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SEG Houston 2013

At least two records are possible at the upcoming convention of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG), officially known as the 83rd Annual Meeting and International Exposition, which will be held September 22 to 27 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas.

One potential record is the number of presentations in the technical program. In 2012, SEG received an unexpected 1,500 submissions for the technical program and, consequently, had to reject a number of quality presentations due to insufficient space. As a result, extra presentation rooms were added this year, and that adjustment proved prescient as 1,415 abstracts were submitted (the second highest total ever), and nearly 1,000 will be offered in Houston either as a traditional oral (624 papers presented in 13 concurrent sessions from Monday afternoon through Thursday morning) or poster presentations (176, an all-time high), or as one of the 192 E-posters, a digital variant on the traditional static poster paper (a successful innovation at last year's convention).

The technical program will include five special sessions on topics of great current interest in the geophysical community: Arctic Exploration Challenges, Environmental Challenges in Unconventional Resources Development, Hydrogeophysics, Recent Advances and the Road Ahead, and Africa.

The technical program will, as usual, be complemented with continuing education courses (20 are scheduled for the weekend before the meeting begins, including four never previously presented at a SEG convention) and 18 postconvention workshops. In addition, five technical luncheons and four regional luncheons will be held during the week.

The final piece of the technical program will be the day-long Distinguished Instructor Short Course (DISC) on Friday, September 20. This year's DISC instructor is David Johnston, and his topic is 'Making a Difference with 4D: Practical Applications of Time-Lapse Seismic Data.'

Another possible record might be set on the exposition floor, where booth sales are closing in on the record of 1,457, set in 1998. As of this writing, about 1,400 booths have been reserved, which guarantees that 2013 will be at least the second largest SEG exposition ever. Steve Emery, SEG's senior meetings manager, reports that 'business is still brisk' and that the final number is certain to be significantly higher, perhaps threatening the 1998 record.

Student Program
Recent SEG conventions have included an extensive program focused on students, both those just beginning their studies and those about to complete an advanced degree and transition into the workforce. This year's event continues that recent tradition. The focal point will be the large Student Pavilion on the exhibit floor, where presentations will be made throughout the week on such topics as industry trends, resume writing, interview skills, career advancement and curriculum paths. A Career Placement Area will be open for students and other job seekers on the exhibit floor. A Student Career Panel will be held on Monday, September 23. This will be the start of a very busy afternoon/evening for students. The popular Challenge Bowl finals will follow and, in turn, will be followed by the Student Networking Event.

The annual Applied Science Program, usually attended by several hundred local high-school students, will be presented on Wednesday morning. This year's speaker is Christina Massell Symons, science coordinator for The DEEPSEA CHALLENGE Expedition. Her topic will be 'Reaching for the Stars from the Bottom of the Ocean.' Attendance is open to all delegates.

Social Program
The extensive social program will include a golf tournament, a spouse program and the icebreaker preview on Sunday evening (immediately following the honors and awards ceremony, where the Society recognizes those who have made a distinguished contribution to the science of geophysics or to SEG itself).

The main social event will be the Bayou Bash, which will be held on Wednesday evening at the House of Blues in Houston. SEG will take over the entire House of Blues for this event, which is just a few blocks from the Convention Center.

Advance registration for the 2013 SEG convention is open though August 23. The most convenient way to register is online at www.seg.org/amregister. Any questions can be answered by calling 918-497-5542.

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