In June of 2019 I took over as Chair of the CSEG Foundation (CSEGF) from the previous chair, Ron Larson. This capped a long history of CSEG involvement and volunteering on my part including positions on the CSEG Executive, CSEG Convention Board of Directors, GeoConvention Speaker, GeoConvention Chair, Recorder contributor and the Mentorship program. The CSEGF is a volunteer organization run and operated with minimal overhead. Funding to support the Foundation’s activities are derived from generous donations from the public, CSEG members, corporate sponsors and the CSEG itself.
As a registered Canadian charitable organization the CSEGF is the charitable operating arm of the Canadian Society of Exploration Geophysicists (CSEG). Initiated in 2006, it is managed by an independent Board of Directors and is closely aligned and controlled by the CSEG. The mission of the CSEGF is ‘to encourage and support scientific, educational and charitable activities that benefit geophysicists through the solicitation of contributions aimed at promoting the development of geophysical knowledge, education and public awareness’.
In addition to myself, the 2019-2020 Board of Directors are John Parkin (Vice-Chair), Nancy Shaw (Secretary), David Cho (Treasurer), Tammy Wilmer (Assistant Treasurer ), Neda Boroumand (CSEG President and Representative to the Foundation), Adrian Smith (Outreach Chair), Allan Chatenay (Fund Development Chair), Darren Kondrat (Fund Development Vice-Chair), Rob McGrory (Scholarships Chair), Kristy Manchul (Communications Chair), Cecil Keeping (Governance) and Neil Rutherford (Director at Large). Marissa Whittaker (Earth Science for Society (ESfS) Chair), Richard Smith (CSEG Distinguished Lecturer Chair), Jim Racette (CSEG Managing Director) and Alyssa Middleton (CSEG staff) also assist the Foundation’s efforts throughout the year.
This past year’s highlights included an increase in the Foundation’s assets thanks to the generous donations of our members and corporate supporters as well as from the income generated from our investments. Our program spending was about $200,000 for 2018 with the program highlights described below:
- The Earth Science for Society (ESfS) program hosted over 2500 attendees of the public, including students from schools and youth groups. The CSEG Foundation “adopted” ESfS in 2016 as our primary ‘public’ outreach initiative, and became the long-term parent organization for this self-funding event. The 2019 committee is working hard to coordinate this year’s upcoming event in March 2020.
- Outreach / University Student Outreach (USO) / Schools and Public Outreach continued to support students in universities and K-12 schools, and to inform educators and the public at large about geophysics. Some of these programs are:
- Junior Geophysicist Forum (JGF) is a series of networking functions connecting experienced industry geophysicists with students and new grads.
- Mentoring (A USO initiative): a formal mentoring program connecting students and new grads with established geophysicists.
- University Student Outreach (USO): In addition to other programs specifically mentioned in this list, USO’s activities in 2018 included attendance at two of the three geoscience undergrad conferences staged across the country.
- GIFT (Geophysical Industry Field Trip) – The Foundation is a Platinum level sponsor of this event, which took over 40 students from eight different universities to various host companies, where they learned about operations, processing, interpretation and other elements of applied geophysics.
- Scholarships. We continue to support post-secondary geoscience education and students through our Scholarship Committee’s efforts. From 50 applications for university scholarships, the Foundation awarded 13 scholarships to students at eight universities across Canada in 2018. In addition, one scholarship was awarded to a student at a technical institute.
- Travel grants and learning subsidies continues to be supported by the Foundation. The program helps Canadian undergraduate and post graduate students take courses and attend conferences, seminars and geoscience field trips including the GeoConvention, CSEG Symposium and the Doodletrain.
- Communications: In 2018 we saw continued improvements in the Foundation’s web presence and ongoing communications support provided by the Communications Committee. The Foundation is also working with the CSEG’s Digital Media Committee to develop webcasts of the CSEG luncheons and CDL events.
- Canadian Distinguished Lecture Tour is one of the Foundation’s keystone programs. Our 2019/2020 Distinguished Lecturer is David Eaton who is giving his talk to universities and institutions across Canada.
The Board, staff and advisors are looking forward to another successful year providing the programs that are at the core of the Foundation and at the heart of the CSEG membership. Due to recent economic conditions the task of providing these programs in a cost-efficient manner without substantial cuts has been a particular challenge for all those involved. I’d like to thank this hard-working and dedicated group of volunteers who have contributed their time in order to make this an ongoing program which benefits the Canadian geophysical community. If you’d like to contribute your financial assistance to the Foundation you can do so by using this link https://cseg.ca/foundation/donors and clicking the Donate tab on the page. Your donations are greatly appreciated!