Society of Exploration Geophysicists

Society of Exploration Geophysicists

The Society of Exploration Geophysicists (or SEG) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the science of geophysics and the education of exploration geophysicists. The Society fosters the expert and ethical practice of geophysics in the exploration and development of natural resources, in characterizing the near-surface, and in mitigating earth hazards. As of early 2008, SEG has more than 28,000 members working in more than 130 countries. SEG was founded in 1930 in Houston, Texas but its business office has been headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma since the mid-1940s. While most SEG members are involved in exploration for petroleum, SEG members also are involved in environmental and engineering geophysics, archaeology, and other scientific endeavors. SEG publishes "The Leading Edge" ("TLE"), a monthly professional magazine, and "Geophysics", a peer-reviewed archival publication which has been recognized around the world for more than half a century as the "journal of record" for exploration geophysics.

SEG's Technical Standards Committee develops and maintains specifications for geophysical data. Most familiar of these standards are the SEG Y data format for storing seismic data.

History of SEG

SEG was founded in 1930 by 30 men and women who felt that the use of geophysical technology for petroleum exploration had matured to the point that a professional society was needed in order to facilitate the transfer of technical knowledge.

The Society started its own journal, "Geophysics", in 1936. Membership grew significantly in the late 1930s and early 1940s and this required hiring a permanent staff to conduct the Society’s day-to-day operations. As a result, a business office was opened in Tulsa. Further growth necessitated commissioning permanent office space for the staff. One was opened in the 1960s and another, the Cecil and Ida Green Tower, in the 1980s.

SEG has always held an annual meeting but it was in conjunction with the AAPG convention until 1955. SEG began sponsoring an independent annual meeting in that year and it quickly became the world’s premier showcase for state-of-the-art geophysical instrumentation.


SEG memberships include several types to fit different needs. Members get full access to the SEG Digital Library, which includes "Geophysics", "The Leading Edge", SEG Technical Program "Expanded Abstracts", and Robert E. Sheriff's "Encyclopedic Dictionary of Applied Geophysics", fourth edition. All members also receive the SEG "Yearbook" on a CD that also includes the previous year's articles from "Geophysics" and "TLE". Most members receive "TLE" in print, and "Geophysics" in print is available to members at a modest subscription rate.

In addition, members get lower pricing for reference publications at the SEG Book Mart, Annual Meeting registration, and professional development. SEG Online offers members a suite of services including an online messaging and collaboration tool, a career center, and group health and life insurance in cooperation with its partner society American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG).

Meetings and events

SEG has hosted meetings, conferences, workshops, forums, and expositions for the geosciences community for more than 78 years. These international events have taken place in numerous locations on six continents. In addition to serving its’ global membership, SEG works with other organizations, associated societies, and businesses around the world to create the most comprehensive listing of meetings as possible. These SEG international events bring together a global society in ventures of education, research, collaboration, and networking.

SEG’s [ Annual Meeting and International Exposition] , held in cities including Houston, New Orleans, Las Vegas, and San Antonio, is the world’s largest gathering of exploration geophysics-related activities. Six days of Annual Meeting events deliver to geoscience professionals technical paper presentations, poster presentations, an exposition showcasing the latest in geoscience-related products and services, workshops, continuing education courses, tours, networking events, career services, and student events. It regularly brings together more than 8,000 exploration industry professionals from around the globe.

Students and SEG

In June 2008, SEG’s student membership totaled more than 8,000, with 150 active student sections in 49 countries.

SEG, in conjunction with the [ SEG Foundation] , delivers students outstanding opportunities to help get a great start in their careers: These programs include [ SEG/Chevron Student Leadership Symposium] , [ SEG/ExxonMobil Student Education Program] , [ Annual Meeting Travel Grants] , [ Projects of Special Merit] , [ Geoscientists without Borders] , [ SEG Foundation Scholarship Program] , and [ AAPG-SEG Student Expo] . The quarterly e-mail newsletter, [ "the Anomaly"] , focuses on topics and opportunities associated with SEG’s most rapidly growing membership group. SEG student membership is free for full-time graduate or undergraduate students in good standing at a recognized university or college working toward a degree in geophysics or a related field and is accompanied by a number of student membership benefits.

SEG Foundation

In 1958, the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) formed a trust to provide scholarships for students of geophysics. Thirty years later, in response to the needs of a growing industry, that trust was transformed into the [ SEG Foundation] .

Today, the SEG Foundation supports cutting-edge programs that benefit SEG members, the corporations for which they work and the communities in which they live. Many of the high priority programs funded by the SEG Foundation help SEG members remain up-to-date with the latest career enhancing skills. Example programs include the [ Distinguished Instructor Short Course (DISC)] , the [ Honorary Lecturer program] , SEG Forums, and the newly launched [ SEG Online] .

Other programs bring together the leaders of tomorrow with the leaders of today, inspiring the next generation to pursue excellence in applied geophysics. Since 1956, the SEG Foundation scholarship program has been an acknowledged symbol of excellence for geoscience students around the world. Four thousand scholarships representing almost $5 million have been awarded to 1,900 individuals in the past 50 years. In addition to its ground breaking scholarship program, the SEG Foundation and its generous donors also fund student travel grants, leadership training, and field camps.

The SEG Foundation, along with SEG, developed a powerful response to two of the most pressing challenges facing the geoscience community: a growing demand for innovative technology and the need for visionary young talent. The response is a bold plan for the future that will raise geosciences to a new level of excellence. Dr. Leon Thomsen, then president of SEG, announced the plan on 24 September 2007 in San Antonio, Texas at the SEG Annual Meeting, “It is my pleasure to announce the launch of the Foundation’s major gift campaign, "Advancing Geophysics Today, Inspiring Geoscientists for Tomorrow". The goal of the campaign is $15 million.” To date, more than $12 million has been raised.

SEG journals, books, and newsletters

SEG’s publications program helps the Society fulfill its mission of promoting the science of geophysics and the professional development of geoscientists by disseminating information about geophysical research and applications through a variety of channels.

SEG publishes two journals. [ "Geophysics"] , published by SEG since 1936, is an archival journal encompassing all aspects of research, exploration, and education in applied geophysics. [ "The Leading Edge"] ("TLE") is a gateway publication introducing new geophysical theory, instrumentation, and established practices to scientists in a wide range of geoscience disciplines. Most material is presented in a semitechnical manner that minimizes mathematical theory and emphasizes practical applications.

SEG’s online offerings include implementations of "Geophysics" and "TLE"; the [ "Encyclopedic Dictionary of Applied Geophysics", fourth edition] ; [ SEG Technical Program "Expanded Abstracts"] ; the multisociety [ Digital Cumulative Index] ; [ SEG Technical Standards] ; [ SEG news] ; the [ "SEG Extra"] e-mail newsletter; and the [ SEG "Yearbook"] .

The reference publications program publishes a wide range of books, DVDs, CDs, videos, and slide sets in several series. These can be purchased online through the [ SEG Book Mart] .

Professional Development

SEG Professional Development consists of four programs: SEG/EAGE Distinguished Instructor Short Course
Continuing Education short courses
Distinguished Lecturer
Honorary Lecturer

Distinguished Instructor Short Course (DISC)

The [ SEG/EAGE Distinguished Instructor Short Course (DISC)] is SEG’s primary professional development program. It is presented in partnership with the [ European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers (EAGE)] . The DISC is a one-day course taught by a prominent geophysicist on a current topic of interest to a broad audience of geoscientists. The DISC visits over 25 sites around the world each year.

Details of the current and past DISC presentations, including schedules, can be found on the [ DISC site] .

Continuing Education

The backbone of the SEG Professional Development program is [ Continuing Education (CE)] . These short courses, taught by industry experts, cover topics from the fundamental to the leading edge of geophysics. CE courses are held in one of three ways: public courses, section-sponsored courses, and contract (in-house) courses. Public courses are sponsored directly by SEG, a series of courses called an [Education Week] is offered four times per year, once in west Houston, once in New Orleans, once in Calgary, and once in north Houston. Public courses are also offered each year the weekend prior to the [ SEG Annual Meeting] .

Section-sponsored courses are sponsored by SEG sections or affiliated societies, and contract courses are sponsored by individual companies or organizations. Generally one or two days long, most courses can be expanded up to 5 days if desired.

[ Upcoming course schedule]
[ Full curriculum]
[ More information about in-house training]

Distinguished Lecturer

The [ Distinguished Lecturer (DL)] program is offered two times per year. The Spring DL visits a minimum of 15 locations each year to present a lecture suitable for a lunch or dinner meeting of a local section or university group. Each year the DL is recorded and posted to the [ Distinguished Lecturers Presentation Library] for free viewing by members and the public.

The Fall DL is sponsored jointly with the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG). SEG and AAPG alternate years administering the program.

Honorary Lecturer

SEG also offers the [ Honorary Lecturer (HL) program] . The HL program is a companion program to the DL with a focus to transfer knowledge within a region. The regional focus strengthens services SEG provides to an expanding global membership. Lectures may be given in English or a language appropriate to the region.

The regions are Central and South America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, North America, the Pacific South, and South and East Asia.

ee also

List of geoscience organizations
American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
American Geophysical Union (AGU)
Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE)

External links

[ Society of Exploration Geophysicists]
[ SEG Digital Library]
[ European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers] (EAGE)

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