From the President - May 2015

From the President - May 2015

Presidential Ponderings

It’s nearly the end; one more column to ponder after this and much of it usually thanks the numerous members and sponsors who have had an impact on HGS activities throughout the fiscal year. This has led me to review some of my ponderings and look back at whether I was successful or not. Fortunately, the momentum of HGS is such that I didn’t break anything, although there was a lot of bending.

It didn’t take long in my term to realize that my hopes and plans were subject to employer demands, family obligations, and hours in a day. You really get an appreciation for what long-serving HGS members have meant to the Society in terms of effort, sacrifice, service, and success. As these members age, HGS really needs our young professionals to step up and learn from them before they “retire” from HGS. In that regard my term was not as successful as I had hoped it to be. HGS has some young professionals stepping up for local office as well as AAPG delegates. It is not the numbers that I had hoped for, but I appreciate those young members who have stepped forward to participate in HGS activities.

Unfortunately, our educational outreach efforts have fallen off. We have been without chairpersons for several committees and thus our programs have suffered. At a time when STEM programs are receiving more attention, HGS has not been able to contribute as it has in the past because of the dearth of volunteers. HGS has maps (some in frames), bones, and other materials that are waiting to be distributed through the Maps in Schools and Bones in Schools programs. Since SIPES is also active in these endeavors, perhaps our members are participating in these programs through that organization. As I have mentioned in other ponderings, if you have an inclination towards service in education, consider participating on or chairing one of these committees: Academic Liaison, Educational Outreach, Earth Science Week, or Science and Engineering Fair. Some of these committees do have chairpersons, but more members are always welcome.

Two popular social events have also fallen by the wayside. The Shrimp Peel Committee has lacked a leader for several years. The Tennis Tournament has not been held for the last two years for lack of an organizer. GSH is going to invite HGS members to play in its tournament next fall.

I had great plans for writing columns, but they didn’t always work out. Fortunately, some others have succeeded where I did not. I want to mention two articles that stand out for me:

  • If Not Me… Who? If Not Now… When?
  • Building a Legacy

I have written that geologists in Houston should make HGS part of their career development plan. As the uncertainties for many members become realities, this action is more important than ever. Where else can a geologist have the opportunity to mix and mingle with peers if not in local professional organizations (HGS, SIPES, GSH, and SPWLA)? If you aren’t willing to take those steps to be active, there are geologists who will. If you don’t do it now, there may not be a when. I urge the employed, the unemployed, and the underemployed to actively participate in the HGS events. I urge you to take advantage of the educational opportunities that HGS provides. I urge you to participate in the available educational outreach opportunities that will promote interest in science for our youth of today. Dan Billman, a past AAPG Delegates Voice Secretary/Editor asked those questions in one of his columns in 2013-14. You can read Dan’s words here:

Building a legacy is something we all want to do, even if only subconsciously. The world recognizes many people for different things, and talks of their legacies.  HGS has had many members leave a professional legacy as geologists, scientists, entrepreneurs, and leaders (in industry and professional societies). HGS
recognizes professional society legacies through its annual awards. These people have served as mentors in their companies and in the HGS. They have been educators and people of influence. As my term comes to an end, I ponder what my legacy will be, not only what I will have left to HGS, but also what I will have done with my work and in other organizations. I hope that I have served the HGS membership well as your President this fiscal year. The Society has enjoyed a prosperous year, has transitioned to new staff, and continues to serve its members through its programs. As the flat highway of 2014 becomes the roller coaster of 2015, there will be opportunities for older members to help younger members and for younger members to help older members. What will your legacy be? If you want to have some words to ponder, log onto the HGS website and visit the September 2013 Bulletin to read Past President Katz’s column.

May brings the HGS membership two events. The Geomechanics Conference will take place on May 18th through the efforts of that committee and Vice President John Jordan. It will be a oneday event and registration assistance is available for unemployed members. You need to register through the HGS office for those
details. The week before the conference, the Continuing Education Committee will host a half-day seminar on resume writing. The Resume Doctor is IN is the working title for a presentation that will be made by Elizabeth A. Nelson. This event will be held at the Schlumberger South Dairy Ashford iCenter. May is also election month. HGS elects its new Board members this month. I encourage you to vote online or by mailed ballot as soon as you can. Our best election turnout was 16%. I hope we can do better than that this year. By the time you read this, AAPG will have conducted the HGS election for three House of Delegates positions. We have seven candidates; the four not elected will serve as alternates. Information about the candidates was published in the April Bulletin.
I began my term citing the HGS Vision, Mission, and Slogan. I can report that the Society is staying true to its vision, especially now. I believe that HGS is the  essential organization serving earth science professionals in the Houston community. HGS is working on its mission. This is something that requires additional volunteers and an active membership to succeed. HGS continues to provide earth science enrichment through technical education,  networking opportunities, and community service. There is more that can be done for community service. I ask the HGS members to participate actively on those committees. Lastly, there is no question that we are a local society with a global reach. I have seen membership applications from students and professionals living in several foreign countries this past year.

The June Bulletin honors our awardees for this year. The Earth Science Fair winners (HMNS Interns) as well as a Teacher of the Year will be recognized at Guest Night. I encourage you to sign up for this popular event. I have pondered enough for this month. It has been an honor to serve HGS as your President.

Friday, May 1, 2015
From the President