A World of Technical Programs and the New High School Earth Science Curriculum

After months of planning, the GCAGS/GSA Joint meeting has arrived. I encourage you to attend this unique meeting, which takes place at the George R. Brown Convention center here in Houston October 5-9. If you haven’t yet registered, be sure to register as a GCAGS member, which you are if you are a member of HGS. With the joint meeting, we have an opportunity to attend the customary 2 days of CGAGS talks or the complete GCAGS and GSA technical programs. GSA expects a large number of student participants, and I hope that each one of you will make an effort to introduce yourself to at least one student at the meeting. These young people are the future of our industry, and any encouragement we can offer as future geoscientists will be good for both ourselves and our country’s future.
Congratulations to the International Explorationists’ committee for putting on the very successful Africa conference in September! Al Danforth and Ian Poyntz put together a superb technical program for this well-attended meeting, which was notable as not only one of the premier worldwide technical meetings focusing on Africa, but also for showcasing new technologies such as 3D beam migration and practical application of GIS to understanding geology.  Committee members John Dombrowski, Tarek Ghazi, Martin Cassidy and Dave Schultz worked hard to bring the meeting to fruition, and our thanks also go to Fugro for sponsoring the meeting and providing CDs of the proceedings. A job well done!
I am looking forward to a great slate of technical talks this month, ranging from the Paleogene drawdown of the Gulf of Mexico to porosity in eolian reservoirs in Africa to shale fracturing to a review of the Marcellus and Haynesville Shales. Topping the month off with our short course, “Exploration Risk for Senior Management,” and we have a very busy month.
Bring your family to the Annual Family Energy Festival at the Museum of Natural Science Oct 11, and plan to make a trip to the beach at Galveston for the Earth Science Week field trip.  Geoscientists new to the industry are invited to Geoscience Day October 23, where they can learn about the life of an oil field from birth to retirement.
If you haven’t renewed your HGS membership for this year, this is the last issue of the Bulletin you will receive. Every year, 500-800 members don’t renew; most of them simply forget. The HGS board is debating ways to make renewal easier. One option is to allow you to choose to automatically renew each year; another is to provide a way to renew for multiple years at one time. I invite comments and ideas from all of you for making this process easier. HGS membership is one of the best bargains you are likely to find. At $24 per year, our dues remain extremely low compared to other professional societies, and membership provides many benefits, including reduced prices for technical and social events and the monthly Bulletin, as well as abundant opportunities to network through volunteering. We are also looking to expand our membership through new member acquisition. This is the responsibility of the Membership Growth committee, currently headed by Linda Sternbach. Membership Growth is key to the survival of the HGS, as we need to bring in the next generation of geoscientists in order to continue the substantial networking and technical opportunities that HGS provides. I urge you to ask your colleagues if they are HGS members and sponsor their membership if they are not. It continually surprises me how many times I’ve asked someone I’ve known for years if they are an HGS member, and their response is, “No, but I’d like to be.” I have been gratified to see many new faces (and a lot less gray hair) at our activities this year, but we need to actively recruit to maintain our society as the current generation begins to reach retirement age.
The HGS has worked hard to support the addition of a required year of earth science in the Texas public school system. The Texas Legislature passed the requirement, and the Texas State school board has been developing the curriculum of the course. Board Member Alison Henning has been part of the curriculum development committee. She reports that the course curriculum is completed and is both thorough and accurate. The curriculum will be put out for public comment this fall. It is important that, as geoscientists and parents, we provide input to support the curriculum as it is currently written. When the public comment period begins, we will place a link on the HGS web site to the curriculum and comment site. Please take a few minutes out of
your schedule to review the program and lend your support—as always with public commentary, the more positive responses the curriculum receives, the more likely it will be to pass.
I look forward to seeing you at our events this month!

October 2008 HGS Bulletin
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
From the President