Concho Resources Brown Bag talk Wednesday, July 18th, at the Sibley Nature Center
On Wednesday July 18th, at noon, at the Sibley Nature Center, The Concho Resources Brown Bag speaker is Stephen L. (Steve) Shaw is President of Firstview Resources LLC, Midland, Texas. A native of Mertzon in Irion County, Texas, he received a bachelor’s degree (1971) and master’s degree (1974) in geology from The University of Texas at Austin.
Shaw has been a member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) since 1974, serving one year as vice-chairman of the House of Delegates and serving as a member of the House of Delegates for many years. He is a member of the AAPG Division of Professional Affairs and a charter member of the AAPG Division of Environmental Geosciences. He is currently Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors of Midland Energy Library.
Being a geologist and ground-water hydrologist came naturally for a West Texas ranch boy. Steve grew up kicking and throwing rocks and swimming and fishing in the springs and water holes on Spring Creek near Mertzon. Shaw was raised on a ranch on the Edwards Plateau at Mertzon in West Texas. He graduated from Mertzon High School (now Irion County High School). One set of Steve’s grandparents were ranchman, banker and business man, Fayette Tankersley and Annie G. White Tankersley of Mertzon. Fayette Tankersley, came to West Texas as a boy with his parents, Richard Franklin and Eleanor Allen Tankersley. The R. F. Tankersley family established a permanent home in 1864 in future Tom Green County, the first permanent settlers of European descent in the whole Concho Country of West Texas. Here, R. F. Tankersley and his sons ranched a large stretch of the open range along the Conchos and Colorado Rivers alongside other pioneer ranchmen, including Scoggins and Parks and John Chisum (before Chisum moved to become the Father of the Ranching Industry in New Mexico).
Steve and his wife Nancy (from Littlefield on the High Plains) have raised their children, Katie and Will in Midland, where they would be close to their immediate families and could be present for blinding dust storms, sheep shearings and calf marking times. Steve’s grandparents owned the headwaters springs on Spring Creek above Mertzon, and his cousin controls them today. Swimming in these springs and along this beautiful spring-fed creek, picnicing and fishing here, have fed and nurtured Steve’s and his family’s growing up and intellectual interests all their lives.
Asked why he liked giving presentations about geology, history and hydrology, Shaw replied – “Being a geologist, hydrologist and native of a West Texas ranch, I cannot separate the ‘being one’ from the ‘quest to understand it all’. All my life I have been observing West Texas with a front-row seat...sometimes it just blows on by...sometimes I swim in the cold water and marvel at it...sometimes the rocks are so hot they burn your hands... Always there is an adventure...something new to see -- a snake that surprises you, the wind so strong you have to lean into it to stand up, a new fossil or plant I’ve never noticed, or the consequences of not packing enough water along or not having air in your spare tire... I invite everyone who is interested to come along to Sibley events to get a taste of it all.”
Water in West Texas has been essential for human travel and stock raising and settlement. Early human inhabitants have left spear points and tools marking their utilitization of the water and wildlife resources of the Western Edwards Plateau and Southern Great Plains. These artifacts date from 12,000 to 14,000 BC, in other words, from the earliest habitation by humans in North America.
In Steve Shaw’s talk, “Geohydrology and History of the Southern Great Plains and Western Edwards Plateau – West Texas,” come take a trip down the Comanche War Trail and see for yourself where to find water – see also, why Indian hunting and travel was dominantly north - south travel compared to the way non-native travel and our commerce seems to be (and has been) mostly east – west travel. Listen for the sounds of the cattle drives along the Goodnight-Loving Trail. Come get a feel of what it is like to grow up in the ranching culture. Then look at the geologic and scientific basis for the life-ways and Earth-based facts of our lives here in our part of West Texas.