President's Letter - April, 2005

by Steve Levine,president@hgs.orgHGS Bulletin From the President April, 2005  Our Society Is Like a CourtbouillonCourtbouillon (coo-be-yon) to those unfortunate few uninitiated in Louisiana cuisine, is a spicy soup or stew made with fish fillets (redfish, red snapper, catfish, etc.), tomatoes, onions, and vegetables. The cook must first prepare a fine roux of vegetable oil and flour in a large heavy skillet. Add onions, fresh vegetables, pepper, salt, other spices and keeps stirring. Let it simmer for 1 to 2 hours before adding the fish filets. Continue cooking on low heat until the fish is done. Courtbouillon is served with white rice or mashed potatoes. Great redfish courtbouillon is hard to beat. Two things are for certain – it is essential that someone keeps a close eye on that skillet at all times, and that the ingredients are fresh.The Houston Geological Society works with a variety of ingredients as well. The HGS Board is busy in the kitchen overseeing the skillet of 42 committees trying not to burn the roux or let it simmer too long. We mull issues such as the budget, website advancements, populating the calendar, awards, Bulletin updates, office needs, etc.  Occasionally we have brief moments to look away from the skillet to modify the recipe (brainstorm), but generally the best ideas come from the members at large and from the committees themselves.  We are privileged that our skillet contains so many committees that provide quality ingredients for our members. Please take a few minutes to read about a few of these achievements and how they have spiced up the HGS.Continuing Education Committee The Continuing Education Committee has transformed itself in a short time span from being “barely there” to an incredibly vibrant group.  Led early in the year by Jonathan Jee (prior to his transfer to Malaysia) and currently by Cheryl Desforges, this team that has organized 3 terrific short courses and has 2 more scheduled. These include: 1. “The Petroleum Reserves—Avoiding Write-downs” Mini-series: Part 1- “An Overview of Definitions and Reporting Requirements” by John Hodgin and Thomas Wagenhofer2. “The Petroleum Reserves—Avoiding Write-downs” Mini-series: Part 2 - “An Overview of Recommended Geologic Practices” by Dan Tearpock3. “Rock-Based Integration: Geologic Interpretation of the Integration of Seismic and Petrophysical Data” by Roger Young and Gordon Van Swearingen4. “An Overview of Recommended Engineering Practices” by Bill Kazmann and Ed Travis (May 20)5. “An Overview of Recommended Petrophysical Practices” by Bill Price (Sept./Oct.)Dick Easterwood of Dominion Exploration and Production stepped forward to contribute funds for the purchase of equipment for the HGS to tape these and future continuing education courses. Thomas Smith of Seismic Micro-Technology, offered to sponsor the reproduction of the DVDs, as well as to provide expertise of the process. HGS member Mike Allison graciously volunteered to provide the labor and technical expertise to produce the DVD.  Mike has done a remarkable job after many hours of toil to make the first of the series of DVD’s. With these two financial offers, the DVD preparation should produced at no cost to the HGS, so revenue from the sale of the DVDs can be used for other HGS programs. So if you missed these great short courses, the first of several DVDs should be available for purchase at a bargain price by the AAPG Convention in June.Ad Hoc “Community Involvement” CommitteeAn ad hoc “Community Involvement” committee led by Cathy Ferris was formed to generate ideas to expand our presence in the community through service projects, further our interaction with local K-12 students (in coordination with the Academic Liaison Committee), and to identify social events that could cast a larger net across our membership and to bring new members into the fold.1. Home repair projects to provide community service and to make the HGS more visible in the community. The HGS will assist in a “Keep 5 Alive” service project on Saturday, April 2 at the 177 year-old Evergreen Negro Cemetery with partners ConocoPhillips and Wheatley High School senior students.2. Social events such as sports or entertainments events such as the “Rockets Night Out” held in March and the “HGS Astros Night” scheduled for Thursday, April 21, are direct responses to these recommendations. 3. Adding “K-12 Teacher Resources” to the HGS website to assist in our partnership with local schools. Bill Osten is working with our Webmaster Dave Crane to add this component.4. Other ideas included sponsoring and running a field trip for some Houston Area high school students and the HGS manning a water stop for a selected Houston Area race such as the Houston Marathon in January, 2006.First Annual Scholarship Benefit The scholarship benefit committee worked very hard to make the first Scholarship Benefit Party “Scholarship Rock Dance” held at the Petroleum Club on February 5, 2005 a success. Preparations required acquiring silent auction items, decorating, and selling tickets. A total of  $3500 was raised which will be matched by the AAPG-GCAGS to bring our total to $7000 for the HGS Foundation and W.L. Calvert Memorial scholarship funds. More details of this event will be in the May Bulletin.Below are just a few of the terrific volunteers from the above-mentioned committees. Space does not allow me to mention the many other worthwhile projects and committees that make our spicy recipe one of best.  Continuing Education Committee: Cheryl Desforges, Mike Allison, Jonathan Jee, Donna Davis, Henry Wise, George Klein, Selim Shaker, Huw James, Edgar Guevara, Thomas Tucker, Dave Hixon, Henry Wise, and Matthew CowanAd Hoc Community Involvement Committee: Cathy Ferris, Jennifer Burton, Sherrie Cronin, Tom Miskelly, and Bill Osten.Scholarship Benefit Committee: Deborah Sacrey, Marsha Bourque, Andrea Rey

HGS Bulletin - April, 2005
Friday, April 1, 2005
From the President