For the past three years, I have worked with a startup oil and gas firm here in Dallas, Texas. Every time I meet with financial professionals I hear the same questions: “Do you have skin in the game or are you invested?” They are trying to determine my confidence level in my ideas and in my other team members. We as geologist love our profession and we take pride in our work, but we are also responsible for our professional career development and the future of the AAPG. The two are linked. Involvement in the AAPG and the Division of Professional Affairs shows our level of investment. So, I ask you: “Do you have skin in the game?” Involvement in the AAPG and DPA helps grow our careers through networking and educational opportunities. DPA Certification, shows we are committed both ethically and professionally to our science and careers as geologist. If you are interested, in taking the next step to certification, please go to our page on the AAPG website (AAPG.org/Divisions/DPA) or contact me through the AAPG. Remember, the DPA motto is, “From prospects to discoveries, professionalism leads the way.”
Provisional Membership and ACE
I want to congratulate immediate past DPA President Jim Hill, the DPA Executive Committee, committee chairs and councilors for a year of great accomplishments.
Last year, emphasis was placed on implementation of our new DPA member status for young professionals: provisional membership. This new level of membership is for AAPG members who currently meet the requirements for DPA membership but do not have the years of experience required for certification. Provisional members, although non-voting and uncertified, will have all the benefits of full DPA membership. This includes discounts to DPA events and access to the website content. Joining the DPA as a provisional member is an important step for young professionals to build their career network with the future goal of DPA certification when they reach the required years of professional experience.
Also, last year there was a series of luncheons and events at section meetings and at the Annual Convention and Exhibition. David Wavrek, DPA ACE technical chair, and the Salt Lake City team did a great job organizing our ACE DPA events:
Turbinator II, the world’s fastest wheel driven car and salt flat racer was the centerpiece of the AAPG ACE booth. This was a great draw. It also educated us on the disappearance of the salt flats (savethesalt.org).
On Tuesday, DPA Luncheon speaker Tim Rynott of Durango spoke on “Global Natural Gas Markets and the implications for the Southern Rockies.”
Laura Birgenheier and Lee Billingsley moderated the special forum, “Future Energy Geoscientist: What types of opportunities and career paths are available to current and future energy geoscientists?”
DPA co-sponsored a special Wednesday luncheon: Dr. Carlee Beth Hawkins spoke on “Unconscious Bias in the Workplace.”
These events took a great deal of time, planning and execution. We greatly appreciate the efforts of all those involved.
As we look forward to the next year, planning is already started on section meeting events and ACE. Additionally, we will continue to place emphasis on provisional membership and inclusion of young professionals in all our events:
The Gulf Coast Section Meeting will be in Shreveport, La.. on Tuesday, Oct. 2. We will sponsor a luncheon and the speaker will be Jeff Jones of Quantum Energy Partners, presenting “Looking Forward into the 21st Century.” Jeff is a geologist and technical director of Quantum. Tom Wyche is the DPA technical chair.
The Eastern Section Meeting will be in Pittsburgh, Pa. The DPA will sponsor two ethics-based luncheons for geologists and engineers by AAPG Distinguished Lecturer David Abbott. On Monday, Oct. 8, he will present “Honesty: Avoiding the Misuse of Models,” and on Oct. 10, “Geoscience Ethics: Public Protection Versus Confidentiality.” This section meeting is held in conjunction with the Society of Petroleum Engineers. Jonathan Brady is the DPA technical chair.
The Southwest Section meeting to be held in Irving, Texas, is in the planning stage.
Plans are also taking shape for ACE in San Antonio, and the DPA technical chair will be Mark Norville.
Our DPA certification is open to all AAPG members but we are now looking at a new level of certification that crosses section, regions and association boundaries. For the past two years, AAPG past President and DPA past President Paul Britt has been investigating an international certification process to help fill a need in the AAPG Europe Region. This certification will be in conjunction with other professional organizations and as it develops, we will keep you informed. We hope to have this finalized this year.
Expanding DPA Certification
This year the DPA Executive Committee will explore the potential of expanding our certification to other disciplines in the geosciences. As you know the DPA currently certifies: petroleum geologists, geophysicists and coal geologists. We should consider expanding certification to environmental geology, geochemistry and petrophysics. These are key disciplines in geology and important to the future of our Association. Additionally, I would like us to investigate a geosteering certificate. While geosteering is not a subdiscipline of geology, it is a tool many of use every day (and night). Horizontal wells are the future and many geosteering professionals come from other disciplines. We, AAPG, must take the lead and educate these professionals.
Playmakers 2019 – Oklahoma City
The DPA is planning a Playmakers for Oklahoma City in the Spring or Summer of 2019. The theme will be the business of geology. Rick Fritz will chair the event.
Again, I want to congratulate Jim Hill for a great presidency. I want to thank him for his advice and guidance this last year. Additionally, I want to thank Diane Keim, AAPG executive staff, for her ideas, support and recommendations. Diane is a key player in the success of the DPA. I look forward to working with the new Executive Committee and hope they know that I am always available for questions.
Last, to the membership, please consider getting involved in the AAPG and the DPA. It will be the best investment you ever make.