Timothy Bryan Swearingen (Tim) Berge has been an active and continuous leader advocating Global Affairs over a period of 13-plus years of SEG history. Tim took up the issue of globalization in Cape Town at the SAGA (South African Geophysical Association) conference in 1999. Tim first served as Africa Regional Coordinator. In addition, Tim consistently presented many technical papers at various Africa meetings during the subsequent decade. Tim served as Vice Chair and subsequently Chair of the Global Affairs Committee from 2001 to 2003 with the most significant accomplishment being SEG Executive Committee approval of Global Membership, a historical milestone at a critical time during SEG’s increasing and growing international membership. Although this recommendation specifically recognizes Tim’s Global Affairs accomplishments, he currently serves on the SEG/AAPG Cooperation Committee, the Interpretation Committee, and serves as a session judge and chairman for oral sessions at SEG Annual Meetings. If the SEG had “Ambassador” positions, Tim would have been one of our earliest and most successful to date.
Biography Citation for SEG Life Membership 2013
Contributed by George Smith
Timothy Bryan Swearingen Berge is a remarkable combination of superb geophysical interpreter and dedicated servant of the Society and his profession. He has applied his science all over the world, specialising in AVO, inversion, workstation interpretation, sequence and structural geology, reserves certification and risk assessment. He has contributed to the scientific world by publishing his work in a wide range of publications, over a broad spectrum of subject matter, and in many cases jointly with world leaders in the subject.
But it is for his service to the geophysical and geological community, and in particular to SEG, that Tim is being recognized with Life Membership. He became involved with the Global Affairs Committee (GAC) when he inherited from me the position of Regional Coordinator for Africa. His involvement with Africa, and the fortunate start of my friendship with Tim, stemmed from his work on the west coast of South Africa, and in particular the Ibhubesi gas field. After Tim had represented Africa at the GAC for a short period, the committee needed dedicated leadership to champion the cause of Global Membership. Tim took up the challenge first as Vice-Chair and then as Chair.
The introduction of Global Membership coincided with Tim’s term as Chair of the GAC. Global Membership did not come without considerable opposition but, looking back over 12 years, we can see that its effect on the nature of the Society has been dramatic. From a declining and ageing membership, SEG has more than doubled in size, is still growing in numbers, and has become a younger and truly world-wide organisation.
But in the early years, Global Membership needed to be communicated, supported and promoted, and this was the GAC’s principal task under Tim’s chairmanship. Globalization, however, was about more than membership. Tim’s GAC established a liaison team to foster the formation and growth of student sections and to distribute used copies of SEG and AAPG publications. GAC also promoted the formation and affiliation of local societies, and supported more international meetings and conferences. Then and subsequently, Tim attended a huge number of regional conferences where he has contributed to the technical programs as well as representing SEG. “PCs for Students” was another initiative born during Tim’s term as GAC Chair. It is probably true to say that he guided and led GAC during the height of its relevance, importance, and impact in the ongoing development of our Society.
After his term as Chair, Tim continued to serve GAC as past-Chair and then Regional Coordinator for the Northwest United States. Currently he is editor and author of a new “Seeps” volume to be published as an AAPG/SEG Special Publication. Outside the SEG, he has served AAPG as chair of the Geology and Geophysics Integration Committee, and as Dataset and Software Coordinator for its Imperial Barrel Award program. He also serves on the University of Wisconsin Geology Advisory Board.
Tim is a devoted family man and a fine folk musician. He has a daunting collection of guitars and other plucked instruments in all shapes and sizes. In Cape Town, we once took him to a manufacturer of traditional “guitars” made out of paraffin tins. He picked one up and played a short concert to the delight of the crowds at the market.
Tim Berge selflessly serves his profession because he loves it. He believes in empowering his colleagues and supporting young scientists simply because it is “the right thing to do.” Awarding Tim Berge Life Membership is likewise simply the right thing to do.