YP Co-Chairs' Wild Ride

This ProTracks marks our last column as chairs of the Young Professionals Special Interest Group (YP SIG). We have been involved with the YPs for a collective 17 years (Meredith for 9; Jonathan for 8).

It has been a wild ride, having been involved in the YPs’ evolution from an inactive and relatively unknown membership committee 10 years ago to the first SIG of the Association. We both felt a great weight of responsibility taking over the YPs from the outstanding leadership of Natasha Rigg and Nick Lagrillière, and we hope our tenure has been productive for the Association and our members.

Looking Back

The YPs have accomplished a great deal in the last 10 years and we have an ambitious plan for the future. Today, the YPs have a significant presence in every Section and Region, with at least one YP SIG coordinator managing the area’s members and providing them with programs that include technical skill development in the form of lectures, short courses, and fieldtrips, leadership training, networking, and community involvement. The YP Meet and Greet at the Annual Convention and Exhibition (ACE), the International Conference and Exhibition (ICE), and many of the Region/Section meetings has connected thousands of AAPG members across the globe. The relationships we have built within the Association, such as with education, student chapters and the Division of Professional Affairs, as well as with affiliated organizations like the Society of Petroleum Engineers, Young Professionals in Energy, Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists and others, have resulted in cross-organizational partnerships with a diverse set of offerings and attendees. We are hosting local YP technical conferences, field trips and technical sessions at ACE and ICE, and consistently communicating the value of AAPG to our members.

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This ProTracks marks our last column as chairs of the Young Professionals Special Interest Group (YP SIG). We have been involved with the YPs for a collective 17 years (Meredith for 9; Jonathan for 8).

It has been a wild ride, having been involved in the YPs’ evolution from an inactive and relatively unknown membership committee 10 years ago to the first SIG of the Association. We both felt a great weight of responsibility taking over the YPs from the outstanding leadership of Natasha Rigg and Nick Lagrillière, and we hope our tenure has been productive for the Association and our members.

Looking Back

The YPs have accomplished a great deal in the last 10 years and we have an ambitious plan for the future. Today, the YPs have a significant presence in every Section and Region, with at least one YP SIG coordinator managing the area’s members and providing them with programs that include technical skill development in the form of lectures, short courses, and fieldtrips, leadership training, networking, and community involvement. The YP Meet and Greet at the Annual Convention and Exhibition (ACE), the International Conference and Exhibition (ICE), and many of the Region/Section meetings has connected thousands of AAPG members across the globe. The relationships we have built within the Association, such as with education, student chapters and the Division of Professional Affairs, as well as with affiliated organizations like the Society of Petroleum Engineers, Young Professionals in Energy, Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists and others, have resulted in cross-organizational partnerships with a diverse set of offerings and attendees. We are hosting local YP technical conferences, field trips and technical sessions at ACE and ICE, and consistently communicating the value of AAPG to our members.

YP Leadership Summit

Most importantly, we have created a talent pipeline for the Association through our most valuable program, the Young Professionals Leadership Summit (YPLS).

Now in its eighth year, the YPLS has had 65 people consistently attend and participate since 2010. Aimed at introducing YPs to the Association and providing attendees with the tools, information and contacts needed to be successful leaders, the YPLS has produced an impressive group of active and engaged members of our Association.

Along with the aforementioned consistent, committed participation, let’s look at YPLS by some other numbers:

  • There are 18 AAPG committees with YPLS participants.
  • There are 15 HoD Delegates or Alternates with YPLS participants.
  • YPLS boasts 11 participants who are national AAPG Honors and Award Recipients (Distinguished Service, Matson, Levorsen, Young Professionals Exemplary Service).
  • There are 10 YPLS participants who are current committee leaders.
  • There are nine YPLS participants who are Region/Section officers including president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer positions.
  • There are seven DPA members from YPLS.
  • One YPLS participant is a Division president and Advisory Council member.

This list doesn’t include the involvement of this group as leaders within their local societies, members of the organizing committees of regional, national and international AAPG meetings, or a myriad of other volunteer work they have done as Members of this Association. Nor does it account for the many other YPs that are actively involved with AAPG.

Looking Ahead

We have been encouraged to see that the work of the YPs has not gone unnoticed. Several Sections and Regions now have awards recognizing the valuable contributions of their YP members. It was a proud moment to see four of our past YPLS participants take the stage at the 2017 ACE, celebrating AAPG’s 100th anniversary and accepting the first ever Young Professionals Exemplary Service Awards. While some might think that the YPs are part of the “everyone gets a trophy” generation, there is no questioning the dedication and commitment these members have shown to the Association.

We’re excited to see what the incoming chairs of the YP SIG, Robynn Dicks and Ryan Lemiski, have planned for the YPs. We’re excited to see our YP SIG members grow and become the leaders and stewards of an organization that has given us so much. Through our involvement with AAPG, we have gained innumerable friendships, experienced many late-night shenanigans, and seen our careers grow technically and professionally. This is the goal we have for all our YP members in AAPG and we’re grateful for the journey that has brought us to this point.

Celebrating the 100th
Anniversary at ACE

One last note: the Young Professionals SIG hosted a series of events including the popular YP Meet & Greet, YP Networking Reception, and partnered with DPA to host a special session on the Future of Energy: Essential Tools for the Next Generation of Geoscientists. A very special thank you to Noble and Shell for sponsoring the YP activities. We’re looking forward to Salt Lake City!

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