a GEM of an Idea
Robbie Gries does it. Mike Party is just now learning how to do it.
Bob Cowdery's been doing it for years.
imagination carries you away, "it" is financial sponsorship of AAPG
members — and the initiative is called the Geoscientists Enabling Membership
For many years,
several AAPG members have quietly provided funds for other AAPG members
around the world that, for one reason or another, simply couldn't pay
Sherm and Florence
Wengerd, for example, began their financial sponsorship of a Madagascar
geologist after a visit to that country in the mid-1980s. Their guide
for that trip was a geologist's wife, and through their conversations
they learned that currency was not allowed to leave the country, making
it impossible for her husband to pay dues to any organization outside
of Madagascar. They volunteered to provide funds for his membership
should he choose to apply.
has continued their sponsorship even after Sherm's death a few years
GEM is a member-to-member
initiative open to all AAPG members, regardless of whether you give
or receive, or reside inside or outside of the United States.
As a financial
sponsor you may, if you wish, stipulate a country, region, discipline
or other criteria for use in pairing your sponsorship with potential
recipients. You may remain anonymous if you so choose.
mentoring relationship may be an additional benefit of the program,
no such obligation is required.
may continue on a yearly basis for whatever length of time you, the
sponsor, desires. In most cases, a geoscientist may simply need financial
sponsorship until their employment situation improves, or their country's
economy is vitalized.
recently was informed by an international member that, because of the
economic crisis within his country and the resultant uncertainty of
his personal finances, he would be unable to pay his upcoming dues.
Acting independently from AAPG headquarters, the GEM Program was able
to locate a financial sponsor for him so that his membership remains
intact until his country's financial situation improves.
tax regulations, AAPG cannot be involved in the administration of the
I have volunteered
to act as the GEM Clearinghouse, and as such will be responsible for:
- Cataloguing those who
wish to sponsor a fellow geoscientist, and all relevant information.
- Receiving direct requests
from those desiring sponsorship from within the United States.
- Receiving requests from
those desiring sponsorship that reside outside the United States via
the appropriate Regional President or AAPG Service Team Leader.
- Coordinating bookkeeping
with AAPG headquarters.
As a clarification,
this program in no way obligates an AAPG member to professionally sponsor
an applicant, nor does it relieve an applicant from providing the appropriate
professional sponsors on his or her membership application. The GEM
Program involves ONLY financial sponsorship.
Since the beginning
of my involvement with this program eight months ago I have been contacted
by over 25 AAPG members wishing to become a GEM.
you, if your individual situation allows, to become a GEM. Please contact
me directly if:
- You wish to financially
sponsor a fellow geoscientist.
- You are in need of a
sponsor and reside in the United States.
- You have questions or
If you are
in need of financial sponsorship and live outside of the United States,
please contact your AAPG regional president,
regional vicechair, or AAPG Service Team Leader.
This year alone,
the GEM Program has financially sponsored eight faculty advisors at
universities in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. The program,
in addition to the First Ladies' Initiative developed by Merrill Thomasson
and other AAPG past presidents' wives, allows these professors, as Active
AAPG members, to act as faculty advisors for new AAPG Student Chapters
in their respective countries.
In light of
recent world events, initiatives such as these that have the potential
to close the "six degrees of separation" between the people of the world
are even more important than ever. We are ALL scientists of the Earth.
us in our efforts to make the benefits of AAPG membership a reality
for as many qualified geoscientists as possible!