Terri-Jane Yuzda

CSEG Explores the Edge
at Annual Conference

Public Relations Coordinator

Top, a panoramic picture of the trade booth floor; above, one of the many booths.

The geophysics sector's premier event, the annual Canadian Society of Exploration Geophysicists Convention, was held May 6-9 at the Telus Convention Centre in Calgary. Andy St. Onge, P.Geoph., general chair of the CSEG, summed up the successful convention this way: "Technology is an ever-evolving progression of innovation. It is only by pushing the limits of what is possible that innovation ensues which further defines a new standard of capability.

"Over the years, the common thread appears to be that geophysicists and technologists constantly push resolution limits to better image the subsurface to describe the resource. Taking Exploration to the Edge (the convention theme) will be a challenge that we all can accept and embrace."

The convention allowed members of the geophysical community to network at technical talks, luncheons and socials, and to explore the latest services and products offered by the exhibitors.

Although the majority of the 2,220 delegates came from Calgary, there was an international flare to this year's conference. A strong contingent of delegates came from the United States; participants came from as far away as Nigeria, France and China.

The popular Icebreaker event kicked off the convention. Hundreds of people united at the Convention Centre, where a wide range of exciting activities took place. There was a BMX bike demonstration, ultimate Frisbee, miniature stock car racing, a hockey net shootout, and an interpretation contest. Definitely something for everyone!

The luncheon presentation on Wednesday gave delegates a chance to meet the first person to successfully navigate the 4,000-km Northwest Passage, Jeff MacInnis. As an explorer and entrepreneur, Mr. MacInnis is an excellent resource on the spirit of exploration.

In the exhibition hall were numerous examples of how technology and innovation have merged with geoscience services. The exhibits showcased many new exciting products, which are useful for the geophysics profession.

"Some of the instrumentation used in the field suffers a lot of abuse simply from being put on the ground for the duration of one of our winters," said Mr. St. Onge. "Advances in computer memory and chip design aid the recording of seismic data. It is impressive to see the latest computer technology adapted to small yet robust instruments."

Technology played a role in the success of this well organized conference. The CSEG website and e-mail notices provided a wealth of information to assist presenters, exhibitors and registrants. This year, for the first time, there will not be a hardcopy of abstracts from the convention.

In its place the CSEG has produced a $2 CD that contains all of the abstracts. The cost to print a hardcopy is over $100 per book. This environmentally friendly, time and cost efficient alternative is yet another example of the wonder of technology.
More than 75 volunteers donated their time and efforts to ensure the success of the convention. The highlight had to be the technical talks -- 110 sessions and poster papers over three days.

Next year, CSEG will combine its convention with that of the Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists. The two organizations will join forces to host the 2003 convention at the Round Up Centre in Calgary.


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