From the President- October 2019

Exploring Together

We geoscientists are indeed all explorers at heart.  But we never explore or discover anything without depending on the talents and contributions of others. Whether our collaborators are indirect or even long gone, we benefit from the documentation of their work in publications, or they are alive and well and are part of a team in which we labor on the same project at the same time, there is always interdependency. Despite the increased efficiency of online, remote communication, there is still no substitute for face-to-face meetings and interaction with our geoscience colleagues. The more we can directly interact with a broad cross-section of our colleagues, outside the boundaries of our respective organizations and specialties, the more we are exposed to different ideas and perspectives – thus the greater our chances of finding optimal solutions to the challenges that we face in our current and future projects. So, let’s explore together as much as we can.

This month presents a variety of great opportunities to explore together, beyond the walls of our offices. Apart from the usual array of HGS dinner and luncheon meetings, there are a couple of October events co-hosted with the Geophysical Society of Houston (GSH):  a new social event on the north side, Family & Friends Fall Fun Day, on Saturday the 5th in The Woodlands; and the annual joint HGS/GSH dinner meeting on Monday the 7th at the Norris Center. By the way, I recently met with GSH President Craig Beasley over lunch, to start a dialogue on ways in which HGS and GSH can further increase collaboration. As a start, Craig and I agreed to apply for membership in each other’s Society

HGS NeoGeos, in collaboration with SPE, remains active this month with a career development seminar on data science & analytics. Kudos to Casey Langdon and the rest of the NeoGeos Committee for taking the lead in organizing this timely educational opportunity.

HGS, in partnership with the American Geosciences Institute (AGI), will sponsor the 2019 edition of Earth Science Week on 12-20 October at the Houston Museum of Natural Science; this year’s theme is “Geoscience is for Everyone,” and will emphasize the importance of geoscience in the everyday lives of all people.

Last but certainly not least, the big event here in Houston during October is GeoGulf 19, the new name for the Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies (GCAGS) annual convention. This year, HGS is the host society for GeoGulf 19, and it promises to be, as usual, one of the key E&P events of the year, with a wide offering of oral and poster presentations, short courses, field trips, and social gatherings. Details can be found at I urge you all to attend, and I hope to personally explore new geoscientific ideas with many of you at GeoGulf 19 at the Marriott Westchase.

Finally, I’d like to update you on some of the progress your Board has made during the past month toward fulfilling my main objectives as 2019-2020 HGS President, which were outlined in my column in the September 2019 issue of the Bulletin. Though never a pleasant task, some necessary cost-cutting was initiated by the Board that will help preserve the financial “health” of HGS during the ongoing industry downturn. The overall number of HGS events for 2019-2020 has been reduced, including the elimination of the ChairFest and MidFest dinners for committee chairs, and HGS Guest Night for 2020.  In the case of Guest Night, there has been a steady decrease in attendance over the past few years, to the point where HGS took a significant financial loss from the June 2019 edition. Going forward, the Guest Night Committee will examine ways in which the event can be modified to increase interest in attendance by HGS members and their families and begin plans to re-start Guest Night during the subsequent fiscal year; your ideas in this regard are welcome!

On the positive/constructive/growth plans side, we are adding some new events to the 2019-2020 HGS calendar which we hope will be popular for years to come. In addition to the inaugural HGS/GSH Family & Friends Fall Fun Day mentioned above, there will be a new, major annual event co-sponsored by HGS and the European Association of Geoscientists & Engineers (EAGE) focused on South and Central America, on 19-20 November at the Norris Center.

Never stop exploring!