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ROMIG, PHILLIP R., Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO

ABSTRACT: A New Economic Model for Resource Industries: Implications for Universities

The upheaval in the U.S. petroleum industry has had repercussions in the university community. Geoscience enrollments have plummeted, financial support has declined. and there are rumors that some programs have reduced mathematical rigor to maintain enrollment. While the adverse affects have been widespread, there is disagreement about implications and expectations for the future. Some argue that emphasis on short-term profitability produces ill-conceived, precipitous reactions which perpetuate the turmoil. Others respond that the resource and environmental needs of a burgeoning global population will ensure long-term growth. Both arguments miss the point. The fundamental economic structure of the industry is changing from revenue-driven to marginal-return. In marginal-return industri s, investments depend on quantitative assessments of risk and return, and the use of interdisciplinary teams is the norm. University programs must educate students in engineering design and structured decision-making and must produce the design and decision-making tools to support them. Researchers must codify and document decision-making processes, develop integrated numerical models and create infrastructures that support multi-disciplinary collaboration. Educational programs must begin teaching principles of engineering design and structured decision-making, with increased emphasis on outreach to the experienced employee. Meeting these needs will require closer collaboration between industry and the universities. Universities that are successful will reap a fringe benefit; their gradu tes will be better-qualified to be leaders in the environmental geoscience field, which one day may be bigger than the oil industry.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90988©1993 AAPG/SVG International Congress and Exhibition, Caracas, Venezuela, March 14-17, 1993.