Charles R. "Chuck" Noll, Jr., is a geologist in Houston. Born in Pittsburgh, Noll received a bachelor's degree in geology from Dartmouth College and a master's from the University of Oklahoma.
He began his career in 1955 in Oklahoma City with Stanolind (now Amoco), where he worked as district projects geologist and senior staff geologist in Tulsa, Jackson, Miss., and Houston. In 1971 Noll established the Davis Oil Company office and served as its division manager in Houston until 1982 when he joined Frio Exploration as exploration manager. As a member of the same management team, Noll has served to date as exploration manager and subsequently chief exploration officer of New Bremen Corp., Live Oak Reserves, Inc., and their affiliation most notably Copano Field Services, a gathering pipeline and processing company focused in the Texas Gulf Coast region. In addition, Noll formed C.R. Noll & Associates in 1989 for three years with Neumin Production Company as his client.
Significant exploration activities include the Gunpoint Field and the Dewey Lake area, both in Texas. In his career, Noll has also been involved in activities in Louisiana, Mississippi, the Rockies, Appalachians and Michigan.
Active in the Houston Geological Society and serving on numerous committees with HGS, he served as the society's president in 1986-87. He was co-chairman of the 1991 Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies meeting in Houston in 1991, receiving the GCAGS Distinguished Service Award in 1992.
Joining AAPG in 1955, Noll was on the 1974 AAPG Annual Meeting coordinating committee and has been a member of the AAPG House of Delegates in 1973-75, 1981-84 and 1986 to present, serving as Credentials Committee Chairman in 1997-98.
He received both the AAPG Distinguished Service Award and Certificate of Merit in 1995. He was vice chairman of the personal placement committee for the AAPG Annual Meeting in 1971, was on the Entertainment Committee for the 1979 Annual Meeting. He also served as general vice chairman of the 1995 AAPG Annual Meeting in Houston and on the Committee on Conventions from 1993-96.
A member of the Division of Professional Affairs since 1982, Noll served as DPA President in 1992-93 and received the DPA Distinguished Service Award in 1996.
Special Commendation 2007
The Honors and Awards Committee unanimously recommends Martha Lou Broussard, Jamie White, Charles R. “Chuck” Noll, Roger M. Slatt, Michael M. Deal, Randi S. Martinsen, Mary Beth Hattaberg, and Katharine Lee Avary for Special Commendation for their work to create and sustain the AAPG/SEG Student Expo. The Student Expo began at Rice University in the fall of 1998 as a joint society initiative with Ms. Broussard as the guiding force. Since that time with the considerable effort and vision of those named, the Student Expo has grown considerably and been expanded to Norman, Pittsburgh, and Laramie.
Citation for the SEG Special Commendation
Several years ago, we collectively became aware of what has been colorfully termed “the impending crew change.” The demographic profile of our industry showed an aging workforce with a disproportionate concentration of folks marching toward retirement age. Just behind this bubble we could see a bit of a trough representing a period when little new hiring was done. To complicate matters, enrollment in Earth science programs was at historical lows. The problem was clear: “Who is going to take over?” The solution was clear as well. Students needed to be attracted into our discipline. The word had to get out that there are interesting, challenging, and rewarding careers to be had in our industry.
The group being honored with this special commendation recognized this problem perhaps earlier than most of us and did something concrete and practical to advance a solution. Beginning in the mid-1990s with a small workshop in Denver to hook students up with summer internships, they have grown a program across the continental United States that touches hundreds of students every year. This program is commonly known as the AAPG/SEG Student Expo. The “Expo” is not a single event. Rather there is an annual spring expo on the University of Oklahoma campus in Norman, a fall expo in Houston (originally on the Rice campus), an annual expo in Laramie on the University of Wyoming campus, and yet another in Pittsburgh. The idea has now even spread overseas with the expo model being adopted in other locales around the globe.
Some in this group were there at the beginning and persevered with their vision despite an initially lukewarm level of support from AAPG and SEG. Their vision was ahead of its time. Others of the group came in later, grasping the importance of the vision, executing the strategy and expanding the program by a factor of more than three in the last six years.
Today the “expo” program forms a key part in the recruiting program of perhaps as many as 40 exploration and production companies. The spring and fall expos each attract more than 150 students who participate in interviews and a poster paper competition. Students regularly travel from across the country to get in on the fun and very likely land a summer internship or a permanent job for their efforts. These are tangible and laudable results. SEG student membership has grown exponentially over the last few years and now sits at an all time high, accounting for nearly a third of the worldwide membership.
It would appear that the word is getting out and there may be some hands to take the controls when that crew change occurs. The group being recognized here has played a vital role in bringing the importance of students to our Society and our industry to the very forefront of our attention. They have led the way by example and created a program, now self sustaining, that meets the needs of our current members while building the membership of the future. Well done!
- C. R. "Chuck" Noll, Secretary. Newly Elected Officers for 1999-2000. AAPG Explorer. Retrieved August 1, 2016.
- Whaley, J., 2017, Oil in the Heart of South America, https://www.geoexpro.com/articles/2017/10/oil-in-the-heart-of-south-america], accessed November 15, 2021.
- Wiens, F., 1995, Phanerozoic Tectonics and Sedimentation of The Chaco Basin, Paraguay. Its Hydrocarbon Potential: Geoconsultores, 2-27, accessed November 15, 2021; https://www.researchgate.net/publication/281348744_Phanerozoic_tectonics_and_sedimentation_in_the_Chaco_Basin_of_Paraguay_with_comments_on_hydrocarbon_potential
- Alfredo, Carlos, and Clebsch Kuhn. “The Geological Evolution of the Paraguayan Chaco.” TTU DSpace Home. Texas Tech University, August 1, 1991. https://ttu-ir.tdl.org/handle/2346/9214?show=full.