Evolving Education

AAPG’s Education and Professional Development offers a wide array of short courses, schools, field seminars, Hedberg research conferences and education conferences.

It also organizes and operates the AAPG Foundation-funded Distinguished Lecture program, which literally takes geoscience to every part of the world.

But as impressive as those offerings are, even more impressive is the way the department has added new workshops, events and conferences over the past few years that have dwarfed the old offerings.

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AAPG’s Education and Professional Development offers a wide array of short courses, schools, field seminars, Hedberg research conferences and education conferences.

It also organizes and operates the AAPG Foundation-funded Distinguished Lecture program, which literally takes geoscience to every part of the world.

But as impressive as those offerings are, even more impressive is the way the department has added new workshops, events and conferences over the past few years that have dwarfed the old offerings.

“We’ve expanded and changed quite a bit in the last few years, and we’re passionate about developing educational events, research conferences, basically all types of professional development,” said department director Susan Nash.

She and her eight-person staff are equally passionate about reaching out to individuals and constituency groups.

“If we can help facilitate the transfer of knowledge, and if people who attend have a chance of really connecting with information, training, techniques and technology that can quantum-leap them to a new level of effectiveness, we are very happy,” Nash said. “We want all attendees to have a very positive return on investment – invest $1,000 in training, and yield $1 million in improved effectiveness. That is, albeit simplistically expressed, what we like to see.”

Getting to this point has meant the department – and AAPG’s entire geoscience education initiative – has had to evolve with the times.

“We have developed a number of new types of events,” Nash said. “All of our events are ’hybrid’ or ’Web-enhanced,’ which means we make repositories of information available.”

And in some cases, that means opportunities for ongoing discussions and social networking. Those would include:

  • Geosciences Technology Workshops (GTWs) – Two- or three-day topic or theme-based presentations by experts and practitioners, with ample time for discussion.
  • Forum Events – One-day “forum of experts” gatherings, focused solving a specific issue or problem.
  • Research Exchange – Two-day research-focused workshop (basically a new directions-focused GTW).
  • E-Symposia – One-hour webinars, with materials for self-study (to be completed in one day for CEUs if the student turns in the required work).

“With the advent of so much new technology and the opening of new plays that were previously unreachable – deepwater subsalt and shale plays being just two of them – we focus on understanding just how we can provide everyone who attends a kind of ’equipment for success,’” Nash said.

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