This executive column marks my final act as your Past President (though in actual fact, due to the vagaries of the publishing schedule, I write this as Past Past President). Over the last year, one of my key responsibilities was to chair the Honours and Awards Committee. This year, in addition to nominating the award recipients we also reviewed the honours the society currently bestows and whether they meet our continuing needs.
This review was motivated from feedback from our members and discussions we had at our long range planning session in June of 2010. Prior to this review the society gave out three awards; the CSEG medal, Honorary membership and the Meritorious Service award. In comparison the SEG gives out ten awards, the CSPG gives out more than eight, APEGGA gives out twelve Summit awards plus numerous volunteer awards. As President, I was asked on a number of occasions to nominate our members for these other societies’ awards. It struck me as odd that we had not recognized these same individuals within our own society. Part of the issue was the narrowness of scope of our 3 current awards. Further, these awards honour a sum of contributions and by consequence are given to people relatively mature in their careers. In reviewing our awards we wanted a way to honour some of our younger energetic members who have made an impact on our society. Further, it was recognized that with today’s global economy people may work in a number of locations around the world and that we should recognize people who are making a contribution while they are still in Canada.
To address these issues we proposed three new awards to the CSEG Executive and all three of these were accepted by CSEG executive. The first of these is the technical achievement award. It is to recognize geophysicists who have made a significant impact on Canadian geophysics over the last 5 years. This could be someone early in their career or later, the primary criterion is that they have made a significant technical contribution over the previous 5 year time period. This award should give the society the chance to recognize contributions of a different nature than that honoured by the CSEG medal. The wording of this award is…
The Technical Achievement Award is awarded to a person who, in the unanimous opinion of the Honours and Awards Committee and the Executive Committee, has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of Canadian Geophysics as manifested during the previous five years. The contribution may be of a technical or a professional nature.
The next award introduced is the special commendation award. This gives the society the ability to honour CSEG nonmembers who have made a significant impact on the society. This was identified as a current limitation of the Meritorious Service award. It is envisioned that this would be awarded to someone who has made a specific notable achievement such as championing a new CSEG initiative.
The Special Commendation Award is to recognize and honour individuals who have made a significant contribution to the CSEG, the public and/or the industry as a whole. This award may be for recognized community leadership, professional leadership, or for contributions outside the main stream of geophysics.
It is viewed that this award would be given in recognition for services of a more limited scope than that of the Meritorious Service Award. The Meritorious Service award is thought to be more for a body of work and as such to further differentiate the two, the wording for the Meritorious Service award was changed striking out the “or” between prominent and lengthy. Thus the new wording reads…
The Meritorious Service Award is given to members of the CSEG who have made a prominent and/or lengthy contribution to the Society and/or the industry as a whole. Current practice is to make a maximum of two of these awards each year.
Lastly the CSEG Foundation needed an award to honour benefactors. The wording of this award is…
The Benefactors Award may be given by the unanimous approval of the Awards and Executive committees to individuals who have made a significant contribution in support of the goals of the CSEG Foundation. This award shall confer life membership on its recipients.
The strength of the CSEG rests with the strong spirit of volunteerism that exists within our Society. While people do not volunteer for awards, it is nice to be able to honour them. With these new awards I hope we can honour a few more individuals who have helped make our society great. With this I bid adieu. I have enjoyed serving as your President, and look forward to serving in new roles in following years.