To access all of the Society's Minutes,
Photo Directories, and Monthly Bulletins that have been published
since its founding,
please click here.
The Mississippi Geological Society was
founded on November 28, 1939 by 38 of the 57 petroleum geologists
then employed in Jackson, Mississippi. The state had just emerged as
a significant oil and gas province following the discovery of large
(200+ MMBO) oil reserves in Tinsley Field earlier in the year. The
Society was organized with the stated purpose of "the stimulation of
interest in geology and related sciences..., the encouragement of
scientific research among members..., and the discussion and
dissemination of geological information".
A complete listing of the Founding
Members is shown in the box at right.
From its inception, the Society has
pursued the attainment of its goals and stated purpose through the
continued sponsorship of field trips, technical presentations,
publications, and involvement in community affairs.
Throughout the years, the Society has
sponsored twenty field trips, each with an accompanying guidebook.
Copies of several of the more popular field trip guidebooks are
available via the Society's Publications department. Some of the
more recent field trips have been undertaken in conjunction with a
seminar covering the subject of the trip.
In April 1941, the Society became
affiliated with the American Association Of Petroleum Geologists
(AAPG). Ten years later (1951), the Society joined the Gulf Coast
Association Of Geological Societies (GCAGS). MGS hosted the AAPG
sectional conventions in 1946 and 1949, and
GCAGS/GCS-SEPM conventions in 1955, 1960, 1968, 1975, 1983, and
Involvement in research and technical
projects has always been a hallmark of the Society. In 1945, MGS was
instrumental in the oversight and assembly of data for the new and
revised Geological Map of Mississippi. Similarly, the Society also
established the MGS Library in 1945 in order to assist geologists
and students in the pursuit of their research. The Student Award
Program was instituted by the Society in 1947 to recognize
outstanding geologic papers originated by students majoring in
geologic disciplines at the state's colleges and universities.
In 1954, the Society embarked upon the
first of many financial assistance programs with the establishment
of its Student Loan Program, which was designed to provide support
to selected college students majoring in geology throughout the
state. This was followed in 1955 with the Society's awarding of
scholarships to deserving high school winners in the Science Fair
that was sponsored by the Mississippi Academy Of Science. More
recently, the Lawrence Boland Memorial Scholarship Fund, established
by the Society in 1980, has celebrated over twenty years of annual
scholarship awards to one student from each of the four colleges and
universities in the state that support a significant geology
curriculum. Finally, the MGS Student Award Program and the MGS
Student Assistance Program continue to recognize and provide
assistance to outstanding students in the field of geology
throughout the state's educational system.
From the early days of the Society to
the present, publications have played a major role in the attainment
of the purpose of the Society as set forth in its Constitution.
Besides the field trip guidebooks already mentioned, other MGS
publications include a number of composite and basin type logs,
correlation sections, and structural / stratigraphic cross-sections.
More importantly, the Society has published a series of field
studies since 1952, when it first released a compendium of Wilcox
oil fields, including field maps, reservoir information, and
production data. The Society followed its Wilcox volume with the
release of its original "Redbook" - focusing on producing fields
throughout the rest of the state - in 1957. Since that time, the
Society has updated its Wilcox volume and released eight successive
updates to the popular Redbook, with the last having been released
in 1995. In addition, MGS publishes a monthly Bulletin that is
distributed to all members during the Society's active months.
Finally, this website has been created in order to enable the
Society to utilize the internet in distributing relevant news,
geologic articles, archived Society publications, and other materials of interest to its members
as well as the public at large.
Technical programs and seminars have
been sponsored by the Society since its inception. Recent seminars
have focused on the Cambro-Ordovician Knox Gas Play in the Black
Warrior Basin of Northeast Mississippi, salt tectonics, local
sequence stratigraphy and relationship to outcrops, and the Cotton
Valley Gas Play within the Mississippi Interior Salt Basin. Together
with the SPE, MGS also
hosts monthly luncheon meetings, held from September through May of
each year, where a variety of speakers give technical
presentations on topics and issues of interest to the Society's
and the SPE's members.
Currently, the Society's membership is
approximately 150-200. During the late 1970's and early 1980's, when
oil and gas exploration and production peaked in the state,
membership rose to its highest level with approximately 500 members.
The Society has made a special effort in recent years to encourage
membership and participation by non-petroleum geologists, and
currently counts a significant number of environmental,
hydrological, and governmental professionals among its members.
Emphasis on water quality and sensitive environmental issues, as
well as the preservation of subsurface data throughout the state,
have been and will continue to be important focus issues for the
In the summer of 1985, the Society
sponsored a field trip of historical significance when Fred Mellen
led a group of MGS members on foot to traverse the very hillsides of
Yazoo County that he had mapped 47 years previously in his discovery
of the large surface anticline that later became the giant Tinsley
Field. Four years later, the Society and other petroleum-related
organizations in Mississippi sponsored a celebration of the 50-year
anniversary of the discovery of Tinsley - the state's first
commercial oil field - and the subsequent founding of the Society.
Sadly, Fred Mellen is no longer with us, but his legacy - like that
of so many other prominent MGS members - will endure.
Today, despite the cyclical nature of
the oil and gas business and the continuing evolution of the other
equally important geologic professions within the state of
Mississippi, the same purpose and vision that originated the Society
continues to propel it into the future, due to the strong foundation
of a committed membership and adaptation to changing conditions in a
remarkably diverse geological field.
MGS Historian, with contributions from Steve Walkinshaw