Program Director, Kay Wyatt

Kay Wyatt, and husband Steven Wyatt, are pictured below with the Depoe Bay Kids Zone Seismograph. Both Kay and Steve are exploration geophysicists and retired to Depoe Bay in 2002.

Kay and Steve

Kay received a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Tulsa in 1976 and an MS in Electrical Engineering from Oklahoma State University in 1977. She was introduced to exploration geophysics through summer jobs with Phillips Petroleum in 1975 and 1976.  She joined Phillips Petroleum full time in 1977 as a research geophysicist, and began application of signal processing principles to seismic data processing.  In 1978, she began research in vertical seismic profiling and helped pioneer VSP imaging techniques, including the VSPCDP transform. In 1982, Kay began research in 3D seismic imaging, geological modeling, and velocity estimation. From 1988 to 1995, she served as Project Leader for the advanced seismic imaging group at Phillips. From 1995 to 2001, Kay served as Research Leader with Phillips and provided guidance, leadership, and strategic direction in seismic imaging and multi-component technologies.  Kay continued her work as a Phillips Fellow Emeritus and worked to provide strategic direction and guidance to Phillips’ imaging technologies, as well as conducting her own research in elastic wave imaging, seismic imaging, velocity estimation, and acquisition design for optimum imaging.  She is widely published in many areas and holds several patents in the area of seismic imaging and vertical seismic profiling.

Kay was very active in the Society of Exploration Geophysicists and has held several positions in that international organization, most notably as First Vice President in 1996-1997, and has been honored with several awards from that organization.

Kay is also very much interested in Geoscience Education for young students worldwide, and served as Chairman of the SEG Student Sections/Academic Liaison Committee for a number of years.

Kay’s husband, Steven, is also a research geophysicist and they have partnered together very successfully at work and home for nearly 25 years. They are co-authors of numerous technical papers and hold several patents, both individually and as a team.

Kay and Steve retired from Phillips in 2002 following its merger with Conoco to form ConocoPhillips. They made their home on the Central Oregon Coast in Depoe Bay. Since moving there, Kay is fulfilling her life long dream of bringing the world of science to children. From 2003 to 2006 she served as Science Director for the Depoe Bay Kids Zone which is an after school enrichment program sponsored by Neighbors For Kids, Inc. In 2006, she started reaching out to children beyond Depoe Bay in the greater Lincoln County area by establishing the Oregon Shakes program.

In addition to her work with children, she is currently serving as Recording Secretary, Webmaster, and Newsletter Editor for the Depoe Bay Chamber of Commerce.

Honors and awards:

  1. 2006 - Depoe Bay Woman of the Year
  2. 2005 - Friend of Depoe Bay
  3. SEG Life Membership (October 1999)
  4. Honorary Member of the Geophysical Society of Tulsa (January 99)
  5. SEG Special Commendation Award (September 1998)
  6. VEST3D team leader, semi-finalist of the 1997 Phillips' Technology Achievement Award for "Rapid Estimation of 3D Velocity Models using VEST3D"
  7. Project IMAGE team leader, winner of the 1994 Innovation Excellence Award for our work in Advanced prestack seismic imaging.
  8. Semi-finalist for the 1992 Innovation Excellence Award for our work in 3D post-stack seismic imaging and visualization.

Professional Society activities:

  • Chairman of the SEG Student Section Academic Liaison Committee (1998 to present)
  • Member of the SEG Research Committee (1987-present )
  • Member of the SEG Continuing Education Committee (1997-present)
  • Member of the SEG Trustee Associates (2000-present)
  • Member of SEG Ad Hoc Museum Committee (1997-1998)
  • First Vice President of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (1996-1997)
  • General Chairman for the 1991 Midwest SEG Meeting and Exposition
  • President of the Geophysical Society of Tulsa (1991-1992)
  • Secretary of the Geophysical Society of Tulsa (1988-1989)




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