Bill Nickerson - 2005

CSEG Meritorious Service Award Recipient Citation for Bill Nickerson
by Bill Goodway

Bill NickersonThe CSEG has recognized Bill Nickerson for his significant contribution to Continuing Education in Geophysics through its 2005 Meritorious Service Award. This award is given to members of the CSEG who have made a prominent and/or lengthy contribution to the Society and/or the industry as a whole and Bill is a most deserving recipient.

As a Geophysicist Bill is widely known both in Canada and internationally as the founder and driving force behind the CSEG’s DoodleTrain week. This highly successful initiative that continues to draw a large audience to an increasing variety of courses, also generates significant revenue for the CSEG that helps to reduce its dependence on the annual convention. Furthermore the DoodleTrain is the envy of other societies such as the SEG, as shown by their interest and effort in trying to generate similar Continuing Education opportunities. Bill has also served the CSEG as Technical Chairman for the CSEG convention in 1999, as Chairman of the "Pitfalls in seismic interpretation" workshop at the CSEG convention in 2001 and as Past Chairman of the CSEG Continuing Education Committee. This service to the CSEG goes well beyond a more standard level of volunteering and reflects both Bill’s life long passion with the science and education of Geophysics, as well as his intrinsic ability to be able to change the context of endeavours that he undertakes, to the benefit of all.

It is this passion that uniquely defines Bill and this aspect of his character is recognized throughout industry, distinguishing him as the expert to go to for advice in the widest range of applications. This expertise encompasses not only mainstream seismic applications such as acquisition, processing and interpretation but also potential field and geotechnical methods.

Through his wide ranging technical ability, Bill has been extremely successfully in the exploration and delineation of significant oil discoveries, in excess of a billion barrels. However he is not restricted to just the technical aspects of Geophysics as is evidenced by his business acumen that recently helped EnCana realize a $2 billion asset sale in the Gulf of Mexico.

One of the most striking aspects of Bill that I have come to know through having worked with him for over the years is his ability to explain the complexities of our science with clarity through his intelligence and understanding of Geophysics and its applications in the exploration business.

This technical prowess stems from Bill’s academic credentials having obtained a B.Sc. and Ph.D. from Memorial University as well as a M.Sc. from the University of British Columbia. Furthermore his teaching experience both at university and EnCana has allowed him to stay abreast of emerging technology and determine its practical usefulness. Bill has had a varied and successful career having started work at NORDCO/Geonautics as a Geophysicist involved in marine engineering hazard surveys followed by a short stint as a consultant. For the majority of the last 11 years he has been at PanCanadian and EnCana where he rose steadily through the ranks to senior positions as the Manager of Geophysics for PanCanadian’s vast Palliser block, to his final position as Senior Staff Geophysicist in the Gulf of Mexico group. Bill is currently President of his consultancy firm, Global Geosolutions Inc.

Bill’s character is distinctively captured in a quote from the brother of Brian Hoffe, a colleague at EnCana and a fellow Newfoundlander who has known Bill from his roots:

“Bill always seemed a queer hand to me, but certainly not a stookawn. He was fierce at the science, no slinger for sure,” which freely translated goes “Bill always seemed unusual to me, but certainly not of lowly intelligence. He was strong at the science, no idler for sure.”

In conclusion, I believe that Bill is a most deserving recipient of the Meritorious Service Award, having made significant contributions to both the CSEG and the geophysical industry as a whole. Bill shares his passion, expertise and enthusiasm for geophysics through his work, his teaching, and his CSEG efforts. This has been significantly shown through his introduction and chairmanship of the CSEG DoodleTrain week, and effort that has dramatically enhanced the continuing education opportunities for CSEG members, and raised the technical profile of the society.

2005 CSEG Meritorious Services Award for Bill Nickerson
(L to R: Bill Nickerson, Doug Uffen (Chair for the 2005 CSEG
Honours and Awards Committee) and Bill Goodway who read
out the citation highlighting Bill's (N) contributions)