First I would like to thank the CSEG membership who voted me into office as I consider this an exceptional honour and opportunity to serve your society. In my short time as VP I have noticed significant changes, both in the Executive's function and the society itself, compared to when I last served on the Executive in '94. These changes are primarily in the growth of the committees involved in providing services and direction for the membership, ranging from the MLA through to continuing education (see Doug Uffen's article in the April 2002 Recorder). The results of the volunteer efforts of both committee members and Executive have increased the benefit in being a member of the society. This benefit is especially notable considering that the CSEG membership dues are one of the lowest (if not the lowest) of any society that a Canadian geophysicist might subscribe to. In fact the collective organisation rivals much larger societies in the services it provides to its members, such as the SEG with a large permanent staff.
However this increase and growth in activity has an associated impact on the time that volunteers must spend to adequately handle the various initiatives . Consequently there is an increased need for planning and discussion around effective committee management that is being met through a variety of processes, including the day long annual retreat for the Executive and Committee Chairs and extended monthly Executive meetings. My challenge as part of the incoming Executive, is to maintain the momentum generated by my predecessor Doug Uffen and to come up to speed with the committee contacts as quickly as possible, given the few months between our first full Executive meeting in April and a summer break. In this regard I still have to meet with a couple of the Committee Chairs and hope that we can combine some initiatives, as at least one committee has no contact chairperson. Specific issues that have been identified and are being focused on include a standing committee for the MLA led by John Boyd and supported by Graham Millington (the Chief Geophysicists Committee Chairman) to guide the future of the agreement especially in its uptake. Another pressing concern is with the under-funding for the Chair in Exploration Geophysics at the University of Calgary as the current term with Dr. Larry Lines in the position is drawing to an end . In order to deal with this the "Friends of the Chair " pledge campaign will soon be in full force. I hope we will all donate generously to the campaign, as the Canadian industry benefits significantly from both the local and international educational and research activity generated by the position, as evidenced by Dr. Larry Line's tenure. Neil Rutherford and the Chair Review Committee comprising of Dave Cooper, Larry Lines and Brian Russell are leading this initiative, and various fundraisers will be in touch with you in the near future (also look for a progress update in September's Recorder).
The other major change I have noticed is the demise of the Journal. Although this was inevitable given the lack of interest in paper submissions (including my own apathy) and the substantial publication costs, I am concerned at the lack of scientific zeal amongst Canadian geophysicists to publish in the Journal as opposed to say in Geophysics. I believe that this apathy and technical vacuum stems primarily from the undervaluation of technology and research in the culture of most Canadian Oil and Gas companies, irrespective of size. This is in stark contrast to equivalent companies in other countries, despite the ongoing trend in downsizing departments involved in applying or developing new technology. Still I hope that in time the need for new ideas will prevail and that the industry as a whole will return to supporting Rand D, with the wish to share knowledge through a revival of the Journal. Personally I still feel that I am on a mission to bring the spontaneity and enthusiasm for the science back to applied geophysics, as practised in the Calgary oilpatch.