Meritorious Service Award

Meritorious Service Award - The Meritorious Service Award is given to members of the CSEG who have made a prominent and/or lengthy contribution to the Society and/or the industry. Current practice is to make a maximum of two of these awards each year.

Nicole Willson

Nicole Willson
Chief Editor CSEG RECORDER 2017

Nicole had the imagination, the initiative and the courage to raise the practical usefulness and hence the attractiveness of the RECORDER for the readers, and she did it in a matter of months. She achieved this by broadening the scope of article subjects, which expands the readership, and by turning to the kind of very basic scientific and technical matters that we tend to take for granted but often forget. Many of the catchy back-to-basics articles she ran deserve to remain on explorationists’ desks for years, as basic references. Nor did she shy away from controversial subjects, inviting the readers to question dogmas and think for themselves. She did not hesitate to reach out for advice in her search for suitable topics and good authors. The CSEG members are the better for her hard and persistent editorial work. This is what the RECORDER and the CSEG are here for. Thank you, Nicole, for your Meritorious Service.

-Henry Lyatsky

Neda Boroumand

Mike (Michael Anthony) Hall
Chairman of the CSEG DoodleTrain Committee, CSEG VIG Committee, and mentor with CSEG

Mike has been giving to the CSEG geophysical community for many years including 2017 as Chairman of the CSEG Doodle Train Committee; the CSEG VIG Committee, and as a mentor with CSEG. Mike is not just a volunteer, he takes to heart every aspect of the volunteer work he does and makes it better. Mike is an advocate for students and their opportunities, always asking on their behalf and helping them any way he possibly can. He also is an advocate on behalf of underemployed members and steps in to help them when he can. Thank you, Mike, for your Meritorious Service.

-Svetlana Bidikhova

Special Commendation Award

The Special Commendation Award is awarded to an individual who, in the unanimous opinion of the Honours and Awards Committee and the Executive Committee, has made a significant contribution to the CSEG, the public and/or the industry. This award may be for recognized community leadership, professional leadership, or for contributions outside the mainstream of geophysics.

Matt Hall and Evan Bianco

Matt Hall and Evan Bianco

Matt Hall and Evan Bianco have a history of enacting change within our industry. In 2011, they conceived a project ‘52 Things You Should Know About Geophysics'. Since that first project finished in 2012, they have expanded to Geology, Palaeontology and most recently Rock Physics. Matt and Evan have also tirelessly engaged the geoscience industry with blogs on topics from Q to Hooke's Law, GeoComputing to commentary on professional events such as the Calgary GeoConventions, AAPG, SEG, and EAGE conventions. Conceived from one of their Hackathons in Denver in 2015, they built a web app called in which a user can engage in image interpretation and then gauge his or her solution alongside a statistical heat map comprised of all previous picks on the image. Additionally, they have built a useful seismic synthetic modeling app called 'modelr' (free, check it out They are innovative, open and committed to the field of geophysics and its community, and as such, should be recognised by the CSEG with a Special Commendation for their contribution to the industry.

-Rachel Newrick

I have known Matt and Evan for about 6 years, firstly through their excellent blog, then in person through some project collaborations, publications, and countless discussions. One of the first things I do every morning is log onto the Software Underground Slack site. I was one of the students in attendance when Evan taught the first version of their outstanding geo-computing course and participated in the Calgary Geoscience Hackathon at the 2015 CSEG Geoconvention, which they also organized. I read all the open-access Geophysical tutorials in The Leading Edge, a series spearheaded by Matt in 2014 and curated by him since. I consult regularly the excellent Geophysics cheat sheets that Matt and Evan have put together and their “52 Things You Should Know About…” series. In summary, I cannot think of any better recipients for this award, and I wholeheartedly support their nomination.

-Matteo Niccoli

I echo all the rationale included in the nomination, plus Matteo’s comments; Matt/Evan are true champions for “information sharing”, particularly for our profession... and they do all of this, not from the security of our Calgary-based ‘heart’ of the profession, but from small-town Nova Scotia.

-Tooney Fink

Outstanding Volunteers

Introduced in 2016 to allow CSEG members to recognize their peers for an outstanding effort during that year. We thank all our volunteers for their time and effort throughout the year.

Susan A. Carr

Susan A. Carr
President of the Calgary GeoScience Data Managers Society

Sue is one of the pioneers of the data management sector in Calgary, with over 35 years of involved implementing, testing and teaching software and data management systems at both E&P companies and service companies. Sue has recently been re-elected as the President of the Calgary GeoScience Data Managers Society; is the Chair of the PPDM Association’s Calgary Leadership team, has served previously on the CSEG’s DoodleTrain education committee, and is a frequent volunteer for the Geoconvention and Toastmasters. Over the past few years, she has managed not only to find employment but also keep her fellow Data Managers, both working and seeking, actively engaged with each other and up to date with industry innovations. Her passion is education, and she served the CSEG as a DoodleTrain member for multiple years and was one of the inaugural committee members working with Bill Nickerson. Thank you for being an Outstanding Volunteer, Sue!

-Kristy Manchul


Mark Lane

Mark Lane
CSEG Outreach Committee; Seismic in Motion for Students (SIMfS); and Earth Science for Society (ESfS)

Mark began his volunteering in 1997 when he wrote a series of 10 articles, called Systems, published in the RECORDER. In 2006 Mark changed his professional focus to technical training and development and immediately returned to volunteering when the CSEG Outreach Committee was formed. Through Outreach he has worked on many projects: school presentations, the Challenge Bowl, and the Geophysics Industry Field Trip. His main focus has been Seismic in Motion for Students (SIMfS), and Earth Science for Society (ESfS) (along with its predecessor, the Kids in Science Program (KISP)). He has volunteered with SIMfS and ESfS programs continuously for the past decade and sat as Chair of Outreach in 2011 to 2012.

Asked why he puts so much effort into volunteering, and evangelizing others to do the same, Mark simply replies, “I get to meet interesting people.” Thank you, Mark, for being an outstanding volunteer.

-Helen Issac


"Incorporating Big Data in Geostatistical Modeling for Making Bigger Decisions in the Face of Even Bigger Uncertainty"

Jeff B. Boisvert and Clayton V. Deutsch

Authors: Jeff B. Boisvert and Clayton V. Deutsch

This paper appeared in our Big Data edition in January 2017. Big data suggests that having more data results in making better decisions and reduces subsurface uncertainty, but this is a leap that can only be made if that data can be analyzed, used, modeled, extrapolated and ‘crunched’ correctly. The paper looks at using big data to infer important statistics such as quantity of hydrocarbon available, connectivity of hydrocarbons, cumulative oil production, etc. though information sparsity is still an issue. The main purpose of generating geostatistical models of reservoir properties is to use them to calculate quantities of hydrocarbons or make decisions on how to produce the resource. The incorporation of all relevant data into modeling for improved exploitation of resources remains a difficult problem. One of the drawbacks is the cost of obtaining data remains high, resulting in sparse direct sampling of reservoir properties. ‘Secondary’ data could and should help in building numerical models and making decisions, but it is often an indirect measurement of our variables of interest such as seismic inversions geophysical, outcrop sampling, geological interpretations, etc. The secondary data can be used to interpolate the relevant subsurface properties.

CSEG Best Technical Luncheon Presentation

"Practical QI"

Laurie Weston Bellman

Laurie Weston Bellman
2017 CSEG Distinguished Lecturer

Laurie’s career as a geophysicist in the oil and gas business has spanned almost 30 years so far. During that time, she has seen the science (and the business) from many different perspectives. She has been part of the evolution of exploration objectives and analysis techniques, both as an interested observer and an active contributor. Laurie has contributed to the CSEG at the highest technical levels over the past few years, as a volunteer, a speaker and most recently as the Canadian Distinguished Lecturer (2016-2017). She received the CSEG Honorary Membership Award in 2017.

Her presentation "Practical QI" delivered during the June 2017 Technical Luncheon, was selected as the best presentation by the audience and the Luncheon committee.


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