UAGUS at the SEG exposition and general meeting

In October 2010, the University of Alberta Geophysics Undergraduate Society (UAGUS) sent nine students to the SEG International Exposition and 80th General Meeting in Denver, Colorado. All UAGUS attendees were fourth year students who will graduate in 2011 from the University of Alberta. The presence of UAGUS members at the conference was made possible by the gracious sponsorship of APEGGA, Sigma Explorations Inc., CSEG Foundation, Earth Signal and Key Seismic.

During their time at the SEG convention, students attended multiple talks and poster present ations on a variety of specialized areas including acquisition, anisotropy, AVO, inversion, microseismicity, gravity, magnetics and magnetotellurics. Students also had the chance to visit the SEG Exhibition, which consisted of more than 300 exhibiting companies from around the world.

For many of the UAGUS attendees the 2010 SEG Exposition was their first geophysics conference and also their first inside look at the industry. Undoubtedly this experience will be very valuable in the future as the students graduate and enter into the working world. Due to the great success of this trip, UAGUS plans to send stu dents to the n ext SEG Exposition and General Meeting, to be held San Antonio, Texas, in September 2011.

UAGUS students
Figure 1. UAGUS students at the SEG meeting in Denver, Colorado, in October, 2010.

Outreach in British Columbia

On December 7, 2010 Mark Sun, our Vancouver ambassador, attended the Lord Byng Opportunity Fair. Lord Byng is a very large Vancouver high school with approximately 90 teachers and thousands of students.

Mark set up his seismic interpretation workstation, the EarthWorks Exploration System to best demonstrate some aspects of geophysics to the students in a dynamic and interesting way. Using two LCD projectors, he projected a seismic section on one screen and its map visualization on the other screen. After introducing the seismic reflection method, he invited students to filter seismic data to reveal ancient river channels on the seismic section, pick horizons and then visualize the channel in 3D space.

Although the hands-on demonstration was focused on petroleum seismic reflection technology, Mark also discussed the wide variety of geophysical disciplines, including environmental geosciences, mineral exploration, earthquake seismology and planetary geophysics, enhanced by a scrolling PowerPoint slideshow with images from many different geophysics sub-disciplines.

Most students were in grade 10-12 and were unaware of the field of geophysics. Many appeared to be interested in learning about our discipline. Mark discussed the math, physics and geology and other academic preparation usually required for a geophysics degree and talked about some of the universities that offered geophysics programs. Mark handed out CSEG Outreach material to some of the approximately 700 students in attendance. In order to help attract students to the boot he occasionally juggled tennis balls. Once they came to investigate, they had fun juggling and talking geophysics!

In January, Annette Milbradt and Perry Kotkas manned the booth at the very busy and successful BC Career and Education Fairs in Vancouver, Kamloops and Kelowna. The Vancouver fair was our busiest fair yet, with Perry keeping large groups of actively interested students enthralled for most of the day. About 256 Careers in Geophysics brochures were handed out in Vancouver (a record!), 86 in Kamloops, and 93 in Kelowna. We also handed out teachers’ packages to interested educators and career counselors.

Mark Sun at the Lord Byng HS opportunity fair
Figure 2. Mark Sun at the Lord Byng HS opportunity fair in December, 2010.

The 2011 Western Inter-University Geoscience Conference at Brandon University, Manitoba

By Alemayehu Aklilu

The 2011 WIUGC was hosted by Brandon University in Brandon, Manitoba, from January 6th to 8th. There were 65 graduate and undergraduate students registered, coming from the University of Manitoba, the University of Saskatchewan, University of Regina, the University of Alberta and the University of Calgary. This marked the conference’s 47th year. It is an annual, studentrun event where undergraduate and graduate geoscience students present their research through posters and technical presentations, discuss job opportunities and learn about recent discoveries and advances in technology through corporatelysponsored guest speaker presentations. The WIUGC will be held again next January, hosted by the University of Regina.

The CSEG Foundation was a sponsor this year and sent two representatives from the University Outreach Committee, Alemayehu Aklilu, Jr. Geophysicist with ConocoPhillips, and Michael Smorodin, Jr. Geophysicist with Statcom Ltd. They made a presentation on the benefits the CSEG can provide for university geoscience students, such as awards and travel bursaries. In addition, they discussed the work typically done by geophysicists in the oil and gas industry.

Do you have a student event that needs sponsoring? Maybe the CSEG-F can help! Contact the CSEG by email at

WIUGC students
Figure 3. WIUGC students at the formal banquet in January, 2011.

2011 Geophysical Industry Field Trip

“Helping young geophysicists orient themselves in the world of oil and gas”.

Spend a day learning about the various aspects of being a professional Geophysicist. Explore the world of seismic data management, data acquisition, processing and interpretation Meet professionals and peers as we tour through the oil and gas sector of downtown Calgary on June 23rd, 2011. For more information, including how to apply, contact us at

Sign up your summer students! Registration is due by May 23rd, 2011.

2011 Geophysical Industry Field Trip
Figure 4. Attendees at last year’s Geophysical Industry Field Trip.



Share This Column