By Tom Smith, Geophysical Insights. The Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) Foundation has existed for years to fund the SEG’s efforts in education and outreach. Most recently it is funding one of the society’s most exciting efforts – Geoscientists Without Borders® (GWB). The idea behind GWB is to use applied geophysics not only for oil and gas exploration but for humanitarian efforts – severe water shortages or the threat of earthquakes and tsunamis. Geoscientists are sent around the world to apply their knowledge and skills to the mitigation of natural hazards in some of the world’s neediest communities. The mission is to connect universities, students and other not-for profit organizations with communities in need through projects using applied geophysics to benefit people and the environment. Already projects are underway in Australia, northern Thailand, India, Honduras, Indonesia, Jamaica, Romania, and South Africa.

GWB projects are changing lives around the world. (Map courtesy of SEG) GWB projects are changing lives around the world. (Map courtesy of SEG)
Typically the program is funded by large donations from major companies, but recently Mark and Debra Gregg of Kiwi Energy decided to take a more intimate approach to encourage others to help fund this important program. They sent a letter to few SEG members challenging them to match a $125,000 personal commitment to launch a new GWB endowment. “We need you to join us in helping Geoscientists without Borders achieve its potential to transform lives and raise the awareness of the important role geophysics can play in tackling many of the challenges facing society today,” the Greggs wrote. “Our immediate goal is to raise $1 million for the endowment, which will provide income to fund one Geoscientists Without Borders® project each year.” This is a new concept for GWB that allows geophysicists, geologists, and anyone else with an interest to participate in this worthy effort. And enthusiasm is obviously growing – the matching pledge was met even before the offer was made to the full SEG membership! The initial $250,000 endowment funding happened in 20 days. The Greggs have pledged another $125,000 and hope for similar results. This is a program that can benefit the entire industry and help burnish its image, so I encourage everyone to consider a donation, no matter how small. For more information, visit: