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ASEG news - Issue 20, 2nd December 2019

Dear Members,

In today's news you'll find information on:

Oil & Gas Australia December event
Dorothy Hill Symposium
ASEG SA/NT 2020 mentor program
ASEG WA committee members wanted!
A snapshot of some of the recent ASEG events
News from the states
Upcoming events (National and International)
The latest in Exploration Geophysics
What's new in Preview?
Member Spotlight: Mike Hatch
Follow us on social media
Thanks to our corporate members

Don't forget to follow our social media accounts, for more regular updates on upcoming events and geoscience articles of interest.

Oil & Gas Australia December event

Oil & Gas Australia is hosting two events this year in December to promote mining petroleum resources, and discuss strategies to secure the future of Australia's oil and gas reserves. The IOT & Machine Learning event will be held from the 3-4th of December and will feature talks from more than 25 both local and global leaders in mining and technology. On the 5th of December, there will also be an event called Blockchain where guest speakers, experts in their individual fields, will promote new ways to utilise Blockchain technology.

Note: Discount will be given to attending ASEG members.


The GESSS-SA student symposium was held on the 8th of November at the UniSA City West campus, of which ASEG was a proud sponsor and donor of the best geophysics presentation prize. This event invited honours, masters and PhD students from universities across Adelaide to present their current research to the local science community. Michael Curtis, a PhD student at ASP at the University of Adelaide, received the award for the best geophysics talk on his excellent presentation concerning the challenges igneous rocks present for petroleum geologists and how to map them.

Dorothy Hill Symposium

On the 14-15th of November, the University of Queensland's School of Earth and Environmental Sciences was proud to host the second Dorothy Hill Women in Earth Sciences Symposium. This event brought both young earth sciences students and researchers together with experienced industry and academia workers to network and inspire women to continue a path in earth sciences. Immediate past-President of the ASEG Marina Costelloe from Geoscience Australia was a keynote speaker at the event talking about how to 'Build the confidence to step outside your comfort zone.'

ASEG SA/NT 2020 mentor program

Once again, ASEG is launching the successful ASEG-PESA-SPE-YPP Mentoring Program in 2020 for SA/NT members. This is an amazing opportunity for "Early Career Young Professionals" (YPs) as they will be assigned to an industry-experienced mentor who will help them build on their professional skills through a series of mentoring sessions held throughout the year. To register, please complete the registration form found on the ASEG website and email it to the YPP SA President, Lewis Maxwell at:

Note: the application process closes on the 24th of December.

ASEG WA committee members wanted!

The WA branch will soon host the branch AGM and are looking for volunteers to fill committee positions. Please use the form here

If you enjoy ASEG activities or have new ideas for the society, why not nominate for the WA Branch committee? We have committee meetings over lunchtime each month to plan evening meetings, social events, educational activities and other things that promote geophysics in Western Australia.

The positions on the committee are:




General Committee Member

Please send nominations to:

or phone 0413 687 050 by EOB Friday, December 6th, 2018

A snapshot of some of the recent ASEG events

ASEG WA Branch meeting on the 9th of October. Dr Mark Lindsay from CET/UWA presents 'What is that anomaly? Using machine learning to obtain geological knowledge from downhole petrophysical data.'


ASEG NSW: Dr Dave Pratt, the ASEG NSW September speaker just after receiving the speakers gift. The presentation was titled, 'A new approach to mapping magnetic rock properties and cover depth using AI.'


ASEG NSW: A presentation by Cameron Fink on 'Moonie Oilfield - Then, Now and into the Future.' Left to right: Steph Kovach (ASEG-NSW secretary), Sherwyn Lye (former ASEG-NSW secretary), Nancy and Cameron Fink (Bridgeport Energy).


ASEG SA/NT: The annual Industry Night was held on the 14th of November at the Coopers Alehouse, Adelaide. Pictured: Laz Katona from the Department for Energy and Mining


ASEG SA/NT: The annual Industry Night was held on the 14th of November at the Coopers Alehouse, Adelaide. Pictured: Danny Burns from Vintage Energy


ASEG SA/NT: The annual Industry Night was held on the 14th of November at the Coopers Alehouse, Adelaide. Pictured: Jon Cocker, Beach Energy


Branch upcoming events

Details about ASEG events can be found on the ASEG website.

Branch Date Presenter Title Venue
WA 6-12-19 ASEG-PESA 32nd Annual Golf Classic Joondalup Resort Golf Course
NSW 11-12-19
5:30 for 6pm start
Quiz Night Club York, 99 York Street Sydney
SA 29-11-19 ASEG-AIG-AusIMM-GSA SA Exploration and Mining Conference (SAEMC) Adelaide Convention Centre
SA 8-12-19 ASEG-AusIMM-GSA GeoFamily Xmas in the Park Point Malcolm Reserve, Semaphore
SA 12-12-19
5:45 pm
Honours students and Santos ASEG-PESA-SPE-YPP Mentor wrap-up followed by Honours night and Christmas party sponsored by Santos Balcony Room, Hotel Richmond
QLD 5-12-19 QLD Industry Org Joint Christmas Party Jade Buddha

For a more complete calendar of events see Preview

Date Event
9-13 December 2019 American Geophysical Union Fall Workshop, San Francisco, USA
10-12 February 2020 Fifth EAGE Workshop on Rock Physics, Milan, Italy
2-8 March 2020 36th International Geological Congress, New Delhi, India
15-19 March 2020 Seismix 2020 Symposium, Fremantle, Western Australia
6-9 April 2020 Saint Petersburg 2020 - Geosciences: Converting Knowledge into Resources, St Petersburg, Russia
3-8 May 2020 European Geosciences Union 2020, Vienna, Austria
8-11 June 2020 82nd EAGE Annual Conference and Exhibition, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Hi all,

Do not forget to look at Issue 6 for some interesting reading and keep a note in the back of your mind that Issue 1 next year is the AEM special edition and will have such gems as Andrea Viezzoli and Giovanni Manca's look at airborne IP effects in standard AEM systems. To access Exploration Geophysics articles free of charge, please log into the ASEG website and click on the link on the publications page.

Enjoy your reading.



Dr Mark Lackie

Exploration Geophysics Editor

The October issue of Preview is now available online

This post-conference issue of Preview features reflections on the second Australasian Exploration Geoscience Conference (AEGC 2019), as well as details of the conference and exhibition awards, and the ASEG Honours and Awards. In addition, we feature the Space rocks on display at Geoscience Australia.

The December issue of Preview will be available online in early December.

Proposed contributions for future issues can be submitted by email to the editor at


Lisa Worrall

Preview Editor

This month we get to know Mike Hatch.


  1. For how long have you been a geophysicist?
  2. I did my first geophysical job for Zonge Engineering as a fieldie in August 1987. By the way, my pay was USD $2.95 per hour.

  3. What do you like most about being a geophysicist?
  4. The variety of work experiences. As a field geophysicist (my favourite aspect of geophysics) I loved the physical work, the challenges of the weather, keeping the data collecting going through whatever the conditions. Running pretty sophisticated laboratory quality equipment and a really bad lab is how I kind of look at it.

  5. What made you decide to be a geophysicist?
  6. I was an economics major at university in the USA (a bit lost in it though, no great love for economics) and walked through the geology department with a friend and saw an ad for a mud logger, base salary $16k plus bonus (this was 1983), on call all the time, working anywhere in the world. The next semester I took my first geology course. Of course I graduated into a major industry low point - both in mining and petroleum industries that I didn't get a job for two years (see pay rate above).

  7. What's one thing you wish someone had told you when you were at university?
  8. Don't worry about your grades too much. There were courses that I would have / should have taken that would have been very interesting. For some reason I thought my grades mattered so I took other things. And they were never that great anyway. Hmmmm.

  9. Your most respected geophysicist?
  10. Ken Zonge was a huge mentor for me throughout my career. There were times when I was in the field and would call the office at 9:00 pm and he would be the one in the office who gave me the answers. He and I talked a lot over the years.

  11. When you are asked "What's a geophysicist??" or "What does a geophysicist do?" what is your stock answer?
  12. I say: You've probably heard of the old surveys where crews would set up explosions, and have instruments that measure where the sound waves from the explosions go and are figure out what's down there. Well I do the same thing, but set up equipment to put electricity in the ground and then I see what gets lit up with the power. From various properties of the electricity we can pretty well get an idea of what's been lit up and about how deep it is. Most look at me with some bewilderment (undoubtedly thinking "that's a job?") and some seem to get the idea of what I'm saying. Overall, normal people never really quite get it.

  13. Do you think AI will take over your job or will the human element remain vital to exploration successes?
  14. I have worked with company geophysicists for whom the data quantity/load is so big that they are only able to have a quick look at the data - they often do not get the chance to dig into it the way it needs to be dug into. I am quite sure that AI will be a huge help in that process; nevertheless my feeling is that a team of human geophysicists (with good geology skills) working with a team of geologists (with good geophysical skills) will make the big decisions. More data will be collected from the air, as technology improves so there will gradually be less call for ground people. Watch the drone space for big advances that will change everything.

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