Students' Determination, Perseverance Rewarded in Athens

Attending the AAPG and AAPG European Region conference in Athens became our goal from the moment we read about it in the EXPLORER. Since our chapter’s teamwork had been recognized, sustained and appreciated by the AAPG staff we thought it was time to meet the people who made our chapter’s success possible.

After that it was a matter of hard work, perseverance and will to make our dream come true.

This AAPG meeting challenged not only Greece’s myths, but it challenged us and our cars as well.

Image Caption

AAPG President Will Green (center) in Athens with students from Bucharest.

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Attending the AAPG and AAPG European Region conference in Athens became our goal from the moment we read about it in the EXPLORER. Since our chapter’s teamwork had been recognized, sustained and appreciated by the AAPG staff we thought it was time to meet the people who made our chapter’s success possible.

After that it was a matter of hard work, perseverance and will to make our dream come true.

This AAPG meeting challenged not only Greece’s myths, but it challenged us and our cars as well.

For financial and adventuring reasons, we chose to travel to Athens by driving. We had two available cars, so only 10 of our members could come.

It wasn’t very comfortable to huddle 10 people in two cars.

The real problem, though, was the luggage (try to imagine luggage for 10 people all piled up into two small car trunks).

During our trip to Athens we experienced many unavoidable “incidents,” such as:

  • Bad weather (very dense rain and blinding fog in the middle of the night).
  • The windshield wiper from one car just flew away.
  • The two cars were temporarily separated from each another in Bulgaria.
  • Our identity cards got stuck in one of the car glove compartments at the customs office from Greece (we had to break it open with a geologic hammer).

In all, we had to travel about 1,600 miles to Greece and back home in Romania for about 40 hours of meeting.

Still, our participation at the AAPG’s Energy Conference and Exhibition had a great impact on our perception of the geosciences world. Attending oral and poster presentations and meeting important people from the oil industry – especially the AAPG staff – was quite an “eye opening” session for us.

This made us all agree to challenge ourselves to become better geologists and geophysicists in order to help us in the “hunt for energy” world.

After returning to Romania, we had a meeting with all our chapter’s members and made a presentation about our experiences in Athens. They responded with a big curiosity about how they could also get to participate at an AAPG international meeting.

As a result, some of us are already preparing for the next AAPG international meeting in Cape Town – a few of us presenting our own papers.

Editor’s note: As Will Green mentioned in this month’s President’s Column, one of the highlights of the recent AAPG–AAPG European Region conference in Athens was the participation of members of the AAPG Student Chapter at the University of Bucharest in Romania.