Susan M. Landon
Susan M. Landon, a candidate for
president-elect of AAPG, is a Denver independent geologist
affiliated with Thomasson Partner Associates.
A native of Mattoon, Ill., she received a bachelor's degree
in geology from Knox College and a master's from State University
of New York at Binghamton.
Landon's professional career began with Amoco Production
in Denver and later in Houston as exploration training manager.
She has been an independent and consultant in Denver since
A member of AAPG since 1975, Landon is a Certified Petroleum
A member of the House of Delegates since 1995, she also
has served terms in 1979-82 (RMAG) and 1988-93 (Houston).
She has served on the Group Insurance Committee since 1994,
serving as vice chair in 2000-01. Landon has been in the
Visiting Geologists Program since 1980, serving as chairman
She has served on the Distinguished Lecture, Membership,
Public Information and the Headquarters Management committees.
She also was a member of the Select Committee on the Future
of Petroleum Geologists in 1985-86, and was on the AAPG
Advisory Council from 1991-92.
She was elected AAPG treasurer for 1994-96.
AAPG awards include Honorary Membership, the Distinguished
Service Award and the Certificate of Merit.
Landon was editor of AAPG Memoir 59, Interior Rift Basins,
published in 1994, and has published articles and given
presentations and seminars, including a course in petroleum
geology for non-technical persons for AAPG.
Affiliated society activities include serving as 2001 president
of the Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists, and the
Houston Geological Society.
Other professional activities include serving as president
of the American Institute of Professional Geologists in
1990 and as president of the American Geological Institute
in 1999. She is receiving the AIPG Ben H. Parker Memorial
Medal for 2001. She is chairman of the Committee on Earth
Resources at the National Research Council and served on
the Colorado Geological Survey Advisory Committee from 1992-97.
Why I Accepted the Invitation To Be a Candidate For AAPG Office
As I considered whether or not to allow my name to be submitted
as a potential AAPG officer candidate, I thought about the
reasons to say yes (and to say no).
There are many reasons, both pragmatic and idealistic, to
serve our profession.
Pragmatically, I believe that volunteer activities have
been good for my career. I gained valuable management experience
and dramatically expanded my professional network beyond
what my job with a major company would have provided. As
my mother was fond of saying, "It's not just what you know,
it's who you know!" When I made the transition from the
relatively "safe" home that Amoco provided to being a consultant,
it was the people that I had met in my outside activities
that helped make my new career possible.
During my career, I have had challenging projects that involved
interesting geology. I have had the opportunity to conduct
helicopter-supported fieldwork, experience field seminars,
take educational courses and attend conventions. Ironically,
while I was a graduate student, I thought that I did not
want a career in petroleum because my perception was that
it was boring. I have learned that it is NOT boring, but
that the thrill of exploration and discovery is incredibly
Idealistically, I would like to be able to give something
back to my profession. The courses, seminars and conventions
were generally the hard work of many volunteers, and I believe
it is important to be one of those volunteers. I had mentors
who helped make many of the opportunities during my career
possible. I now enjoy being a mentor to others.
My experience in service began as charter member and president
of my high school science club. Therefore, I had no doubt
in my mind when I joined RMAG and AAPG that I would volunteer.
My first responsibility at RMAG was to manage the projectors
at the luncheons -- a thankless job but someone had to do
it. As my career has developed, so has my ability to contribute
to our profession.
There are goals that I would like to see achieved by AAPG.
My experience on AAPG committees and as treasurer has provided
me with an understanding of how AAPG "works." I would like
to use that experience to continue a trend of fiscal responsibility
while increasing appropriate services to the membership.
Although it is easier to lead the organization during good
times, we must continue to look forward to future cycles
in our industry. Fiscal health will allow the Association
to continue to provide the membership with the latest concepts
of petroleum geology and leading edge technology through
meetings, courses and publications. Dissemination of accurate
information about our industry is also important, and I
have a particular interest in public outreach and education.
Our industry would benefit from an educated population that
understands the basics of energy.
Although AAPG would be well served by each of the candidates,
I look forward to the opportunity to continue to serve the
membership of AAPG.
Stephen A. Sonnenberg
Stephen A. Sonnenberg,
a candidate for president-elect of AAPG, is exploration manager
for North American Resources, a Pan Canadian company, in Denver.
A native of Billings, Mont., Sonnenberg received bachelor's
and master's degrees in geology from Texas A&M University,
and his doctorate from the Colorado School of Mines in Golden.
Sonnenberg began his career with Gulf Oil in Oklahoma City
and was a teaching and research assistant at Texas A&M
before joining Exxon USA as exploration and development geologist.
He was a research assistant at Colorado School of Mines and
later became exploration geologist for Bass Enterprises in
Denver from 1981-90 before becoming an independent consultant
Sonnenberg joined North American Resources in 1997.
A member of AAPG since 1975, Sonnenberg is a Certified Petroleum
Geologist and served as president of the Division of Professional
Affairs in 1998-99.
He also served as DPA vice president in 1990-91, on the DPA
Advisory Board from 1987-90 and on the DPA Continuing Education
Committee, serving as chairman from 1994-97. He received the
DPA Distinguished Service Award in 2001.
A member of the AAPG House of Delegates since 1998, he also
served House terms in 1983-86, 1989-91 and 1991-95. As a House
member, Sonnenberg served on the Rules and Procedures, Constitution
and Bylaws, Resolutions and Credentials committees.
He was elected AAPG vice president 1995-96.
Sonnenberg also has served on the following AAPG committees:
Education, Geologic Computing, Marine Geology, Reservoir Development,
Treatise of Petroleum Geology, Sample Preservation, Finance
and Budget Review, Mentoring (chairman), Ethics (chairman)
and Convention Coordination (chairman). He served as general
chairman of the 2001 annual meeting in Denver.
A member of the Advisory Council in 1997-99, Sonnenberg is
an AAPG Foundation Trustee Associate.
He received the AAPG Distinguished Service Award in 1999,
and has received the Certificate of Merit and Certificate
Active in the Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists, he
served as president in 1991. He also served as president of
the Rocky Mountain Section of AAPG in 1994.
Other affiliated society memberships include the Society of
Independent Professional Earth Scientists, Wyoming Geologic
Society, Geologic Society of America, Houston Geologic Society,
Colorado Scientific Society, Oklahoma Geologic Society and
the American Institute of Professional Geologists.
Why I Accepted the Invitation To Be a Candidate For AAPG Office
Being a candidate for president-elect of AAPG is a tremendous
honor. I accept this honor with humility, and if elected will
do my best to ensure that AAPG moves into the 21st century
with proper insight, plans and vision. I believe I have the
necessary experience, background and knowledge to be president,
and I look forward to the opportunity to lead the organization.
The foundation of AAPG lies in its scientific excellence and
member services. These make AAPG the premier geologic organization.
Our scientific excellence is illustrated by the dissemination
of scientific and technical information through a myriad of
publications, seminars, field trips and conventions. The current
member services advance the well-being of members and provide
professional support for members. These services greatly exceed
those of any other scientific organization. AAPG has the opportunity
to continually improve its services to meet changing conditions
and needs of its diverse members.
The future will require a greater education of the public
about the importance of geology as it pertains to petroleum,
natural gas, other subsurface fluids and mineral resources.
The needs of an energy-hungry world will increase with increasing
population. To achieve and maintain a high standard of living
requires that energy resources be developed.
In addition, energy companies need less government regulation
and easier land access to meet future energy demands. Conflicts
between population growth (e.g., urbanization) and oil and
gas development will also increase in the future. Strong attention
needs to be given to the promotion of using advanced technologies
to develop these resources in an environmentally sound manner
in order to mitigate these conflicts.
One of our greatest challenges is to enhance and improve the
image of petroleum geologists. Geologists must be willing
to get involved in public affairs and articulate their views.
This improves the overall image and enhances the profession.
They also need to be willing to continually upgrade their
credentials to maintain credibility. In addition, geologists
must embrace high standards of professional conduct.
The Divisions of AAPG offer members additional opportunities
and benefits. The certification programs of DPA provide the
public with means to recognize adequately trained and professionally
responsible members. EMD offers members information on energy
resources other than traditional oil and gas. DEG promotes
environmental awareness and provides a scientific voice in
All the Divisions are extremely important, and I encourage
AAPG members to consider becoming members of them.
AAPG's membership is diverse. Attention must be given to the
good of the whole and not specialty groups when formulating
position papers and policies. The position papers adopted
by AAPG to date are excellent and represent the interests
of the majority of the members. The proactive stance taken
by AAPG in recent years must continue.
Students are the future members and leaders of AAPG. To ensure
this future, we need strong programs to support, nurture and
cultivate these students. Our student chapter and mentoring
programs are expanding and need member support.
I have been extremely active in AAPG and its affiliated societies.
I have participated in all levels of AAPG governance: Advisory
Council (three years); House of Delegates (five terms); president
of a Division (DPA); Executive Committee (vice president);
and numerous committees. In addition, I have served as president
of the Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists and the Rocky
Mountain Section of AAPG. My most recent activity was being
general chairman of the 2001 AAPG annual meeting in Denver.
Each of these experiences -- along with a lot of other professional
society work -- has added to my knowledge base as to how to
run scientific organizations effectively and efficiently.
There are many opportunities and challenges for AAPG in the
future. I welcome the chance to be part of the future, and
thank you for your consideration.