Edward Picou Jr., an Honorary Member of AAPG, was born in 1932 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He studied geology at LSU, receiving his bachelor’s degree in geology in 1955 (he joined the AAPG the same year.)
Picou served with the U.S. Army in Korea before planning to return for further study, but these plans were curtailed: recruiters from the Shell Oil Company encountered Picou and offered him a position. His relationship with Shell would be a vital one, lasting from 1957- 1991. Throughout the 34-year span of his employment, Picou first worked as a paleontologist before advancing to become divisional paleontologist (in Lafayette, New Orleans, and Houston) and senior staff paleontologist (New Orleans), rounding out his service with a 2-year engagement as an exploration consultant, Shell’s most prestigious technical rank.
Among other things, Picou made a name for himself during the Shell years with a highly advanced memory of fossils and their stratigraphic context. The exploration of the Gulf Coast is also a signature subject of Picou’s, and his paper on the topic – “Gulf Coast Cenozoic: A Model for the Application of Stratigraphic Concepts to Exploration on Passive Margins”, co-authored with Doris M. Curtis – is a heavily-cited reference, selected as one of the “Best of AAPG” papers when presented at the 1977 meeting of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists. At the 2006 Houston AAPG Convention, Picou presented a paper titled “History of Paleontology in the Gulf Coast Basin” in the History of Petroleum Geology Forum.
Picou’s knowledge of Gulf Coast stratigraphy also lent itself to the COSUNA [Correlation of Stratigraphic Units of North America] project from 1976-1982, and the Taxonomic Equivalency Project of SEPM, where Picou served as the project coordinator. For the latter, Picou was responsible for compiling the foraminiferal research of dozens of paleontologists. First made public at Lafayette, Louisiana, in 1999, this undertaking was met with broad approval from peers in the field.
Edward Picou’s professional affiliations outside of his Shell employment are numerous. He is a member of the Paleontological Society and the Society for Sedimentary Geology, as well as being a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Within the AAPG, Picou has served as Treasurer (2000- 2002), on the Convention Coordinating Committee (in 1975-1976 and 1984-1985), and also as a member of the House of Delegates (1980-1983, and again in 1991-1994). He has also served on the Rules and Procedures Committee of the HoD.
Additionally, Picou was one of the early proselytizers for digital media in the field, advocating the publication of the AAPG Bulletin and the GCAGS’ Transactions on CDROM and the Internet. In 2010, he was awarded the Don R. Boyd Medal in recognition of excellence in Gulf Coast geology. This is the GCAGS' highest award and he was honored to receive it. Mr. Picou currently lives in New Orleans.
The Edward B. Picou, Jr. Named Grant is awarded annually to a deserving student at Louisiana State University through the American Association of Petroleum Geologists Foundation Grants-in-Aid program, and is endowed by the AAPG Foundation with generous contributions from Edward B. Picou, Jr.