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Achieving Gender, Ethnic, and Racial Equality in Professional Geoscience Organizations

AAPG Women’s Network (AAPGWN)

Wednesday, 29 September 2021, 9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.  |  Denver, Colorado

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This AAPG Women’s Network special session is a collaboration with AAPG’s STEMulating Diversity Special Interest Group, Association for Women Geoscientists (AWG), Geolatinas, and Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion in Geoscience Project (EDIG). Here we offer a diverse range of perspectives from women and men who work in the energy sector and academia. Each speaker and co-author bring their unique expert perspective to this special session with the intent to educate AAPG’s audience about new standards and protocols within the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) subject. This event contains talks that are data driven and vetted through pioneering, classic, and rigorous sociological approaches. This event is open to all AAPG and SEG members.


Rachelle Kernen
Sandfire Resources America
Chris Piela Cox
Exploration Geologist, BP


Aileen Doran

Co-Authors: Anna Bidgood, Aoife Blowick, Jennifer Craig, Halleluya Ekandjo, Arron Fox, Jana Foxe, Jess Franklin, Murray Hitzman, Fergus McAuliffe, Roland Neofitu, Koen Torremans, Helen Twigg, Elspeth Wallace

Aileen Doran is a PhD researcher working on the geochemistry of Zn-Pb mineralization in the Irish ore field, as part of iCRAG based at University College Dublin (UCD). Aileen's research has focused on the application of mineral chemistry and isotopic analysis to sulfides and carbonates associated with mineralization, to investigate hydrothermal fluid flow, geochemical vectors, and the genesis of sulfide deposits. Aileen has also recently started a research position with iCRAG, looking at the geology and geochemistry of mineralization in the Zambian Copperbelt.

Over her time at UCD, Aileen has become involved with several science communication, women in STEM, and EDI initiatives. In particular, Aileen is a member of the Irish Association for Women in Geoscience (IAWG) and the Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion in Geoscience (EDIG) groups, and is currently chair of the EDIG committee. The EDIG project, established in 2020, is an initiative set up by iCRAG researchers working in collaboration with external geoscientists to help us better understand the impact of EDI related issues on the geoscience community and to help foster a more accessible, inclusive, an equitable environment for everyone.

Rachelle Kernen
Exploration Geologist, Sandfire Resources America

Co-Authors: Lauren Birgenheier, Clara Abu, Jonathan Allen, Sumiyyah Ahmed, Kathering Lee Avary, Terra Georage, Kiara Gomez, Nicole Hart-Wagoner, Andrea Lopez Vega, Chioma Onwumelu, Bethany Rysak

Dr. Rachelle Kernen is currently an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Adelaide, Australian School of Petroleum and Energy Resources and is a recipient of the prestigious Global Talent Visa. She is also an Exploration Geologist for Sandfire America’s Black Butte Copper Project in White Sulphur Springs, Montana.

Dr. Kernen completed her PhD in Geological Sciences at the University of Texas at El Paso (2019) and her MSc in Geology at New Mexico State University (2008) with a specialty in Australian salt-sediment interaction, intrasalt stratigraphy & deformation, caprock precipitation and dissolution, and energy exploration. During her MSc and PhD, she was a researcher for the Salt-Sediment Interaction Research Consortium (Institute of Tectonic Studies). Rachelle has five years of professional experience working in the petroleum industry for the Royal Dutch Shell (2011-2015) including internships with Samson Resources (2011) and BP Americas (2018). While in the petroleum industry she worked in exploration and production as a seismic interpreter in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean.

Dr. Kernen Co-Chaired the AAPG’s Women’s Network (2020 GRIT Team Awardee) and currently serves as Co-Chair and Co-Founder of AAPG’s Salt Basins Technical Interest Group. She is enrolled part-time at Penn State University for a professional master’s in Renewable Energy and Sustainability Systems and hosts energy-related podcasts for Energy Geoscience (eGeos).

Lisa Tranel
Associate Professor, Illinois State University

Co-Authors: Noelia Carmona, Michelle Sutherland, Blair Schneider, Mackenzie Cremeans

Dr. Lisa Tranel is currently serving as Past-President of the Association for Women Geoscientists (AWG). She began volunteering with the AWG Board of Directors as the North Central Region Alternate Delegate in in 2011. Prior to her service as President of AWG, Dr. Tranel contributed to a chapter summarizing the history of AWG for the Geological Society of America Memoir sharing stories of Women in Geology. Dr. Tranel is also Associate Professor of Geology at Illinois State University where she has taught since 2010. Her research investigates landscape evolution associated with tectonic and post-glacial histories. Her field sites include the Teton Range, Wyoming, the Guadalupe Mountains in Texas and New Mexico, and bedrock canyons in Illinois.

Munira Raji
Geoscientist and Renewable Energy Consultant

Dr. Munira Raji is a Geoscientist and Renewable Energy Consultant. Dr. Munira is a Visiting Researcher at the School of the Environment, Geography and Geosciences, the University of Portsmouth working with the Rock Mechanics Laboratory (RML) Group to determine induced fracture and fluid flow in tight oil reservoirs, viscosity and temperature effects, permeability enhancement, and proppant in shale and tight sandstones. Dr. Munira obtained her PhD in Geological Sciences from Durham University, UK with a focus on regional offshore unconventional shale oil prospect mapping in the UK sector of the North Sea. She received a BSC (Geology) from the University of Portsmouth, MSc. (Petroleum Geosciences) from the University of Derby in the UK and an online Diploma in Sustainable Energy. While in the petroleum industry, Dr. Munira worked on an unconventional shale oil and gas evaluation of the Widmerpool Gulf, East Midlands Province of England. She completed organo-facies mapping, and burial history used to build geologic models, conducted laboratory analyses, and completed play-based exploration and risk assessments methods to determine prospect locations. Dr. Munira is currently transitioning her expertise from traditional petroleum exploration into geothermal energy and rare earth elements (REEs) recovery from coal and fly ashes. She is a co-founder of the Black in Geoscience, a virtual global community for Black Geoscientists and also serves on the Society for Exploration Geophysicists (SEG)’s Sustainability Committee.

Clara Rodriguez-Rondon
Regional Exploration Technical Leader and Salt Tectonics Specialist, Petronas Mexico

Dr. Clara Rodríguez is a Venezuelan geoscientist with 19 years of experience in seismic interpretation of sedimentary basins, reservoir characterization and seismic data management. She obtained a PhD in Geology (2017) and an MSc. in Petroleum Geoscience (2007) from Imperial College London in the UK. Her first degree is in Geophysical Engineering (2002) from Universidad Simon Bolivar in Caracas, Venezuela. In addition, Clara completed the last year of her first degree as an exchange student at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma, United States.

Her experience while working for Schlumberger and during her postgraduate studies includes projects in sedimentary basins in the South Atlantic margins, East Africa, the North Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago. During her PhD research at Imperial College London, she investigated intrasalt stratigraphy, salt tectonics controls on deep-water sedimentation and the impact and significance of submarine salt dissolution.

Clara has been working for Petronas Mexico since March 2020 as a Regional Exploration Technical Leader and Salt Tectonics Specialist focusing on regional studies and subsalt prospects maturation. Clara is also co-founder and vice-chair of the GeoLatinas organization (2020 Team GRIT awardee) and co-founder and co-chair of the AAPG Salt Tectonics Technical Interest Group. She is also the mother of three girls aged 11, 10 and 5.

Lorena G. Moscardelli
Research Scientist, BEG

Dr. Lorena Moscardelli is a Research Scientist and leader of the State of Texas Advanced Resource Recovery (STARR) program at BEG. Her expertise is in seismic geomorphology and interpretation, sedimentology and stratigraphy and geoscience data integration. She received a degree in Geological Engineering from Central University of Venezuela (2000) and a PhD in Geological Sciences from The University of Texas at Austin (2007).

She specializes in the study of deep-water deposits with emphasis on subaqueous landslides, deep-water mixed siliciclastic-carbonate systems and planetary geology. She started her career as an exploration geologist working for PDVSA (2000 – 2003). Prior to her current position at STARR, Dr. Moscardelli was a Principal Researcher at Equinor (2013 – 2021) where she performed a wide range of activities from research in the Americas to field development in the Norwegian Continental Shelf. Her BEG career includes the co-funding and co-direction of the Quantitative Clastic Laboratory (QCL) (2007-2013) and her actual involvement as leader of STARR.

Most recently, Dr. Moscardelli has taken a strong interest in understanding the role of geoscience research as part of the ongoing energy transition while contributing to STARR’s main mission of conducting geologic research resulting in the increase of production and profitability of energy resources in the State of Texas.

Maria Antonieta Lorente
Senior Advisor, Ellington Geological Services

Maria Antonieta Lorente has a Ph.D. in Mathematics and Natural Sciences (Palynology and palynofacies of the Upper Tertiary in Venezuela, U. Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 1987), an MSc in Sedimentary Geology (Central U. of Venezuela [UCV], Caracas, Venezuela, 1983) and is a qualified Geological Engineer (UCV, Caracas, Venezuela, 1976).

She is an AAPG certified petroleum geologist, expert in stratigraphy and biostratigraphy, lecturer, and international consultant. She is bilingual in Spanish and English.

Her expertise in exploration was developed throughout a 40-year career in the Oil and Gas Industry. It began at Maraven S.A. in Caracas with her role as a palynologist. Years later, she was promoted to Head of Geological Laboratories and Stratigraphy Leader. Her last role in PDVSA was Exploration’s Planning and Strategy Manager. After leaving Venezuela, she developed expertise in environmental matters and certification. For several years she was a Consultant for NEXT for competence evaluation and biostratigraphy course teaching.

Since moving to Houston in 2013, Lorente has been working as a manager and part of the biostratigraphy team of Ellington – ALS Geological Laboratories later Ellington Geological Services, employing her previous experience of project and personnel competency assessment and stratigraphy team management in the oil and gas industry. Her expertise encompasses Late Paleozoic spores, and Mesozoic through Neogene palynomorphs, and palynological organic matter.

Already with extensive expertise in South American Mesozoic-Cenozoic biostratigraphy, in the last ten years, she has expanded her experience to include several US onshore basins, including the Paleozoic of the Western Interior Seaway and Permian Basin, and also the Triassic-Jurassic of Kurdistan, Cretaceous through Neogene of Belize, and the Cretaceous of diverse areas, such as the South Atlantic and Oman.

She is a Professor in the UCV Geology Department, teaching online courses in stratigraphy since 2002. A published author her work has been cited about 1600 times. She loves to write poetry.

Maria Cecilia Bravo
Senior Reservoir Engineer, former Schlumberger, GeoLatinas

Maria Cecilia Bravo Segnini completed a BSc degree in Chemical engineering at the Simon Bolivar University in Venezuela and obtained a MSc in petroleum engineering from Heriot-Watt University in Scotland. She started with Schlumberger in 2008 as an L/MWD Field Engineer in drilling operations then joined the Reservoir Engineering Petrotechnical Services team supporting downhole pressure and fluid sampling analysis for offshore operations.

From 2012 to 2020, worked as a senior reservoir engineer and has been the Drilling & Measurements Reservoir Domain Champion in Schlumberger for Norway and Denmark, where she was involved within the Drilling Group leading projects on data integration, formation pressure and sampling-while-drilling and related operations.

Currently, she is an active volunteer in GeoLatinas and Software Underground, where she has been using her data science skills achieving some technical publication on data analysis and leading python courses.

Marjosbet Uzcategui
Senior Geoscientist, Schlumberger

Marjosbet is a Geoscientist with 14 years of experience in the oil and gas industry. She works for Schlumberger and is based in Gatwick, UK. Her main expertise is in seismic interpretation of sedimentary basins and integration of geophysical and geological data for seismic data processing and hydrocarbon basin exploration. Marjosbet holds a bachelor’s degree in Geological Engineering from the University of Los Andes in Merida, Venezuela. And a MSc Degree in Integrated Petroleum Geosciences from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, UK.

Her work experience at Schlumberger comprises a wide range of projects and basins around the world from East and West Africa, Golf of Mexico, UK, Greece, Ukraine and the Asia-Pacific region: focusing in Australia, New Zealand and SE Asia. Marjosbet started her career at Schlumberger working offshore in seismic acquisition vessels in Africa and has moved to different locations throughout her time with the company.

She's currently working remotely for Schlumberger Mexico Data center supporting depth imaging projects onshore and offshore Gulf of Mexico.

Cat Campbell
Senior Geologist, Camino Natural Resources

Co-Authors: Meredith Faber, Jonathan Allen

Cat Campbell is a Senior Geologist with Camino Natural Resources, an independent oil and natural gas company operating in the core of the SCOOP and Merge plays of Central Oklahoma. Previously, Cat was a member of the geoscience teams at Robert L. Bayless, Producer, a private oil and gas operator where she helped manage global exploration, and Encana Oil and Gas where she started her career working throughout Rocky Mountain Basins.

Cat served as the Co-Chair of the Onshore Operations Subcommittee for the National Petroleum Council Prudent Development of North American Oil and Gas Resources, is a past president of the Rocky Mountain Section of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists and is the President of the Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists. She also regularly presents research at conferences and has received multiple awards for this work. Her passion for geology is evident from her volunteer work teaching The Geology of the Life Cycle of Oil and Gas and leading field trips for the Global Energy Management program at CU Denver as well as presenting at Women in Science events throughout the Rockies and local science fairs.

Cat graduated from the University of Wyoming with an M.S. in Geology and she also has a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Connecticut College. Outside of work, you can find Cat chasing her two toddlers through the mountains trying to find new outcrops to explore and understand.


Achieving Gender, Ethnic, and Racial Equality in Professional Geoscience Organizations
Colorado Convention Center
700 14th St
Denver, Colorado 80202
United States

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