As incoming Director of Educational Services for 2012-2013, it is my pleasure first of all to thank Mike Perz, my predecessor, for his outstanding efforts over the past two years. I’m sure we will all miss his wry sense of humour, but I expect to see Mike at the luncheon head table in the very near future in some capacity, as he has been an avid volunteer for the CSEG for a number of years (CSEG Scholarship Committee 2000-2002 and numerous technical contributions through the years including CSEG Technical Co-Chair 2007 Joint Convention “Let it Flow”). I would also like to thank David Emery for his invaluable work on the Luncheon Committee dating back to 2008. One of the most important duties of the luncheon committee in the days prior to the luncheon is the compilation and organization of the announcement and cycling slides – often with insertions and revisions required just minutes before the doors are opened to members. David has always delivered the goods – so thanks David! Mohammed Al-Ibrahim has offered to take over responsibility for slide preparation, with David staying on as an advisor. Finally, I’d like to thank Larry Mewhort, who has helped out on the luncheon committee since serving as Assistant Director and then Director of Educational Services 2003-2005. Larry has offered to continue – thanks Larry!
In preparing to write this message, I browsed through the history of the CSEG posted on our website, which is excerpted from Traces Through Time (David Finch, 1985). I was intrigued to find that the current objective of the CSEG as stated in the Bylaws has almost the same wording and certainly the same intent as the original 1949 version from the three-page constitution that gave rise to the CSEG:
“The object of this Society is to promote the science of geophysics especially as it applies to exploration, and to promote fellowship and cooperation among these persons interested in geophysical problems.”
The principal activity of the CSEG in the early 1950’s were the evening technical meetings, organized every few months and held in the Palliser hotel. In 1955, the executive agreed to schedule the get-togethers monthly. However, founding member Ralph Copeland later recalled that the CSEG was as much a social society as technical.“ Everybody knew everybody. It was a marvelous organization”. The CSEG established a Public Relations Committee in 1953 to create a vocational guide booklet, an outline of operating principles for crew conduct, and to consider publishing a newsletter or bulletin. It appears that the very first bulletin was titled “Calling all Golfers…”, which announced the inaugural Doodlebug golf tournament. Obviously, the priorities of geophysicists haven’t changed very much in the intervening decades!
In 1957, the Education Committee was struck to serve both an education and public relations purpose. A high school lecture program was established so that members could address students directly. In 1961, ten technical meetings were held, two scholarships awarded, nine newsletters published, the research committee active, and a one-day conference held on the major problems facing exploration geophysics. The first SEG was held in Calgary in 1962 and the CSEG held it’s first 3 day convention in 1973 “Canada’s North – An Information Update”.
Fast forward to 2012, and although computers and the internet have transformed the way we do geophysics and how we communicate, the primary functions of the CSEG have remained steadfast for many years. Of course, there have been many additional educational initiatives that have brought us to where we are now and provide additional context to where we may want to go in the future – the DoodleTrain comes to mind – but for 2012 the planned changes will be incremental. As Assistant Director of Educational Services, the best advice I received was “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. With this advice in mind, we will be looking to build on past successes and, above all, “promote fellowship and cooperation among these persons interested in geophysical problems”.
Before I describe in more detail some of the initiatives for 2012, it would be helpful to define the role of educational services within the CSEG. Under the Bylaws, Section 5 – Duties of Director of Educational Services:
“The Director of Educational Services shall be responsible for arranging the technical and the continuing education programs of the Society including the technical luncheons and the Continuing Education committee; shall have authority to appoint such assistants as may be required; shall perform other duties as directed by the Executive Committee.” The organizational chart (which can be found on the website), lists the key roles for Educational Services as a) Continuing Education, b) DoodleTrain, c) Technical Luncheons, d) Distinguished Instructor Short Course (DISC – offered by the SEG each spring), and e) Best Paper Awards for Convention, RECORDER and Luncheon. To these we can add f) Lunchbox Geophysics – ongoing for a number of years, and g) the CSEG Symposium – new for 2012.
The following initiatives are underway. Note that these initiatives reflect the combined efforts of a number of volunteers, some of whom are named below – my apologies to those I have missed.
- Continuing Education Committee. Although specified under the bylaws, Educational Services did not have a formal Continuing Education Committee other than the combined efforts of the Director and Assistant Director, in cooperation with many of the other functional areas within the CSEG including Member Services (RECORDER, Web Site, Journal), the CSEG Technical Co-Chair for the Joint Annual Convention Committee (JACC), DoodleTrain (although under Educational Services, functionally independent) and the CSEG Foundation and Outreach Committees. Larry Herd, our able president and soon to be past president, convened a meeting Feb 3 where he proposed a Continuing Education Committee composed of the Director and Assistant Directors of Educational Services (for 2012 Hugh Geiger and Shawn Maxwell), Chair of the DoodleTrain Committee (Doug Uffen), and CSEG Technical Co-Chair for JACC (John Fernando). The initial task will be to transfer organization of the CSEG Convention Courses to the DoodleTrain committee for 2013, with 2012 being a transition year.
- Microseismic User Group. Following upon the successful 2009 Microseismic Workshop, Shawn Maxwell proposed that a user group be formed. In fact, the CSEG Bylaws (Article XVI, Section 1) has a formal procedure for establishing “Sections”: “Upon petition of 20 Active Members of the Society in good standing residing within appropriate distance of a central point, or sharing a common interest or problem, the Council may authorize the formation of a Section”. However, it was deemed more appropriate that User Groups fall under the responsibility of the Director of Educational Services as a technical education program, similar in function to CSPG Technical Divisions. The newly formed Microseismic User Group (MUG) is the first such group, with committee members Shawn Maxwell, Paige Snelling and David Close. The inaugural meeting was held Feb 28, with a second meeting scheduled for end March. Moving forward, we are looking to follow a similar model: a successful workshop with significant continued interest and motivated volunteers as justification for formation of a user group. We are looking for a topic for a possible workshop to be held in October 2012.
- CSEG Symposium (thanks to Satinder Chopra for proposing and chairing the inaugural 2012 event) and CSEG Awards Ceremony (thanks to past president John Townsley). The 2012 CSEG Symposium on March 22 is the first of what will be an annual event, held each year in March following the AGM meeting. It will showcase the CSEG’s best speakers, with talks featuring the application of value-adding technologies in a case study format. The format is a one day event, single session, with lunch included. In order to attract case studies, there will be no published papers or abstracts related to the work shown. Featured speakers will present by invitation only. For 2012 , the keynote address is by Jon Downton. Speakers include Lee Hunt, David Gray, Laurie Bellman, Larry Lines, James Schueelke, John Eastwood, Bill Goodway and Marian Hanna, with a tribute to CSEG Symposium Honourees Dan Hampson and Brian Russell by Keith Hirsche. A highlight of the lunch will be the annual CSEG awards ceremony, with the outstanding achievements of the society’s members honoured. Tickets for the lunch only will also be available. The 2012 CSEG Symposium promises to be a highlight of the year, and a notto- miss event for CSEG members!
- Technical Luncheons. Many of the slots for the 10 scheduled technical luncheons are allocated for the following talks: 1) CSEG Distinguished Lecturer, 2) CSEG Convention Lecturer, 3) SEG Spring Distinguished Lecturer, 4) SEG/AAPG Joint Fall Distinguished Lecturer, 5) SEG Fall Distinguished Lecturer, 6) DoodleTrain Lecturer, and 7) SEG Honourary Lecturer. This leaves only 3 luncheons available for other speakers. As you might surmise, luncheon slots are booked out well in advance - 2012 was completely booked by the fall of 2011, and there are now no slots available until 2013. We have asked a number of possible speakers to consider the Lunchbox Geophysics as a suitable forum for their talk.
- SEG Distinguished Instructor Short Course (DISC). On April 10, 2012, Christopher Liner from the University of Houston will present “Elements of Seismic Dispersion: A somewhat practical guide to frequency-dependent phenomena”. Registration is limited to 150 people. Although the SEG DISC is not a new initiative, it would be remiss of me not to mention it in my message with the course only a few weeks away. I would like to thank Jim Racette and Sheryl Meggeson in the CSEG office for organizing every aspect of the DISC.
- DoodleTrain (thanks to Doug Uffen as incoming chair). The DoodleTrain courses, held in November of each year, are surely one of the CSEG’s finest educational services to members, and one capably managed by the committee with almost no involvement by the Director and Assistant Director of Educational Services. Returning courses are already posted to the CSEG website. I’m sure you will hear more in coming months.
I hope you will agree that the CSEG offers a wide range of educational services. If you have any ideas for additional offerings, or suggestions for change, please contact me at hgeiger@talismanenergy. com. I look forward to serving you this year and hope to see you at some of our events!