Richard Geyer

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Richard Geyer
Richard A. Geyer headshot.png
Membership Honorary Member

Biography Citation for SEG Honorary Membership

Contributed by William M. Rust, Jr.

The Honors and Awards Committee of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists has recommended Dr. Richard A. Geyer for Honorary Membership in the Society for "his illustrious and varied career in geophysics which has included distinguished academic contributions, extensive industry experience, widespread editorial service in the earth sciences, and considerable contributions to our technical literature."

The word "varied" is a gross understatement! Trying to chart Dick Geyer's career in three spatial and one time dimension is a hopeless task. His activities have been in geophysics, geology, and oceanography, often in two or more simultaneously.

His collegiate education spanned the years 1933 to 1951. But during these eighteen years, he had a few outside activities, he spent four years as an exploration geophysicist and geologist with Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey; he spent four years with the Bureau of Ordnance, U.S. Navy; he spent a year as senior field instructor at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution; he spent three years as senior research geophysicist with Humble Oil & Refining Co. Then he received his doctorate and except for a few side activities continued full time as head of Humble's Oceanography Section. He then became chief geophysicist of the Gravity Department at Geophysical Service, Inc. and then technical director of oceanography for Texas Instruments.

In 1966, Geyer decided it was time to return to academia. He did so by becoming head of the Department of Oceanography at Texas A & M University. In 1974 his contributions there were recognized by his being made a full professor.

Do not be misled into thinking that these principal activities constitute a full account of Dick Geyer's activities during the periods they cover. Far from it! He has managed to write and publish 28 papers on a broad variety of significant subjects in geophysics, geology, and oceanography. He served a full two-year term as Editor of Geophysics and for SEG edited M. M. Slotnick's Lessons in Seismic Computing. He also edited three of the volumes in Elsevier's Oceanographic Series, and edited Geophysics at Sea, now in press.

He has served on more committees, advisory boards, and similar industry and governmental groups than he can count. He was co-director of a NASA-sponsored project to recommend what experiments in geophysics and geology would be conducted by the astronauts while on the moon. Somehow, between these "varied" activities he has found time and strength to teach formal short courses, to conduct seminars, and to act as consultant for many clients in industry and government.

Perhaps the most amazing aspect of Dick's vast total of activities is that he has always been willing, even at critical moments in his own schedule, to stop and help any one of his associates needing help. He furnishes knowledge, and encouragement, without giving the impression that he is being interrupted. Moreover, he can give help in a way that makes the recipient feel that he, himself, has really solved his own problem and that Dick has been a mere catalyst.

Richard Geyer has indeed had an illustrious and varied career. He has made many valuable contributions that have been widely recognized. But through his life-long love of teaching, both formally and informally, he has made far greater indirect contributions than we can ever recognize, indeed, far greater than he himself will ever recognize. Although he is now professor emeritus and has laid down his academic robes, in his special way he will never cease to teach geophysicists, geologists, and oceanographers. Richard Geyer is an outstanding addition to our distinguished group of Honorary Members.

Editor of Geophysics

Richard A. Geyer was the Editor of ''Geophysics'' for the years 1949-1950 and 1950-1951.[1]


  1. Clark, D. (2010), Out of the past. The Leading Edge," 75(5), 75A263-75A271.