As the 2019 President of the Canadian Society of Geophysicists (CSEG), I first want to thank all our staff, Board of Directors (BOD), committee chairs and volunteers for uniting their efforts to promote the science of geophysics and fellowship. It is my privilege and honor to serve with you and be apart of a determined group passionate about maintaining and building the CSEG’s effort in “Showing the World how to Understand the Earth”.
There is no doubt that weaknesses in the global oil market, which affected the Alberta economy, had a negative impact on our society. Since 2014, our membership numbers declined, we projected deficit budgets and observed a reduction in sponsorship, advertisement and attendance to various events due to the financial downturn. Nevertheless, as Vice President in 2018, I took the opportunity to attend our many events and was amazed at the camaraderie within and outside of the CSEG community. I am encouraged to see how people come together to continue our work on outreach, provide quality technical and social programs, advance our digital objectives and keep our costs down while coming up with creative ways to generate revenue.
As we look ahead, our strategic direction in 2019 remains the same as set forth by the 2016 Board. The four main strategic objectives are to focus on 1) financial health, 2) member value, 3) promotion of profession and 4) position of society.
First, the goal financially in 2019 is to reduce the deficit budgeted (-$117K) and endeavor to breakeven. As of the end of the April, our year end operational deficit is projected to be -$107K. The reduction in deficit is in large part due to a successful Doodleship course, which returned a profit. Thank you to John Fernando, Dave Emery and John Townsley for organizing this event and Rainer Tonn for providing the lecture.
Second, we are delivering member value by keeping focused on our top member valued programs (i.e. Geoconvention, Recorder and Luncheons) and becoming a digital go-to information source. In 2019, the Recorder committee and Digital Media Committee (DMC) decided to have joint communications meetings about once per quarter to coordinate the digital efforts better. Our digital focus has made Recorder fully digital and recent efforts, by Elizabeth Atkinson, are aimed at changing it to an HTML format. We have an online calendar that is a central go-to place to get event updates, a newsletter that goes out to members bi-monthly with the latest and upcoming news, and a social media presence via Linkedin and Twitter where our members can share posts. A targeted effort by an ad hoc advertising team to sell ads in April’s print edition as well as online ads, was highly successful. Thanks go especially to volunteers Elizabeth Atkinson and Ruth Peach who made this happen. There is a desire to have access to webcasts and we are currently working on making these more easily accessible and available to our members on demand.
Our social events continue to be of value to members with the recent Geoconvention’s “Let’s Get Geophysical” event being sold out. These kinds of events are fun, different from the more formal sit-down lunches and are a great way to network and exchange ideas.
Third, we have taken steps to promote the science of geophysics through connecting with the Canadian Federation of Earth Scientists (CFES). Mike Hall is the new CSEG member on the CFES Council. The CFES has a monthly meeting called “Bacon and Eggheads" in Ottawa, which gives us access to parliamentarians. The talks are usually related to some hot topic in science and in our case, we are looking to give one on geophysics. The CSEG Foundation has some funds available for advocacy related to promoting the science of geophysics and it is something we could utilize to advance this effort.
Fourth, one of the CSEG’s goals is to collaborate and engage with other societies and stakeholders, and make efforts to become a truly Canada-wide society. The CSEG Foundation has and continues to do a great job in serving members across the country, through its work with Earth Science for Society (ESfS), issuing scholarships to students across the provinces, inviting students to attend the Geconvention, and much more. The CSEG is working closely to collaborate with the CSPG since both societies’ members have expressed interest to do so. We are currently working on putting on a joint breakfast event and continue to look for additional ways in which we can collaborate. Also, a joint SEG/CSEG destination learning course to be hosted in Canada is currently in progress and we hope that we can make this happen in 2020.
I want to thank all of you for the support you’ve given the society over the years and your ongoing support in working together to promote the science of geophysics. Even though there are still challenging times ahead, there remains a need for geophysicists and because of this, the CSEG will continue to serve its members.
I look forward to working closely with Geoff Fraser, our 2019 Vice President, the entire board and staff of the CSEG in meeting our goals this year focused on collaboration, advocacy and financial health.