The East Texas Geological Society is your Society! I have been the President for nearly two years and realized that I have not given you an update on what is going on with the Society, so let me fill you in. Most of you are aware of the three major activities we hold each year – the golf tournament, the Tech and Prospect Expo, and the skeet shoot – but what you may not know is that the profits from the first two go toward our scholarship fund. More on that later. In spite of a tough year for our industry, we still made a little money from the golf tournament – thanks Nick Pollard, for your years of organizing that event. This year, the Tech and Prospect Expo was pretty well attended – given the economic climate of the industry – and we’re still waiting on all the invoices to see if we are in the black or red, but either way, it will be close. Your Board of Directors felt that it was important to carry on with the Expo in spite of the low price environment, and we had some good talks and great networking at the event. The skeet shoot was never designed to be a money maker. It was always our intent to break even at the event, and we may be able to do that again this year, so we are looking forward to seeing you there at Rose City Flying Clays on Saturday, April 30th. If you haven’t registered, you can get information on our website.
Over the last several years, your Society has had a growing relationship with the Stephen F. Austin State University Geology department. We have helped them buy equipment and get access to literature through the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. We have donated and helped facilitate the acquisition of geological and geophysical software, and provided training on that software. Two and a half years ago, volunteers from our Society began teaching GEOL 519, which is probably the most popular course taught to the graduate students. Through some of our members who are SFA alumni, over 8,000’ of core was moved to SFA for storage and to be available to the students for research. Several of our members have also acted as mentors to graduate students.
This year your Society has undertaken an effort to increase our commitment to SFA. That is taking the form of increased scholarship support and networking to find or create internships for the graduate students who are doing their thesis work on oil and gas related research. First the scholarships: We are fortunate to have a healthy scholarship fund, thanks to the hard work of our volunteers and great local participation. For several years the Society has provided about $6,000 of scholarship money to junior, senior, and graduate level geology students attending Texas colleges. This year, four scholarships will be awarded, which is pretty typical. What is new is a $6,000 scholarship that will be awarded to a geology graduate student at SFA.
Internships for the geology grad students is another new endeavor for our Society. Through our relationship with the grad students we learned of their need for internships. A committee of five members of your ETGS Board of Directors has been working on this in a two-pronged approach. The first is to network with local E&P companies to identify opportunities, and the second is to try to create a local internship program through volunteers who will help teach and mentor the students in various aspects of oil and gas exploration. This may take a while, but hopefully we will be able to implement this ETGS program in the summer of 2017. If you have any ideas about this or would like to volunteer, I would encourage you to get in touch with me.
One other thing our Society is doing is to reach out to our networks to create collaborative relationships between oil and gas service companies and the SFA Geology department. Right now, we have been able to facilitate at least one and possibly two companies to begin developing that relationship.
That’s a lot of stuff! None of it would happen without the great group of volunteers who unselfishly give of their time to work on the committees that make all this happen. So, the East Texas Geological Society isn’t just coming to a luncheon and listening to a speaker – we’re a lot more than that!
Speaking of the luncheon, this month, one of our own members, and an SFA graduate, Rick Turner will be our speaker. He will be presenting his paper on Application of Terrain Slope Maps (S1 Maps) For The Recognition Of Buried Geologic Features. As usual, the luncheon will be at The Cascades Country Club at around 11:30 AM on Wednesday, April 20th. Please don’t forget to make your reservations and I’ll see you there!
President, East Texas Geological Society