Gary Hoover

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Gary Hoover
Gary Hoover new headshot.png
Latest company Phillips Petroleum Co.
Membership Life Member


Biography Citation for SEG Life Membership

Contributed by James E. Lucas


Gary Hoover has been a major contributor to the geophysics profession through his 27 years of service to the Society and his 32 years of service to Phillips Petroleum Company where he has been a prime force in the advancement of geophysical technology. Those of us who have had the good fortune to work with Gary are acutely aware of his keen mind, inquisitiveness, technical prowess, insight into problem solutions, vision for the future, and leadership ability. In addition to these characteristics, we know Gary as a fair, compassionate, and understanding person who sincerely cares about the individuals whose lives he touches personally and professionally.

Gary was raised on a farm outside of Falls City, Nebraska. Following the completion of his secondary education, he enrolled at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln where he completed his B.S. degree in math and physics in 1961. Of notable interest is the fact that he did not begin his professional career in the "petroleum industry" but rather in the "nuclear industry!" His first assignment with Phillips Petroleum was as a nuclear reactor engineer in the Research and Development Department of the Atomic Energy Division at Idaho Falls, Idaho. After serving two years in this assignment, Gary elected to enroll in graduate school at Kansas State University where he earned his M.S. in physics in 1965 and Ph.D. in physics in 1968. His aptitude for conducting research was rewarded with election to Sigma Xi in 1968. Upon graduation, Gary again joined Phillips Petroleum but this time in Bartlesville in the Geophysics Branch of Research and Development.

The majority of Gary's career has been in R&D where he progressed from research geophysicist to section supervisor to Geophysics Branch manager in 1979. In those roles, Gary was actively involved in a variety of research projects on topics such as acoustic holography, magnetotelluric modeling, experimental seismic measurements, and rock physics. In 1983, this progression was followed by assignments in E&P operations which included the position of Manager of 3-D Development. In 1988, Gary moved to Phillips Technical Ladder where he currently holds the title of senior research leader and serves as the chairman of Phillips Technical Advocacy Committee. In 1998, Gary received a major honor when he was named the first recipient of Phillips' Outstanding Mentor Award "for fostering an environment of creativity and enthusiasm for technology innovation, for recognizing and nurturing scientific talent, and for scientific leadership by outstanding example."

Gary has been an extremely active member of SEG since joining in 1971. This includes exemplary service as Chairman of the Research Committee (1984-86), 2nd Vice-President of the Executive Committee (1990-91), Chairman of the Publications Committee (1993-95), and Vice-General Chairman of the 1994 Annual Meeting in Los Angeles. Gary and coauthors have published five papers in Geophysics, and he has made numerous presentations at professional meetings. In recognition of his contributions to the Society, Gary was nominated three times for the office of President. His service extended also to the local level where he has been a long-time member of the Geophysical Society of Tulsa. He has served as GST's treasurer and president. Gary was elected an Honorary Member of GST in 1992. For his dedication to geophysics and to the professional organizations that he voluntarily serves, Gary is truly deserving of Life Membership.

Memories from the field