From the President - September 2013

From the President - September 2013  by Barry Katz

A New Year, A New Board, Some Continuing Thoughts

It has been a while since I last communicated with the HGS membership. From 2009-2011, I was editor of the Bulletin and over those two years I emphasized a few key items. My thoughts and views on the roles of professional societies and the obligations of professionals have not changed significantly. These roles share what I consider an important trilogy — continuing education, volunteerism, and mentoring. This month the focus is on continuing education.


Professional or learned societies (and I consider HGS a learned society) have a long history in the geologic sciences. The Geological Society (of London) has a history that dates back to 1807, with HGS itself forming in August of 1923. That’s right, we have just passed our 90th anniversary. A key role of these societies has been, and remains, a place for technical debate and discourse, where ideas and concepts can be presented and discussed, a place to learn. The multiple HGS meetings each month provide opportunities for such technical exchange and a means for continuing the education of those in the audience as well as the presenter. A healthy discussion after a presentation is one means of obtaining peer review of a new concept. The HGS also provides opportunities for more formal education and training through its multi-day conferences and short courses. Some of the topics for these activities come through presenters that volunteer while others are solicited based on perceived topical interest. The HGS Board and the responsible committees continue to seek input from the members on topics that might be of interest. If you have a meeting topic that you would like to hear about contact our Vice President Mike Deming. If you have an idea for a short course that could benefit our membership please contact Rosemary Laidacker.

We will come back to these themes as the year continues, but for now I would like to shift to provide a quick preview of our year. Once again in February, HGS will be holding the annual Applied Geoscience Mudrocks Conference and in November a new companion Applied Geoscience Conference on Micro- to Macro Geomechanics will be offered. Realizing that not all of the members are working on unconventional resource plays, plans are being developed for yet an additional conference with a very different focus. More details will be made available as the planning committee firms up a date and the conference’s technical program. In April 2014, the HGS will host the Annual AAPG Conference in Houston. Several short courses are also on the schedule including one on microseismic with others in the planning. June 2014 will once again provide an opportunity to participate in the Grand Canyon Field Trip. In addition to the technical program that HGS presents, we also plan to continue offering a diverse social program including such favorites as the golf and tennis tournaments and Guest Night. HGS will also continue to be active in the community and will support student scholarships. More details as the year continues. Until next month…





Barry Katz
Sunday, September 1, 2013
From the President