times when I'm talking to people about the Division of Professional
Affairs I get the question, "What does the DPA do for its members
and for the members of the AAPG?"
always includes upholding ethical standards, but it also includes
the fact that the DPA monitors proposed legislation in an effort
to protect AAPG members and the profession of geology.
state of New York legislation for the licensure of geologists (Assembly
bill A04886 and Senate bill No. S02174) is working its way through
the process to becoming law.
review the DPA Committee on Licensure has recommended AAPG oppose
this proposed act.
New York bill allows activities commonly associated with the practice
of geology to be performed not only by trained geologists but also
by engineers and land surveyors.
also states that contractors, including foreman and site inspectors,
may carry out geologic activities.
these job titles traditionally lack the formal training and education
to practice the profession of geology. The DPA wants to ensure that
only those qualified individuals who have the proper education,
training, experience and the highest ethical standards are allowed
to practice the profession of geology.
would have a strong negative effect on our profession by allowing
unqualified and untrained individuals to practice geology legally
in New York.
last meeting, members of the DPA council unanimously voted to formally
oppose this legislation, and a memorandum stating our position was
delivered to the New York State Assembly in February.
supported numerous successful geologic licensure efforts, most recently
Mississippi (1997), Utah and Texas (both 2002). There are currently
28 states and one territory with geologic registration-licensure
laws allow for the practice of geology by those who have a minimum
of 30 semester hours or 45 quarter hours in college-level, geologic
course work; a minimum of four years of work experience; and testaments
or references from other geologists attesting to their qualifications.
supports professional licensure because it ensures a positive, legal
responsibility and accountability to the public in matters that
involve geologic practice. Licensure also assures legislative and
administrative bodies that qualified geologists are available to
work in the state — and that in the public interest, decisions
regarding geologic issues will be made by an appropriately qualified
As of mid-March,
the New York Assembly Higher Education Committee has taken no action
on this legislation, and its ultimate disposition is not clear.
The bill's status can be tracked at:
and AAPG will continue to work for effective and proper legislation
that will adequately protect the public interest and our profession.
forward to the next time I'm asked by a fellow AAPG member just
what the DPA has done for our organization and our profession; we
might even get a few new members.