Julie Shemeta

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Julie Shemeta
Julie Shemeta 2017 headshot.png

Julie E. Shemeta has been a prominent investigator and always a generous promoter and organizer in the fields of microseismicity and induced seismicity. Julie’s involvement goes back long before the topic and technology became popular, or even available, as the commercial service now commonly used in the oil and gas industry.


SEG Special Commendation 2017

Julie E. Shemeta has served SEG in many capacities. Her technical leadership in microseismology has been invaluable, exemplifying the ethical and technical standards SEG stands for. She has served as member and chair for The Leading Edge Editorial Board, coordinator of special sections, technical editor, and organizing committee chair for SEG Annual Meeting workshops.

Biography Citation for the SEG Special Commendation 2017 [1]

by Jim Rutledge

Julie E. Shemeta has been a prominent investigator and always a generous promoter and organizer in the fields of microseismicity and induced seismicity. Julie’s involvement goes back long before the topic and technology became popular, or even available, as the commercial service now commonly used in the oil and gas industry.

Julie’s interest in small earthquakes or the microseismic side of geophysics started with her involvement as an undergraduate student at the University of Washington with the seismicity accompanying the eruption of Mount St. Helens. While a senior earning her BS in geology and afterward working as a seismic analyst for USGS in Seattle, Julie gained experience as an observational seismologist involved in analysis of the seismicity accompanying the 1980 and subsequent eruptions of Mount St. Helens.

She returned to graduate school to earn an MS in geophysics at the University of Utah (1989), studying the aftershocks of the 1980 M 7.3 Borah Peak earthquake.

Her career path since has been diverse and circuitous ranging from oil and gas exploration in the Gulf of Mexico, to geothermal in the western United States and Asia, to microseismic vendor, to the last nine years as a consultant. In all of these different roles, Julie never strayed far from the common thread of microseismicity and earthquakes. As a consultant, she has been involved in projects in Australia, Argentina, Columbia, Canada, Germany, China, India, Mexico, and the United States. Even within the specialty of induced seismicity, Julie’s experiences span a wide range of applications including: hydraulic fracture microseismicity, geothermal production microseismicity for reservoir management, mining failure studies related to salt-solution extraction, potash, and other underground mining operations. In addition, she is working with state regulators in Oklahoma on induced seismicity related to wastewater disposal and hydraulic fracturing as well as with other clients on injection-induced seismicity issues. She also has been tapped as an expert witness on several legal cases.

I first met Julie in the early 1990s when she was monitoring a frack in California with Unocal. These were the early days of frack monitoring when we were experimenting with single-level three-component borehole geophones and tiltmeters. I’ve been a friend and professional colleague of Julie’s ever since.

Being a volunteer and contributing to the community in passive seismic is a natural role for Julie. She makes friends easily, is generous and always curious, and so networking the community happens when she is present. Julie’s contributions to the Society and the scientific community in general includes frack monitoring when we were experimenting with single-level three-component borehole geophones and tiltmeters.

I’ve been a friend and professional colleague of Julie’s ever since. Being a volunteer and contributing to the community in passive seismic is a natural role for Julie. She makes friends easily, is generous and always curious, and so networking the community happens when she is present. Julie’s contributions to the Society and the scientific community in general includes:

  • serving as a member of The Leading Edge (TLE) Editorial Board since 2013. Julie recently completed her four-year term on TLE’s Editorial Board, serving as board chair in the final year of that term;
  • guest editing or serving as TLE Editorial Board liaison for a number of TLE special issues on passive, induced, and stimulation microseismicity;
  • organizing and cochairing several special workshops and special sessions on induced and applied microseismicity through SEG and SPE;
  • through the Denver Geophysical Society, Julie served as treasurer (2008–2009), and serves as committee member for the 3D Seismic Symposium, and in 2011 started and ran the Denver Microseismic Study Group, a monthly seminar meeting that is still ongoing today.

One of Julie’s most significant contributions as a volunteer was accepting a request from the National Research Council to participate in a comprehensive study on induced seismicity in 2011. The investigation resulted in the committee-authored document “Induced seismicity potential in energy technologies,” published by the National Academics Press in 2012. The report’s impact and timely release has been significant; it now serves as an often-cited reference for industry, academia, and government regulators.

References

  1. (2017). ”Honors and Awards.” The Leading Edge, 36(10), 806–819. http://dx.doi.org/10.1190/tle36100806.1