2024 SEG Near-Surface Geophysics Technical Section (NSTS) Leadership Candidates


Christine Downs

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Christine is a senior member of the technical staff at Sandia National Laboratories and currently serves as secretary of SEG’s Near Surface Geophysics Technical Section. She holds a MSc (2012) in Geology from the University of Vermont and PhD (2017) in Geology from the University of South Florida. Christine combines her strong geology background with almost 10 years of experience in the practical application of electrical and electromagnetic geophysical methods in environmental, hydrogeology, volcanology, archaeology, and geothermal exploration projects. She also has experience with GIS, remote sensing analysis, image processing, and field mapping. Christine is driven by collaborative and multidisciplined research that has climate, environmental, or security implications. Among other projects, she is currently working with airborne geophysics for geothermal exploration and conceptual modeling and the identification and characterization of undocumented abandoned oil and gas wells.

Position Statement

SEG’s Near Surface Technical Section (NSTS) is in a unique position in that we are tied to the petroleum industry by virtue of being an SEG section, but purposefully conduct ourselves to be seen as “more than oil and gas.” In the last year, NSTS has taken a conscious look at our momentum and strategic plan moving forward. It’s been an honor to be a part of these discussions and I hope to continue as chair-elect. Collectively we support a stronger, united relationship with fellow entities within SEG (Mining and Mineral Exploration, Gravity and Magnetics, and Geoscientists without Borders Committees), EEGS, and AGU. Considering the wide spread of our near-surface community, in terms of discipline, geographic presences, and priorities, large scale cohesion is a heavy lift. Nevertheless, our current leadership is committed to advocating for consorted unity and breaking away from siloed perceptions as much as possible. I, for one, envision a consortium of professional organizations that develops organically and over time. A consortium where community members affiliate with the organization that serves them the best, but also feels a sense of belonging in the others. Collectively, we can serve the whole community that is hardly a one size fits all kind of group.

Dan Glaser

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Dan R. Glaser has more than 25 years of experience in basic research and applied applications of near-surface geophysical techniques to complex subsurface problems. His research with the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC), Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) focuses on the use of electrical and electromagnetic methods for solving environmental, engineering, military, and climate-based problems. Prior to his time at CRREL, as a contractor for the United States Department of Energy (USDOE), Dan was instrumental in advancing the use of geophysics at the Hanford Nuclear Waste Site (HNWS) for imaging radioactive waste contamination in the vadose zone and groundwater around the single shell radioactive waste tanks. While at the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), he provided insight into the electrical properties of emerging contaminants including biofuels, nanoparticles, and TCE. While at hydroGEOPHYSICS, Inc. he was responsible, in part, for designing, implementing, and managing an electrical leak detection system for the radioactive waste tanks at the HNWS. Near-surface geophysical applications of mineral exploration, acid mine drainage, pond liner leak detection, and heap leach optimization were also key aspects of this experience.

Dan holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Maine in Environmental Geology with a focus in Environmental Geophysics, a Master’s of Science degree from the University of Missouri in Urban Environmental Geology with a focus in Hydrogeophysics, and is presently in his final year as a PhD candidate at Rutgers University in the Earth and Environmental Science Department, with a focus in Near-Surface Geophysics.

Position Statement

I am honored to have been nominated to run for the position of chair elect in the Near Surface Technical Session (NSTS) of the Society of Exploration Geophysics (SEG). Over the last 25 years, I’ve had the opportunity to observe first-hand the novel advancements our community has achieved, and in recent years the general explosion of the associated technologies in various fields of study. We focus our efforts on illuminating the subsurface for a wide variety of needs and have found great success by adapting mineral exploration techniques as well as developing unique sensing methods that have established near-surface (NS) geophysics as an insightful and necessary part of nearly any subsurface investigation.

With these exceptional advancements and the widespread adoption of the near surface techniques comes a responsibility to ensure the future and integrity of the NSTS community. While anyone can “do geophysics” only a trained professional can ensure the surveys are designed correctly, taking into account the known limitations and capabilities of the technologies. Along that same ilk, one should know and understand the limitations of the accompanying processing software, while understanding reasonable responses and signatures associated with the survey area. The nature of a successful survey is determined prior to ever setting foot on a field site, with the understanding of the contrast in targets to be imaged. As these tools become more common, access improves, yet the quality and understanding of the results will have the potential to become diluted, if appropriate quality control steps are not put in place.

Should I be elected, I will not only perform the day-to-day aspects of a chairs work, I will work with the NSTS community to evaluate the best way to preserve the integrity of our field whether we seek to implement standards in data acquisition and processing or a professional certification for commercial NSTS practitioners such as the professional certification offered for geology through the AIPG (American Institute of Professional Geologists) or the state adopted tests for professional geologists as implemented through National Association of State Boards of Geology (ASBOG), or nationalization of the professional geophysicist licenses required in California, or some other path. These steps will also seek to integrate the stakeholders of the larger NS community including AGU and EEGS.

Overall, the growth of the NS community is extremely encouraging and in my humble opinion, a long time coming. I am proud of our work and the impact our science has locally and globally and will always look to ensure the success of the NS community.

Global Vice-Chair

Chinazaekpere Mary Arukwe

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Chinazaekpere is an environmental sustainability professional with more than five years of experience leading students and professional organizations through a highly effective and impactful approach. She holds a BSc in Geological Sciences from Nnamdi Azikiwe University in Nigeria. She is the co-founder of GeoBreeza Solutions, a start-up that is focused on geoscience data analysis and the production of innovative maps.

With over three years in the environmental research space, Chinazaekpere and her teams have been deservingly recognized, having been awarded the following: the 2020 SEG Outreach Grant, the 2022 and 2023 SEG Field Camp Grants, and the 2022 AAPG Sustainable Development in Energy Contest Award. Her remarkable journey includes more than 20 technical presentations where she passionately shares her insights and discoveries.

Chinazaekpere’s influence extends beyond her academic and research achievements. As the former president of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists Nnamdi Azikiwe University Student Chapter (SEG-NAU), she has been a guiding light for aspiring geoscientists. Under her leadership, the chapter established 10 Student Research Groups with nine published review papers and won the Best SEG Student Chapter in the World for the Year 2022, demonstrating her ability to inspire and guide. She has also been advocating for quality geoscience education and mentoring student chapters to harness SEG benefits in their institutions. Her volunteer work for the SEG Women’s Network Student Community, SEG Near-Surface Geophysics Technical Section Student Subcommittee, SEG Near Surface Global Subcommittee, SEG Sub-Saharan African Regional Challenge Bowl Subcommittee, AAPG, and SPE YP Port-Harcourt Section further underscores her commitment to nurturing the next generation of geoscience professionals.

She has received multiple awards, including the SEG and AAPG Foundation Scholarships and the 1st Place winner in the 2023 Switch International Energy Case Competition.

Chinazaekpere’s passion extends far beyond her achievements. She is deeply committed to helping African geoscience students attain global relevance and contribute to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals. She enjoys singing, traveling, and watching movies with family and friends in her leisure time.

Position Statement

I am thrilled to be running for the position of Global Vice Chair for the SEG Near Surface Global Subcommittee. The prospect of leading this global subcommittee and contributing to the dissemination of knowledge about near-surface and international activities in SEG aligns perfectly with my deep-seated passion for engaging with students and professional communities. My dedication to fostering global networks and my love for collaborative problem-solving are unwavering. I am eager to leverage my international, community-building, and organizational skills to enhance the Near Surface Global subcommittee’s initiatives.

Collaboration and community lie at the heart of all geoscience problems. As a geoscientist deeply committed to research and community engagement, I have had the privilege of leading and organizing a regional student virtual conference. This event, which brought together over 200 participants from academia and the industry and featured 24 technical presentations, was a resounding success. This experience underscores my ability to foster a collaborative environment and curate engaging events that bridge diverse perspectives within the geoscience field.
The sharing and communication of theoretical advances, technology developments, and best practices are not just important but crucial for the advancement and practical application of geophysics towards the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). To enhance this vital knowledge sharing, I am committed to leading the global subcommittee in organizing webinars/presentations. These will not only feature near-surface geophysics investigations in a wide range of applications from across the globe, including groundwater, engineering, environmental, mining, geohazards, infrastructure, oil and gas, geothermal, archaeological, and agricultural sectors, but also provide a platform for you to share your insights and learn from others in the field.

These webinars/presentations would create rooms for knowledge sharing and international and interdisciplinary collaborations, as well as inspire future geoscientists to see the relevance of near-surface geophysics amidst the energy transition. Through interactive sessions, mentorship programs, and case studies, we will demonstrate how near-surface geophysics can contribute to sustainable energy solutions and environmental conservation. This vision of showcasing the significant role near-surface geophysics plays in the achievement of the SDGs is what drives my candidacy for the global vice chair of the SEG Near Surface Global Subcommittee.

Go ahead and vote for me and join me in enhancing sharing and communication within the SEG Near Surface Community. Together, we can make a significant impact on the future of near-surface geophysics and its applications.

Subash Chandra

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Dr. Subash Chandra is chief scientist and head of Electrical and Heliborne Geophysics at CSIR-National Geophysical Research Institute, Hyderabad (India), and also serves as an associate professor at the Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research (AcSIR). He received his PhD in Geophysics from Banaras Hindu University in 2006 and did post-doctoral research at Aarhus University, Denmark in 2010-11. He has been also a visiting Scientist at UPMC, France under the Indo-French Cooperation program. His research interests are in the fields of groundwater, airborne electromagnetics, aquifer mapping and parameterization, translation of geophysical results into hydrogeological models, etc.

Dr Chandra has pioneered airborne geophysics in India for rapid and high-resolution 3D aquifer mapping at a large scale. The success of these applications has advanced hydrogeological practices in India, especially in the field of applied hydrogeophysics, and spawned novel applications in areas relating to water security in smart city, and tunnel hydrogeology in mountainous terrains.

The Hon’ble President of India bestowed the National Geosciences Award (2017) recognizing the significance of Dr Chandra’s work on AEM in the field of Groundwater Exploration. His work on heliborne geophysics for smart city helped Surat Municipality, Surat to bag the FICCI award (First Prize) for adopting this innovative scientific approach towards water security. He was honoured with Associate Fellow by Telangana Science Academy (2016); and “The Sudarshan Pani-Rama Dwivedy Medal 2022” from the Indian Society of Applied Geochemistry (ISAG), Hyderabad for the best contribution in the field of “Hydrogeology and Environmental Geochemistry” for the last 10
years i.e. 2011-2021 and selected as a Member of the National Academy of Sciences in India (NASI)-2023.
Dr. Chandra has several research publications in peer-reviewed National and International journals, chapters in books, Technical Reports, etc. A significant work emanating from the above-mentioned investigations is the development of a robust and cost-effective method to address the most challenging problem of mapping water-saturated fractures in hard rock terrains using AEM.

He also developed a method viz., LCR recharge method to estimate natural recharge and hydraulic conductivity estimation in granitic hard rock terrain and also discovered Ancient buried paleochannel.

Position Statement

Given the chance, I would be thrilled to serve as a vice chair in the SEG Near-Surface Geophysics Section and work with fellow geophysicists to represent and promote areas of research on the near surface. The near surface, especially upper a few hundred meters is undergoing a rapid transformation with large-scale developments in various sectors like agriculture, industry, infrastructure facilities, energy resources, mining, etc. All these activities relate to the Earth in one or other ways and require precise knowledge of the subsurface conditions at various scales. For example, agriculture needs precise information on soil, and moisture conditions as well as assured water supply. Water itself is singularly the most vital resource for drinking, health, hygiene, agriculture, industry, mining, urban development, etc. For a country’s economic growth and prosperity, various natural resources like minerals and energy are vital. Setting up heavy engineering structures, urban planning, subsurface waste disposal, construction of dams and river-linking projects, etc., requires reliable and adequate information of the subsurface hydrogeology. In many parts of the world, villages are shrinking with the fast growth of urbanization, where large cities are often in the news for facing acute shortages of water, especially during summers. Thus, there is a strong need to generate adequate knowledge of near surface in advance to plan terrain-friendly urbanization for resource sustainability. Therefore, I believe that there is a need for continuous interactions among the researchers of various disciplines including the young researchers dealing with NS studies to share and exchange ideas and experiences as well as educating and advocating to the policy makers are the keys to the success of our research field. I would be honored if I could get the opportunity to connect and work towards these goals with my peers at the SEG NS section


Andréa Darrh

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Andréa Darrh earned her BS in geophysics at Texas A&M University in 2018 and her PhD in geophysics at Colorado School of Mines in 2023. Her dissertation was focused on inversion of magnetic and magnetotelluric data with applications towards critical mineral exploration. Her expertise is in the development of deterministic inversion algorithms with a focus on joint inversion of multiple geophysical datasets, especially electromagnetic, potential field, and seismic data. Andréa is now a senior member of the technical staff at Sandia National Laboratories where she has been involved in projects that have spanned multiple scales, from near surface to the upper crust.

Position Statement

I have been an active member of SEG since 2014 and a participant in the Near Surface Geophysics Technical Section as a student and now early career member for much of that time. SEG and the NSTS in particular have been instrumental in my career with student awards and opportunities that opened up networking and mentorship opportunities I would not have had otherwise. I would be honored to serve as the NSTS secretary, if elected, and facilitate communication among the NSTS leadership team to allow NSTS to run smoothly so others can experience the same opportunities I did. If elected, I will ensure the records of NSTS leadership meetings are maintained and that the NSTS leadership and relevant SEG staff are kept informed of meeting happenings and decisions in a timely manner.

Piyoosh Jaysaval

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Piyoosh Jaysaval is a computational geophysicist at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), acclaimed for his innovative work in high-performance supercomputing software for geophysics. His expertise spans numerical modeling and data inversion, blending traditional algorithms with advanced AI and deep learning techniques. His impactful work includes developing algorithms for subsurface imaging across various geophysical methods, such as electrical resistivity tomography (ERT), frequency-domain electromagnetic (FDEM), airborne electromagnetic, magnetotellurics (MT), controlled source audio magnetotellurics (CSAMT), controlled-source electromagnetic (CSEM), and seismic methods. These innovative tools have revolutionized the handling of large geophysical datasets, providing unprecedented insight into subsurface structures.

Jaysaval’s academic journey culminated in earning his PhD degree from the University of Oslo in 2016. Following this achievement, he furthered his research as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Texas at Austin before joining PNNL in 2019. Piyoosh has significantly impacted the scientific community through his robust publication record and his invaluable role as a peer reviewer. He is highly regarded for his contributions to journals such as Geophysics, Geophysical Journal International, Geophysical Prospecting, Journal of Applied Geophysics, and Computers & Geosciences, with over 70 reviews completed in the span of seven years. Beyond manuscript reviews, Piyoosh has also reviewed proposals for the U.S. Department of Energy and has played a pivotal role as a technical chair at numerous national and international conferences, including conferences organized by Society of Exploration Geophysicists, Environmental and Engineering Geophysical Society, and Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics.

Position Statement

In my role as a candidate for the Secretary position, I am committed to ensuring the Leadership Team operates efficiently and that our decisions are accurately documented and accessible. My focus will be on careful preparation and distribution of meeting materials, in partnership with the Chairperson and SEG staff, to foster informed discussions and decisions. I will also ensure that meeting minutes are precise, reflect our collective decisions, and are promptly shared, maintaining transparency and accountability within our team and with relevant stakeholders.
My approach combines strong organizational and communication skills with a dedication to impartiality and confidentiality. I aim to enhance our team’s effectiveness by facilitating smooth and productive meetings, upholding the integrity of our records, and being a reliable point of contact for all members. Through these efforts, I aspire to contribute significantly to the leadership team’s success and the broader goals of the SEG Near Surface Technical Section, ensuring our actions align with our mission and values.