Delegates approved proposed changes to the AAPG House of Delegates Rules and Procedures and Bylaws virtually without comment during the annual convention held in San Antonio.
However, it was two impromptu straw votes that stirred remarks from the 206 delegates certified by Patrick Gooding, chair of the Credentials Committee.
HoD Chairman Martin D. Hewitt guided the delegates through the House agenda and business was adjourned in ample time for lunch for the first time in recent memory.
In giving the report of the Newsletter Committee, Secretary/Editor Robert E. Webster posed a question to delegates concerning the all-electronic publishing of the HoD Newsletter, saving money and negating printing and mailing lag times.
In a straw poll, the House overwhelmingly voted in favor of the PDF-only newsletter. However, the handful of members opposed were vocal in their opposition. Webster stated that all delegates should be able to receive The Delegate’s Voice in the format of their choice, and he would investigate the best means to deliver the newsletter either electronically or printed, if requested.
The next HoD newsletter, budgeted for printing and mailing in June, would proceed as in the past.
The other straw vote came up in new business during a discussion of the possibility of modifying the degree requirements for Active membership. Vice President-Regions John Hogg began the discussion by asking for a sense of the delegates concerning keeping the requirements for a “degree in geological science” for a person applying for Active membership.
The dialog included the exclusionary aspect of the degree requirement as it affects geophysicists, geological engineers and others who otherwise would be interested in full membership.
It was noted that there are mechanisms for individual exceptions to the requirement, which are considered by the Executive Committee on a case-by-case basis.
Delegates voted overwhelmingly to send the issue to the Constitution and Bylaws Committee for consideration.
Changes approved by delegates included:
- An amendment dealing with how the number of delegates is determined for U.S. affiliated societies versus international Regions. The amendment was proposed to bring the Rules and Procedures in compliance with the AAPG’s Constitution and Bylaws.
- A Bylaws change that gives the AAPG Executive Committee authority to expel a member who falsely states his or her qualifications on an application for AAPG membership.
Both proposals were adopted as presented.
Officers elected for 2008-09 were Steve Sonnenberg, chair-elect, and Sigrunn Johnsen, secretary/editor.
Sonnenberg is professor of geology and Charles Boettcher Distinguished Chair in Petroleum Geology at the Colorado School of Mines. He also is the first past president of AAPG to become leader of the House. He will assume the presidency in 2009-10.
Johnsen is senior geologist-field development for the North Africa and Middle East Department at RWE-Dea in Hamburg, Germany.
The new officers will assume office on July 1, with Chairman-elect George Bole, of Houston, assuming the HoD gavel.
Gooding noted that the 207 delegates at the San Antonio meeting was 89 percent of the 232 total House delegates – the highest percentage participating over the past 10 years. 117 were required for a quorum.