Year in review
On March 30, the new CSEG Executive takes office. This will be the end of my term as President of our society. The commitment to be President is a three-year minimum commitment: one year each as Vice President, President, then and Past President. There are many opportunities to remain active and connected to the society beyond those three years as many past presidents can attest. I look forward to many more years of active volunteering within our society. I take this opportunity to touch upon some key elements of the past year.
Membership Survey Results
A survey of our membership was completed in early 2008. Doug Bogstie published the results of our surveys in the May 2008 RECORDER. Further to the CSEG survey, the Canadian Federation of Earth Sciences (CFES) conducted a broader survey across Canada and published their results in July 2008. The results can be found on the CFES web site at: http://www.geoscience.ca/. Both surveys point to an aging population of geoscientists, and an increased need to get new graduates coming into the practice of geoscience, not only in petroleum, but in mining and environment as well.
Under the guidance of Doug Bogstie, an agreement with the Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists (CSPG) was signed in March 2008 to hold joint conventions every year: the Joint Annual Convention Committee (JACC) was formed. This is a five-year rolling agreement. Plans are under way to include the Canadian Well Logging Society (CWLS) as well. The CSEG and the CSPG have three representatives each on JACC, and one chairperson is chosen from either society. Our current representatives are Andrea Hood, Rob McGrory and Laurie Ross.
The President of the CSEG is invited to attend the meetings of the Geoscience Committee as well as some other meetings of APEGGA. Compliance is the raison d’être of APEGGA, as stated on their web site (www.apegga.org): “The Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists, and Geophysicists of Alberta (APEGGA) has regulated the practice of engineering, geology and geophysics in Alberta since 1920. The Association’s authority is derived from provincial statute.” As part of this mandate, APEGGA is actively involved in defining education requirements for practicing geophysics, and works hard at trying to ensure that the same or equivalent curriculum are in effect in all universities across Canada for easy transfer between provinces. Many discussions are held at the international level as well. We appreciate being informed by APEGGA of all initiatives that might affect the practice of geoscience, and therefore our members. APEGGA has made an effort to reach out to and communicate with other societies like the CSEG and the CSPG – yet you can be assured that your membership in the CSEG remains confidential as required by privacy laws.
As the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) is quickly becoming THE international body of geoscience, it is reviewing its governance to ensure proper representation and effective decision- making. The CSEG is an active participant in the review of the governance. It is a long process, as any change to the governance would have to be voted upon at a Council Meeting held once a year during the annual conference. To ensure a positive result in any resolution presented to the Council, all stakeholders are invited to be active participants in the discussions, and hopefully will result in a stronger and even more effective SEG.
In the past year, the CSEG and the SEG have signed an agreement allowing the CSEG to sell SEG books in our office in Calgary. Check it out: if you want an SEG book that we do not have on hand, ask for it and we can order it for you. You are saved the hassle of cross-border shopping and can pay in Canadian dollars directly in our office.
CSEG Foundation / Outreach
The CSEG Foundation has been revamped over the last few years and has seen its corpus grow due to the transfer of some excess funds from the CSEG (a not-for-profit society) to the CSEG Foundation (a registered charitable organization). The synergies between Outreach and the Foundation are being reviewed to ensure maximum efficiency of all our activities and to prevent duplication of efforts.
The voting for the CSEG executive positions has been offered online for the last couple of years. We have seen increase participation from 27% last year to almost 35% this year. We hope to see a further increase in the coming year. This year we have received comments on the nomination process and we take those suggestions very seriously. We will endeavour to seek nominations more aggressively from the membership at large this coming year.
Following an initiative of moving our membership database to a new system over a year ago, followed by a revamping of our web site, we were able to start offering more services online. In the past year, we have introduced membership renewal online, luncheon tickets purchase online, and DISC (SEG/EAGE Distinguished Instructor Short Course) registration online. In the near future, if you purchase your luncheon ticket online, you will be given the option of printing your own ticket to save you the trouble of getting it from the CSEG office. We hope to keep increasing our services online even more. Over 50% of the DoodleTrain registrations and membership renewals were done online this past year. The technical luncheon tickets purchases are still under 10% online, probably due to the larger companies buying bulk tickets and paying by cheque. Thank you to the concerted efforts of Corey Hooge (web site editor) with the executive and our staff for these new undertakings.
Last year in his annual report, Doug Bogstie wrote, “…record net revenues point to a society with a bright future and one capable of weathering an uncertain business environment.” As I write this message in March 2009, this uncertain business environment has been with us for quite a few months now. Indeed our society is in good financial shape to weather this storm, yet we used prudence when preparing our 2009 budget. Just as our volunteers are committed to our society, the society wants to maintain his commitment to its members and maintain top-notch services: we do not want basic services like the RECORDER and the technical luncheons to be affected by the downturn. We also ensured that Outreach funding was maintained in order to keep our outlook on the future.
A thank you is warranted to the current executive team: Larry, Marzena, Michael, Petra along with Doug and Jon. Assisting in the duties are Brock, Carol, Jennifer and Torr all ready to take up their respective portfolios for the coming year. A very special thankyou to Doug Bogstie, who helped, guided, counselled, advised or took charge as appropriate throughout the year. Jon Downton will bring a technical angle to the leadership of the CSEG that will further the mandate of our society: “… to promote the science of geophysics, especially as it applies to exploration, and to promote fellowship and co-operation among those persons interested in geophysical prospecting.” Jim and Sheryl, our staff, are always there to help all of us, whether it is to support the executive, the committees, or the members at large.