Promoting education and research in Geology, Archaeology, Anthropology, Energy and Environmental Sciences.
|Dr. Hollis Hedberg|
In 1925, Dr. Hedberg received his B.A. degree in geology, with Phi Beta Kappa honors, from the University of Kansas; and in 1926 he was awarded an M.S. degree in geology from Cornell University. In 1937, he received the Ph.D. degree in geology from Stanford University.
His first employment in the oil industry was in 1926, with Lago Petroleum Company (Standard Oil Company of Indiana). In 1928, he joined Venezuelan Gulf, which later became the Mene Grande Oil Company, an affiliate of the Gulf Oil Corporation, the corporation he would work for until his retirement in 1968, and afterwards to which he served as a consultant.
In the early 1930's, Dr. Hedberg focused his attention on eastern Venezuela, where he measured and described complete stratigraphic sections of Cretaceaous and Tertiary outcrops, interpreted miles of seismic lines, conducted the first attempts at air photo interpretation, and observed and described the subsurface formation penetrated by the first wells drilled in that vast area. According to Juan Chacin, President and CEO (retired) of Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A., "The end result of Dr. Hedberg's work was the most comprehensive regional interpretation of the eastern Venezuela basin ever done: a masterpiece which still serves as the standard reference for eastern Venezuela."
Dr. Hedberg left Venezuela in 1964 for the Gulf Oil Corporation offices in New York, to become chief geologist for foreign exploration. Gulf sent Dr. Hedberg to many countries around the world where he entered difficult-to-reach places, among them the Spanish Sahara and southwest portions of the African continent. Through his efforts, major discoveries were made in Nigeria, Cabinda, Zaire, and Cameroon.
In 1957, Dr. Hedberg became Vice President for Exploration, overseeing Gulf's worldwide exploration operations. In the 1960's, Dr. Hedberg began devoting more of his time to the geology of the oceans. In 1962, he was appointed Chairman of the AMSOC Mohole Committee of the National Academy of Science, and later was associated with the Joides Deep Sea Drilling Program of the National Science Foundation. In this latter capacity, he wrote the first safety procedure manual for safe and responsible drilling operations. Also, during this period, Dr. Hedberg began to stress the economic potential and strategic importance of offshore exploration, and in 1966, convinced Gulf to build a ship for the purpose of exploring and evaluating offshore sedimentary basins in situ, rather than sending the data to remote, land-based laboratories. The R/V Gulfrex, a multisensor ship, was built and operated around the world from 1967 to 1975. It was replaced in 1974 by the R/V Hollis Hedberg, at that time the world's most modern marine geophysical research ship. The Hollis Hedberg logged over 200,000 miles before being decommissioned in 1985.
In a related professional area, Dr. Hedberg worked with the American Commission and served as Chairman of the International Commission on Stratigraphic Nomenclature. His efforts helped bring clarity and consistency to stratigraphy in North America and beyond. After he retired from Gulf in 1968, Dr. Hedberg continued to be active as Professor of Geology at Princeton university, a position he had held on a part-time basis since 1959. In 1972, he became professor emeritus.
Dr. Hedberg was admired and respected by everyone with whom he came in contact, especially the younger generations of explorationists. He was able to guide the careers of many students, both while he was in the industry and in academe.
Dr. Hedberg died in 1988 at the age of 85, but as Juan Chacin said, "We meet him again in his publications and in the memory of those who consider it a privilege to have worked with him or near him." He published 170 papers and 15 reviews. However, as his long time associate and friend, George Pardo, pointed out, the bulk of his writing is in countless private reports and memoranda. Many on Colombian and Venezuelan geologic sections are classics.
Dr. Hedberg was elected President of the Geological Society of America (1959) and to membership in the National Academy of Science. In 1962, he was elected President of the American Geological Institute. During his lifetime, Dr. Hedberg received many awards. He was decorated by the Venezuelan Government and in 1963, he received the American Association of Petroleum Geologists' Sidney Powers Medal. In 1970, Dr. Hedberg received the Geological Society of London's Wollaston Medal and delivered the William Smith Lecture; he also received the AAPG resident's Award in that year. He received an honorary doctorate from Sweden's Uppsala University; and in 1980, he received the highest award for a geologist in the United States, the Penrose Medal of the Geological Society of America. Dr. Hedberg was the founding recipient of the Hedberg Award in Energy in 1983; and in 1987, he received the American Geological Institute's William B. Heroy, Jr. Award.
Hollis Hedberg's many contributions to geology and to petroleum exploration mark him as one of the giants of our time and his accomplishments in the search for energy resources worldwide have been of great significance to many people in many lands.
ISEM is proud to house the Hollis D. Hedberg Library.
The library comprises Dr. Hedberg's collection of 18th, 19th, and 20th century travel and geology books relating to Venezuela and Latin America. The library is open to qualified researchers by appointment with Director of the ISEM Library.
|Board of Trustees|
|Student Research Awards|
|Hedberg Award in Energy|
|The contents of this Web site are the sole responsibility of the Institute for the Study of Earth and Man and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of Southern Methodist University. The administrator of this site may be contacted at email@example.com.|