Over the past year as DPA president-elect I considered choosing a theme for my term in office.
I thought of all the educational and networking opportunities that were initiated during the terms of past DPA presidents, in addition to the basic function of DPA to provide certification for petroleum geologists, geophysicists and coal geologists.
But as I spoke with active and associate AAPG members, I realized very few of them knew of all the great programs DPA offers.
So I have chosen "Spread the Word" as my theme.
The next step, of course - is to execute this theme.
Obviously we have to inform the professional community of the advantages open to them by becoming part of DPA. This communication will need to come in various forms and from multiple directions.
One example is this column, which will appear quarterly. Another is through personal interaction at local, national and international meetings.
The most effective method, however, is the one-on-one contact, which I had at the recent AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition in Denver. There I spoke with many attendees, including students as well as early, middle and late career geoscientists.
I was amazed by the number of AAPG members who had never heard of DPA, and by how many who did know of DPA but did not realize it was a division of AAPG.
Many others who knew of DPA did not understand fully all of the services it provides to its members and others.
Here are some basic facts about the Division of Professional Affairs:
♦ Founded in 1965 as a division of AAPG, its primary charge was to develop and implement a certification process for AAPG members to promote professionalism and ethical standards for the AAPG.
♦ Currently, 2,595 petroleum geologists, petroleum geophysicists and coal geologists are certified. Candidates are reviewed by their peers with regard to their technical education and experience as well as their professionalism.
♦ DPA has developed and teaches onsite and online ethics courses.
♦ DPA sponsors technical educational opportunities at local, regional, national and international venues, some of which are captured on the videos available on the DPA webpage.
Examples are the Discovery Thinking Forums, which have been held at the annual and international conventions each year since 2008, and the Playmaker Forums, which have been held twice in Houston and once each in Midland, Calgary and London, respectively.
Both of these educational opportunities have been very successful and will be offered at future meetings in various venues.
♦ DPA provides a broad professional network across multiple disciplines, industry and academia.
♦ DPA provides an opportunity to hold leadership positions.
♦ DPA's Government Affairs Committee provides updates to state licensing initiatives as well as other legislative actions that will affect all AAPG members.
This is a quick overview of the DPA and its programs and benefits. I will provide more details in future columns.
I described above what I will do to get the word out about DPA. But to have any real impact, I need each of you to help.
If you currently are a member, please provide a non-member whom you know with some examples of how you have benefitted from becoming a DPA member.
If you are not a member, I would like to suggest that you contact a DPA member and ask him or her to speak with you about the benefits of joining. If you don't know a DPA member in your area, please email me and I will ask a DPA member to contact you.
Please join with me to spread the word.