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Journey Priceless

Destination Worthy

This is my last column as AAPG president, and it has been a heck of a ride. I would not trade my experience for anything. However there has been a price to pay:

Extra coffee to overcome late night writing and e-mail: $45.88

Extra laundry service to have clean clothes at numerous meetings: $75.42

Extra flowers and gifts to my wife, Joanne, to compensate for my focus on AAPG duties: $88.92

Experience as president: priceless

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This is my last column as AAPG president, and it has been a heck of a ride. I would not trade my experience for anything. However there has been a price to pay:

Extra coffee to overcome late night writing and e-mail: $45.88

Extra laundry service to have clean clothes at numerous meetings: $75.42

Extra flowers and gifts to my wife, Joanne, to compensate for my focus on AAPG duties: $88.92

Experience as president: priceless


As president, I served as leader of the Executive Committee, which this year functioned like a championship team. Characteristics of this year’s team included:

  • Development, as a team, of goals for the organization.
  • Lack of personal agendas.
  • Commitment to overall goals.
  • Willingness to respect and listen to alternate views within the group.
  • Willingness to present new proposals, openly discuss, modify, agree on a group decision and finally support the action as a united group.
  • Have fun together.

I would like to recognize the individual members of the EC.

  • Will Green (President-elect) focused on getting ready for next year as president, and chaired the Tac Ops III Committee, which reviewed AAPG’s business directorate.
  • John Dolson (Vice President) served as our adviser and connection to international members, expanded AAPG into Russia and was an enthusiastic supporter of AAPG activities in international areas.
  • Mike Party (Secretary) recorded and edited all our meeting minutes, coordinated with student committees and the DPA, and kept us grounded with the views of independent geologists.
  • Randi Martinson (Treasurer) learned the AAPG financial system from budgets to investments to insurance, and added prospective on both students and professors.
  • Ernie Mancini (Editor), our chief science adviser, from BULLETINs to special publications. He also helped us to understand students, professors and academic institutions, and implemented a network of associate editors dedicated to expansion of E&P Notes.
  • Larry Jones (Chairman, House of Delegates) managed the effort to introduce and pass the bylaw amendment on graduated dues -- and specialized in very short e-mail messages.
  • AAPG’s Executive Director Rick Fritz and the AAPG staff made our experience positive. The Executive Committee has the responsibility to direct, focus and oversee performance by our staff. The staff is a dedicated, talented professional group, but the Association’s performance will only be as good as the direction supplied by the EC to the staff.

We had especially good results on tasks when we clearly communicated our vision and trusted the staff to implement, using their own talents.

The relationship between staff and the EC was a very effective partnership.


So what did we accomplish this year?

  • Committees -- Reorganized into groups with a committee manager for each group; updated their mission statements.
  • Corporate Advisory Board -- Provided new emphasis on corporate members to advise and participate in AAPG proposals.
  • E&P Notes -- Established a network of associate editors to proactively seek and, if necessary, write articles for this series.
  • Graduated dues -- Studied various options, discussed with HoD and other leadership and ultimately supported passage in HoD.
  • Position papers -- Provided written policy for frequent review and method of change, and reviewed all existing papers.
  • Global climate change policy -- Appointed an ad hoc committee, reviewed draft statement, set charge for permanent committee and Web-based method for future member discussion.
  • Business plan -- Worked with staff to develop a five-year tactical plan.
  • Budget -- Preliminary figures indicate an improvement over a small budgeted surplus.

What lies ahead?

During my year as president my appreciation for the role that AAPG both does play and can play in the geologic arena has been amplified. The Association is uniquely qualified to connect four different institutions or groups:

  1. Government
  2. Academia
  3. Industry
  4. Public

During a given year an EC completes some ongoing projects and starts new ones for the next EC to finish. Some of the concepts begun this year can be very valuable in the future as we fulfill our role as connector between the various groups.

New projects include:

  • Research support in academia -- AAPG establishes and administers an industry-funded consortium for geoscience research.
  • Academic manpower -- AAPG administers a Visiting Professor program that utilizes industry professionals, and also establishes endowments for professor support.
  • Global climate change -- The new committee and ensuing Web discussion should provide valuable and timely information to both the public and members.
  • Student programs -- The new Imperial Barrel Award competition provides a new avenue to connect AAPG and industry with students and academia.
  • Petroleum Technology Transfer Council -- AAPG is evaluating a management role to continue the program after DOE funding is stopped.

Working toward goals within AAPG reminds me of an experience in geologic field mapping -- a group of geologists are looking at a distant outcrop, and all agree that they need to reach that goal. However, several potential paths are possible:

Some want to take the most difficult, but shortest route so they have time to party.

Others want to take more time and conserve their energy so they are not expected to try to find another outcrop before dark.

Still others go along with the group decision, but wonder why they signed up for this course in the first place.

So it is with AAPG projects. As long as we keep the big goals in mind, we can be flexible in how we get there.

And as a corollary, take time to enjoy yourself, no matter how you get there.


So in closing, I challenge all members to do your part to be active and volunteer. AAPG offers a great outlet.

Best of luck to Will Green and next year’s Executive Committee.

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