- Copyright © 2011 Society of Exploration Geophysicists
Despite the challenges involved in implementing “humanitarian geophysics” projects, the potential impact of these projects is vast—particularly for engaging the public and encouraging a new and diverse generation of students to pursue careers in geophysics. Established programs like Engineers without Borders and emerging programs like Geoscientists Without Borders (GWB), which is administered through the SEG Foundation, provide unprecedented opportunities for geoscientists to become engaged in projects with a humanitarian focus. Many of us are excited by the prospect of using our knowledge and skills to make impacts on communities in a direct and immediate way. As scientists, it is easy for us to focus on addressing the technical issues of a project, such as selecting appropriate measurement methods and overcoming the daunting logistics of field operations—particularly if the project is in a foreign country. To create effective programs, however, it is equally important for us to consider nontechnical issues in the planning phase of a project, such as the role of stakeholders.