Editor’s note: AAPG President Randi Martinsen and Africa Region President Dave Blanchard were scheduled to address the 32nd annual NAPE international conference and exhibition this past fall, but the trips were cancelled due to the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa. They sent meeting officials copies of their remarks, which AAPG Africa Region past president and current advisory counselor Nosa Omorodion read to the gathering on their behalf. Below are excerpts from that address.
Thank you for the honor of allowing me the opportunity to send my congratulations to all of you on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the affiliation between NAPE and AAPG. I am very disappointed not to be there in person to celebrate 20 years of AAPG and NAPE working together … My good friend Robbie Gries (the first female president of AAPG) visited here twice and has spoken to me so often of how wonderful her visits to Nigeria were and how warm and welcoming the Nigerian people are.
I have heard similar comments from other AAPG presidents who have come here – both Scott Tinker and Paul Weimer have also told me of the wonderful reception they received in Nigeria. And my interactions with Nigerians at AAPG meetings and conferences have always been very positive.
As AAPG’s second female president, I’m also disappointed not to be standing there side-by-side with Adedoja Ojelabi, NAPE’s first female president. Although our industry has historically been male dominated, the times they are a changing, just like Bob Dylan predicted. There is widespread recognition that diversity – of gender, of ethnicity, of age, of culture – contribute to increased productivity and success in the workplace.
AAPG has many things to offer geoscientists, but geoscientists also have much to offer AAPG. As AAPG approaches its 100th anniversary in 2017, we need your energy, your enthusiasm and your talent if AAPG is to be as successful in its second hundred years as it was in its first hundred.
We are a global organization, and we need global input from all of you and from prominent geoscience associations like NAPE. So, if you are an AAPG member, I thank you. And if you are not an AAPG member, please consider joining.
The Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists officially became an AAPG affiliate in 1994, announced at the AAPG annual convention’s opening ceremony that year.
To mark the affiliation, then-AAPG President Toby Carleton traveled to Nigeria and was hosted during the NAPE’s annual international conference is and exhibitions that took place at the Eko Hotel and Conference center, Lagos, in November 1994.
The AAPG Africa Region structure was created five years later, and the Region’s first leadership team was headed by Nahum Schneidermann.
Since 1994, four AAPG presidents have visited Nigeria and attended the NAPE annual conference – in addition to Toby Carleton in 1994, there was Dick Bishop in 1998, Robbie Gries in 2000 and 2001, and Scott Tinker in 2008. AAPG President Paul Weimer visited Nigeria in 2012 and took part in the Africa Region Imperial Barrel Award finals competition that year.
In addition, AAPG vice presidents Alfredo Guzmán and Stuart Harker, AAPG Executive Director David Curtiss, Global Development and Conventions Director Alan Wegener, and Regions manager Carol McGowen also have visited Nigeria on various occasions.
The 20 years of affiliation has been of mutual benefit to both societies and has witnessed several landmark collaborations such as the field immersive program; AAPG/NAPE YP events; student chapter collaborations; donations of journals and books to tertiary institutions; regional conferences (DOWAC); Distinguished Lecturer programs; technical and professional seminars/exchanges; and membership drives, among many others.
And in 2013, the AAPG Africa office was established with very significant support from NAPE. The presence of an AAPG region office in Lagos will ensure growth of AAPG activities throughout the region to the benefit of both AAPG and NAPE – and most importantly, to the benefit of geoscientists across Africa.
– RANDI MARTINSEN
It is a great honor to have the opportunity to send my congratulations to all of you on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the affiliation between NAPE and AAPG ... My sincere apologies for missing the conference, and I hope that in some small way this message conveys my sense of pride in our historic and strong affiliation.
This is a time to celebrate the collaboration between two societies, which for the last 20 years have shared a common vision, mission and passion for petroleum exploration.
The vision is simple: To be the pre-eminent professional geoscience society with a global reach. Our shared mission is to provide access to science for our members, and the industry at large, as well as providing a forum for professionals to network. And we have a shared responsibility – to provide support and inspiration for our young professionals and students who sometimes need a little bit extra encouragement to propel themselves onward toward graduation and starting a career.
I would like to share with you a couple of goals I hope to achieve during my term as AAPG Africa Region president.
One is to attend a NAPE conference, and I pledge to make every effort to be here with you all next year.
Second is to continue the progress made by my esteemed predecessors to increase AAPG membership in the Africa region – and by extension, in NAPE events. AAPG is making very big strides with students and young professionals, and now has over 45 AAPG student chapters across Africa. The Imperial Barrel Award program is a huge success in Africa and has fostered graduate students’ skills by affording them the opportunity to compete in a global event that brings the real world of exploration to them and compels them to work hard and think smart in order to win the big prize.
We are especially grateful to NAPE for co-hosting the Imperial Barrel Award semi-finals for the past several years. In addition to students, young professionals and those who are just beginning their careers are becoming much more active in our societies and asserting themselves as leaders of the future.
Finally, AAPG is working closely with industry, governments, sister societies and universities to hold several events in Africa during the coming two years, including Geoscience Technology Workshops, Distinguished Lecture tours and an Africa regional conference in east Africa, intended to highlight the continent’s recent exploration successes.
I wish you all a wonderful conference experience.
– DAVID BLANCHARD