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Traveling Lecturers Committee

Thayer Lindsley Visiting Lecturer Sub-Committee

The Thayer Lindsley Visiting Lecturer shall lecture primarily at colleges and universities having geologic programs related to economic geology. The honor of being selected shall be recognized by a suitably inscribed certificate.

The Thayer Lindsley Visiting Lecturer Sub-Committee is responsible for identifying, screening and recommending qualified Thayer Lindsley Visiting Lecturer candidates to the SEG Council. The Sub Committee also publicizes Lecturer availability and schedules lecture tours.

Committee Purpose

The Society Traveling Lecturers Committee (TLC) is responsible for soliciting nominations for the Thayer Lindsley Visiting Lecturer and the International Exchange Lecturer positions as described in Article X, Section 10.1(f) on page 19 of the SEG Bylaws.

Committee Composition and Term

The Thayer Lindsley Visiting Lecturer Sub-Committee consists of four members, including a Chair, with each to serve a three-year term. At least two of the sub-committee members should be from outside of North America.


The functions of the Thayer Lindsley Visiting Lecturer committee are principally involved with the identifying, screening, and recommending of qualified economic geologist to serve as Lecturers. Committee responsibilities include:

  • Solicit nominees for Thayer Lindsley Visiting Lecturers from the SEG membership through the SEG Newsletter and Economic Geology, announcements at meetings, and other appropriate avenues. Committee members who provide nominations must declare that they are free from any conflicts of interest.
  • Review available data on prospective candidates with respect to their expertise in the field of mineral resources, including, but not limited to, ore-forming processes, exploration techniques, mining geology, mineral economics and/or global mineral affairs.
  • On the basis if the initial review by Committee members, a list of ranked Lecturer candidates is prepared and candidates are contacted with respect to their availability to accept the honor of serving as a Thayer Lindsley Visiting Lecturer, possible lecture topics, and provisions of the Lectureship. It is explained that lectures are focused on universities and colleges in the course of the tour. Those candidates responding positively to the screening are requested to prepare curriculum vitae (CV's) providing background data summarizing their qualifications to serve as a Lecturer.
  • The Committee must submit to SEG Council the names of at least two qualified candidates (industry in alternate years), their CV's, in ranked order for review and ratification by the Council. If the recommended candidate is unable to serve as a Lecturer, the alternate will be selected.
  • Once the SEG Council has ratified the Thayer Lindsley Visiting Lecturer, the SEG President officially invites the successful honoree in writing to serve as Lecturer, no later than December 31, before the end of the President's term. The letter should include a statement explaining the purpose of the Lecture program.
  • The Lecturer is contacted by the Committee Secretary regarding the lecture schedule, sites, and other related data.
  • The Lecturer prepares and gives two different talks: one for a general audience, and a second, more technical talk for students and faculty.
  • The Committee is responsible for publicizing the annual lecture tour in the SEG Newsletter and Economic Geology journal.

Specific Functions of the Chair

  • Serves as an expediter to assure that the Lecturer candidate recommendation process proceeds in a timely manner.
  • Solicits candidate suggestion from committee members, SEG members, and other sources.
  • Ascertains that a thorough review is made of each candidate and that the final ranking reflects the committee's recommendations in proper order.
  • Prepares the report to be submitted to the Chair of the Traveling Lecturers Committee for transmittal to the SEG Council.
  • Notifies qualified candidates contacted by the Committee, but not selected to serve as Thayer Lindsley Visiting Lecturers, of their status. These qualified candidates may be considered by subsequent Committees in the course of review and selection of future candidates.

Relationship to SEG Council and Other SEG Committees

The preceding Chair of the Thayer Lindsley Visiting Lecturer sub-committee should be contacted to request a copy of the previous report to the Council, plus the files for eligible candidates who were not nominated or selected. The Chair of this sub-committee should maintain contact with the Chairs of the Traveling Lecturers Committee, the International Exchange Lecturer sub-committee, and the SEG Distinguished Lecturer Committee, to avoid duplication of Lecturer nominees and scheduling conflicts.

Critical Dates/Schedules

To allow the Thayer Lindsley Visiting Lecturer adequate time to schedule and prepare lectures during a university school year, it is essential that the Committee begins its search and review immediately after its appointment on January 1.

The recommendations of the Committee, together with supporting data, should reach the Executive Director no later than September 15 each year. The Executive Director will duplicate the supporting material and distribute it to the Council for action at its first meeting following the September 15 date. The Council will promptly select the Thayer Lindsley Visiting Lecturer so that the respective lecture tours may be scheduled for the succeeding year. If a regularly scheduled Council meeting is not held in the first months following the September 15 date, the selection by the Council can take place by mail, e-mail, fax, or telephone.

When the Lecturer is selected by the Council, the Lecturer and the sub-committee Chair shall be notified by the Society President. The lecture tour itineraries and travel arrangements will be coordinated by Chair of the Traveling Lecturers Committee, in consultation with the Lecturer. Direct expenses for the Lecturers to complete their respective lecture tours will be reimbursed up to an amount set from time-to-time by the Council or the Executive Committee. The Executive Director will contact the Lecturers regarding expense reimbursement.

Amplified Criteria for Selection of the Thayer Lindsley Lecturers

  1. Good speakers. This is the essential criterion. Delivery must be dynamic and engaging. Please do not suggest people with a history of casual or poor preparation. Some past lists have included mediocre and even poor speakers. The speaker gives two talks at each of at least five universities—one talk for a general audience and one with detailed science in economic geology.
  2. Proven scientific expertise in a field of economic geology and/or mineral resources. One speaker is to be a research economic geologist (academic or government) and one is to be an applied economic geologist from industry. The areas of expertise include, but are not limited to, ore-forming processes, exploration techniques, mining geology, mineral economics, and/or global mineral affairs.
  3. Good recruiters. The speakers speak at universities and colleges with economic geology programs. One purpose of the lectures is to get students fired up and excited about careers in and the science and/or business of exploration and mining geology.
  4. Strong preference for each nominee to be an SEG member as this is considered an honor and an award of the society.

Biographical Sketch of Thayer Lindsley, Benefactor of the Award
(courtesy of research by Jeffrey Hedenquist and biographical notes written by Duncan Derry)

  • Considered a legendary figure in Canadian mining
  • Born 1882 in Yokohama. Died 1976. Degree in Civil Engineering from Harvard. Did post-graduate work in geology and mining engineering at Columbia. Went to Canada in 1924 to work for McIntyre Porcupine Mines.
  • He, his brother, and several other partners formed "Ventures Ltd." Lindsley acquired claims in Sudbury that were put into a subsidiary, the newly formed Falconbridge Nickel Co. Ltd. Acquired a Norwegian refinery and the rights to the refining process. Acquired other properties including Sherritt Gordon, Giant Yellowknife, Canadian Malartic and more than 180 other properties.
  • Ventures and its properties were folded into Falconbridge Nickel in 1962.
  • Said, "Finding a mine is nothing. You have to have men who can make them."
  • It was said that Lindsley "could "see into rocks" and this seems the most likely explanation for his uncanny perception of geology that allowed him to build..." the Falconbridge empire. He was reported to have the ability to remember the necessary geologic details that allowed him to sift valuable properties from lesser ones, and the ability to quickly and accurately recognize tremendous geologic and economic potential and to make an acquisition decision. He was reported to be single-minded and energetic.—From the book, "The Discoverers," 1982, Hanula et al., eds., Pitt Publishing Company, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.