Longtime AAPG Foundation supporter and promoter Paul H. Dudley Jr. has been named recipient of this year’s Chairman’s Award, presented annually to honor extraordinary contributions to the AAPG Foundation.
Dudley, a Foundation Trustee Emeritus, has had a long relationship with AAPG and the AAPG Foundation, which follows what he refers to as his “wandering career searching for oil.”
“My days in geology have been wonderful,” Dudley said recently. “Supporting the geological science, AAPG and AAPG Foundation have all led to a delightful life, with which all of my ‘geo-friends’ certainly agree.”
Dudley, now retired save for “a bit of consulting from time to time,” has been an important part of the Foundation Trustee Associates for more than three decades, and his support for the Foundation remains strong.
Dudley credits his interest in petroleum geology to his father, who was an oil geologist on the West Coast. Dudley attended the University of California, Los Angeles, and after receiving his master’s there in 1954 he joined Humble Oil, where he spent the next 25 years in various management positions.
It was during this time he became acquainted with geology giants L.T. Barrow, Morgan Davis and Wallace Pratt, all of whom played important roles in the development and early days of the AAPG Foundation.
Dudley’s career took with took him to Midland, Houston and New Orleans, where he became friends with famed AAPG geologists Bob Megill and Mike Halbouty. Halbouty, then-president of AAPG, developed the concept for the Foundation and took steps to bring it to existence; Megill was one of the Foundation’s early contributors.
In the late 1970s the AAPG Foundation was just over a decade old, and leaders wanted a way to build its donor base and recognize those who provided financial support for the Foundation. The Trustee Associates group was formed, and this distinguished group of donors became, and remains, the backbone of contributions to the AAPG Foundation.
Dudley’s friends approached him about joining the group – and with Halbouty prompting him to “hurry up,” he did, providing strong financial support for such important projects as the Treatise of Petroleum Geology and North American Tectonic Map project.
Not only did he quickly see the value of the Foundation and what it had to offer to the geoscience world, he began asking his friends and colleagues to join the effort.
Dudley and his wife became active participants in Trustee Associates’ events, with him chairing the group in 1992-93.
When the AAPG Foundation was changed from an Oklahoma Trust to an Oklahoma non-profit corporation in 1986, Dudley was appointed as one of the original Members of the Corporation.
In 1995 he was elected as a Trustee on the Foundations Board of Trustees, where his leadership skills help guides the Foundation through the next decade.
He continues to serve on the Members of the Corporation as a Trustee Emeritus, calling attention to the role and value of the Foundation.