Greetings and Happy Thanksgiving.
Sometime in May I received an email from Scott Leaney who indicated there was a grass roots movement by close friends of noted UBC professor Tad Ulrych to undertake a small seminar honoring Tad’s very considerable contributions to geophysics. The impetus behind the event was Dr. Ulrych’s health – he’d suffered a stroke in September 2012. Scott and fellow organizer Brian Russell asked if the CSEG would be willing to help run the event, provide deposits on venues in advance of the seminar’s own funding becoming established, backstopping financing, helping with registration and similar activities for which the CSEG has both infrastructure and staff. Jim and Sheryl didn’t even blink when asked to help out with a new and unexpected event. This is typical for them, and the Society is very fortunate to have them in our office. Like most of the requests of a similar nature I’ve received, the organizers had established a budget and a plan aimed at a self supporting, break-even event. In the end, CSEG financial involvement was very limited. (How is it that a bunch of earth scientists understand finances better than, say, highly paid executives of failed investment banks or other groups I could malign after the 2008/2009 financial crisis?) In any event, the proposal was sound, the intent excellent and ultimately, the event was a success. The talks were excellent. Rob Kendall attended on behalf of the CSEG and has suggested we immediately seek to bring in one of the talks to our luncheon meetings, a suggestion supported by one of the other attendees. Occurring in Vancouver (Tad is unable to travel) and near the Labour Day weekend, attendance was limited, but I understand Tad was considerably moved by the event. In my estimation, CSEG support of this type of event is simply ‘a good thing to do’ and if we are in a position to do so we should assist. To our young members, and those perhaps not from UBC who are unfamiliar with Dr. Ulrych’s impressive contributions – spark up Google and have a look. A cursory look at the annual reports from Tad’s UBC Research Consortium (CDSST – Consortium for the Development of Specialized Seismic Techniques) will show Tad’s mentoring and formative influence on a number of currently highly recognizable seismic names. Check www.eos.ubc.ca/research/cdsst/members/introduction_97.pdf. In that vein, and as a last word about the seminar: from the CSEG to Dr. Ulrych, simply, thank you.
Another event that will be in the past when this goes to print are an excellent presentation on Acquisition Modeling by Carl Regone, part of an SEG Distinguished Lecture tour. Aside from the thought provoking technical content (Sam Gray, who introduced Carl, said to me during photos at the end of the luncheon meeting that he thought Carl might make a controversial or unexpected statement, but he didn’t expect several).
Carl mentioned that the acquisition model takes up tremendous disk volumes – he cited one single model as being over a PetaByte (1000 TB). I have relayed that statistic to the polite but persistent IT manager in my office who has made it a personal quest to ensure that I reduce the amount of data on one of our 5 TB disks. He greets me at the coffee station, not with ‘good morning’, but with either a wry smile or a bit of a frown and the words “Y drive”. He needs to meet Carl, I think.
The MUG Technology Days event is happening as I write this column – rescheduled from its original late June date. Thanks are expressed to Shawn Maxwell, organizers and sponsors. In other microseismic news, announcements should be out concerning the Induced Seismicity Forum conducted later this year by the Chief Geophysicists Forum’s Microseismic Sub-Committee.
DoodleTrain is imminent. It remains a high value training opportunity. CSEG expresses thanks to sponsors and venue sponsors. My personal thanks to the organizing committee, chaired this year by Mike Hall.
The CSEG executive and Foundation were searching a bit for a Southern Alberta flood-related geosciences initiative that we could perhaps support in a modest way. While the relief initiative captured a lot of effort and press, there was a feeling around the table at both CSEG and CSEG Foundation meetings that a geoscience data related initiative would be the only logical thing a technically focused society could logically support. After a few inquiries it went a bit quiet – relief was, appropriately, center stage. Then Don Lawton sent an email out to some folks inviting them to drop by U of C’s field school which was investigating previous flood events in the Bow River valley using seismic and EM methods. Don indicated that the City was engaged with the process and was, unsurprisingly, interested in the results. Accordingly, both the CSEG and the CSEG Foundation are considering (as of September 10th) contributing to U of C’s efforts. For those of you across the country, CSEG’s executive understands that this looks like another Calgary-centric thing, and we do apologize to an extent. Both executives considered that a precedent would be set with this type of thing – that (full facetious tone begins) anybody with a disaster will be asking for money. Then, in all seriousness, we thought that is actually a good precedent – that asking for support to obtain geoscience technical data following such an event is, like the “Tad-fest”, simply a good thing to do so long as we are in a fiscal position to do it.