“You really can’t just live in a bubble.”

An interview with Chris Bird and Peter Gagliardi

Coordinated by: Satinder Chopra
Chris Bird and Peter Gagliardi

Chris Bird and Peter Gagliardi, graduate students from the University of Calgary, were the proud winners of the CSEG Challenge Bowl, organized during the 2011 GeoConvention held at Calgary during the month of May. The runners-up were Ginny Ekvall and Jordan Jonasson, comprising the team from University of Alberta. These winners have brought a sense of pride to themselves as well as the geophysicists in Alberta. The RECORDER Committee has tried to encourage such winners and so decided to interview them. This gives them a chance to share their experiences with other members of the CSEG. It was really interesting talking to them and gauging their views on a variety of topics. Following are excerpts from the interview.

(Photos courtesy: Joyce Au.)

Chris and Peter, welcome to this interview. Let’s begin by asking you to tell us something about your educational background and activities that you are pursuing at present. You both have been working during the summer, so you might want to say something about that.

[Chris]: I received my B.Sc. in geophysics at the University of Saskatchewan in 2007. From there I worked at Key Seismic as a seismic processor until 2009. I then started my Masters degree with the CREWES Project at the University of Calgary where I am working on a method of inverting for Q from reflection data called AVF which stands for Amplitude Variations with Frequency. So that’s the quick summary of my educational background.

Do you want to say anything about the work experience?

[Chris]: I have worked three summers in Calgary in interpretation roles. I’ve worked at Encana Corporation, Husky Energy and most recently at ConocoPhillips Canada. At ConocoPhillips I worked on an inversion project. That was really interesting. At Husky Energy I also worked on an inversion project. At Encana I did some petrophysical analysis and seismic interpretation on a coal bed methane project.

You had good variation there. Peter?

[Peter]: I graduated with my B.Sc. in Geophysics from the University of Calgary in 2010 and I immediately went into my Masters Program, also at the U of C and also at CREWES with my supervisor Don Lawton. What I am working on right now is VSP Orientation Calibration. That becomes most useful when you are doing frac jobs and microseismic monitoring, and you want to make sure you know how your geophones are oriented in the borehole. Right now I am looking into the effect of anisotropy and just the general statistics of the whole thing.

For my work experience I had a summer term at Talisman in 2009 where I did some Foothills interpretation. That was a challenging but fun experience and I really enjoyed it and most recently, this summer, I was working at Shell, doing some seismic processing and that was a great experience for me. So that kind of sums everything up.

What motivated you both to take up geophysics as a major and hopefully as a career?

[Chris]: Well, for me, when I started University I was not sure what I was going to take. I actually think I started off most interested in Geology, but I also really took to the mathematics and the physics. I never pieced it together and then one day I think a Professor mentioned “Geophysics” and I was like, “What’s that?” and the rest is kind of history for me. I had never really thought I could combine the math and physics with geology until then... So from there that’s what motivated me to get into Geophysics.

[Peter]: For me I started in physics. You know, I always liked physics and math but the Physics Department is too abstract and there wasn’t enough practical application for me – I had a friend that transferred from physics into geology and he just loved geology. He kept talking about it and talking about it, and you know I kind of went, “Geology sounds really interesting and I am good at math and physics so why don’t I try geophysics out and see how that goes?” and – yeah, I haven’t looked back. It’s been great. I love it. It combines what I love about math and physics but also gives me a practical application by doing something useful.

Very good. So you are both all set to take up geophysics as a career?

[C&P]: Yeah, absolutely.

So what do you intend doing next, just work or do you plan to come back to do more research or anything like that?

[Chris]: For myself I plan to finish my Master’s early in 2012 and then I will be starting full time with ConocoPhillips. So I am going to go straight to work and I am excited about that – opening that chapter in my life.

[Peter]: And for me I will be finishing mid next year, probably in the summer some time and then I will start full time with Shell and I am looking forward to that. I think as much as I like school it’s time to go out into the real world and get some experience out there. I haven’t completely closed my mind to coming back one day and doing more schooling, but for now I think the right thing for me is to go work.

And earn some money also?

[P&C]: Yeah, that’s a bonus!

You already mentioned the attenuation and VSP calibration projects you’ve worked on. I will just ask you this – tell us about the opportunities you had to present papers or posters at the Conventions – have you done that?

[Chris]: Absolutely. I gave an oral presentation at the CSEG convention this year and then I also gave a poster presentation at the SEG Convention in San Antonio. So I have been able to do quite a bit and I think that’s a great thing about CREWES.

To get the opportunity to present?

[Chris]: Yeah, absolutely, there is a lot of motivation to submit abstracts and also a lot of support and a lot of great people to talk to. All the technical advice you could ever ask for is there and so it’s been great and I have really enjoyed presenting.

So were you noticed when you presented at the CSEG this year?

[Chris]: Yes.

Were you nervous?

[Chris]: Oh, was I nervous? Yeah, I was nervous until I started talking. Once I kind of started talking I felt a lot better.

And you probably laid back in the first minute or two. Okay, go ahead Peter.

[Peter]: Yeah, well same with me. I unfortunately didn’t get anything in the SEG this year but I did have an oral presentation at the CSEG this year and I really enjoyed that. I was also a little nervous at the beginning – it definitely took a couple of minutes to settle in and then once I settled in everything was okay. I think both of us, we also have lots of opportunities to present within CREWES. We have an annual Sponsors meeting, so that is good practice for us and you know, I feel like there is a bit more of a direct interest with things like that. The sponsors want to make sure we are doing work that’s useful to them and they may be a little more scrutinizing at the Sponsors Meeting, I would say from what I have seen, so it is a different experience to do that.

So now that you presented at the CSEG and at the SEG do you find any difference? Of course you had a poster at the SEG but still, what differences did you perceive?

[Chris]: Well I gave an oral presentation at the CSEG and then I knew I had a poster presentation coming up at the SEG convention—and so I thought the poster presentation would be a cake walk after giving an oral Presentation. But you know the SEG is just so big and there is just so much going on that even my poster presentation had quite a crowd. So I ended up being pretty nervous, it was kind of shocking.

You cannot take it lightly?

[Chris]: Exactly.

What other areas interest you most and why?

[Peter]: I’ll start. One of the things that made me decide not to do a Ph.D. yet is that there are lots of areas in geophysics that interest me. I had experience doing Foothills work – Foothills interpretation, I’ve had some experience processing some data, and I have had some experience with VSPs in my Thesis work. So there is a lot and right now there is just too much that kind of excites me for me to settle down into one topic. You know, I would like to probably go into something that’s a little more in the forefront – something that’s maybe a little newer, something that hasn’t been investigated too much. Right now I think I wouldn’t mind trying to do near surface processing and that kind of thing because it’s an area that does not seem to have had much work done, so I would like to get in on it. But really, there is just so much that I am still trying to figure out.

That’s okay, take your time!

[Chris]: For myself, I am really interested in seismic theory and inversion but I also enjoy geology. I love interrogating seismic data for geologic information. For me, I don’t see any one discipline to single out as being most important. For instance I obviously need to know a lot about geology to be able to interrogate seismic data for that information, but you also need to know, even what sometimes is considered impractical theory. I believe that if I don’t keep up on the new methods of seismic processing or inversion I am not going to be able to get the full value out of my seismic data. So I pursue even the mathphysics as much as really practical interpretation methods.

This is the time when you can arm yourself with different types of mathematical techniques and knowledge of other disciplines, and how to use them to squeeze out more information from the seismic. I think you’ll find later in your career it becomes more difficult to take a step back and get a bigger picture understanding of the various technologies and theories that can be integrated when looking at seismic. This is your time.

Is there any particular type of invention that you are waiting for, given your current academic focus now combined with your summer work experience? For my generation the development of 3D seismic was such a big game changer – do you feel there is any one area where a great leap forward may take place.

[Chris]: What I think we will see, is a lot more acquisition of low frequency seismic in the field. For instance, CREWES just did a low frequency experiment and I think that in the future it is going to be less experimental and more of a standard acquisition practice. Another thing that I would like to see, and this is kind of close to home, is I would like to see better methods of inverting for Q from reflection data. Right now we just don’t have reliable methods of getting Q from reflection data. We have pretty good methods on VSP data but from reflection data, you know I just don’t see that we are there yet. I would like to see a fully integrated and automated inversion scheme for Q just like a P-impedance inversion.

Yeah, it has been like that with Q for the last three decades. Early in my career I started playing with the determination of Q from seismic data using the spectrolation method . But you just never know if the value you come up with is correct – we still don’t have a proper, accurate method that will give us full values of Q which we can apply to the seismic as attenuation correction. So, yes, that’s a good expectation. Okay, go ahead Peter.

[Peter]: Yeah, well for me, I kind of agree with Chris mentioning the low frequency acquisition. And I think just the acquisition side in general, I would like to see something new on that side. Right now we are focusing on low frequency, but our two major sources are still dynamite and Vibroseis – maybe there is something that somebody hasn’t thought of yet for a better source. So that would be interesting to see. I also, just because it’s fresh in my mind from my summer term, I think I would like to see something helpful for near surface studies. So for example, maybe a way to really separate reflection hyperbolae from refracted energy, or something like a stretchless nmo removal. It would be really interesting to see but perhaps so far there hasn’t been a perceived need to work on that. It’s an area I would like to see something come out of.

Some work has been done on stretchless NMO, but I think you are right – it’s an area that could use some more work. Okay, let’s make it a little bit lighter, so tell me what is the wildest or most interesting thing that you have done as an adult?

[Chris]: Oh, I don’t know about the wild side, but on the most interesting side I recently got married and went on my honeymoon, so that was definitely the most interesting thing I have ever done.

So since you have become an adult you have never done anything outrageous?

[Chris]: I’m sure I have.

Nothing to share with people?

[Chris]: Right

[Peter]: Yeah, I am sure I have done plenty of outrageous things so if you really want to know maybe ask my girlfriend. But otherwise I probably shouldn’t talk about it.

But something interesting, I went on a trip last year, it was a Study Abroad Program to Italy. I did four weeks at an Italian University just learning the Italian language and a little bit of Italian culture and I met a lot of people from around the world – it was a very interesting experience.

(L-R) Chris Bird, Satinder Chopra, and Peter Gagliardi.
(L-R) Chris Bird, Satinder Chopra, and Peter Gagliardi.

People from different countries learning a little bit from everyone, different cultures – definitely very interesting. Alright, how would you describe yourself as a person in just five words, nothing more, nothing less?

I can go first because I actually did this very recently and I have thought about it – I was actually asked this question at Shell. At Shell we did a yearbook about the interns and they did some fun stuff, like, “What’s your favorite quote, what’s your five words to describe yourself”. I would say I am religious, I am a perfectionist, I am pretty easygoing, I am very musical and I am a teacher.

You like teaching – good for you.

[Chris]: Let’s see, competitive….some friends and my wife say I am loyal, so I am going to have to say loyal. I love life, and I am pretty relaxed.

[Peter]: I just want to comment – he is definitely very competitive!

That is a good quality. Give me one word for your likes, dislikes, favorite acronym and best dessert.

[Chris]: I love sports, I really like strategy games where you compete against someone, you know I spend hours playing chess and military strategy games with my brother. I also like food, I love cooking, I cook a lot, I try to cook new dishes at least once a week.

Dislikes. Generally I dislike chores like doing the dishes and cleaning up.

You don’t have a dishwasher at home?

[Chris]: Acronyms? You know I don’t know, do you want to jump in?

You can jump in later – best dessert?

[Chris]: Oh best dessert? I can’t think of the name, you know they usually blow torch the top and it gets like a hard —

Oh, yeah, yeah, I’ve seen that but I don’t know the name of it.

[Chris]: Crème brûlée!

[Peter]: For likes I have to say one thing that I like in many different aspects is music. I like to play music, I like to listen to music and I like to write music. So just kind of from all sides I like music.

Dislikes I find more and more lately I dislike politics, because it’s all just a big lie —

So you will never become a Minister?

[Peter]: No, I don’t think so because I probably couldn’t be successful at it—I am too honest and genuine to be a politician. So that’s one of my dislikes. An acronym you should probably come back on. Acronym is hard because working at Shell this summer everything had an acronym. There were so many things with acronyms and I just had an acronym overload, anybody who is reading this and works at Shell will know what I mean.

And the favorite dessert – that’s a really good question. I guess I am a big fan of Dairy Queen ice cream cakes.

Are you people morning persons or night persons and how does it work for you?

[Chris]: I am definitely an evening person. I have actually been getting a lot of work done at night when there are not a lot of people around, not a lot of distractions, especially working on my research. After dinner a lot of times I go to a coffee shop with my laptop and I can get a lot of work done. I am a lot more efficient I think at night if I am alone in a coffee shop than at the office. Yeah, I am definitely a night person.

[Peter]: Yeah, same with me. I am definitely a night person. It feels like it has been more of a hindrance than it has been a benefit because then I get insomniatic and I can’t sleep. It’s just bad, but lately I’ve been kind of channeling my evening energy into the writing sector and that resulted in lots of music that I have been making.

Very good. So you have been productive? I am not a night person, I am a morning person. I get up early in the morning and then I do my work when I feel that I am really fresh.

[Chris]: I’d love to be a morning person.

[Peter]: I’d love it too.

Some motivation to get up early. Tell us something about yourselves that nobody else knows, not even your friends.

[Peter]: That’s tough. I am pretty open. I am probably sometimes too open and people probably start to get annoyed with the problems I tell them and that kind of thing but I don’t know… I think something that maybe not a lot of people know about me, especially colleagues and people I work with, is that I am very, very religious. My friends generally know that but my colleagues, I don’t know if they know that because I am pretty quiet about that generally, but I am very, very religious.

[Chris]: I think maybe this isn’t quite the answer you’re looking for but I think what a lot of friends and colleagues don’t know is that, sometimes when I admire somebody all they see is that I am really competitive and maybe they think that I am just trying outdo them when I really admire them and I am just trying to emulate them. So it’s not a blanket statement for everyone but I think there are people out there, some friends and colleagues, that see me trying to outdo them and maybe they don’t know that I admire what they can do and I just want to do as well.

Which is good, now people will know that you admire them and they know how religious you are. That’s good.

Okay, tell us about any role models you may have had in your life?

[Peter]: I’ll go, I guess. I’d say the biggest role models for me – this might sound cliché – have been my parents. They, both of them, for most things in life have been great role models. They have a great marriage and they both have great character and they both have great qualities. My Mom is one of the most patient people I have ever met and my Dad is one of the most rational, logical thinking people I have ever met and just, I mean it goes way beyond that. They are both so loving and caring and they are both able to go into the world and do their thing and be positive and not let the world get to them and they have been very supportive in what I have been doing even when I started out in physics, which isn’t necessarily the route to success and money and fame and you know they still supported me through that. Yeah, those have been my two role models.

[Chris]: I hate to jump on the band wagon but my parents are also my role models and the big thing about them is their tenacity. You know life isn’t always easy, you get a lot of curve balls and I have seen my parents’ tenacity over the years and it is just amazing. So they are my role models. And also some supervisors I’ve had in both academia and in the work place, I’ve seen some unbelievable work ethics, so they have been role models for me as well.

Who would be the three famous geophysicists you would like to meet and why?

[Chris]: For me I think Jon Claerbout, I think he is kind of a legend. I would also like to meet Sven Trietel and Enders Robinson.

You didn’t meet them at the SEG this time?

[Chris]: No, I didn’t meet them but I would like to.

No? They were all there.

[Peter]: I really had to think about this one and I just feel like I am so privileged in CREWES at the U of C and I feel like the geophysicists I meet there, especially the professors, I feel like they have all made significant contributions and I feel very privileged to be able to work with them on a daily basis. Other than that, just because I keep hearing about him and he had a lot to do with VSP, was Rob Stewart who used to be in CREWES and I just missed him, I am kind of sad about that.

You were there in San Antonio?

[Peter]: I have briefly met him but I never really sat down to chat with him. You know I wouldn’t mind meeting, which would be impossible now, but Donald Barton, who was the founder of the SEG and the first President, just because for the Challenge Bowl I ended up looking a lot at the SEG history. I would like to meet the guys who kind of went, “Let’s make this a Society. This is going to be big so let’s make sure we have a body to govern it and collect everything.”

How do you rate money, power and fame, in order of importance? All these things illuminate your experiences, like it or not.

[Chris]: I think fame is at the bottom. My rank I guess would be money, power and then fame. I don’t really care about fame.

You don’t need power?

[Chris]: I think I would like influence. I would like to be an influential person.

That is power.

[Chris]: Yeah, that is power, I would like to be a successful geophysicist with a lot of influence.

So you think it is money, influence, power, whatever and then fame?

[Chris]: Yes.

[Peter]: I almost am going the exact opposite. I think fame probably is up there because I feel that does give me more influence, you know the more people know about you the more people might look up to you, and more people might take what you say seriously. I find when I am thinking about my decisions there always seems to be something that’s there is, is there a chance that a lot people will know me for doing this? So fame is probably at the top. And then probably money and then power. I guess there is really a relationship between all three.

So you think money is really important?

[Peter]: Yeah, I mean money, the thing about money is you need it in this world right? And there is a certain amount of money that you need and then after that it’s whatever, it’s the icing on the cake.

Okay, what would you like the CSEG to do for students over and above what it is already doing?

[Peter]: I feel that the CSEG is doing quite a bit for students. I mean they are running the field trip in the summer – well they have Seismic in Motion, and what they call “GIFT” now, the Industry Field Trip, and I believe that was only started in the last couple of years. So that is something that is very recent that I think has been a great experience for everybody who has done it. I know I did it in 2009 and I thought it was great. I made friends there, I learned a lot about how things go. So that is just one thing. There is a mentorship program which I think is a great idea. Maybe, it would be nice to see a little more of a push for that because I think having a mentor is an awesome thing and it can really teach you a lot about the whole industry and about geophysics. So I wouldn’t mind seeing a bit more advertising for it or a bit more of a push for it. But I think the CSEG already has some great programs for students.

[Chris]: I agree that the CSEG does have great programs for students. I think maybe the issue now is getting the word out so that the students are aware of these programs, especially outside of Calgary.

Well, that’s good. Do you do any volunteer work with the CSEG?

[Chris]: Yeah, I am on the DoodleTrain Committee, so I wear a couple of hats with that. I am one of two instructor liaison persons and my other role is to organize the student volunteers.

[Peter]: I did a little bit, I volunteered for Earth Science for Society at this year’s Convention, so I’d like to actually get a little more involved and I might send Chris a form about volunteering for the DoodleTrain as well.

Do you guys like technical writing and what have you written about if you have? (That is apart from the thesis, because obviously you had to write that.)

[Chris]: In CREWES we do a lot of technical writing. We have a Sponsor’s Meeting every year and we write CREWES Reports on our research for that meeting. I actually enjoy the benefits of technical writing. I don’t always enjoy writing while I am writing, but I certainly enjoy the benefits of having done it once it’s done.

So that calls for writing more.

[Chris]: Exactly, it calls for writing more! You know science – you can’t be in a bubble as a scientist.

[Peter]: I really enjoy technical writing, even the actual writing part. For me it is always tough to start the writing and to maybe get my introduction and my abstract and all of that kind of stuff sorted out, but generally when I am writing the body of it I like it. I have fun writing it down.

It gives you new ideas.

[Peter]: Yeah, and like Chris said, you need to communicate, especially now that we have the Internet and the world is a lot more connected. You need a way to show off what you have done to other people so they can get something out of it and maybe give you feedback, maybe carry it to something else, you know, apply it to their stuff. So I think, as much as I enjoy technical writing it’s also something that I should do anyway even if somebody doesn’t enjoy it, it’s so useful. So I highly recommend it.

So how did you get involved with the CSEG Challenge Bowl? Did you do any preparation for the questions for the SEG Challenge Bowl and did they ask you questions about the SEG? Tell us.

[Chris]: In order for us to represent the U of C at the CSEG Challenge Bowl we had an internal U of C competition and so the top two there were the ones to represent U of C. So that’s how Peter and I got the opportunity to represent the UofC.

[Peter]: I actually, I want to say a word about how it all started because for me it came at the recommendation of my supervisor Don Lawton. He said to me, “Peter you should think about doing the Challenge Bowl,” and so I thought about it, and it was like, “Yeah, I would like to do that!” I was thinking of who I’d like to be my partner and Chris was pretty much the first person that came into my mind and when I mentioned it to people they all went, “That sounds like a great pairing,” and I think Chris and I had talked about it before the internal competition and we both kind of went, “Yeah, it would be fun to be a team.” But then we found out they were having an internal competition, so we thought okay, we are going to have to compete and then we’ll just see what happens, but somehow through it all Chris and I had the top two scores out of everybody, so it was like it was meant to be.

So what happened at the SEG Challenge Bowl?

[Chris]: Oh yes, well we didn’t win.

That’s alright, you don’t always win.

[Chris]: Exactly. They did ask us questions about the SEG. Also we met a few times throughout the summer to ask each other questions a little bit to prepare for it.

So the questions that were asked here at the CSEG and those at the SEG, were they quite different?

[Peter]: They were along similar lines. Like having been through the CSEG Challenge Bowl, when we went to SEG Challenge Bowl everything that happened wasn’t a surprise. I mean obviously the questions are going to be a little different but it was kind of the same difficulty and the same variety and it had the same feel to it. I thought the CSEG Challenge Bowl was a lot of fun and the SEG Challenge Bowl was also a lot of fun other than the fact that we didn’t win. But I think over the summer Chris and I became really good friends having met, you know not quite every week but almost every week, to talk about the Challenge Bowl and I think we both learned a lot about the SEG too.

Very nice. How did you feel you stacked up against some of the other teams?

[Chris]: I think that’s a good question because if it was a situation where we didn’t know the answers I wouldn’t feel very confident comparing myself to the other teams, but it was a situation where we knew many of the answers and we just didn’t have the timing with the buzzer. You know we just couldn’t buzz in time, but then again, that’s not an excuse for losing but in terms of how I compare myself, I feel very confident because it wasn’t that we didn’t know any of the answers.

Very good, people should know that.

[Peter]: I feel similar to Chris, I think we should have been more aggressive with our approach and we should have just buzzed for everything. You know it was one of those things where we realized it a little too late and for the last part of the initial round we kind of started buzzing in for everything and we found that we were getting a lot right and we should have done that earlier, but I do think we stacked up well against the other teams. I think had we been more aggressive and maybe worked out the buzzer timing a little better between the two of us, I think we would have had a really good shot at winning. But the other teams they were all up there and they were all very intelligent.

Have you participated in any other event like this before the CSEG Challenger Bowl and SEG?

[Chris]: This is the first experience I had doing something like that and I thought it was great.

[Peter]: I don’t think I have ever done anything like that either. I was very nervous about it at first because I had never done it, but I think we both settled in quite well.

Okay, let me ask you this. Any surprising tidbits you came across when you were participating in these Challenge Bowls?

[Chris]: One thing that surprised me was how much everyone learned about the SEG, like the history. I thought we did a pretty thorough job of researching the SEG history and I thought that no other team would have done this. And you know what, it was like all the teams had studied up on the SEG. Everyone knew a lot about the SEG and I think that was a big difference between the CSEG Challenge Bowl and the SEG Challenge Bowl. At the CSEG challenge bowl no one seemed prepared for questions about the history of CSEG.

What are your aspirations for the future?

[Chris]: You know for me, one thing that’s exciting about geophysics is there are so many different roads that you can take. I don’t know how I am going to feel 5 – 10 – 15 years down the road but what I would say now is that I’d like to be able to build my skills and become a good enough geophysicist to work in a geophysical services group or in a technical advisory role. That is the kind of a role I would like to see myself in.

[Peter]: I am kind of in the same boat. I’d love to be part of a team of problem solvers that just dive into a really tough problem that people are coming across. I have always been kind of a big-picture person. I’d like to jump around, not get too settled in on one topic, and figure out ways to bring a topic over on this side and a topic over on that side together somehow, and so I would like to also one day be part of some sort of geophysical tech services team. The other thing is I would love to teach some course at some point whether it’s internal with my company or whether at the CSEG or the SEG, or whatever, I would love to continue teaching.

Very good. Because to teach you need to first master the topic or the subject and then you start teaching. Okay, any message for the professors who taught you?

[Chris]: Yeah I would like to say, thanks very much, I mean I have learned a lot. I think I’ve got a great education. I couldn’t have asked for a better education from professors and the mentorship at both at the education level and at the work experience level as well.

[Peter]: Yeah, I also would like to thank everyone. In my undergrad level I had lots of great professors that gave me material in a very easy to understand way, but in my Master’s Program I feel that the professors I’ve worked with they have all been very helpful in giving me feedback and taking interest in what I am doing and I am really grateful to them, you know especially my supervisor but not just my supervisor, I mean most of the CREWES faculty have been very helpful for me and very encouraging. Also, I have had some great supervisors in my terms at Talisman and in my term at Shell, I had great supervisors. I was very lucky.

Okay, and final question – any message you may have for other budding geophysicists like you?

[Chris]: Yeah, absolutely. One is network, network, network. You’ve really got to talk to a lot of people, you are going to learn a lot and you are going to cultivate opportunities for yourself. You really can’t just live in a bubble. Try to get involved in any way you can. It’s going to benefit you not just professionally but you are going to have fun and meet a lot of great people.

And the other one is to never lose track of learning the science. I think there is a problem too sometimes at the undergraduate level. Students have so many assignments and classes that they prioritize getting the assignment done and on time without taking the opportunity to really learn the material. I think that to become a better scientist, you can’t just say, “Let’s get this assignment done so I can move on,” you really have to try to get the scientific value from your education.

[Peter]: Yeah, I agree with Chris on both points. I’d add work hard and if you put a lot of effort into it, people will notice and it will get you far. You know, be proud of the work you’ve done. When I finish something I always look at it and ask myself if it’s something I am proud of, something I am happy with – then I am comfortable that other people will be happy with it too – that’s a big one. And yes, definitely networking, I think in geophysics, and geology as well, we are very lucky that we have a very interesting science to be in because it’s so applicable and there is so much work around it but at the same time we are still scientists and we still do technical work. You can get the joy out of the technical work, but you can also get the joy out of the practical side of the work, right? And to add, I feel like there are so many great people in the community. So I think anybody in the geosciences is privileged to be in the community they are in.

Very nice. Well gentlemen, thank you very much for giving us this opportunity to sit down and talk with you and I am sure people are going to like this interview – it’s fresh and different from what we normally conduct so it will be interesting. Thank you!

[C&P]: Thank you for taking the time, thank you very much.


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