical Program Chair Lauren Birgenheier or any of the other technical program committee members wandering the halls, please stop and thank them for their tireless efforts. In fact, nearly 300 people contributed in some way to help bring this program together. With more than 400 oral presentations and 600 posters, your hardest job will be deciding what to see and what you will inevitably miss. Moreover, don’t forget all the specially planned invited sessions: The Business of Oil and Gas, Machine Learning “Unsession”, The Future Energy Geoscientist, Super Basins, and of course the very popular Discovery Thinking Forum and the Halbouty Lecture.

We also tried to include a few new elements at ACE this year, some small―instead of a physical trinket for a speaker gift, AAPG is donating $7,500 to The Nature Conservancy’s Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve (to be presented at the All-Convention Luncheon), and some big–a timely luncheon to learn about Unconscious Bias in the workplace (on Wednesday, tickets are still available). The Exhibition Hall will also be a convention highlight― spend your breaks visiting the more than 200 companies, nonprofits, and universities. As you explore the floor, hopefully with a locally brewed beverage in hand, keep an eye out for the massive core display, the Utah dinosaur exhibit, and the Turbinator rocket car, the world’s fastest wheeled vehicle.

Spring in Utah is truly a wonderful time of year. If you were lucky enough to get a coveted spot on one of the many field trips (nearly all trips sold out!), you are in for a real geologic treat. If you were not able to secure your spot on a trip, no worries, days are long in the spring (sunset at about 8:30 pm) and there are plenty of opportunities for hiking and sightseeing close to downtown Salt Lake City. If you need to unwind after a long day of technical sessions, try an easy hike up City Creek Canyon, or climb to the top of Ensign Peak for an unparalleled view of the city and the majestic mountains to the east and west.

I think for most, attending ACE is about two main goals: 1) continuing our geologic education, and 2) connecting with friends and colleagues. And what better place to do this than Salt Lake City.

Welcome to ACE 101!

Michael Vanden Berg

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General Chair
AAPG 2018 Annual Convention and Exhibition