Happy New GSH Year!
By Dennis Yanchak, President

A year ago Houston was experiencing Hurricane Harvey and its after affects.  Like so many Houston organizations, the Geophysical Society of Houston had to work even harder to reorganize and get back to work.   Other organizations faced difficult decision.  For example, the Society of Exploration Geophysicists, after serious deliberation, moved ahead and held their annual convention in Houston.  Likewise, the GSH quickly rescheduled and/or resumed our technical, social, and outreach programs.  It has taken the better part of the year to get everything working as before, but it looks like we are there and ready for new (and, I hope, less devastating) challenges in the coming year.

Call me an optimist, but from my viewpoint, it finally feels like we are slowly emerging from the industry downturn.  With that in mind, we have set a number of aspirations for this coming year.  The first is to keep the GSH financially afloat.  If anyone remembers my last Word from the Board column, I wrote that we were working through the 2018-2019 GSH budget.  Dare I say, we don’t have a balanced budget at the outset, but I believe the new board is up to the challenge of righting the fiscal ship before we end this year’s geophysical journey in June 2019.  As we now stand, there is an 8% budget shortfall so we will each have to do our part to finish in the black.  

How can you help, you ask?  That dovetails nicely into the second and third goals.  The second is to increase membership to 2000.  Please encourage your coworkers and friends to attend the many GSH events this coming year and, if they aren’t GSH members yet, to join our society.  There are numerous technical events as well as fun, social events starting with the annual GSH Icebreaker at Saint Arnold’s Brewery on September 27th.  Of course there will be other technical and social events earlier in September, so mark your calendars, tell your friends and coworkers, and come out to network, learn something new, challenge something old, and just have fun.  

Our third goal is to increase involvement in GSH programs.  We would like everyone to become more involved but especially the young professionals in the first years of their careers.  There are many opportunities to get involved with the technical, social and outreach events that the GSH runs.  Find one that piques your interest and volunteer.  I can guarantee that it will be a rewarding experience.  As Winston Churchill aptly noted, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”  There are many opportunities in the GSH to give back to the society and to the community.  Please consider volunteering your time.

The fourth goal is to continue to expand GSH’s contribution to the geophysical community even beyond Houston.  We do have cooperation agreements in place with our geophysical brethren and sistren in Denver and Canada.  There are other geophysical groups that are interested in sharing with the GSH so we will continue to develop cooperative agreements with neighboring geophysical societies.  This includes GSH’s growing number of webinars, which, through their very nature, are not bound by physical borders.

My final goal is to increase donations and sponsorship by 10%.  That, in itself, would cover the budget shortfall that we currently have.  Donations and sponsorship support many of the programs that the GSH organizes.  Without the generous support of our donors and sponsors the GSH would be extremely limited in our ability to support the geophysical community. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of them for their past and future support.

There are a number of other issues that we will be addressing throughout the year.  These will be reported as time goes by.  Please stay tuned, follow the GSH e-Newsletter, check the website, and follow the GSH on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  We look forward to you sharing your ideas for improving the GSH and getting involved!  Karen and Kathy are ready to help with any GSH issues you may have or contact me – my email address is listed on the adjacent page.  

I look forward to seeing you at this year’s GSH events!