Where is HGS Heading?On Saturday March 12th, instead of going to the Cotulla, Texas Wild Hog Cook-Off, I joined the HGS Board and met with Spencer Yantis to discuss mission/vision, goals, strategy, and tactics to be applied in running the Houston Geological Society. Poor planning on my part! Spencer is a retired U of H marketing professor. Why did we do this? My Pop (grandfather) told me when I was young “If you don’t know where you are going, you are never going to get there”. The Houston Geological Society is equal in size and scope to a small business. We have about 45 committees overseeing the Society’s activities during the year. These committees can be placed in four general categories: technical education, networking, education outreach to the community, and administrative. We wanted to review what we were doing and what we should be doing. Most of the discussion centered on what we should be doing. As can be expected, the topics discussed ranged the gamut within our four general categories. Two of the topics of special interest to me were Web education and K-12 education. I feel the Society should concentrate on these areas. Two of the ideas for Web educat ion would involve the implementation of web-based technical talks and Webinars/Web Symposia. With this capability the Society would have the ability to reach out to many more of our membership (both in and out of the Houston area) than the standard technical dinner/luncheon sessions that we presently use. We could develop a catalog of online technical talks that would be available to HGS members. Extending geoscience education to our schools would help develop well-rounded citizens and would be a source of professional geoscientists for the future. Some of the topics mentioned were:
- Field Trips for kids
- Educational Resources online
- More Visiting Geoscientists in classrooms
- Magic Suitcase-Educational packets
- Rocks, Maps, and Bones in schools
The Corpus Christi Geological Society has developed a very successful K-12 education plan. They provide a geologic map of the U.S., and rock, mineral and fossil specimens to their area schools. We have a limited Maps in School program for theHouston area which should be expanded. One thing Spencer shared with us involved member surveys. When we run a survey we should ask for the things people do not like. I would like for you readers to send me your list of things which HGS does that you do not like and recommendations as tohow we can improve. Please send your comments to me at email@example.com. Thanks for the input. Laissez les bon temps rouler!