As I write this, the Joint CSPG/CSEG/CWLS convention is behind us. The mood and atmosphere in the industry has certainly changed from a year ago. Gone is the one hundred and fifty dollar oil and the optimism that went with this. We now live with the reality of fifty dollar oil and three dollar gas. As a result this conference will not be the same financial success it was a year ago but nevertheless an excellent meeting was had all the same. All those connected to this have much to be proud of. I personally enjoyed the plenary session discussing economic trends and the implications these will have on our industry. There was an excellent technical program that was well attended. I particularly enjoyed the luncheon with Stuart McLean, a favourite of mine.
As in the past, the main focus of this report was to bring you up to date with some of the activities of the executive and the CSEG. I am particularly proud that the CSEG will be sponsoring a couple of new initiatives brought by our members; one technical and one social reflecting the nature of our society. The CSEG is going to sponsor a half-day golf tournament in close proximity to Calgary. This initiative spear headed by Jocelyn Frankow and Laurie Ross is called the “Twave Golf Tournament” and will take place the 22nd of June. The other initiative lead by Paul Anderson is more technical in nature. The CSEG will sponsor a microseismic workshop at Canada Olympic Park October 13-15th. This is an exciting emerging field in geophysics with important applications for unconventional reservoirs. There was a lot of interest around these talks at the convention last week. The abstract deadline for this is June 19th.
Our member surveys show that one of the most popular events the CSEG holds is our monthly technical luncheon. This is due in no small part to the efforts of our Director of Education Jennifer Leslie-Panek and the luncheon committee behind her. This being the case, we have tried to make these events as affordable as possible but it appears like we are losing money on a consistent basis. This is largely a consequence of increased catering costs over the last several years. As a result, we are currently debating whether to increase the luncheon ticket prices. If you have any strong opinions on the matter please contact me or one of the other directors.
Considering the popularity of the luncheons we have been working on improving the ease of attendance. In the fall we introduced the option for members to buy tickets for the luncheon online. Unfortunately, members still needed to arrange for pickup of their tickets at the CSEG office. This fact largely negated the added convenience of purchasing online. Last month, we added the feature that tickets bought online could also be printed by the purchaser and this seemed to work quite well. We hope this makes it easier for people to attend.
Last month on behalf of the CSEG I attended the Canadian Federation of Earth Sciences (CFES) in Montreal. The CFES is an umbrella organization whose membership is composed of various Canadian earth science societies. The mission of the CFES is to act as a unified voice for earth science in Canada and to raise awareness of the importance of earth science in Canadians’ daily lives. I encourage you to check out their web site http://www.geoscience.ca for some interesting content. The CFES has sponsored a number of initiatives including a report “Human Resources Needs in the Earth Sciences” and position papers published in the Hill times. One benefit they make available to their member organizations is professional liability insurance. In the future we will provide a link to this on our web site.
The meeting was a chance to catch up and find out what other earth science organizations are doing and coordinate efforts. Of particular interest to me was the update by the “The International Year of Planet Earth” committee. Winding down the Year, they are publishing a popular book on the geology of Canada called “Four Billion Years and Counting: Canada’s Geological Heritage”. Further they sponsored the “Where Challenge” targeting kids 10 – 14 years of ages. The challenge was for the contestants to answer the questions “What on Earth is your stuff and WHERE on Earth does it come from?”. I think this kind of outreach initiative is important in allowing kids to draw the links between the earth sciences and their daily lives.
This brings me to my last topic. The Science Center approached the CSEG as an interested scientific association to fill us in on their plans for their new building. They are in the final stages of planning the construction of a new science center north of the Calgary Zoo. The new facilities will be 2.5 X larger than the current one with the ability to display a greater range of exhibits to a broader demographic. Those exhibits will be arranged around 10 key focus areas including energy. The goal is to create exhibits that are more engaging for a broader range of ages including teenagers. It is important to make this age group enthusiastic about science for they will be our future geoscientists.