John Pierce - 2015

CSEG Medal Recipient Andreas Cordsen
by Andreas Cordsen

John PeirceFor significant contributions in the area of aeromagnetic data, and international business development related to GEDCO.

John Peirce has made major contributions in the interpretation of potential field data in Canada and abroad, teaching of the design of 3D seismic surveys, and through building Geophysical Exploration & Development Corporation into a highly respected software and consulting company.

John Wentworth Peirce grew up in eastern Massachusetts. After receiving his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in 1977, John was an Assistant Professor of Geology at Dalhousie University in Halifax for a few years. Then he became Manager of the Gravity/Magnetics Group at PetroCanada and subsequently Supervisor for the World Basin Study Group in their International Division.

In 1990, John co-founded Geophysical Exploration & Development Corporation (GEDCO) with Andreas Cordsen with the goal of providing a full range of geophysical services to the oil & gas industry, not only in Calgary but also globally. At GEDCO , while being President for many years, John was also responsible for the potential field data acquisition, processing and interpretation.

In 1995, John and Andreas started to teach a course on 3D seismic surveys design for the SEG. In 2000 this course led to the SEG publication of “Planning Land 3D Seismic Surveys” together with Cordsen and Galbraith as co-authors. This course has been taught with several different co-instructors for over 20 years now, and is still being offered around the globe today.

In 2000 GEDCO bought Seismic Image Software and integrated Mike Galbraith‘s team successfully into the business. The merger was a great example of 1+1=3. This further diversification solidified GEDCO’s position as a reputable consulting and software company.

During his varied career John has worked on exploration and research projects on every continent except Antarctica and in most of the major ocean basins of the world. He has authored many papers, including the CSEG Best Paper Award in 1988 for his work with the Ocean Drilling Program. He also was a member of the Editorial Board of The Leading Edge (1985-89) and served on numerous committees for the CSEG, CSPG and APEGA.

While John retired in 2008, and he and his wife, Nancy, moved to Gabriola Island, he still continued as Chairman of GEDCO until the sale of the company to Schlumberger in 2012. John is now a fruit and vegetable farmer and he designs rainwater-harvesting systems on the island.

It is with great pleasure and respect that the CSEG presents the CSEG’s highest honour, the CSEG Medal, to John Peirce.