Industry-Rice Earth Science Symposia (IRESS) - People


Many people have been involved in furthering the concept and plans for IRESS, both as a recurring annual event and in the specific planning of the each symposium. These include alumni, faculty, friends of the department, and staff.

IRESS Planning Committee

The role of the IRESS Planning Committee is to make all the concrete and detailed plans and preparation needed for the success of IRESS. The Planning Committee consists of:

  • Ken Abdulah (Alumnus)
  • Ed Biegert (Alumnus)
  • Martha Lou Broussard (Alumna)
  • Steve Danbom (Adjunct Professor)
  • André Droxler (Professor)
  • Brandon Dugan (Professor, IRESS Program Chair)
  • Sandra Flechsig (Department Staff)
  • Richard Gordon (Professor and Department Chair)
  • Jerry Haus (Director of Development, Wiess School of Natural Sciences)
  • Susi Haveman (Department Staff)
  • Nellen Hawkins (Development Specialist, Natural Sciences)
  • Bonnie L. Hoffman (Department Staff)
  • Mary Ann Lebar (Department Staff)
  • Alan Levander (Professor)
  • Carrie Masiello (Professor)
  • Chuck McConnell (Executive Director, EEI)
  • Juli Morgan (Professor)
  • Jeff Nittrouer (Professor)
  • Manik Talwani (Emeritus Professor)
  • Lee Willson (Department Staff)

IRESS Corporate Committee

The goal of the IRESS Corporate Committee is to engage the active participation of petroleum and service companies in a variety of IRESS activities, from involvement in the Annual Symposium to establishing stronger links with our graduate students on campus. The committee is made up of alumni who are active in the Houston Energy industry in collaboration with Ann McAdam Griffin, Associate Director, Corporate Relations, and with the kind assistance of Nellen Hawkins, Development Specialist, Wiess School of Natural Sciences.

Those interested in working on this committee should contact Katrina Coterill Jenkins – BHP Billiton (

IRESS Fund-Raising Committee

The IRESS Fund-Raising Committee is charged with building an endowment of $500,000 for the funding of the annual Industry-Rice Earth Science Symposium. The committee is focused on encouraging alumni to participate in this historic event, i.e., the creation and funding of the endowment. The concept of IRESS was launched during Rice University’s Centennial Year of 2012, and the first symposium, IRESS I, will held on January 22nd and 23rd, 2014, the 60th anniversary of the arrival at Rice of Professor Carey Croneis, the Geology (now Earth Science) founding chair and eventual Chancellor of Rice University.

The members of the Fund-Raising committee, listed below, encourage you to join them in working towards this goal. Committee members are Ed and Cathleen Biegert, Ken Abdulah, Katrina Coterill-Jenkins, and Richard Gordon (Chair of the Department of Earth Science), together with kind assistance of Nellen Hawkins, Development Specialist, Wiess School of Natural Sciences.

IRESS Advisory Committee

  • Brandon Dugan (Professor, IRESS Program Chair)
  • Richard Gordon (Professor and Department Chair)
  • Ken Abdulah (Alumnus)
  • Ed Biegert (Alumnus)
  • Jerry Haus (Director of Development, Wiess School of Natural Sciences)


Since the opening of the Department under the leadership of founding Department Chair Carey Croneis in 1954, a total of 926 students have graduated from the Rice Department of Earth Science (formerly Geology and Geophysics, and before that Geology). Degrees awarded over the years include 262 doctorates, 331 masters degrees, and 333 bachelors degrees.

Alumni are encouraged to stay in contact with the Department and their fellow alumni, and to join or update their details on the Alumni Website (or both). Another resource for current news is our department newsletter. A unique opportunity to build stronger bonds with fellow alumni, but also with our Faculty and with the Houston Energy Community is through IRESS. We look forward to seeing you at upcoming IRESS events.