As Assistant Director of Education this past year, I have seen first-hand the excellent work done by Jon Downton on behalf of the members on the education front. It’s a big job coordinating the continuing education, scholarship, convention technical, luncheon and outreach committees as well as the DISC. Thanks Jon – you’ve done a great job. This coming year, Jon passes the ball to me, and together with Petra Buziak, the incoming assistant director of education, I’ll do my best to fill his shoes.
As 2007 begins, planning has already started for this year’s DoodleTrain and other events in the education program including the return of short courses to the convention. Last year was quite a success. The DoodleTrain attracted over 400 participants and raised approximately $100k for the society. The outreach committee is more active than ever, more than 20 CSEG Scholarships were awarded and the CSEG distinguished lecturer, Brian Russell has nearly completed visiting 12 university campuses across Canada.
This year will see some structural changes to the way CSEG’s education programs are delivered. The newly established CSEG Foundation, a charitable trust with CSEG-appointed board members and a mandate to promote geophysics, will take over the scholarship program. Donations to the trust fund made by companies and individuals will be charitable donations for tax purposes and the fund will grow and eventually support other ongoing educational projects. There are strict rules regarding how such a trust can distribute funds – It can’t just give the money back to the CSEG to run a program like the distinguished lecturer. One solution is for the CSEG Foundation to take on certain outreach programs and run them itself, in the same way that the SEG Foundation runs its Distinguished Instructor Short Course. Needless to say the CSEG Foundation will bring lasting benefits to geophysics in Canada. This first year we may have some growing pains as we learn how the CSEG and the new foundation can work together on program delivery.
One final note: The DoodleTrain and all CSEG programs are volunteer-run. New people bring fresh ideas and new approaches. They also make new contacts and life-long friendships in our industry. If you would like to play a role in any of the CSEG programs, call Sheryl at the CSEG office, 262-0015. Many hands make light work!