GSH Volunteer

With over 100 events a year, the GSH offers
unparalleled opportunities to volunteer
and network with like-minded people.

Outstanding GSH Volunteer

The many social and technical opportunities offered by the Geophysical Society of Houston (GSH) for the geophysical profession of Houston and beyond are due largely to many dedicated volunteers.  The GSH wants to recognize some of these dedicated volunteers and will do so through this series of articles where we will present a monthly selected volunteer and provide our readers with some of the volunteer's professional and volunteer background.

Glenn Bear was born outside a small town in Ohio and grew up on a farm.  Glenn said that he never planned to go to college, but instead planned to spend his life working on the farm.  However, upon advice from a high school guidance counselor, Glenn took a test and won a scholarship and decided to go to college.  He obtained a BS in geology from Bowling Green State University.  He liked geology, but also greatly enjoyed computers; so he combined the two interests and moved into geophysics.  He subsequently completed an MS (1992) and a PhD (1997) in Geophysics at Indiana University (IU).  During his time at IU he met Lorie in a differential equations class.  Glenn and Lorie, who is also a geophysicist, subsequently married and have raised two boys, who are currently in college.  While in graduate school, Glenn had internships at BP, Chevron, and Mobil, and Exxon.  He ultimately decided to go to work full time with Exxon after obtaining his PhD.  He has spent his career to date with Exxon (now ExxonMobil).  He has moved back and forth between assignments in research and exploration.  His assignments have covered a broad spectrum of disciplines including gravity, controlled-source electromagnetics, and seismic data acquisition and processing.  In 2014, he took on the role of Skill Area Coordinator for ExxonMobil's seismic data processors deployed around the world, and earlier this year Glenn moved back to the research company and is now the supervisor for a group developing and applying time-lapse seismic methods.  Glenn and Lorie are currently planning a move to India where he will develop and supervise a seismic data processing group for ExxonMobil.

Like many, Glenn's first volunteer efforts with the GSH came after he was recruited by a colleague; he was recruited to be an Assistant Editor in 2006.  But more than most, Glenn's passion for helping the GSH grew and grew.  Beginning in 2008, Glenn served two one-year terms after being elected Editor.  During this assignment he oversaw the publication of the monthly newsletter.  Toward the end of his terms, Glenn helped plan the design and publishing of the inaugural issues of the GSH Journal.   In 2011 Glenn became the 1st Vice President Elect, and then the 1st Vice President the following year.  These positions meshed with his passion for technical material as he oversaw GSH's technical events.  The quality and passion of Glenn's work for the GSH was well recognized, and he was elected President Elect in 2014 and then became President in 2015.  His leadership skills and fervor for the GSH quickly proved beneficial as the industry downturn had a huge negative financial impact on the GSH that year.  But Glenn's dedication and volunteering for the GSH did not diminish following his term as President.  Where the GSH needed help, Glenn jumped forward and VOLUNTEERED.  When the Chair of the Finance Committee moved out of the country, Glenn assumed the position and continued his leadership during the continued difficult financial times.  Glenn also stepped up to assume the role of Coordinator of the Northside Technical Breakfast and Technical Lunch events.  But a patriot's work is never done, so he also assumed the position of Co-Chair of the Office Committee.  Glenn's working with and supporting the GSH staff has helped the GSH leadership and membership appreciate and recognize our staff as part of the GSH team.  But Glenn's benefit to the GSH has gone beyond his official positions; his support and advice to GSH officers that came after him have proved to be a great asset. 

Glenn's dedication to the GSH does not end with his hard work.  Over the years Glenn and Lorie have been major financial contributors to the GSH.  They have been particularly generous with student scholarships and student sponsorship at GSH events.  Glenn and Lorie purchased the booth that the GSH uses at conventions and other forums.  They have contributed financially to the Geoscience Center and to the GSH in many other ways.  They have also supported the GSH women's networking events, which both Glenn and Lorie fervently support.  Glenn has also proven a valuable ambassador to ExxonMobil, his employer, which has also contributed financially to the GSH for many years.  Glenn and the GSH are grateful for ExxonMobil's support, both financially and in graciously allowing Glenn's time with the GSH. 

Naturally, Glenn's passion for helping others extends to other organizations besides the GSH.  Glenn was on the Organizing Committee for the 2017 SEG Convention in Houston.  He also serves on the SEG Foundation Board of Directors and is a volunteer instructor for the Student Education Program.  Glenn has been a long time Scout Master for the Boy Scouts of America, and he continues his work with the Boy Scouts even though his sons have grown up and moved on.  Glenn also serves on the Finance Committee for his church and shares his vocal talents by singing in the church choir.  Glenn also works with the Habitat for Humanity in building homes for the needy.  This is quite an impressive list of volunteer activities.  He is also an active member of the CSEG, EAGE, and the Houston Geological Society (HGS). 

When asked why Glenn is so active in volunteer work, his wife, Lorie, said that "Glenn is full of energy and wants to see things get done."  That is quite an effective combination of attributes.  Glenn attributes his volunteer work to a combination of benefits for both himself and for others.  Glenn says that there is great value in the networking that the GSH provides.  He attributes over half of his professional network to GSH connections.  While he naturally has many professional connections through his work at ExxonMobil, he highly values connections outside of the company that have different perspectives and that are interested in a variety of geophysical skills.  Relationship building is important to Glenn, and that is why he fervently supports opportunities that the GSH provides for doing so, e.g. symposiums, women's networking events, etc.  Glenn credits his volunteering for the GSH for also benefitting him technically.  From his work history with ExxonMobil, you can see that he is interested in a variety of geophysical disciplines.  Through his efforts for the GSH, Glenn attends more technical events than he would otherwise and benefits greatly from the technical sharing.  He proudly learns from all of his volunteer efforts, whether that be from geophysical technical events, or how to install a toilet from his work with Habitat for Humanity.  Glenn also credits many of his leadership skills to working for the GSH.  Glenn mentioned a quote (author unknown), "The key to leadership is getting people to do things that you want done because they want to do them."  Learning to influence without authority has proved beneficial in many aspects of his life. 

Glenn's other main volunteering incentive is in helping others.  Glenn says that he feels an obligation in the grand scheme of things to give back since he has been so blessed; he wants to help other people who may not have been so lucky.  This feeling helps drive his passion to help students who may want to get into our profession.  In talking with Glenn, it becomes obvious that he likes helping others.  When asked what was one of his more memorable experiences in working with the GSH, he related that it was when as President he called members to let them know that they had been nominated to run for a GSH office; he so enjoyed how honored the nominees were to be nominated.  Glenn likes to build up people, and he likes the goals of the GSH to help people. 

Glenn Bear has been a great inspiration to many people for his dedication to the GSH.  When Glenn returns from his assignment in India, I am sure that he will return to working with the GSH.  When you come across Glenn at one of the many industry events he attends, tell him "thank you" for all that he has done for others, and then why not volunteer to help him and the GSH help others.  Glenn will gladly direct you how to accomplish this.