By Lillian Jones, 1st VP-Elect
Word From the Board, April 2023
The Geophysical Society of Houston is unique. As a local professional society, we offer an abundance of technical events that speak to many geophysical topics each month. The Society offers a technical lunch and breakfast monthly from August to May. We have five Special Interest Groups (SIGs), each offering a technical talk every month or bi-monthly. And if that isn’t enough to suit your geophysical palate, the Society coordinates webinars, workshops, and the Annual Spring Symposium.
Simon Voisey and I have worked diligently this past year to shake up the technical template and see if we can improve our community engagement with new locations and a concerted effort to reduce fees. We began hosting the Technical Luncheons at Apache, a central location between the Energy Corridor and Downtown. This allowed us the schedule flexibility that out-of-town speakers would need. The Apache location has the additional benefit of a hybrid attendance option, with a greatly reduced cost for our virtual luncheon-goers. Other technical committees under the 1st VP umbrella have worked hard to bring you our events for little or no cost. Three of the five SIGs are fully sponsored for the next year. Only non-members are required to pay a fee for entry. We also moved the location of the Spring Symposium to the Houston Museum of Natural Sciences—a venerable location within Houston that we hoped would spur excitement for the two-day event.
Next year, I aim to focus on offering the same technical curriculum but paired down to accommodate the increasingly busy schedules we all face. Instead of the Fall Forum, we are planning a half-day “Exploring Energy: Geophysics Careers” workshop, chaired by Kurang Mehta and Ivana Bunting. My current plan is for the Spring Symposium to be a 1-day event in 2024. I also hope to coordinate another in-person workshop during the year.
Even slimmed down, each one of the events listed in this article requires an abundance of planning. I am working on building the committees now, and I urge anyone who reads this to reach out if they are interested in contributing. The success of the GSH is a community effort. We require dependable volunteers to provide ample educational benefits each month. Just consider: professional geoscientists require 15 hours of continuing education credits annually. Our society alone can provide that in less than three months. Personally, I have learned so much this year from Chairing the Tech Lunches. From Carbon Capture and Sequestration to Multi-Parameter FWI, it has been a rich year for my geophysical growth. I look forward to next year’s education opportunities and the other geoscientists it will put in my path.