This is my last RECORDER communication to CSEG membership. My three year commitment to the CSEG executive as Vice-President, President and Past President is rapidly coming to a close. It has been interesting and rewarding. From time to time the sum of ‘day job’ and CSEG hours has been, frankly, burdensome, but that statement could come from dozens and dozens of CSEG volunteers. It could also have come from our staff, who show tremendous commitment to our membership at large and to the large number of volunteer committees that are the real motive force for your Society. In the end, I am happy to have had the opportunity to serve.
The CSEG community is bound by a common reliance on and commitment to an odd branch of applied science. Outsiders don’t typically know what we do. Insiders come in all stripes from the intellectually gifted academic scientists that underpin the method, to the fiscally and socially gifted people who drive the method’s use in industry. The broadly common theme is gifted. In the past three years I’ve had a lot of conversations with a lot of different people in the CSEG community, and I’d suggest that every one of those contained learning at some level for me. Moral of the story: dynamic community has collective wisdom – consider its guidance carefully.
CSEG fits within a larger ‘geo-community’ and in the interests of ‘geo-cooperation’ we have made efforts to reach out to and cooperate with organizations such as the EAGE, the GSH, and the SEG. More important, domestically, has been the cooperation evident in the very good working relationships between CSEG and CSPG Presidents: Paul MacKay/Ron Larson, Rob Vestrum/Dale Leckie, and Tony Cadrin/Rachel Newrick have all been good pairings for the Canadian geo-community in which about half of the registered Professional Geoscientists show Alberta as their home province.
I believe the CSEG has strong executives over the next couple of years. In the past three years I have seen the executive table begin to look younger – that may be an artefact of me being older, but I think the actual age numbers would support that observation. It is probably more gender balanced. In the space of two years, we will have had women serve as President for only the third and fourth times in CSEG history. While certainly overdue, I don’t think that is, in any substantive way, all that meaningful. And, having potentially hurled myself into a deep pit of hot water, I’ll say why: because the next two executives are exceedingly capable just like many of the executive groups before them. Effective stewardship of a community like the CSEG is a matter of hearts and minds, ethics and efforts. Not gender. Full stop.
I think an effective community has a voice that resonates with other communities. CSEG has been trying to find that voice through things like the CSEG Foundation’s Outreach activities, the VIG, GeoConvention (a notable initiative in geo-cooperation in itself), keeping the Recorder publicly available, and through association with Earth Science for Society, and the CSPG Honorary Address (CSEG is a long time sponsor and supplier of volunteers). The geo-community will be under public scrutiny for our involvement in resource extraction. I think we will find that the attention to ethics and accountability that emerges as a theme of the 2015 executive will serve us well going forward. Thank you.