Letter from the President- December 2010

Where We Work
In the October Bulletin we looked at where the HGS membership lives world-wide. This month we will look at where the members work in the Houston area. The chart shows the location of office buildings where our members work, with the height of the building reflecting the number of HGS members. For this study, I defined an office as one with two or more members. The red office buildings show locations in 2008, and the green ones depict locations in 1971.
We must point out that there are some errors and distortions in this chart for the 1971 data. The highway system depicted is the present-day one. Note that Beltway 8 is shown, even though it was not built until well after 1971; and the addresses used downtown in 1971 were not the same as used today. Back then they commonly used building names as addresses instead of street numbers. As a result, I used the zip code as the office address. On the chart, the zip code 77001 represents all of the offices that are located in this area. The total number of members working in offices downtown in 1971 was 536 out of 1,847 total as opposed to 426 out of 1,946 total in 2008. As is shown on the chart, most of the office locations were downtown and along US Highway 59 (the Southwest Freeway). The location of the technical talks was downtown, mainly in the Petroleum Club. The late Mac McKinney, former HGS President, told me that the attendance for the noon luncheons at the Petroleum Club was commonly 300 members. We rarely have this many attendees now. There are several reasons that luncheon attendance was greater in the past. In the 70’s there were fewer meetings per month, almost all meetings were downtown, and HGS members working along Highway 59 had much less traffic then, so access to downtown was easier.
By 2008, there had been a major shift in the locations of offices away from the Highway 59 area to the Galleria, Richmond-Beltway 8, west I-10, and the Greenspoint areas in addition to downtown. Our meeting areas (see blue stars) are now downtown at the Petroleum Club, Westheimer near Beltway 8, and Greenspoint. The Northsiders luncheon is held in the Greenspoint area where several major office buildings are located. The location at Westheimer and Beltway 8 is in close proximity to the home addresses of many of our members and near the Galleria and Richmond-Beltway 8 cluster of offices. The Woodlands is one area of potential growth. It is the residential area for many HGS members. Anadarko is the largest oil and gas company in the Woodlands area. Rumors are that Exxon is planning a large office park near the intersection of I-45 and Hardy Toll Road. If this happens and Exxon relocates some or all of its employees to this office park, then HGS will have to consider having a Dinner meeting in the Woodlands. In planning for the future direction of office and membership growth, I am again reminded of the quote by Niels Bohr – “Prediction is difficult, particularly when it concerns the future.”
Arthur C. Clarke’s third law from “Profiles of the Future” states that “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” As far as I am concerned, graphics is “sufficiently advanced technology.” Thanks go to Greg Muirre with Inexs for doing his “magic” on the charts in this Letter.
As I write this Letter, we are in the middle of Earth Science Week. So far we have had around 390 students participating in the activities. Approximately 60 HGS members have volunteered. Thanks go to Jennifer Burton, Martha McRae, Inda Immega, and all their volunteers for their time and work.
In this Bulletin (page 16) there is a note by Ashley Harris regarding the upcoming Legends of HGS Dinner to be held on January 17, 2011. Please put this date on your calendar.
Kelly Limbaugh is planning the 2010 HGS Honky-Tonk Ho-Ho-Hoedown on Monday December 6th at Blanco’s Bar & Grill. Itsounds like a lively evening. Hope to see you there.
That’s all until next month.
Laissez les bon temps rouler!

John Tubb, Jr.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
From the President