San Antonio Geophysical Society

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The science of geophysics had much of its origins in San Antonio. In 1925, O. Scott, Van and Dabney Petty founded the Petty Geophysical Engineering Company, which pioneered the seismic method. The Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) held their first convention in San Antonio together with the AAPG in 1931.

The predecessor to San Antonio Geophysical Society was the Geophysical Society of South Texas (GSST) which was chartered in San Antonio in 1953. The first meeting of the GSST was held May 22, 1952 with H. M. Dawson as the speaker and his topic was on “South American Indians in Connection with Geophysical Exploration.” Other speakers of note that year included Dr. Maurice Ewing (namesake of the Maurice Ewing Medal, the highest honor given by the SEG) and J. Tuzo Wilson (a recipient of the Maurice Ewing medal in 1981). The GSST was host to the 1958 SEG Annual Meeting. Due to transfers out of the area, the GSST was dissolved in 1966.

SAGS Officer History

The price increases related to the OPEC oil embargo on the U.S. from 1973-1975 caused a growth in the oil and gas industry in San Antonio and a resultant increase in geophysicists. A need for a geophysical society existed and on March 16, 1980 an organizational meeting was held. San Antonio Geophysical Society was officially chartered with the SEG on June 14, 1980 and the first meeting was held on September 25, 1980, with the President of the SEG, Milo M. Backus, as the speaker. The San Antonio Geophysical Society hosted the Midwest SEG Meeting in 1986, the Gulf Coast Annual Meeting in 1995, and the SEG Annual Meetings in 2001, 2007, 2011 and 2019.