Geographical Organization Explained

AAPG has six Sections in the United States, composed of the affiliated geological societies within each area, and six international Regions comprising AAPG members as individuals or as groups of affiliated geological societies.

The entire AAPG membership is divided into these 12 entities.

Each Section or Region has its own bylaws and elects its own officers. Most plan meetings that provide forums for discussion of the geologic issues pertinent to each area, and some have their own publications.

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AAPG has six Sections in the United States, composed of the affiliated geological societies within each area, and six international Regions comprising AAPG members as individuals or as groups of affiliated geological societies.

The entire AAPG membership is divided into these 12 entities.

Each Section or Region has its own bylaws and elects its own officers. Most plan meetings that provide forums for discussion of the geologic issues pertinent to each area, and some have their own publications.

The AAPG Constitution names the Advisory Council and the House of Delegates as part of its governing body, along with the officers and Executive Committee. The authority and responsibilities of the AC and HoD are set out in the AAPG Bylaws and include direct involvement of the Sections, Regions and affiliated societies.

Representatives to both the AC and the HoD are nominated and elected by the members in each Section, Region and affiliated society.

The AC has 20 seats, of which 13 are filled by elected councilors or observers from the Sections and Regions. Based on the number of members in each, five Sections and three Regions have one seat each on the AC, and three Regions have non-voting observers. The U.S. Gulf Coast Section, with its 6,000-plus voting membership, is large enough to have two seats.

The AC reviews, conducts or recommends on matters concerning:

  • Standing committee structure.
  • Ethics and discipline.
  • Long-range planning.
  • Constitution review.
  • Nominations for Association officers.
  • Honors and awards.
  • Relationships within the AAPG structure as well as with other organizations.
  • Special projects directed by the Executive Committee.

The HoD also is based on population, and it currently has 232 elected delegates, of which 45 are from international Regions and 187 from U.S. affiliated societies. The first and foremost duty of an elected delegate is to represent the members in his or her affiliated society or Region.

All of the legislative functions of AAPG, within the scope of the Constitution and Bylaws, is vested in the HoD. This covers almost every aspect of the organization, including:

  • Membership classifications and dues.
  • Officers and association positions.
  • Defining AAPG’s governing bodies.
  • Establishing divisions, sections, regions, etc.
  • Grievance proceedings.

The annual member count for the AC seats is taken each July, and the annual member count for the HoD is taken in November. Only Active (full) members with dues paid up to date are counted.

(You can locate the officers and representatives

for your area on the AAPG Web site, in the BULLETIN or by contacting AAPG headquarters.)


It is important to note that although membership is divided into these 12 geographical areas for the purposes of representation and voting, you may choose to have your affiliation with any affiliated society or Region you desire, regardless of your geographic location. There are approximately 600 members who have chosen to be included in a society or Region other than the one in which they receive their mail.

This option is presented on the annual dues statement, but also is open at all times and can be requested by letter, phone or e-mail.

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