Looking Back: We Have Many Reasons to Be Thankful

In late November in the United States the holiday of Thanksgiving is celebrated. It is, I think, a peculiarly American custom that deserves a wider export. It is rooted in a day of thanksgiving first celebrated by our Pilgrim ancestors.

Few of our holidays have better credentials. For 365 days a year, our society seems to be beleaguered with complaints, protests, whimpering, cries of doom and despondence. We formally reserve a day to remembering our good fortune, health, our friends and our wonderful families.

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In late November in the United States the holiday of Thanksgiving is celebrated. It is, I think, a peculiarly American custom that deserves a wider export. It is rooted in a day of thanksgiving first celebrated by our Pilgrim ancestors.

Few of our holidays have better credentials. For 365 days a year, our society seems to be beleaguered with complaints, protests, whimpering, cries of doom and despondence. We formally reserve a day to remembering our good fortune, health, our friends and our wonderful families.

For a more perfect world, perhaps we could remember our blessings even more often?

And we, we earth scientists, have more to be thankful for this year than anyone; challenging problems, abundant investment opportunities and businesses that are awakening to the importance of a trained cadre of energy problem-solvers.

May your Thanksgiving dinner be Cajun Turducken; and may your friends and families be your guests!


I returned from an international trip to find news of the death of Robert Megill. I do not usually deliver eulogies and will not here. But I wanted to mention the powerful effect Bob Megill has had on me and many other petroleum geologists.

Bob brought a strong background in mathematics to his career at Exxon, but his greatest strength was his analysis of statistics that provided insights into the peculiarities of geology and the oil business.

I was honored to continue in Bob’s footsteps in writing a series of articles continuing his interest in the subject of the business of petroleum geology for the EXPLORER. Bob was always available for assistance and provided copies of his books and unpublished papers to the University of Oklahoma library.

He was a quiet, modest man who was the inspiration for a phrase I often have used, “Geology is a science, geophysics is a science; exploration is a business … ”

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