By the time the September RECORDER arrives at your home or office, it will have been something like 11 weeks since the flood. I know of several members who were directly and profoundly affected, and who seem to have had informal assistance in abundance in the immediate aftermath. I was hauling loads of debris out of the Mission area with two of my daughters when one of them remarked that every single one of her close friends had spent at least one day undertaking volunteer flood relief work. I’ve heard several stories of individual and corporate service by members of our geophysical community. Please share them with the RECORDER; we have had requests to put some of those stories into print. In any event, this lifetime Calgarian expresses thanks to all those who’ve chosen to lend a hand.

I was privileged to spend a few days immediately prior to writing this column looking at shale and fine grained clastic outcrops in the Kananaskis and Highwood areas with a pair of distinguished colleagues: Dr. Paul MacKay (current CSPG President) and Dr. Per Pedersen from the University of Calgary. That lithology is typically found in the valleys, and aside from the outcrops’ obvious implications for the current self sourced and tight resource plays, the valleys all showed profound examples of flood related ‘geology in action’: a 15 meter waterfall completely filled on the downstream side, 20 cm trees stripped of their bark some 5-6 meters above the mid August water level (which looked much more like a mid July water level); every drainage valley about twice it’s previous width – and so on. The simple volume of water, its velocity and the obviously massive sediment load added up to produce an astonishing event. It is something fully unequalled in my 50-year memory of Calgary and its surrounding area.

This edition of the RECORDER includes the first column from the Value of Integrated Geophysics (VIG) committee, created by the CSEG. The VIG will be running columns in every issue for the next year. The intent is to emulate the length and tone of Oliver Kuhn’s well-received general science column. Lee Hunt has prepared the first VIG column, with input from the committee. I believe Kurt Wikel will prepare the October column. CSEG will have a booth at the upcoming fall conference of the Canadian Society of Unconventional Resources (CSUR). CSUR has asked the VIG to prepare a half day short course on the use and value of geophysics in self sourced and tight plays. That work is underway.

September on the calendar for the CSEG means that the current executive needs to look at replacing itself. In other words, CSEG needs volunteers to stand for election for the 2014/15 Executive Committee. Personally, the present executive is younger than usual, and balanced in terms of industry sector, academic credentials, and gender. These are, in my view, good things for an Executive Committee. If you are interested in serving on the executive committee, or know somebody who might be interested, please contact me directly, or through the CSEG office.

The CSEG is fortunate in having an excellent, and efficient staff. Our budget is about 10% of the SEG’s budget, but our staff complement is about 2% of the SEG’s. That speaks to both fine staff and an excellent volunteer base. Our two staff combines for 23 years of service to the CSEG. 2013 is a bit of a milestone year for Sheryl Meggeson who marks 10 years with us. Thank you for your contribution to the geophysical community, Sheryl.

In APEGA news of interest to our registered professional members, an effort has been underway that would see APEGA and it’s counterparts in Ontario and BC (representing 90% of the registered geoscientists in the country) ratify an agreement allowing for incidental practice. Incidental practice is non-stamping practice in another jurisdiction amounting to less than 45 days in a calendar year. IP days would need to be tracked and reported much like Professional Development hours. An IP agreement would legitimize the current general ways Geoscientists deal with short term practice in other jurisdictions: 1) simply ignore the days, or 2) register in multiple jurisdictions at some cost and effort. While the agreement under consideration now involves only three provinces it is hoped that it would serve as an example and expand naturally to a nationwide initiative. Notably, the small jurisdictions are opposed to IP on financial grounds. Also notable: APEGA has about 50% of the registered geoscientists nationwide. If you are a registered professional and are sufficiently informed about IP and feel strongly about it please contact APEGA (Tom Sneddon, or Colin Yeo) to express you opinions. Information about IP should be available from Tom Sneddon, but you may contact me as well.

Lastly, the sad news. In mid July, John Boyd and I received communication from Peter Duncan that Jim Montalbetti, a former CSEG member who moved to Australia many years ago was gravely ill. Jim passed away about a week later. Peter asked that the ‘old timers’ be informed of Jim’s (Jimmy to his friends) death. He’ll be missed. The Calgary geophysical community was more directly affected by the sudden loss of Alan Richards in mid-July. Simply; a good man gone too soon. He too will be missed.

On that sad note, as I sit here on a sunny day in August, looking out at a world that seems fine, I’ll paraphrase the crusty old sergeant from Hill Street Blues (Google it if you’re under 45) who sent the cops out on the street with these words: “Stay safe out there”.

Stay well out there – happiness is an inside job.



Share This Column