Oklahoma City Geological Society History
The Oklahoma City Geological Society (Society/OCGS) was formally organized in 1921 at a meeting held in the home of Dr. Irving Perrine who was the first formal Curator of Invertebrate Paleontology at the Oklahoma Museum of Natural History in Norman, OK (1912 to 1915) and a founding member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG). The first constitution was a brief legal instrument consisting of four short articles covering the Society’s name, objective, membership requirements and officers. Though just recently formed, the Society became inactive in 1923 and remained that way until 1929 when it was reignited following the 1928 discovery of the Oklahoma City oil field which created a renewed interest in geology. At that time, the OCGS had 48 Charter Members, defined as those who attended the first meeting in 1921 or the reorganization meeting held at the YMCA in May 1929. That same year the Society began holding luncheon and dinner meetings featuring speakers who presented technical talks on a variety of subjects related to geology and oil and gas, but also featured speakers on other topics of interest to the membership. These meetings continue today.
Years of Growth
In 1932 the Society began holding geological field trips in Oklahoma and surrounding states and published related guidebooks. In 1951 the Society began publishing a periodical, The Shale Shaker which is the professional Journal of the Oklahoma City Geological Society. Over the years, the Society has published reference reports on oil and gas fields in Oklahoma and other technical subjects pertaining to geology. It has also produced the Shale Shaker Digest, a compilation of the technical articles from the Shale Shaker.
In 1966 the OCGS was incorporated in the State of Oklahoma as the Oklahoma City Geological Society, Inc., a 501(c)(6) non-profit corporation. Also in 1966, the Society purchased a privately owned geological library and designated it as the OCGS Geological Library, a foundational service offering of the recently incorporated organization. The Library was originally located in the Cravens Building (now the Robinson Renaissance Building) where it operated from 1966 until 1978 when it was moved to the Park-Harvey Building (now the Park Harvey Apartments). In 2001 the Library and Society offices were moved to the 9th floor of the former First National Bank Building, now known as the First National Center.
During its ninety-three-year history, the Society has been closely associated with the AAPG and was one of its earliest member societies. The OCGS has served as host of the Mid-Continent Section annual meeting several times.
The OCGS Today
In May, 2014, the organization was reincorporated as The Oklahoma City Geological Society, dropping the “Inc.”. The purposes of the Corporation as defined in the filing are:
- To advance the Geological Sciences and the profession of geology in general.
- To promote high ethical standards of conduct among its members and within the profession of Geology.
- To establish standards of education, experience, and professional conduct in the practice of Geology.
- To inform and protect the public from unprofessional practices.
- To monitor activities affecting the Geological Sciences including state and federal activities.
The Shale Shaker, now in its sixty-seventh volume and has been transformed into an extremely high quality publication both in content and presentation.
In conjunction with the Mid-Continent Section of the AAPG and the Oklahoma Geological Foundation, the Society grants field camp scholarships to geology majors at state universities. The Society is also becoming active in working with secondary school students on topics related to geology and earth sciences.
In early 2014, the OCGS purchased a facility of its own. The historic building underwent a complete conversion from a warehouse into office space and a move to the new space was completed in January, 2015. The building (now owned and operated by the Mid-Continent Geological Library, Inc.) was named the OCGS-Devon Geoscience Center in recognition of a naming rights contribution by Devon Energy. The building has a large upstairs meeting/events room used to host monthly Society lunch and dinner meetings and educational short courses as scheduled. The OCGS-Devon Geoscience Center, located in the Automobile Alley District in downtown Oklahoma City is highly visible and stands as a great testament to the history of the OCGS and the oil and gas industry in Oklahoma.