I went into geophysics because geophysics covers so many sciences, and I am interested in all of them. I remember researching jobs in our high school counsellors’ office and finding that geophysics required knowledge of math, physics, geology, chemistry, and computer science, all of which I loved. So, before I finished high school, I decided to become a geophysicist. As I worked my way through university, and then at my various jobs, I found my love for geophysics, and all earth sciences, ever-increasing.
A year ago, in early 2020, I found myself in a position where it made sense to retire. Covid-19 and record low oil prices meant that some of us had to leave. I decided that I’d rather see the young folks keep their jobs, so I left a very interesting and enjoyable job at Ikon Science and moved into retirement. Whether my retirement is permanent or not will be up to our oil-based economy.
I’m enjoying retirement. I get to spend much more time at home with my wife, Jamie, and my family, which is wonderful. I have more time for my other passions, such as working on my cars, cooking, volleyball, finance, and auto racing. I also now have a lot of time to learn more about geophysics, and the various societies make it quite easy for me to do so. My 2021 CSEG membership cost me $25, because I am underemployed / retired, and for that I get access to: CSEG Technical Luncheons ($15 since online), Lunchbox Geophysics (free), Microseismic User Group (MUG, free), Value of Integrated Geophysics (VIG) reading list, Webinars (free), Webcasts (which are the best of the CSEG Luncheon talks, also free), as well as our excellent publications, the RECORDER and the CSEG Journal. I also attended the Virtual Learning Series for $5 (that’s seven top-notch geophysical talks for less than a buck each).Once we get back to our new normal, I intend to take advantage of the many CSEG social events, such as: Doodlebug Golf, DoodleSpiel, Junior Geophysicist Forum (JGF, which I have attended a couple of times because they get good talks and they welcome geezers like me), T-Wave Golf, and the Stampede Luncheon.The CSEG also runs the Road Race & Fun Run and SkiSpree (which are probably not for me, I race cars, not legs ☺) and WiSe Golf Tournament (the Women in Seismic Tournament is an is a relatively inexpensive, fun and great tournament that raises a lot of money for breast cancer research and scholarships.).
These days, events are mainly virtual, so it is a lot easier to view quality geophysical talks. I have also joined the SPE and SEG, and have become a Life Member of APEGA, all of which provide significantly reduced rates for retired members. Through these various organizations, I will have attended a couple of dozen very good technical talks, as of the end of April 2021. That’s many more talks than I would have had time to attend if I was working. Some of these talks are from locations which, because of distance, I would not have been able to attend, like Singapore, London, and St. John’s. Some, I would have had to spend money to attend, like Denver and Houston.
Another aspect of the CSEG of which I’ve been able to take advantage, now that I have more time, is volunteering. My daughter, Ashley Hamza, and I have together taken on the role of Associate Editor at the RECORDER. Ashley has a BA in English and a Technical Writing Certificate and has been editing my papers for seven years. She covers the grammar, which leaves me free to work on the technical content. I am grateful to the RECORDER for this opportunity to work with Ashley. Volunteering as an Associate Editor is a new adventure for me, and it keeps me in the loop for finding good, technical, geophysical content, like we have in this issue.I enjoy being able to read this content early and making a small contribution to getting it published.
I am also volunteering with the SPE’s Geomechanics SIG (Special Interest Group). We have put on a series of talks for the SPE on geomechanics in each of the last two years. I had wanted to volunteer with SPE for some in order to showcase geophysical applications that can assist engineers, like Laurie Weston’s “QI for Engineers” talk that she gave in the SPE Data Analytics SIG, and it has been rewarding to do so now.
There are many other volunteer opportunities within the CSEG, SPE, SEG, EAGE, and APEGA.
For current CSEG volunteer opportunities, visit https://cseg.ca/members/volunteer-opportunities. At the moment, I count 17 volunteer opportunities covering all aspects of our community from technical opportunities to mentoring, leadership, and social events. I have found volunteering to be an excellent way to stay involved in this wonderful community of scientists. I have also always considered publications and presentations to be volunteer work, as we do these for free to pass our knowledge along to others. Do any of these opportunities scratch an itch to keep the geophysics going? If you’re interested in publishing in the RECORDER drop us a line at email@example.com, or plan to make a presentation at GeoConvention.
In conclusion, it may be easier than ever to engage our love of geophysics, thanks both to societies like the CSEG, SPE, and SEG, and to the move to online formats. I am taking advantage of these opportunities to connect and engage for a cost that is very reasonable for a retiree.