Since this is the last article I am going to write for the EXPLORER as president of the Division of the Professional Affairs, I put some extra thought into the topic I wanted to share. Over the years I have been asked to run for DPA office four times. After being soundly defeated the third time by a great candidate from Houston, I figured my political career within AAPG was at an end. I had been Pacific Section councilor for many years by then and felt I had contributed and repaid for some of the many good things the DPA and AAPG had done for me.
I then retired and started watching my granddaughters grow. I was there to hear some of their first words, which – much to my pride – included “rock” and then “big rock”! I’m not sure what genetics has to contribute, but all four granddaughters have an unusual interest in rocks.
This is when the call came to again run for office, this time for president-elect of DPA. After some soul-searching, I agreed to run with the certain knowledge I would again come in at a strong second place.
Life does take some strange turns, and I was elected by what I am sure was the narrowest of margins.
Being involved as an officer in the DPA has truly opened my eyes to the importance we play to the organization and most importantly to our members. It has been a great pleasure for me to work with the people that really make the organization work. The staff in Tulsa, the volunteers who sit on committees and the councilors who give their time and effort to keep the DPA focused on priorities that will benefit and bring value to members and our science.
I strongly encourage you to participate in the organization and experience running for office. For young professionals, there is no better way to build your contacts than by participating as a section counselor or a member of a committee. I have enjoyed every minute and it certainly helped my career.
This year, the DPA is going to sponsor great events that will help bring current technical knowledge to the membership. The Playmakers event in Midland, which focused on the explosive developments in the Permian Basin, was a great success. The next Playmakers event is scheduled in Houston on April 26 and will focus on “Re-emerging Shale Plays of the Gulf Coast.” This is an all-day collection of talks on the new developments in the Haynesville, Eagle Ford and Austin Chalk. Poster sessions will also be presented, and there will be discussion of the current development and completion technology that has led to these successful plays. As with most DPA events, our members will receive a significant discount to the event and we will offer even greater discounts to our unemployed members. We are also hoping to put together a job and resume board to bring qualified people together with companies seeking them.
DPA at ACE 2018
The AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition in Salt Lake will also feature several DPA sponsored events:
- DPA Luncheon on Tuesday, May 22 will feature a talk by Tim Rynott: “Global Natural Gas Markets: Their rapid expansion and the implications to the Western United States.” This should be of great interest to all who develop and explore for hydrocarbons throughout the United States.
- 2018 ACE Forum: “Future Energy Geoscientists.” The forum will be held the morning of Wednesday, May 23, and will feature a great panel put together and modeled after a similar forum from the Houston ACE last year. What are the career paths for geologists going forward? The technologies of today and tomorrow will provide new challenges for both young and experienced geoscientists. New ideas and technologies find new resources. This forum should give participants a view of where the industry is headed.
- A second DPA-sponsored luncheon will be held on Wednesday, May 23, and will feature researcher and training director, Dr. Carlee Beth Hawkins, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Illinois-Springfield. (See page X, this issue.) She will be speaking on “Unconscious Bias in the Workplace.” This event is more focused on students and young professionals but is open to all who have an interest. We all have some biases and better understanding should help us overcome any negative consequences.
Another focus for the year in the DPA is our new member status for young professionals: provisional member. This level of membership is focused on those AAPG members who currently meet the requirements for membership, except for the eight years of experience for certification. The provisional member status, although non-voting and uncertified, will have all the benefits of full membership, including discounts to DPA events and access to the website content. Provisional members can be members of committees and I hope will add a new level of energy to our committees. When the eight years of experience is reached, these provisional members must apply for certification or their membership will be terminated. Dues for the new level are only $25 per year. The application for membership is now available on the DPA website.
I have noticed over the years that each new generation of geoscientists brings new energy, perspectives and ideas into AAPG, thereby revitalizing it. It is time we bring those energies and ideas to the DPA. I hope all who qualify will join. We look forward to working with you and sharing ideas.