Since joining the geophysical community I have learned that a lot of people got into this industry entirely by accident. I have asked people how they got into geophysics and have always found the stories interesting, if not humorous! When Ron Larson and I were interviewing Barry Korchinski we realized others may find it as interesting as we do. So I have decided to add a new section (pardon the pun) to this column…” How I Got into Geophysics.” To start it off I have asked my colleagues on the RECORDER and at Precision Seismic to share their stories. If anyone else would like to share their history, please let me know!

This month I have also included information on one of our member’s efforts to raise money for a worthwhile charity. If you have a charity that you are involved in and would like to promote the event, let me know and I will see what I can do.

How I got into Geophysics...

Allan Feir, Precision Seismic Processing

It was the early ‘70s, my education was done, so I decided it was time to see some of the world; I packed my bag and headed for England. It is amazing how fast time can fly when you do nothing but party and bum around. Six months was gone and so was most of my money so it was time to get focused and either do something constructive or head back to Canada. At the same time I heard from my brother that Seiscom Delta was looking for more help on one of their field crews. Not knowing what that meant (other than a pay cheque) I hopped on a train to their office in Seven Oaks, Kent. I met with an American that ran their marine operations and talked to him for about 2 hours, most of the discussion was about what we had seen and done around London; after a short break for lunch I returned to the office and was presented with a plane ticket to Gabon, West Africa via Paris (Visa stop), instructions on where to get all the shots I would need and a congratulatory hand shake. I wasn’t sure what had happened but I was off to Africa and my first exposure to a seismic crew and this strange business we are all in.

Vince Law, Hawker Resources Inc.

I was attending the University of Alberta, majoring in Chemistry. My friend Herbert was majoring in Geophysics and had a summer job at Hudson Bay Oil & Gas. He was making a $1000/month which was a lot of money in those days, and certainly more money than I would make in Chemistry. So at the beginning of my third year of university I switched my major to Geophysics. Thanks Herbert!

Michelle Cassity, Jed Oil Inc.

The road to becoming a geophysicist wasn’t a linear one for me. I was raised on a grain and cattle farm in northern Alberta and started out with aspirations of becoming a doctor. After discovering my extreme dislike of any kind of institutionalized education I decided to become a nurse; a career just as important and with less lecture time. I spent three years working as a registered nurse in Alberta, California, and England, and then worked as a nanny and café waitress in Sydney, Australia. So, what to do next? I had become obsessed with the ocean and decided oceanography was the next career for me. A degree was required for this and geology was one of many choices. I had a rock collection as a child so geology became the obvious choice. After completing a year of geology I was drawn towards math and a little less time with rocks, so I went into geophysics. Now here I am, a geophysicist in Calgary with six years of post-secondary education. I took the less traveled path but it was worth every minute, my job is challenging and fun and I have no immediate plans for oceanography. What do I want to be when I grow-up, I’ll let you know if I ever grow-up!

On the Move...

Larry Herd has rejoined Boyd PetroSearch as Vice President. Larry was President of Pixxures Canada Ltd, later Valtus Imagery Services, from 1999 to 2004. Previously, Larry was at Boyd PetroSearch from 1983 to 1999.

Hank Geerlof would like to let all his colleagues know that he has retired from active work due to disability with ALS. He most recently worked for Murphy Oil. He can be reached at 520-5462.

After 21⁄2 years of living like a rock star, Todd Noble has successfully defended his M.Sc. thesis “Structural Evolution and Imaging of Fold-Thrust Structures that Develop in Physical Analog Models” with the Fold-Fault Research Project (www.geo/ucalgary/frp). [I must admit, for me grad school resembled kindergarten; morning arts and crafts playing with plasticine and silicone putty, play time with the centrifuge and afternoon naps. It‘s a shame that not all of these skills can be practised in my new working environment.] I have joined Shell Canada Ltd as a geophysicist in the Frontier Processing Group and can be reached at (403) 691-3251 or email

Evan Perry has recently joined the team of Complete Land Services Ltd. in the role of Business Development. Evan’s extensive experience in sales, marketing, and management will be a welcomed addition to the team at Complete. Complete Land Services Ltd. is a privately owned, geophysical exploration service company specializing in seismic acquisition project management, geomatic services and high quality digital mapping. Evan can be reached at 403-218-3106 or

Jason Nelson joined Trace Energy Services Ltd. on the first of November as Operations Supervisor. Prior to joining Trace Jason was employed by Destiny Resource Services Corp. in their International division starting as a Project Manager in 1997 and continuing as Latin American Operations Manager from 1998 through to 2001. After Destiny closed operations in South America Jason continued on as an independent consultant with varying Geophysical companies in Mexico for just over two years. Jason returned to Canada in February of 2004 to work as a consultant with Aguila Exploration Consultants Ltd. You can contact Jason at:; Tel: 403-265-1696; Fax: 403-265-1693; Cell: 403-510-2756.

Pavlo Cholach has joined BP Canada as geophysicist in northeast BC team in November 2004. Pavlo can be reached at 233.1175 or by e.mail

The Stork has Visited...

Wallace Wells (United Datawyse) and his wife, Diane would like to announce the birth of Jake Wells, November 19, 2004. Jake was a healthy 8lbs. 14 oz. and 21.5” long.

Helping Hands...

Or heads in this case. Bev Hill (Pengrowth Corporation) raised over $2,400 for cancer research by shaving her head. Bev and 5 others shaved their heads to raise a grand total of $7500. We are proud of you Bev!!!

Finally Freedom...

Barbara McClary has retired as of December 17, 2004. Barbara started in the geophysical industry at Shell in 1976. She left Shell in 1983 to go to Canadian Occidental. After 7 years at Canadian Occidental, it was time to move on to Kerr-McGee. Four years later, Barbara joined Ulster. After 5 years Ulster was purchased by Anderson and Barbara joined Olympia Energy. A year later, Barbara rejoined her Ulster associates at Midnight Oil and Gas where she stayed until her retirement date. Barbara was secretary of the CSEG in 1988 and again in 1998, served on the technical committee for the 1991 convention, and was a member of the Chief Geophysicists’ Forum.

Barbara and her husband Keith, will be retiring out to the Crowsnest Pass to spend her days fly fishing, mountain biking, and wandering in the woods.

In her time in industry, Barbara was a data hog - the more lines, the better. Under the tough talk, Barbara is a generous, clever and creative collaborator, and her drilling record attests to this.

After she has had a chance to decompress she wants to get involved mentoring all kinds of academic needs.

Looking for a Job?...

If you are looking for a job, please visit the CSEG website and post your resume on the job board.. We would also like to invite students to post their resumes on-line. We will be promoting the job board within the geophysical community. You do have to be a CSEG member to access the job board. Go to the CSEG website at, click on Membership, then enter the members area. Click on individual job posting and follow the instructions.



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