Gary Servos

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Gary Servos
Gary Servos headshot.png
Membership Life Member

Gary G. Servos is being awarded Life Membership for meritorious service to SEG and the SEG Foundation. Gary, currently Chairman of the Board of Directors of the SEG Foundation and a Trustee Associate, has made the SEG Foundation his cause for over 20 years and has been instrumental in the success of its programs and the growth of its funding. Gary has been and continues to be a tireless worker for our Foundation. The Honors and Awards Committee is pleased to recommend that the Society recognize his immense contribution of time and energy to this very important effort.

Biography Citation for SEG Life Membership

Contributed by Bill Barkhouse


This award for meritorious service offers our geophysical community a rare opportunity to pause and learn more about Gary Servos, a tireless and most generous geophysicist who happens to successfully dedicate a lot of time, personal energy, personal wealth, and a ton of business experience and leadership for the benefi t of the Society.

I often wonder if Gary is a passionate geophysicist or a geophysicist with passion. He is amazing in his personal ability to stir passion within others. Fortunately, there are other pioneers who have left some trail markers to help us follow Gary’s geophysical path. Heraclitus said, “The only constant is change ...” and that fi ts Gary, the geophysicist, to a tee. Always mentoring, Gary will cry out, “Who moved my cheese?”—leaving a few of us scratching our heads, too slow in recognizing another gift generously offered from Gary.

Andy Grove, the former CEO of Intel Corporation said, “An inflection point occurs where the old strategic picture dissolves and gives way to the new.” This is a key marker and insight into Gary’s outstanding leadership which is practiced with nuance and substance and mixed in with globalization and a deep understanding and appreciation for future challenges. Gary will say, “Lorene and I are committed to the important work of the SEG Foundation. We believe passionately in the critical role that applied geophysics has played and will continue to play in meeting the challenges faced by society.” And, ergo, because of that simple and elegant philanthropic gesture, many future geophysicists and geoscientists are inspired by the commitment of the Servos family via an endowed scholarship with a priority emphasis to hydrology (something about “Advancing Geophysics Today, Inspiring Geoscientists for Tomorrow”)!

In the 1960s, Gary was an SEG student member in Kansas. He earned a PhD in geophysics from Michigan State and started a research career with Pan American Research, a forerunner of the famous Amoco Research Center in Tulsa. There are many additional career posts along Gary’s geophysical journey with impressive titles that offer evidence of his successful infl uence with the titans of industry, many personally recruited by Gary early in their respective careers.

It is Gary’s later markers that are of particular interest to our SEG community. In the 1980s, Gary joined the Trustee Associates of the SEG Foundation. This became, for him, an additional “labor of love,” and the Trustee Associates and the SEG Foundation underwent a favorable transformation because of the impact of Gary’s business experience and leadership which culminated in his meritorious service as Chairman of the SEG Foundation Board of Directors. A few key markers selected along this trail highlight the signifi cant performance and accomplishment during Gary’s “watch” as Foundation Chairman and the resulting excellent teamwork among many SEG members, the Tulsa business offi ce, and the SEG Foundation. The number of scholarship recipients increased by 50%. The number of travel grants to the SEG Annual Meeting awarded to students and professors increased by 1000%. The number of summer geophysical fi eld camps supported increased by 300%. The new Geoscientists Without Borders program will provide grants for students and professors working in developing nations. Gary will be the fi rst to say that these signifi cant SEG accomplishments are due to the efforts of many and from great teamwork.

As another lifelong geophysics student studying “cause and effect,” I feel honored to observe and interpret the meaning and signifi cance of this award of Life Membership to Gary Servos. At this time, I will conclude my observations while noting this “infl ection point” has a signifi cant impact and bearing upon our geophysics community. I am glad to extend grateful recognition and appreciation on behalf of our global Society as a whole.