Professor, researcher Oppo earns national geoscience educator award


The University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Dr. Davide Oppo has been recognized as one of the country’s top geosciences educators by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists.

Oppo recently earned the 2023 AAPG Foundation Inspirational Geoscience Educator Award. He is an assistant professor in the Ray P. Authement College of Sciences’ School of Geosciences.  

Each year, the AAPG recognizes one “university and college level educator who has creatively and with excellence inspired their geoscience students,” according to the association. The award carries a $6,000 prize.

Oppo will accept the Inspirational Geoscience Educator Award during the AAPG’s International Meeting for Applied Geoscience & Energy. It will be held from Aug. 28 to Sept. 1, in Houston. The nonprofit association, which has 40,000 members in 129 countries, also gives a similar yearly award to one high school teacher.

Both 2023 recipients “have continuously demonstrated excellence in, and a passion for, geoscience education,” stated Jim McGhay, AAPG Foundation chair, in a press release.

“We celebrate their achievements and say congratulations to them for teaching and inspiring the next generation of geoscientists,” he added.

Recipients are selected based on nominations from their colleagues and students, a circumstance Oppo finds rewarding. “Knowing that my colleagues and the students I worked with nominated me for this award touches me profoundly. It’s my personal reminder that I am making a difference for some, and it’s a boost to keep dedicating myself to this profession,” he explained.

Oppo, who joined UL Lafayette in 2018, teaches undergraduate and graduate students in areas such as basin analysis, sedimentology and stratigraphy, scientific writing, evolution of coasts and continental margins, geology field camp and petroleum geology practicum.

Oppo’s areas of research expertise include cold seepage, marine geology and sedimentology. He leads the University’s Sedimentary Basins Research Group, a campus lab where key areas of study for faculty and student researchers include methane seepage and continental margin dynamics.

He is also the faculty adviser for the University’s AAPG Imperial Barrel Award team, which recently placed second in the world. As part of the international competition, which began in 2007, students analyze industry data and make determinations about energy resources and sustainable extraction methods.

The University team, which also placed second in the world in Imperial Barrel competition last year, won the event in 2012, 2014 and 2018, making it the only team to claim the title of world’s best three times.

Oppo, who is from Ivrea, Italy, earned a bachelor’s degree in marine environmental sciences from the University of Sassari, Italy. He also holds a master’s degree in environmental sciences-marine geology and a doctorate in Earth sciences from the University of Bologna, Italy.

Read more about Oppo’s selection for the 2023 AAPG Foundation Inspirational Geoscience Educator Award.

Photo caption: UL Lafayette’s Dr. Davide Oppo (right), an assistant professor in the Ray P. Authement College of Sciences, has earned the Foundation Inspirational Geoscience Educator Award from the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. Photo credit: Doug Dugas / University of Louisiana at Lafayette