Congratulations on your recent victory in the CSEG elections...
...a seemingly harmless and supportive introduction to the world of volunteerism within a truly world class geophysical society. Although not entirely my first realization of what the duties of Second VP of CSEG might entail, it certainly is a trigger for introspection of what goals I would set for my tenure. Where was a person to start?? The CSEG Executive Manual set out quite concisely previous expectations 'The Second Vice President shall be responsible for arranging the technical program of the Society, shall have authority to appoint such assistants as he may require, and shall perform other duty as directed by the Executive Committee". Not only a run on sentence, but somewhat vague in scope. Obviously, the monthly meeting Technical Program was my domain, but what else...
Summertime, ...first things first, organize fall technical program. Well it turns out that coordinating touring speakers with available meeting space (there is only one place in town which can accommodate our group currently) can be a bit challenging. Oh well, not discouraged ... what else can I do to ensure a quality technical program still puzzles me. After a brief conversation with Rob Stewart (President, CSEG) an idea is presented. Similar to the CSPG "Brown Bag" lunches, set up a series of special interest presentations to cover topics not typically covered through the course of the monthly sectional meeting. Tremendous idea, it currently works well for the CSPG and numerous service companies in town. This should be easy. I will get to work at once..., but first the SEG in Dallas... then (oops) a schedule change to the regular monthly meeting necessitated by a change in the SEG guest lecturer's schedule ... and it is now November. November!! What about the second half of the season's Technical Program. Oh well, back to work...
As it probably is clear by now, this is an article about not creating a legacy while performing in a volunteer capacity. It (the article) has also demonstrated to me that within an established Society, such as ours, change and progress often come in small steps, all of which contribute to the final entity of the Canadian Society of Exploration Geophysicists.
Having set myself up, I will now go on to explain some of the change and ideas that have occurred during my term on the CSEG Executive. Arguably, some of the Technical Programs highlights involve the "Distinguished Lecture Series" sponsored by CSEG. While the subject matter presented IS not always pertinent to the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin, the authors consistently provide exceptional presentations on a broad range of topics. I was excited to hear this lecture series has been videotaped and is archived at SEG headquarters in Tulsa. We are currently in the process of obtaining for the CSEG office a complete set of the SEG Distinguished Lecture Series on VHS videotape for use by our membership.
Now if I were to assume (exploration geophysics is filled with assumptions?) that imitation is the highest form of flattery, then the SEG should feel quite flattered in the future. We are currently in the process of investigating what costs/considerations would be involved in setting up a similar library of our own CSEG presentations. Based upon our 1997 Membership Survey (available at the CSEG office), 38% of the members surveyed that did not attend monthly luncheons stated "too busy" as their explanation for non-attendance. As one of the primary directives of our Society is to gain access/information on technical subjects, the video library should help those members whose schedules do not accommodate the scheduled monthly meetings. Of secondary benefit, it would be a resource for students trying to better understand the nature or "state of the art" of current exploration technologies and plays. The resource could also be used by the exploration industry as a whole where geophysical/seismic considerations are sometimes met with skepticism ... (honest it happens, some people think geophysics is limited, idiots ...).
Regardless, what has become clearly apparent to me is that there exists ample room for om Society to grow in its role as provider of current, pertinent technical information. As touched upon in a previous column by Nancy Shaw, the CSEG President elect 1998, the fact that in the next two years the CSEG will be participating in several major conventions Geo-Triad 1998, SEG 2000, and GeoCanada. Now is our opportunity to demonstrate to the world's geophysical communities that we are truly leaders in technology and innovation and that our membership is among the elite of our knowledge based discipline.
Why are we (Executive) all reminding people of these existing upcoming events? Primarily because of the excitement that will surround them and the elevated status our Society will receive through participation. A second and equally important reason is that all of these events will need volunteers to be truly successful. The current Executive consist of eight people, all of whom volunteer their time for your society. Including all Sub-committees, public and Society liaison persons, the number grows to 29. Including annual convention committees and social event organizers, the total is probably closer to 100 people. A surprisingly large number, yet a number that will need to increase substantially for the year 2000. This is both the opportunity and the challenge that our Society will face in the coming years.
Not wanting to become a "fearmonger", I do realize that in the past, when the need arises, our membership does step forward. This year our goal to increase the membership in our society was hugely successful (approximately 130 new members) due to the efforts of a membership sub-committee. We continue to improve and expand our annual convention/exposition, again through the effort of our membership. Every year the various social committees produce memorable and completely sold-out social events. Congratulations to all!
In conclusion, it always seems that just when things get going and we start having some fun it is time to leave. My rookie year has left me with an appreciation for what is involved to be an effective part of a voIunteer committee and a desire to stay involved. Also, taken from my acceptance letter of one year ago, I have found my tenure a rewarding experience. I would urge others, who have contemplated volunteering their time to do so, as I was told "getting involved is the only chance we have to complain and actually be heard".
I better go now. It seems I have actually committed to investigating what is necessary to record/archive our technical luncheons ....
Departing Second Vice President