The SEG Foundation exists to provide support for innovative activities and grant programs that will equip geophysicists with the tools they need in every stage of their professional journey.

Our History

The SEG Foundation was incorporated by the State of Oklahoma in 1987 as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. The SEG Foundation encourages and supports scientific, educational, and charitable activities of benefit in the field of geophysics and related sciences, while also disseminating scientific information to the general public. The SEG Foundation depends on charitable contributions to fund meaningful geoscience programs and activities for SEG members and the Society at large.

Our Mission

The SEG Foundation advances geophysics today and inspires geoscientists for tomorrow through funding innovative activities and grant programs that benefit geophysicists, their professional community, the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG), and the general public.

SEG Foundation Leadership

The SEG Foundation leadership is comprised of dedicated individuals throughout the geosciences community who give generously of their time, talent, and financial resources. Without the passion and commitment of our donors and volunteers, we would not succeed.


Board of Directors 


The important work of the SEG Foundation is carried out through the leadership of five standing committees, providing business guidance and ensuring our financial well-being.

Audit Committee

The primary function of the Audit Committee is to assist the Foundation Board in fulfilling its oversight responsibilities by: Reviewing audited financial reports, appropriate US tax forms, and other financial information of the Foundation; Reviewing and assessing compliance with the Foundation’s policies and procedures; Reviewing the independence and performance of the Foundation’s independent auditors; and Providing an open avenue of communication among the independent auditors, SEG staff, and the Foundation Board. The Chair and members of the Audit Committee shall be appointed by the Foundation Board Chair.

Development Committee

The primary focus of the Development Committee is to assist the Foundation Board in guiding and overseeing the Foundation’s fundraising activities by: Overseeing development and implementation of the Foundation’s fundraising plan; Reviewing and developing fundraising policies and procedures; and Overseeing, evaluating, and participating in ongoing fundraising and stewardship activities. Members of the Development Committee need not be members of the Foundation Board. The Chair and members of the Development Committee shall be appointed by the Foundation Board Chair.

  1. Development Committee is divided into six sub-committees with focused areas of fundraising:
    • Campaign Strategy & Planning
    • Annual Giving
    • Corporate Giving
    • Major Gifts
    • Planned Giving
    • Special Events

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee shall have the responsibility for acting on behalf of the Foundation Board, serves as liaison with Foundation assigned staff, handles urgent issues, conducts periodic reviews of Foundation directors, oversees donor/volunteer special awards, and reviews all complaints/concerns received by or in regard to the Foundation. The Committee shall serve as the Gift Acceptance Committee for the Foundation. The Chair, Vice-chair, and Treasurer shall constitute all of the members of the Executive Committee.

Finance/Investment Committee

The Finance/Investment Committee is responsible for overseeing the management of Foundation assets assuring compliance with the requirements and practices of UPMIFA and the Foundation’s Investment Policy Statement. The Committee is also responsible for providing a regular and ongoing review of the Foundation’s financial status, including progress toward fundraising goals. The Treasurer of the Foundation Board shall serve as the Chair of the Finance/Investment Committee unless otherwise designated by the Foundation Board Chair. Members of the Finance/Investment Committee shall be appointed by the Foundation Board Chair.

Nominating Committee

The Nominating Committee is responsible for ongoing reviews and recommendations to enhance the quality and future viability of the Foundation Board. It focuses on the following five areas, with specific duties dependent on the Foundation Board’s needs at any specific time, as well as evolving practice: Board roles and responsibilities, Board compensation, Board knowledge, Board effectiveness, and Board leadership. The Chair and members of the Nominating Committee shall be appointed by the Foundation Board Chair.

Key Staff

James White
SEG Executive Director

Sarah Hewitt
SEG Foundation Managing Director

Board/CEO Compensation

All SEG Foundation Board of Director members are unpaid volunteers and do not receive any compensation from the SEG Foundation or SEG.

The SEG Foundation does not have a paid CEO. The Chair and Vice Chair of the Board of Directors fulfill many of the duties traditionally performed by a CEO. Neither position receives any compensation for these services.

Audited Financials and Bylaws

Please consider investing in the SEG Foundation. Your contribution makes it possible for our committed SEG staff and volunteers to promote, support, and expand these programs in service to our science, our members, and our global society.

What’s the difference between an endowment and a non-endowed gift?

Funds are to be invested and the earnings are to be spent according to the board designated annual spending rate.

Funds are to be used for operating and programmatic expenditures and are received with the intent of being spent within twelve to twenty-four months of receipt.

Development Reinvestment Fee

In accordance with SEG Foundation policy, a Development Reinvestment Fee of 5% is assessed on donations of $500 or more to a restricted fund. This fee is used to support Foundation expenses associated with donor stewardship and fundraising. The entire donated amount, including the Development Reinvestment Fee, is considered a charitable donation to the SEG Foundation. Thank you!

Donor Privacy Policy

At the SEG Foundation, we understand the importance of privacy and are committed to protecting the privacy of our donors (both online and offline). We do not collect personally identifying information about our donors when visiting our site, unless they voluntarily choose to provide such information to us. Furthermore, the SEG Foundation will not share or sell a donor’s personal information with anyone else, nor send donor mailings on behalf of other organizations, unless a donor gives us specific permission to do so.