Candidate For Vice President
Growing up in a doodle bugging family, the stories of seismic jobs on the north slope of Alaska, the foothills in the Blairmore area, and around Drayton Valley for the Pembina development were shared at our dinner table. Visiting the seismic crew that my Dad and brothers worked on was a weekend adventure while I was a teenager, but the hours I spent at 10 years old in investigating rocks in the rock crushing plant near our farm was the sure indication earth science would be my passion.
Leaving the farm in central Alberta to come to Calgary in 1976 I landed work with GSI. Starting from the bottom tier of “computer” i.e. leroy and splicing girl, in the marine seismic processing I expanded my seismic knowledge of acquisition and learned about production processing. I have tremendous thanks to the co-workers that recognized my aptitude and their encouragement for me to study geophysics. The seismic processing summer and part time jobs with oil companies and the university did pay the bills and gave me valuable experience. During university at U of C, I appreciated learning how geologic processes form the land around us. My focus in university was understanding how geophysics integrates math, physics and geology concepts; puts them all together with technology to expose the land forms in the subsurface.
Graduating in 1982 was not the best timing as the industry was in a downturn. I was fortunate to join Canadian Superior and received great new grad training. I left Canadian Superior during the Mobil take over to work for Westmin which I left during the Norcen merger to start my own consulting company, then went off to Saudi Aramco all in my first 10 years as a geophysicist. Coming back to Calgary in 1993 jobs were not plentiful. I transitioned from an interpreter to an application support/trainer with working with Seismic Image Software, GMA and Landmark. Having a diverse interpretation background helped me to quickly grasp what the users were trying to accomplish and guide them to an effective solution. Joining Nexen 12 years ago has given me the ability to work between interpretation and technical advising in our Technology Management group. Attending conferences and consortium meetings keeps me up on the latest developments. I enjoy thinking out of the box to apply new technologies or old technologies in a new way to solve exploration challenges.
I have been fortunate to be able to travel around the world. While learning new cultures I have seen the impact the CSEG has globally. Finding the Recorder in Australia, Saudi, and Norway indicates how valued the communication from the CSEG is to the Canadians that are working internationally.
My volunteering for the CSEG started back in the late 80’s when I became the Education Coordinator. In this role I worked closely with the SEG to organize courses in Calgary. It was eye opening to be exposed to new concepts that were developed by our industry leaders. The annual convention always has a need for volunteers and I have helped in special events and school tours. Recently, I held the position of Exhibits Chairperson on the convention committee for 4 years. I also worked on the Microseismic subcommittee for the Chief Geophysicist Forum to define deliverables for field and processed downhole microseismic data. I appreciate the networking volunteering has provided and enjoy being involved with this strong society.
I am honored to be asked to run for CSEG Vice President. With my diverse experience I hope to bring new avenues of growth to our vibrant association.
Candidate For Vice President
When I graduated with a BSc in geology and BSc (honours) in geophysics from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand in 1993 I did not imagine that 20 years later I would be living in Canada standing as a candidate for Vice President of the CSEG. I did imagine that I would spend most of my adult life studying, travelling and working abroad. You may say that I have always had an adventurous streak and loved to explore – be it through the woods as a child, scrambling through caves in university, motorcycling to new destinations, or searching for petroleum in the WCSB, West Greenland, the Mediterranean, West Africa or South America. But mainly, for me, exploring is about meeting and developing relationships with people. The exploration, the travels, the academic and professional experiences would not be as meaningful were it not for the people that I met along the way, whom I studied, volunteered and worked with.
After spending time in the USA during high school, Australia for work, travelling through Europe and Africa on my ‘overseas experience’, and some time back in New Zealand working in telecommunications and finance, I landed in Canada in 1998 to study at the University of Calgary. Don Lawton and Deborah Spratt supervised my PhD in exploration seismology providing both a plethora of projects within the Canadian foothills, Western Canada Sedimentary Basin and Colombia, and invaluable guidance. At the same time I was fortunate to collaborate with Larry Lines on a textbook for the GOPH555 class, ‘Fundamentals of Geophysical Interpretation’ that was subsequently published by the SEG as a monograph. While at the U of C, I was supported partially by a CSEG scholarship, volunteered for the CSEG and CSPG, and presented at the CSEG convention.
When I started working in the New Growth Team at Nexen in 2004, I continued to volunteer with the CSEG, CSPG and SEG. I served on the CSEG scholarship committee for a number of years and enjoyed being on the other side of the application process – supporting students following behind my peers and myself. In 2008 I transferred to the UK with Nexen to explore in the North Sea, and in 2010 accepted a position with Cairn Energy to explore in West Greenland. Frontier exploration was more in my nature!
While living internationally, I served on the SEG Field Camp Committee, as the Chairperson for the past two years, and kept Canadian ties, writing a CSEG Recorder article with Paul Anderson of Apache, and some essays for the ‘52 Things You Should Know About Geophysics’ book put together by Matt Hall and Evan Bianco. Using email, LinkedIn, Skype and attending conferences I found it surprisingly easy to keep in contact with friends and colleagues.
Earlier this year, I returned home to Calgary, started consulting as an exploration geophysicist and founded Racian Ventures Ltd. And, when people ask ‘why did you come back to Calgary?’ I reply simply ‘friends, beer around the fire-pit, skiing and the geoscience community’. Because, Calgary really does have the most collegial, supportive and involved geoscience community that I have been involved with. My vision is that geoscientists worldwide have access to the support and community that we in Canada are provided by our involvement in the CSEG.
I am excited to be home, to turn my focus back to the CSEG, and deeply honoured to be asked to stand for the position of Vice President.
Stephen R. Kotkas
Candidate for Assistant Director of Member Services
Unlike many others who learned about geophysics in university, Stephen became aware of geophysics in grade 6 when he completed an independent study of the “Exploration of Oil and Gas in Western Canada.” The school project coupled with summer jobs working for SourceX Geophysical as a teenager ignited his interest in Geophysics. Growing up, he always enjoyed attending the CSEG Ski Spree and other geophysical related activities that were family friendly.
Stephen believes that the CSEG is a truly dynamic organization simply for its amazing capacity and vast number of quality volunteers. Stephen would welcome the opportunity to volunteer as part of the CSEG Executive, and help to make a difference. In 2007, Stephen started his career in the geophysical sector as a seismic data broker with Sigma Explorations. Since then he has been an extremely involved volunteer for the CSEG in several roles, chiefly as the University Student Outreach subcommittee chairman. He also had the opportunity to meet and interact with many CSEG members at events like the T-wave, technical luncheons, GeoConventions and the Doodlespiel.
Following a career change from teaching with the Calgary Board of Education, Stephen immediately joined the CSEG and started volunteering, primarily within the Outreach program. Since then he has volunteered for high school presentations and multiple career fairs to promote the CSEG and geosciences, as well as Earth Science for Society, the Honorary Address, the GeoConvention, the CSEG Challenge Bowl, GeoSkills, several university student conferences, the CSEG/CSPG/CAPL Road Race and Fun Run, the U of C talk series, and the Ambassador program.
From a leadership point of view Stephen has held the University Student Outreach (USO) chair position for 5½ years and recently stepped up to serve as General Outreach Co-chair. As USO chair he helped found the CSEG Foundation’s Travel Grants and Educational Subsidies program, the Geophysical Industry Field Trip (GIFT), the USO Area Representative Program and the Mentorship program. Over the past few years Stephen has played a key role with other volunteers in increasing the CSEG’s University Student membership level from ~50 to ~400 members this year.
One of Stephen’s personal goals is to continue to strive to learn and improve. To this end, he genuinely enjoys getting involved, working hard, and volunteering in positions where he believes that he can do a good job and make a difference. If elected as Assistant Director of Member Services Stephen commits to work hard and help continue to improve our already great society… to help make a difference in a good way.
Candidate for Assistant Director of Member Services
Born and raised in Calgary, my path into the geophysical industry came by chance when my stepmother assisted me in getting a data entry position at Kelman Technologies Inc. I was fortunate to get hired on having no prior experience about seismic and the petroleum industry. I spent ten years with Kelman Technologies working in a variety of positions eventually settling into an account management/sales role within the data management division, where I was able to build upon my relationship and sales skills. While continuing to learn the ropes of the exploration business I moved to a new challenge selling seismic explosives with Austin Powder. I am currently working in a sales and marketing role at Great West Resources Ltd, a survey acquisition, line clearing/construction and seismic drilling company.
I am honoured to have been nominated for a role within the CSEG Executive for the member services position. I have been an active CSEG member since 2003. My previous volunteer commitments have included the CSEG Doodlebug sponsorship committee and the WiSE golf tournament. I have attended numerous Doodlespiels, Ski Sprees, CSEG/SEG Conventions, T-Wave golf tournaments and courses at the Doodletrain. I am excited for the opportunity to give back to the geophysical community as it has treated me well over the years.
I have been blessed with two beautiful children and a lovely fiancé who have been my biggest support system. During our down time you can find us relaxing at home with our English Bulldog Winston.
Elected by Acclamation for Assistant Director of Finance
John Bertsch is currently facilitating the role of Director Corporate Development with Divestco. Bertsch has many years of relevant seismic experience, with roots in seismic acquisition, beginning with Kenting Exploration and moving forward from there. During this period Bertsch spent many years in field operations before moving into the office, assuming various roles including HR, HSE, Operations Supervisor, and Marketing globally. Bertsch has additionally sat as a Director with the Alberta Safety Council and the CAGC, lobbying frequently on behalf of our industry. Bertsch moved into the processing world directly after taking a brief break while working towards a law degree, additionally serving, with the Calgary Police Service. Born in Calgary, raised between the farm in Sedley, Saskatchewan, and Calgary, Bertsch today additionally continues to support the family tradition of cattle ranching.
Bertsch maintains a passion for sports and is an avid supporter of minor sports. Bertsch in recent years has been an active CSEG Member, working on various committees and events. To date Bertsch has continued this involvement recently joining the CSEG Ski Spree Committee. Bertsch has furthered his professional involvement and development, additionally sitting on the Board of Directors for Buckhurst Oil & Gas. For Bertsch, Family and friends will always remain a priority, as will good old fashioned values and business practices.
Bertsch can be contacted at: email@example.com.
Elected by Acclamation for Assistant Director of Communications
Geophysics has been a passion for almost as long as I can remember. My introduction to the CSEG was by my high school physics teacher, who insisted on bringing his class to the annual convention. After experiencing the exhibition hall, interviewing inductees into the APEGA Earth Ring ceremony, and speaking with CSEG members and volunteers, I proceeded to promptly enroll in the Geophysics program at the University of Calgary.
During my studies at the U of C I undertook an internship at Anderson Exploration, and then Devon Canada. Privileged to have exceptional mentors, I was introduced to the practical application of my studies through the interpretation of seismic, gravity and 3D gradient magnetic data in the Foothills, NE British Columbia, Deep Basin, and Peace River Arch. Though my geophysical studies and experience were always a prime focus, I also developed a fondness for econometrics and economic risk analysis. Accordingly, I completed both a B.Sc. in Geophysics and a B.A. in Economics in 2003.
After graduation I took on a role as an Acquisition Geophysicist with BJV Exploration. In 2011, desiring to specialize in seismic acquisition, I joined two other partners to form OptiSeis Solutions Ltd. In my role as VP of Operations, I have pursued sub-surface imaging improvements through innovative acquisition design and surface survey modeling on seismic programs around the world. Driven to further our geophysical knowledgebase, I have presented at the GeoConvention in 2011 and 2012, co-authoured presentations in 2012 and 2013, published a paper in the 2012 Recorder, and presented at the 2013 SEG convention.
My volunteer experience within the CSEG began by joining the CSEG Foundation Outreach committee in 2008, where I’ve had the pleasure of contributing to many of their substantial programs – an honour that continues to this day. This has led to my current position as chair of the Honorary Address. I also served on the 2013 GeoConvention technical committee as chair of the poster sessions. In addition to my industry and volunteer positions, I’ve also been consumed with raising my two daughters and son. I am an avid musician, playing piano or guitar at countless events throughout western Canada.
The CSEG is a world-class society that I have always been proud to count myself a part of. I look forward to building upon that legacy, bringing all of my passions to the role of Assistant Director of Communications. It is quite an honour to serve the society that encouraged the inception of my career.
Elected by Acclamation for Assistant Director of Education
I am honored to be nominated to run for Assistant Director Educational Services at the CSEG. The CSEG is a remarkable organization with a large, committed group of volunteers who work tirelessly to improve and educate the community, both within and outside our industry. With the breadth of continuing education opportunities offered; monthly technical luncheons, Lunchbox Geophysics, Doodletrain, Honorary Lecturer, and the culmination of these efforts at the Joint Annual convention, the CSEG membership is one of the most broadly trained in industry. That said, there is always more that can be done. The recently signed Memorandum of Understanding with the EAGE and our existing relationship with the SEG provide an opportunity to both import and export world-class knowledge to and from Canada. Similarly, there are many other like-minded societies in North America and around the world with whom we could partner to expand the educational opportunities available to our members, not just in Western Canada, but across the country.
After working summers as a geologic technician and one on a seismic crew, I graduated from the University of Calgary with a B.Sc. in Geophysics in 1998. My first job was with Veritas, working as an interpreter/ reservoir geophysicist in Calgary and Houston for 8 years. Not only did this afford me the opportunity to be mentored by incredible coworkers and clients on exploration and development challenges, but I was also encouraged to immediately get involved with the geophysical community, starting my volunteer work with the CSEG in 1998.
In 2006, I moved to Apache Corporation, where I was initially hired to support seismic data processing projects for the Canadian region, but later was able to support rock physics & multicomponent projects internationally. While working at Apache, I earned my M.Sc. in Geophysics before transferring to Perth, Australia in 2010. While in Perth I advised on the application of geophysical technology in addition to exploration and field development responsibilities. I transferred back to the Calgary office in 2013.
I am currently a member of the CSEG, SEG, EAGE, PESA, ASEG, APEGA & APEGS and have been an active CSEG volunteer since 1998. I have been a co-author on conference papers and publications in a variety of domestic and international journals, including a Best Recorder Paper in 2008. I have also had to honor to volunteer as a session chair at multiple CSEG and SEG conventions, peer review papers for GEOPHYSICS & INTERPRETATION in a variety of topics and have volunteered extensively with the CSEG as technical session chair, convention technical committee, technical luncheon committee, the RECORDER committee and chaired the 2009 Microseismic Workshop. I look forward to the opportunity to continue to serve this vibrant community.