CSEG History: 1980 – 1985

During the 1980s, the Society continued to serve as a spokesman for the industry, and as a link between the world of the geophysicist and the government, public and academic worlds. However, the society also devoted time to a variety of other projects. The continuing education programs gave members an opportunity to continually update their knowledge of the geophysical field. Conventions also served to educate. Social events, such as the Doodlebug golf tournament, Doodlespiel and tennis tournament were also an important part of the Society.

In 1980 President P.D. O’Brien urged the membership to stand up and be counted. “All of us should work with whatever means we have to get all levels of government to moderate their stands so that the petroleum industry can proceed with the most important task at hand – that of maintaining and increasing, if possible, Canada’s supply of petroleum.” However, the Government Affairs Committee was not extremely active during the year.

Other CSEG activities demanded a great deal of attention. The annual convention in May, on the 30th anniversary of the CSEG’s founding, attracted 1,281 delegates and 37 exhibitors. The response was enough to convince the executive that larger facilities were needed. The 1981 convention was held at the Calgary Convention Centre. In addition to the usual technical programs, the convention featured a symposium reviewing the first three decades of geophysical exploration and a government/industry panel discussion on the regulations affecting geophysical exploration in Alberta.

The University Liaison Committee continued to communicate with universities and assisted the Alberta Department of Advanced Education and Manpower in obtaining career information on geophysics. During the year the executive attempted to improve the Society’s Journal through the appointment of a production editor, whose job it was to oversee production.

The Constitution Committee was active in 1980. The constitution was changed, replacing the position of prior past-presidents with that of first vice-president. The vice-president would automatically become president, thus giving the newly elected president one year of experience. The constitution was also expanded, allowing local sections of the CSEG to be formed in other areas of Canada and to have representation on Calgary’s council.

In 1981 the CSEG continued work on existing projects. The Government Affairs Committee was active, the University Liaison Committee continued to communicate with educational institutes and the Statistics Committee continued to survey companies engaged in commercial seismic data processing. The national convention attracted more than 1,380 delegates and 80 exhibitors. Thirty scholarships were awarded.

Membership dues rose to $15 in 1982 and a further $5 the following year, due to a stable membership and increasing publishing and distribution costs. With increased profits the Journal changed to a larger 8.5 by 11 inch format, following the trend of Geophysics and the Bulletin of Canadian Petroleum Geology. For the first time, continuing courses sponsored by the Society did not attract many participants. The sluggish economy was blamed. However, the annual convention, entitled “The Continuing Search,” drew large crowds. More than 1,560 attended the meeting and 106 exhibitor booths were set up.

The year 1983 was once again a busy time for the Government Affairs Committee, according to ’83 President V.A.A. (Valerie) Nielsen. “Because the livelihood of our industry is affected in such a major way by government policy and legislation, your Society has placed more emphasis this year on geophysical government relations.” The CSEG also devoted time to improving relations with APEGGA. A Liaison committee was established, “for the purpose of providing a systematic approach to addressing the concerns of the geophysical community, vis-à-vis the body which administers the act regulating the practice of geophysics in Alberta.” During the year, the Society’s relationship with the Canadian Geoscience Council was altered. Under a new system, a CSEG Committee was established to ensure greater participation from the Society.

In 1983 the CSEG decided to permit Recorder articles to be printed unedited. It was expected that the move would result in a greater variety of style and personalities. Meanwhile, existing committees remained active. The annual convention was entitled “Geophysics – Key to Recovery.” And in ’83 the CSEG ordered a new, completely portable, display booth. The booth was ready in time for presentation at the ’84 convention.

In the following years the facelift of the CSEG Recorder continued. In 1984 the newsletter was given a new front-page banner and a new column – “Tracing the Industry.” The ’85 executive voted to continue the project and a whole new layout and style was introduced in the September issue. The new magazine format, printed on a glossy paper, featured advertising, colour and more copy. Technical editors, a photographer and a production staff were appointed to assist with the new publication.

Nineteen hundred and eight-four was a record year for the Society as membership topped 2,000 and the yearend balance was recorded as $163,572. The CSEG/CSPG joint convention, “Exploration Update ’84,” attracted more than 3,200 registrants. In addition to the 50 technical presentations, delegates attended a one-day petroleum economics session and enjoyed a variety of entertainment. A total of 35 scholarships were awarded in 1984.

CSEG Memberships 1949 - 1984

During 1985 the Society’s emphasis was on improving technical aspects, president Larry Fichtner explained. “One of the areas that we want to put more emphasis on is trying to increase the number of Journals put out each year.” Society members also worked on improving the scholarship fund. The APEGGA liaison committee was also working hard during the year, the president said. Subcommittees were established to assist the APEGGA committee. And in ’85, for the first time ever, the Doodlebug Golf Tournament was cancelled due to inclement weather. Enthusiastic players braved the cold on the September weekend, but when the snow started to fly, the contest had to be cancelled with no flight winners and no prizes presented.

CSEG Budget 1949 - 1984

More than three decades have passed since the formation of the Canadian Society of Exploration Geophysicists. Without a doubt, it has promoted the science of geophysics and through its various activities and publications it has encouraged “fellowship and cooperation” amongst its members. The CSEG has also witnessed enormous economic, political and technological change in its lifetime and the future holds the promise for many new avenues of exploration.

(Taken from ‘Traces Through Time’ by David Finch, 1985)