dtrbwfevaesxdrbxrq

Giving Thanks and Having Hope

The end of 2004 and the start of a new year are joined with giving thanks and hoping for improvement. (It is also usually a time for accounting, financial and operational, but AAPG's fiscal year doesn't end until June 30, so we'll address that later.)

Thanks to the greater AAPG community for your support and willingness to labor, mostly in committees.

Thanks to the leaders who chair those committees and who work as officers of our divisions, sections, regions, House of Delegates, affiliated societies, etc. The number of volunteers currently engaged in these activities is over 1,000, but probably less than 5 percent of the total AAPG membership.

Thanks also are due our paid staff, which totals close to 5 percent of the current active volunteers (i.e., 5 percent of 5 percent!).

Please log in to read the full article

The end of 2004 and the start of a new year are joined with giving thanks and hoping for improvement. (It is also usually a time for accounting, financial and operational, but AAPG's fiscal year doesn't end until June 30, so we'll address that later.)

Thanks to the greater AAPG community for your support and willingness to labor, mostly in committees.

Thanks to the leaders who chair those committees and who work as officers of our divisions, sections, regions, House of Delegates, affiliated societies, etc. The number of volunteers currently engaged in these activities is over 1,000, but probably less than 5 percent of the total AAPG membership.

Thanks also are due our paid staff, which totals close to 5 percent of the current active volunteers (i.e., 5 percent of 5 percent!).

Together, volunteers and staff are like bricks and mortar. It takes a lot of bricks to build a meaningful structure, but it also requires a little mortar -- without which the structure cannot stand very long.

And thanks to those who are not currently volunteering in the roles identified above but who have written geoscience papers, given talks, visited schools, contributed to the Foundation, attended conventions, mentored young geoscientists, served before, may serve later and all of you who have paid dues (or had someone pay for you!).

Collectively, we are an important part of the Geotribe, with the joining of many clans (e.g., paleo, petrophysics, geophysics, etc.). Give thanks that our tribe has a base in science and another base in art (representational, abstract, performing, etc.).

I believe we all are lucky to be members of this tribe, which has no national boundaries.


Hope is for a future as rewarding as our past.

Of course, "rewarding" is a stretch when earth-derived commodities are priced low and our members' livelihoods are threatened. It is small solace to know that so many of our members have had the strength to endure (along with their supportive families) the agony and pain of unemployment and underemployment, depletion of capital, undesired relocation, etc. But it is becoming a mark of our tribe that so many of us are survivors (it just took TV a long time to find value in such character).

We hope to build on the past -- and we anticipate greater compensation for our efforts as worldwide economic shifts place greater value on discovery and recovery of earth resources.

The Geotribe has proven itself very adaptable -- and this trait will be tested as we move down the resource pyramid (That's triangle for two dimensions; time for third dimension, as past president Steve Sonnenberg has made clear!).

Hope is manifested many ways:

  • The recent Cancun international meeting was very well attended and received high grades from attendees (December EXPLORER).
  • Our annual meeting in Calgary (June 19-22) has had a fantastically large number of abstracts submitted.
  • Worldwide drilling activity has increased about 10 percent (recent month-to-month, 2004 vs. 2003).

Although working seismic crews have not participated in the rising petro-statistics, increased focus on recovery vs. discovery technology may explain that and simply shift the focus of hope a little.


This giving thanks and having hope is not to trivialize the greater picture and its relationship to individual belief systems. But as president of AAPG, I think this column should have a narrower field.

Próspero Año Nuevo!

You may also be interested in ...