Antonio Garcia Rojas

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Biography Citation for SEG Honorary Membership

Contributed by Santos Figueroa

Although Ing. Antonio Garcia Rojas is known to most explorationists, it is my pleasure to describe his professional career in the advancement of geophysical science.

His field of activity has been the Mexican Republic exclusively. He began his career in 1934 with the Mexican El Aguila company (Royal Dutch Shell). In those early days, geophysical surveys were being carried out on the coastal plains along the Gulf of Mexico. Reflection seismology was being substituted for refraction seismology and gravimetry had replaced the torsion balance. The results were more speculative than scientific. The teaching and learning of geophysicists had lagged because of the economic interest the new exploration tools had aroused. Under these circumstances, Mexico did not seem capable of developing highly trained geophysicists. Nevertheless, Antonio's personal traits enabled him to produce a generation of geophysicists.

He was a tireless worker with quick and natural talent, academically well prepared, and humble in manner. Antonio was an uncontainable and constructive force with a researcher's true impatience. It was fortunate that the Mexican petroleum industry had such a personality to rely on, and soon Antonio became a leader in geophysics.

wo events which tested his ability were the nationalization of the petroleum industry in 1938 and World War II which broke out in Europe in 1939. With his thorough knowledge of basic theory, he applied geophysical methods objectively. Under his direction, obsolete tools were rebuilt and improved and a careful technical and economical program of exploration was carried out. But, most importantly, highly qualified personnel were trained.

When it became possible to purchase tools and services after the war, a group of specialists was available to direct and carry out geophysical activities.

As a direct result of the early efforts of Antonio and all those distinguished geophysicists who were his colleagues, Mexican exploration geophysics has served its country well and had provided the means for the furtherance of professional excellence in the future.

It is therefore appropriate that we recognize my good friend, Antonio Garcia Rojas, with Honorary Membership in the Society of Exploration Geophysicists.