GSH: A Solid Home
By Edith Miller, Treasurer

It is May and that means the GSH year is drawing to an end. We have elected new Board members, we have a few final events to look forward to and we are looking back on the year at the annual GSH Honors and Awards Banquet. We will also be closing the financial books by the end of June. I have had the pleasure to serve as your Treasurer this year, and quite a year it has been. A year of hope for a steady recovery of Oil & Gas and on the financial front, a year of budgets. In times of uncertainty, having a realistic budget is an important tool to avoid surprises and plan ahead. I am sure that many of you, just as I, have found yourselves involved in more detailed financial forecasting and planning in recent times than in oil boom times. And so it was for the GSH in response to our shifting environment. Uncertain times call for certain measures.

It may be easier to serve on a Board in a time of plenty, but it might be even more rewarding to successfully deal with a challenging environment. This year, the Board as a team, with GSH volunteers and staff, ensured that the GSH will continue to steadfastly fulfill its mission to promote the science and profession of geophysics and to foster fellowship and cooperation among all persons interested in geophysics. At the start of the year, all Board members did their part in the financial forecasting that informed the decisions necessary to maintain a healthy balance sheet and continue to serve you our members with excellence.

How, do you ask, can the GSH maintain financial health to serve its members well through oil lean times? The short answer is by the very hard work of volunteers and staff. More specifically, by managing our finances though ups and downs, not overspending in times of plenty, and keeping overhead limited so that we can adjust to a changing environment. Key to making this happen is volunteer work. We are a local society, which compared to global organizations such as SEG, AAPG and SPE is small enough to have a small staff, but we are such an active local society that there is a lot of work to be done by volunteers. If you are an avid reader of this Journal you will realize how much work the volunteers do in terms of planning and running events, supporting the office, and many other activities, including the work involved in creating this Journal itself.

The GSH forms a strong community of loyal members and contributors. We pursue sharing and promoting science and technology as well as camaraderie regardless of the oil price. As such we will always be hosting great technical and social events, again thanks to all the hard work of the volunteers and staff and thanks to your participation. The advantage of a local society is the opportunity to get together with fellow geophysics practitioners and enthusiasts, in good times as well as more challenging times. We do our best to adapt to our community’s needs. In addition to all our classic events, you will have noticed several Diversity & Women’s events throughout the year (everyone welcome!) as well as a Career Development Event for Unemployed Professionals which was hosted in January. And I believe we held a record number of Webinars this year, providing a convenient high-quality learning experience and expanding our Society’s reach beyond the Houston metro area.

Our budget process served us well this year to help the GSH plan and adjust where needed and I remain optimistic about the years ahead. I do not have as long a history with the GSH as many of the other volunteers and members, but it has quickly become a home and it will remain one of my homes even when I may move to other corners of the world. Membership renewal is coming up; make the GSH one of your homes again, your home for local geophysics and beyond, and join your fellow GSH members at our 2017-2018 events.