The ABCs of DPA for YPs

One of the first things you learn as an industry new hire is that working in the petroleum business is a lot like learning a new language: pigs and slugs aren’t animals, casing doesn’t refer to sausages, tops aren’t fashion or toys and everything has at least one acronym.

The latter phenomenon isn’t unique to the energy industry, but deciphering the alphabet soup that is an investor presentation when you don’t know your LOE from your LRP (lease operating expense and long-range plan) can be a unique challenge.

Knowing how to speak the language of geoscience is one thing; fluency in petroleum geoscience as a profession is another.

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One of the first things you learn as an industry new hire is that working in the petroleum business is a lot like learning a new language: pigs and slugs aren’t animals, casing doesn’t refer to sausages, tops aren’t fashion or toys and everything has at least one acronym.

The latter phenomenon isn’t unique to the energy industry, but deciphering the alphabet soup that is an investor presentation when you don’t know your LOE from your LRP (lease operating expense and long-range plan) can be a unique challenge.

Knowing how to speak the language of geoscience is one thing; fluency in petroleum geoscience as a profession is another.

Fortunately, AAPG has a resource to improve professional proficiency and it’s an acronym every Member should know: DPA.

DPA, or the Division of Professional Affairs, is the oldest of the four AAPG Divisions and dedicated to upholding the ethics and integrity of the practice of petroleum geoscience. Candidates for DPA membership and certification must be AAPG Members, hold a degree in geology from a recognized institution, have a minimum of five to eight years of industry experience (based on your most advanced degree), demonstrate the highest level of professional and ethical standards and obtain the endorsement of three certified Members of the Association.

Benefits of Membership

In short, you’ve received a degree in geoscience, but membership in the DPA gives you the opportunity to prove that you know how to use it.

“Once I met the requirements for DPA membership,” said Andrea Reynolds, Shell Appalachia technical manager and the AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition (ACE) DPA vice-chair, “I never thought twice about applying for board-certification, as it provides recognition and validates my experience and credibility, particularly when dealing with external or government entities.”

However, you don’t need to be a Certified Petroleum Geologist to benefit from interaction with the DPA. According to Shell vice president and DPA president Chandler Wilhelm, the purview of the DPA “includes topics such as government affairs, training, mentoring of young professionals, providing high quality content such as Discovery Thinking and Playmakers forums, ethics courses, ongoing monitoring and influencing of the requirements for licensing for geoscientists in all 50 states, standards for the reporting of hydrocarbon resources and reserves, and the certification of the professional standards and ethics of DPA members. All stress the importance of geoscience as not just a scientific field, but also as a field of professional practice.”

In addition, the DPA offers young professionals (YPs) and students opportunities for continuing education, career development and networking, including the popular “Pass the Baton” events co-hosted by the DPA and the YP Special Interest Group (SIG).

Richard Ball, vice president of geology for Detring Energy Advisors and general vice chair for ACE, said it’s a valuable career investment: “For me, joining DPA was a natural part of the AAPG membership cycle. From Student to YP to DPA member, AAPG has afforded me infinite opportunities to strengthen my technical and professional development. Anyone trying to achieve their maximum potential should strongly consider applying for DPA membership. DPA is the highest level of professional membership offered by AAPG.”

For more information, visit aapg.org/divisions/dpa.

Also, check out the ACE Technical Program for all the DPA-sponsored sessions and events.

For information on the YP SIG, visit aapg.org/youngpros or find us on social media. Like for us on Facebook at AAPG Young Professional Special Interest Group and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @aapgypsig.

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