Getting to Know the Energy Minerals Division

First of all, let me thank all the past officers of the Energy Minerals Division, especially our Past President Bob Trevail. AAPG is actively building a strong mentoring community and I am the beneficiary of advice and guidance from many more experienced leaders.

As a YP still learning about this organization and about my own abilities, and in a low-price environment where training and development opportunities are sometimes constrained, I value my involvement with AAPG and EMD more every day. I’m looking forward to working with the new officers and to the fresh ideas they’re sure to bring. I also love that EMD has a stable core group of involved chairs and councilors who provide perspective and direction, steadying the helm, so to speak.

What It’s All About

In the last few years, I’ve encountered a surprising number of AAPG Members (new and experienced) who were not familiar with the technical divisions of AAPG and what they do. Given how much excellent work is done in the divisions, I’d encourage everyone to check out the divisions’ websites or chat with an involved Member. In the meantime, here’s a little of what EMD is all about.

The stated purpose of the Energy Minerals Division is to serve AAPG Members by “advancing the science of economic geology as it relates to any earth materials, other than conventional oil and gas, capable of being used for energy production, to provide a forum for addressing developments in mineral and energy economics and in fuels supply and utilization technology, and to promote the integration of geoscientific knowledge with related professions and activities.”

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First of all, let me thank all the past officers of the Energy Minerals Division, especially our Past President Bob Trevail. AAPG is actively building a strong mentoring community and I am the beneficiary of advice and guidance from many more experienced leaders.

As a YP still learning about this organization and about my own abilities, and in a low-price environment where training and development opportunities are sometimes constrained, I value my involvement with AAPG and EMD more every day. I’m looking forward to working with the new officers and to the fresh ideas they’re sure to bring. I also love that EMD has a stable core group of involved chairs and councilors who provide perspective and direction, steadying the helm, so to speak.

What It’s All About

In the last few years, I’ve encountered a surprising number of AAPG Members (new and experienced) who were not familiar with the technical divisions of AAPG and what they do. Given how much excellent work is done in the divisions, I’d encourage everyone to check out the divisions’ websites or chat with an involved Member. In the meantime, here’s a little of what EMD is all about.

The stated purpose of the Energy Minerals Division is to serve AAPG Members by “advancing the science of economic geology as it relates to any earth materials, other than conventional oil and gas, capable of being used for energy production, to provide a forum for addressing developments in mineral and energy economics and in fuels supply and utilization technology, and to promote the integration of geoscientific knowledge with related professions and activities.”

Each specific resource has a Technical Commodity Committee that issues annual reports and organizes papers, books, talks, posters and more.

The Technical Commodity Committees are:

  • Unconventional Resources.
  • Coalbed Methane.
  • Gas Hydrates.
  • Bitumen/Heavy Oil.
  • Oil Shale.
  • Shale Gas and Liquids.
  • Tight Gas Sand.
  • Coal.
  • Uranium (Nuclear Minerals).
  • Geothermal Energy.
  • Renewable Energy
    wind, solar, hydro, etc.).

I personally work in heavy oil, and while I don’t often encounter the other subjects in my day-to-day work, I’m very interested in them. Seeking good, science-based content in some of these topics can be challenging, depending on the political climate at any given time. The committee reports and descriptions have become my go-to source to learn the science behind the headlines. The EMD talks at ACE and my local Section meeting are also among my favorites to attend.

Until I became involved in the leadership, I was unaware of the sheer volume of high quality, diverse work being generated by the membership. That kind of knowledge sharing and the opportunity to learn are among the best features of our professional society. If you have any interest in the aforementioned committees, feel free to contact me, the committee chairs or your local councilor. I’ve yet to meet a geologist who didn’t love to discuss their chosen specialty, and the EMD officers I’ve met are no exception. Not only are they a great technical resource, but they would probably allow you to buy them a beer and call it networking. The reports and committee members can be found under the committees link on the EMD website.

The Cool Factor

We also partner with the other divisions to provide even more science.

For those unfamiliar, the others are the Division of Environmental Geosciences (DEG), the Division of Professional Affairs (DPA) and Petroleum Structure and Geomechanics Division (PSGD). And, there’s also the AAPG Astrogeology Committee.

Did you read that? Astrogeology. I am constitutionally incapable of resisting a Mars talk. Honestly, I would have joined EMD for that alone.

If you’ve been thinking you might like to become more involved with AAPG, more involved with your local Section or Region, or have an interest in any of the subjects EMD covers, then we have several great opportunities to volunteer. We’re looking for councilors for several of the Sections and Regions, and I would love to start getting more interested YPs involved with the Commodity Committees. It’s a great way to get your feet wet in a group with strong mentors and a very high wealth of knowledge.

Did you know that joining EMD is free? You can check the box to join anytime by logging in to your AAPG membership account. I can’t think of a downside to joining, and I will personally vouch for the benefits.

Who should join?

  • Experienced professionals still curious about the world around them (I’ve met you, and that’s all of you).
  • Young professionals looking for networking, increased technical acumen, leadership opportunities, etc.
  • Students looking for all of the above. Plus, EMD publications make way better references for your classes and papers than most Internet resources.
  • Anyone who reacts like I do to astrogeology or any of the other aforementioned topics. Never skip a uranium or coal talk? Then EMD has more talks for you, some books to read, a field trip and some folks to meet.

If you’re curious, please check out our newly re-designed website here, www.aapg.org/divisions/emd

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