SEG Youth Education Program
SEG President Larry Lines
24 July 2009—The Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) closed the Tulsa Geoscience Center on 30 June 2009 and has eliminated the position of Geoscience Center administrator.
Since its opening in 2002, this educational center and geophysical museum has provided a very successful educational outreach to children in the northeast Oklahoma area. More than 18 000 youth, including school groups and scout groups, have attended customized two-hour tours during the past eight years. The Geoscience Center was approved by the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board (OERB) in 2005 as one of only six museums in Oklahoma qualifying for OERB-funded classroom field trips and has hosted many school groups under this program.
SEG’s overall investment and annual operating budget in this significant program has been substantial; however, the Society can no longer justify this expense dedicated to local outreach. While SEG’s Executive Committee regrets the cessation of this activity at the Tulsa headquarters, we recognize that SEG is an international organization and must invest its funds in programs that serve our global membership.
SEG hoped to encourage broad-based financial support from the local community and for the last seven years has been a strong advocate of efforts to create an energy museum in Tulsa, OK, USA, which would include the Geoscience Center activities. However, these efforts remained in the planning stage. SEG has also endeavored to secure major corporate funding from the public and private sectors. To date, major petroleum sector corporations have indicated no interest in supporting a Tulsa-based operation, and no substantive funding from the Tulsa community has been committed.
SEG remains committed to preserving the record of the history of exploration geophysics and to engaging young people in our important and exciting profession. SEG’s two involved committees, Historical Preservation and Youth Education, will remain active with the mission to increase the global reach of their activities and to identify opportunities to collaborate with other organizations with similar objectives.
The SEG Executive Committee has created a task force to review the SEG directions in youth education and historical preservation and make recommendations for future actions. SEG is proud of the difference we have made in the lives of the many children in the greater Tulsa area who have attended Geoscience Center educational programs, and we anticipate finding a positive path forward.