Bradley Birkelo

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Bradley Birkelo
Brad Birkelo headshot.png
Membership Life Member


Brad Birkelo has served SEG in many capacities, as Secretary-Treasurer on the 2006–07 Executive Committee, as chairman of the Finance Committee and the DISC Subcommittee, as Vice-Chairman of the Strategic Finance Committee, and as a member of the Committee on Nominations, the Continuing Education Committee, the Online Technology Committee, and the Online Content Committee. He has also served as president of the Permian Basin Geophysical Society. Brad has extensive experience as a practicing geophysicist including employment with Phillips Petroleum, USGS, Digital Prospectors, Spectrasies AG, and the Kansas Geological Survey.

Biography Citation for SEG Life Membership

Contributed by Frank Brown

The list of SEG members who would gladly write the citation for Brad Birkelo’s Life Membership is surely long and distinguished. I am honored to do so. Although born in New York, Brad spent most of his youth in Minnesota. He earned bachelor’s degrees in geology and geophysics from the University of Minnesota and a master’s degree in geophysics from The University of Kansas where he studied under Don Steeples.

Brad’s professional career includes work at the Kansas Geological Survey and the USGS. In the early 1990s, Brad came to Midland, Texas, with Phillips Petroleum, which is where we first met. Brad’s tendency toward professional service and volunteerism was evident even then as he served on numerous committees and other positions, including a term as President of the Permian Basin Geophysical Society. Several years later Brad’s entrepreneurial spirit became evident when he joined Digital Prospectors, a small consulting shop in Midland, and shortly thereafter moved to Houston to open its second office. The success of that office is a testament to both Brad’s business acumen and his far-reaching technical abilities. He is the most accomplished explorationist I’ve had the pleasure to work with. It was shortly after Brad had moved to Houston that he asked if I knew of any interesting opportunities for volunteer work at SEG. The DISC Subcommittee was in need of some fresh thinking, and so Brad began the difficult process of expanding that group and also formalizing the decision-making process with our EAGE partners. That structure is in place now and allows for the timely selection of Distinguished Instructors in one of SEG’s flagship programs.

Brad’s service to SEG continued as he served as Secretary-Treasurer in 2006–07. Part of the commitment to serve as SecTres includes three years of service on the Finance Committee. During his tenure, the Finance Committee’s scrutiny of the SEG’s historical financial position led to several important initiatives including SEG Online, SEG’s office in China, and an increase in staff support in Tulsa to provide more service to SEG members worldwide. This attention to historical trends will be one of Brad’s legacies. Brad also served as the Vice-Chairman of the Strategic Finance Committee. But Brad is not just a geophysicist and SEG volunteer. His many outside interests include bird hunting with Don Steeples, running (I’m unsure as to how many marathons Brad has completed, but he is the only person I know who has completed the Texas Triangle—Dallas, Houston, and Austin—all within 60 days), skiing, windsurfing and almost any other outdoor activity. This intense curiosity led most recently to Brad accepting a position with Spectraseis in Zurich, where he and his lovely (and understanding) wife Roz and their two daughters, Kristine and Nichole, now live.

I know of few who deserve this honor more than Brad and I am lucky to be counted among his friend