The Many Ways to Get Involved with AAPG

With the holidays coming up and fewer meetings to attend, November saw a major slowdown to my travel schedule! I was able to make it to the “Success with Difficult Unconventionals” conference in Houston, where among the myriad of great presenters was my elder son, Michael, who is an engineer at Hess. It was a great conference showcasing some of the technologies and machine learning in the pipeline. With fewer travel tales with which to regale you, this month I wanted to focus on the many avenues for members to be involved in AAPG.

AAPG functions because of you, the members, and there are many different ways for you to get involved in your organization. Some choose to start in their local affiliated society, working on committees and holding offices within them. Others get involved through leadership and organizing events within the sections and regions. These are the grassroots of our membership, and AAPG leadership is working to strengthen these roots.

Specifically, the Global Events Organization Committee, or “GEvO,” has recommended a revenue-sharing model for the AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition events. Much like the private equity model, goals are set and, when these goals are reached, money will be distributed to the sections and regions from the profit of the ACE, in accordance with attendance from that section or region. The sections and regions will then push a portion of that money to the affiliated societies within that section or region.

I like to think of this as fertilizing the roots of our organization.

ACE 2020 will be the first time this new model will be employed, and AAPG leadership feels that this is a very good structure for the ACE meeting that will strengthen the relation of AAPG to its affiliate societies and the sections and regions.

House of Delegates Involvement

Several people transition their involvement from the affiliated societies to AAPG by serving as a delegate to the House of Delegates. The HOD is a truly vital part of AAPG, as it is the governing body of the organization. AAPG has a Constitution and Bylaws, which I recommend that every Member read, which contains all of the details on how the organization runs. The organization operates under Robert’s Rules of Order, which allows for a transparent organization. No committees operate in secrecy, even the Executive Committee, as all of the minutes from EC meetings are posted on the AAPG website as soon as they are reviewed and approved. This usually occurs at the following EC meeting. AAPG is an open and transparent organization.

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With the holidays coming up and fewer meetings to attend, November saw a major slowdown to my travel schedule! I was able to make it to the “Success with Difficult Unconventionals” conference in Houston, where among the myriad of great presenters was my elder son, Michael, who is an engineer at Hess. It was a great conference showcasing some of the technologies and machine learning in the pipeline. With fewer travel tales with which to regale you, this month I wanted to focus on the many avenues for members to be involved in AAPG.

AAPG functions because of you, the members, and there are many different ways for you to get involved in your organization. Some choose to start in their local affiliated society, working on committees and holding offices within them. Others get involved through leadership and organizing events within the sections and regions. These are the grassroots of our membership, and AAPG leadership is working to strengthen these roots.

Specifically, the Global Events Organization Committee, or “GEvO,” has recommended a revenue-sharing model for the AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition events. Much like the private equity model, goals are set and, when these goals are reached, money will be distributed to the sections and regions from the profit of the ACE, in accordance with attendance from that section or region. The sections and regions will then push a portion of that money to the affiliated societies within that section or region.

I like to think of this as fertilizing the roots of our organization.

ACE 2020 will be the first time this new model will be employed, and AAPG leadership feels that this is a very good structure for the ACE meeting that will strengthen the relation of AAPG to its affiliate societies and the sections and regions.

House of Delegates Involvement

Several people transition their involvement from the affiliated societies to AAPG by serving as a delegate to the House of Delegates. The HOD is a truly vital part of AAPG, as it is the governing body of the organization. AAPG has a Constitution and Bylaws, which I recommend that every Member read, which contains all of the details on how the organization runs. The organization operates under Robert’s Rules of Order, which allows for a transparent organization. No committees operate in secrecy, even the Executive Committee, as all of the minutes from EC meetings are posted on the AAPG website as soon as they are reviewed and approved. This usually occurs at the following EC meeting. AAPG is an open and transparent organization.

Involvement in the HOD leads to a greater understanding of the workings of AAPG, and several of the delegates serve on committees within the HOD.

Divisions, Committees and SIGs/TIGs

AAPG has four divisions:

  • Division of Professional Affairs
  • Energy Minerals Division
  • Division of Environmental Geosciences
  • Petroleum Structure and Geomechanics Division

The divisions are another great way to get involved with AAPG. Each division has programs that require volunteers to help coordinate and run the events. The divisions are also a pipeline for presentations not only at ACE, but also the sectional and regional conferences.

Still other members get involved by serving on an AAPG committee or through involvement in a special interest group or technical interest group. Committees can include events and interests like the Student Expo, the Imperial Barrel Award competition, education and astrogeology, to mention a few. I recommend visiting the AAPG website at AAPG.org to see the many different committees on which you can volunteer to serve.

The SIGs and TIGs are different from the committees in that they are pulling people together under a common interest. AAPG has set up the AAPG N.E.T – “Network, Engage and Talk” – on the AAPG website. This allows for the posting of comments or articles about a specific SIG or TIG.

If you have not been to the N.E.T page for a SIG or TIG, I highly recommend you do so. We currently have 11 active TIGS. They are:

  • Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage
  • Deep Learning
  • Detrital Zircon
  • Drones and Drone Data
  • Geomechanics in Hydraulic Fracturing
  • Petrophysics
  • Playmaker to Bulletin Article
  • Produced Water Solutions
  • Shale Plays
  • Stratigraphy
  • Triggered and Induced Seismicity

These are topics that are at the forefront of discussions in the industry. One or more of these topics has to have caught your attention, so go to the website and become part of the discussion.

I want to end the column discussing the four SIGs in some detail:

  • AAPG Women’s Network
  • Visiting Geoscientist Program
  • Young Professionals
  • Jammin’ Geos

I want to encourage members to look into becoming a member of one of the SIGs that is in line with your interests.

As the AAPG website explains,

“The AAPGWN is a special interest group made up of men and women who are dedicated to promoting the technical and professional prowess of AAPG’s women members. Current activities include hosting networking events and short courses at ACE and ICE conferences, nominating women for AAPG awards, partnering with sister organizations, creating media materials to highlight the careers of women geoscientists and more.”

The AAPGWN is co-chaired by Terra George and Amanda Haddad.

“The function of the Visiting Geoscientist Program SIG is to provide college and university students worldwide a balanced picture of geosciences in the petroleum, energy minerals, and environmental industries; provide information about careers in the geosciences; present a positive image of a geoscience professional; and encourage geoscience career options for young scientists of high caliber. These goals will be achieved through direct student contact during college and university visits by active geoscientists.” In my career, I have made several visits to colleges and universities and find this to be most rewarding. Dallas Dunlap and Piotr Krzywiec are the organizers for the Visiting Geologist Program.

The Young Professional SIG provides a series of unique services to AAPG YP members with the goals of retaining and increasing our current YP membership and promoting interaction and communication between AAPG students and YP members. The SIG is open to all who believe and support the mission of the Young Professionals. If you are not currently a YP, as I am not, remember back to when you were. Most of us can go back in our early careers and point to a person, maybe a boss or co-worker, who helped you navigate the early years of your career. Now it is our turn to help the new group of YPs, and this SIG is a great way to do that. Robynn Dicks and Ryan Lemiski are the organizers of the Young Professional SIG.

Last but not least is the Jammin’ Geos. This SIG is for all with a love of music and like to play and entertain their fellow geologists. If you have attended an ACE or some of the sectional meetings, you most likely have been entertained by the Jammin’ Geos. In San Antonio they performed after the rodeo event on Tuesday night and those in attendance “networked” the night away. The Jammin’ Geos welcome anyone who can play an instrument or sing to be part of the SIG. Rick Fritz is the contact for the Jammin’ Geos if you would like to join the fun and “rock” the night away.

I encourage you to join a committee and become a volunteer for AAPG if you haven’t already. As they say, “Those who can do, do. Those who can do more, volunteer.”

I want to wish everyone a happy holiday and a safe New Year’s. Be sure to follow your local tradition and have that good luck food to start the new year! In Texas, one of the traditions is to eat black-eyed peas, and I will be having mine with a little cornbread and a few jalapeño on top.