Harold J. Kiddler

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Harold J. Kiddler
Harold J. Kidder headshot.jpg
President year 1973

Harold J. Kidder (1915-2002) served as the 1973-1974 SEG President.

Biography for SEG President Elect Candidacy

Geophysics, Vol. 38, No. 2, April 1973

H.J. Kidder, candidate for President, was born in Galveston, Texas. He grew up in Mexico City, Mexico, attending grade school and high school there. Upon graduation from the University of Texas in 1932 with a B.A. degree in physics, he went to work on a Geophysical Research Corporation (Amerada) seismic crew. He worked on field crews in Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Oklahoma progressing through the position of party chief. He was transferred to Colombia, as a seismic supervisors for two years and in 1948, Mobil transferred him to Calgary, Alberta, Canada from 1952 to 1964. In 1964, he transferred to Mobil's Exploration Services Center in Dallas where he is presently employed as planning associate.

Mr. Kidder is a member of the SEG, AAPG, and DGS, and a charter member of the CSEG. He served as treasurer, vice-president, and, in 1959, as president of the Canadian Society of Exploration Geophysicists. He served as 2nd vice-president, 1st vice-president, and in 1969-70, as president of the Dallas Geophysical Society. He has served as Co-Chairman of the Entertainment Committee for the 1965 SEG Annual Meeting, chairman of the entertainment committee of the DGGS Joint Activities Committee, on the entertainment committee for the 1968 AAPG International Annual Meeting, a member of the SEG Constitution and Bylaws Committee, and as SEG 1st Vice-President for 1971-72. He is presently Co-Chairman of the 1973 Annual International SEG Meeting in Mexico City.


The Leading Edge, January 2004, Vol. 23, No. 1

Harold J. Kidder was born in Galveston, Texas, but he grew up in Mexico City where his dad was an expatriate engineer. Jim attended both grade and high school in Mexico City and became fluent in Spanish, which would serve him well later in his career. He graduated from the University of Texas with a BA in physics. After graduation, Jim went to work for Geophysical Research Corporation, a subsidiary of Amerada, as  a junior computer on a seismic crew in Louisiana. He later joined Magnolia Petroleum  Company (Mobil Oil) in 1938. He worked on Magnolia seismic crews in Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Oklahoma progressing through the position of party chief. He was transferred to Colombia in 1946 where he spent two years as a seismic supervisor for Mobil. In 1948, he was transferred to Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He was appointed chief geophysicist of Mobil Oil Canada in 1952 and served in that position until 1964 at which time he was transferred to Mobil?s Exploration Services Center in Dallas. There he served in several positions in planning and administration.

Jim's final position in Mobil, where he was responsible for the training of most of Mobil?s newly hired geophysicists out of college, was one in which he helped initiate and develop the careers of scores of young men and women.

He quickly became an important mentor to all of these young people, many of who work in the geophysical industry today. Jim loved this job and found it to be one of the more rewarding positions in his career. In fact, he enjoyed it so much that he declined retirement at the normal retirement age and stayed on a little longer to continue in the job that was so valuable to so many. He finally retired after 42 years of service to Mobil. Jim was very active in industry affairs and societies all through his career. He was a member of SEG, AAPG, Dallas Geophysical Society, and a charter member of the Canadian Society of Exploration Geophysicists. He served as president of both the Dallas Geophysical and Canadian societies. In SEG, he served as first vice president in 1971-72 and as president in 1973-74. He was  awarded Life Membership in SEG in 1986. Jim was also co-chairman of the 1973 Annual Meeting in Mexico City where his personality and language skills provided him with the tools to make a significant contribution to the promotion of good will between the United States and Mexico. One of the highlights of the meeting was his ability to address the convention in both English and Spanish.  Jim was a gracious, true gentleman in every sense of the word. I can't remember him not having that contagious smile on his face.

His wife, Roberta, in Dallas; his daughter, Janet, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; his son Robert in Dallas; and his son John in Boulder, Colorado, survive Jim. As a personal comment, which I think personifies Jim?s life and personality, was a final goodbye to me just a few days before he died. His final words to me were: ?Give my best to Sidge and the kids.? These were words that I had heard hundreds of times as Jim?s final words in a conversation on the phone or in person. Jim was one who was truly concerned about others.

Jim Kidder: great person and great friend.was one who was