This is my first column as incoming CSEG President for 2013 and important acknowledgements need to be made at the outset.
Thank you to the outgoing Executive for choosing to serve the Society with your time. Personal time is precious and our individual overall time as vertical, breathing members of society can be tragically short on occasion, so the gift of your time to the geophysical community is appreciated. Particular personal thanks must go to Rob Kendall. CSEG president and Vice-President work closely together and it has been pleasantly educational working with Rob. He ‘thinks big’ and has left the Society poised for improvement. Thank you.
For details, I’d ask readers to refer to Rob’s March 2013 Presidential Column which summarizes the CSEG’s status as of year end. I won’t re-state it but the highlights are:
- Membership is up
- Finances are sound
- Foundation is sound
- New ‘rebranding’
That ‘general state of goodness’, if you will, does not happen by accident. Further acknowledgements are in order. The Society has excellent staff. Jim Racette has been with us for 13 years, and Sheryl Meggeson reached the 10-year milestone earlier this year. The Society has as astonishing volunteer base across the spectrum: outreach – Convention – Social Committees and so on. Thank you all.
My typing skills are appalling, and the geophysical community is comfortable with (many) acronyms so I’ll refer to the General State of Goodness as the GSG. The current GSG implies, to my mind, three fold responsibility: 1) to preserve the GSG by simply not wrecking it, 2) to ‘use our powers for good’ to borrow cultural shorthand from the superhero comic book world, and 3) to prepare for the inevitable flip side of the GSG – the shocking state of badness – otherwise known in the resource economy as the bust.
So, how might we fulfill those responsibilities?
To the first, it has become apparent to me in the last year that the CSEG’s executive acts a bit like stewards, preserving the legacy of past efforts by the community while at the same time trying to re-shape for the future. We’ll continue to do that, and I think we have an executive group that is well suited to the task with a good demographic, technical, and sector mix.
To the second, we will use our powers for good (it is truly fun to type those words) by continuing to rely on the Foundation’s excellent efforts such as Outreach and Scholarships. Profound thanks to members who have responded to the Foundation’s fundraising efforts – your donations will help ensure that Foundation is able to continue undertaking ‘heavy lifting’ for CSEG in those areas and others. We look forward to continued significant Foundation participation in Earth Science for Society when it emerges next year under APEGA’s purview.
CSEG’s Executive has formed an ad hoc committee to pursue opportunities to engage with our engineering colleagues in an effort to demonstrate to those outside the geophysical community that geophysics is a solid value proposition. We hope that such engagement will provide some small impetus to the economics of our business and thereby aid in employment levels for our professional members and activity levels for our service sector.
The new ad hoc Engineering Outreach committee has clear parallels to this year Convention theme: Integration. So, now, here are a few comments about the convention. By press time, advance registration will probably be finished but if you haven’t registered, please do so – the program looks excellent. The Technical Chairs report excellent abstracts in large numbers. Exhibits have sold out. Sponsorship levels are strong – thank you to all sponsoring companies. Superb luncheon speakers have been lined up. It should be an excellent event. Please check www.geoconvention.com for details.
To the third, we need to take measures to maintain and preserve revenue and keep a reserve for the inevitable bust cycle.
On the reserves side the CSEG has, for many years, maintained a capital reserve that would allow us to weather an economic downturn. We will review the reserve amounts to ensure they remain adequate and appropriate.
On the revenue side, by the time this issue goes to print, we anticipate that the new structure for future Conventions will have been approved by the executives of the three partner societies (CSEG, CSPG, and CWLS). The structure will, in legal terms, take the form of a Partnership, much like an accounting or law ‘firm’ partnership agreement. In practical terms, the GeoConvention Partnership provides a platform for continuity, growth, and competitiveness for the Convention. A strengthened Convention structure lets us compete head on with the increasing number of commercial conference companies, and should provide for stable financials for all three-member organizations. A strengthened and permanent Convention Partnership is welcomed by all three Societies as a natural means to support ‘geo-cooperation’ amongst the Partners. Thanks are due here to Paul MacKay, CSPG President, and Gordon Lee CWLS Past President, Rob McGrory and others for extraordinary efforts to move the draft agreements forward in cooperative ‘cathedral thinking’ kind of way. The Convention Partnership Agreement should provide healthy futures for all three societies.
In the same spirit of ‘geo-cooperation’ we signed an MOU with EAGE in early March and, again, by press time for this issue, we expect that a similar cooperative MOU will be inked with SEG. The CSEG is the smaller entity in both cases. We hope to realize improved international recognition of the expertise that our community contains. In boxing terms, we hope to regain the ability to punch above our weight class.
Look forward to updates in various RECORDER issues from the Foundation and from the Chief Geophysicists Forum.
Personally, I look forward to another good year for the CSEG. Thank you for the opportunity to serve.