We are saddened to announce the passing of James G. Morgan on January 6th 2012. Jim was one of the primary leaders of the development of surveying and mapping management in the oil and gas exploration industry.
Jim worked at Chevron Petroleum Technology Company in Houston, Texas from 1976 to 1996 when he retired. He supervised the Navigation and Survey section for Chevron Corporation, providing technical consultation and services related to navigation, positioning, surveying, geodesy and mapping.
Prior to joining Chevron, he was vice president and general manager of Satellite Positioning Corporation.
Jim led our profession in educating both Chevron and the industry during a major revolution in surveying that resulted from the development of the Doppler Transit and NavStar GPS systems with the associated need for geodetic coordinate datum transformations. He had a great talent for explaining new or complex technical issues in memorable and understandable ways. Many will recall his teaching at Chevron’s “Positioning for 3D seismic surveying” during the early 1990’s.
Jim was educated at California State University, Northridge, where he received B.A. and M.S. degrees in mathematics and published many papers and articles related to the fields of navigation and positioning. He was a member of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG), Institute of Navigation (ION), and the National Ocean Industry Association (NOIA). During 1984-1986, Jim was chairman of the SEG Technical Standards Committee. He was respected and admired throughout the industry, and was a great friend and mentor to many.
Jim was a keen birdwatcher, and he and his wife, Elayne, supported the preservation of habitat. Jim led the annual bird migration counting at High Island, Texas, among other birding trips and activities, both domestically and abroad, including a trip to Ecuador.
Jim is survived by his wife, Elayne, of 52 years, along with his daughters, Michele and Heather, and his son, Kevin. He is survived by sons-in-law, Charlie and Alfonzo, and daughter-in-law, Gabby. Jim was the proud grandfather of Catherine and Micah.