Response to Covid-19 pandemic: Like nearly every organization, as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic and its severe economic impact, the KEGS Foundation pivoted abruptly in mid-March from previously announced programs and initiatives to focus on ways to assist current scholarship recipients and other students to continue with their geophysical education in the "new normal" that is gradually emerging, as well as to keep informed as to how different universities are adapting their instructional programs to a mainly virtual format to accommodate health concerns.
Renewal of core scholarship program: 27 scholarships awarded for 2020/21: As announced in July, the Foundation has awarded a record 27 scholarships totalling $24,000 for 2020/21 (20 undergrads, 4 MSc students and 3 PhD candidates, attending 12 Canadian universities). This includes the notable awards of the Collett Graduate Scholarship to Jeremy Gosselin (University of Ottawa), the GSC Pioneers Scholarship to Hema Sharma (Western University), and the new SKGS Scholarship to Todd LeBlanc (University of Saskatchewan). Awards will be presented in conjunction with KEGS and BCGS webinars and related events. The full announcement is appended and posted on the Foundation's website.
SKGS Scholarship: As recently announced, this new scholarship was established through the diligent initiative of Dr. Dennis Woods, a Foundation Director, with foundational funding pledged by Discovery International Geophysics and Dias Geophysical, to support geophysical education in Saskatchewan. We encourage mining and service companies, and geoscience professionals with an interest in advancing geophysical capabilities, particularly related to applications in Saskatchewan, to consider a donation in support of this initiative. For further information, please see the announcement and contact Dennis at: firstname.lastname@example.org or (604) 762-6782, or any of the other eight Directors.
Student outreach: In collaboration with KEGS, the Foundation is being guided by recent graduates Max Salman and Skyler Mallozzi, both past KF scholarship recipients, in developing an enhanced social media presence to strengthen awareness by and communications with the current generation of media-savvy students.
Alumni affairs: The Foundation continues to follow with interest the careers of the now more than 275 past scholarship recipients as they pursue further education and ultimately employment, and encourages donations to the Foundation by past awardees with established careers to support current and future students. It was noted with pleasure that several of the authors of presentations at the 2020 KEGS Symposium were past recipients of scholarships from KEGS or the KEGS Foundation.
Collaboration with KEGS and other organizations: The Foundation is continuing its efforts to collaborate closely with KEGS, BCGS, TGDG and other geo-organizations in advancing geophysical and related education and in achieving useful synergy between groups and events, particularly in this time of mainly virtual mode interactions.
SEG Foundation 2020 scholarship awards: The Foundation is pleased to report that the SEG Foundation has awarded scholarships to 13 Canadian students for 2020 (the majority PhD candidates), and extends particular congratulations to three of the current KEGS Foundation awardees and two past awardees who also received SEGF scholarships, including Kaitlyn Elizabeth de Morée who was awarded the KEGS/Phillip Hallof Memorial/SEG Scholarship. See full details.
Financial Overview: Thanks to its conservative investment policy, the Foundation's finances remain reasonably sound, and are sufficient to fund the increased scholarship program for 2020/21 by reallocating funding initially directed to support other activities. The economic impact of the pandemic caused significant decreases in certain of the Foundation's investments in late March, including shrinkage of a portion of the Collett legacy gift received in 2017, but, along with limited redirection of some investments, these assets have now largely recovered their earlier values. Preparation of the financial report for the Foundation for FY 2020 (ending July 13, 2020) is in progress, to be followed by the annual tax filing required by the CRA.
Donations and fundraising efforts: The Foundation acknowledges with appreciation recent substantial donations by BCGS, KEGS and Lamontagne Geophysics. However, overall, regular donations have not unexpectedly been significantly affected by the pandemic. With the recent revival of exploration, individuals and companies are encouraged to renew past support to sustain the Foundation's core scholarship program at recent levels as well as collateral efforts. Individual donors are reminded that they can double the impact of their tax-deductible donations by taking advantage of the continuing matching donation program generously funded by Phoenix Geophysics (individual donations are eligible to be matched up to $250 per year; see details).
Governance and management: The Foundation, guided by its nine volunteer Directors, remains focused on adapting to the ever-changing societal, business and technological environment, so as to be relevant and effective in achieving its overall educational objectives as it expands the breadth of its activities in collaboration with KEGS, BCGS and the SEG Foundation. As previously announced, in a planned transition in management intended to ensure continued active and relevant governance, long-serving Director Stephen Reford, previously Acting Chair, was appointed Chair in March, succeeding Jerry Roth, who will remain a Director for another year. This was undertaken in conjunction with implementing a more collegial governance structure with greater roles and designated responsibilities by each of the nine volunteer Directors. These matters were considered at length at the annual Board meeting on March 1, and discussed with supporters at the Foundation's AGM on March 5.