To those of you I have yet to have the pleasure of meeting, my name is Meredith Faber and I’m honored to serve as your Division of Professional Affairs president for this coming year. Normally, this article would be a recap of all the exciting DPA events that took place during the annual meeting. However, this year has been far from normal to date and, in a sense, I don’t mind. “Normal” is relative and sometimes boring and our departure from it gives me an opportunity to speak to you about something else entirely.
Since I’m partly using this space as a means of introduction, let me tell you a little bit about myself. I’m a native Texan and geologist who used to work in operations and development, most recently in the Permian Basin, and one of my favorite pastimes was exercising, particularly Pilates. I say “used to” and “was” because, as I write this, I’m jobless and unable to work-out due to major abdominal surgery, having already been scolded several times for overexertion that might inhibit the healing process.
But lying on my couch as I am, loathing the fact that I’m not doing anything, has given me a lot of time to reflect on what I’m doing with my life and where I see it going. That introspection has forced a realization that I will confess to you now: I hate asking for help.
Like many people, I’ve always reveled in my independence (and for those of you in the United States, that is a nod to this appearing the July issue of the EXPLORER). It was an asset in my PhD program and fueled a fervent desire to just “figure things out” in both my professional and personal lives. Now, I’m relying on the goodwill of others in not only my job search, but also lifting anything that weighs more than 10 pounds lest I suffer the ire of my surgeon.
Support STEMulating SIG and AAPG Women’s Network
I tell you all this because, for me, admitting a weakness is hard, but it makes me a stronger person and a better leader. In my opinion, AAPG has a weakness, too. We haven’t put enough emphasis on the importance of diversity and inclusion in both our science and in our Association. Last year’s creation of the STEMulating Diversity and Inclusion Special Interest Group, helmed by Jenica Andersen and Cat Campbell, was a huge step forward in recognizing that it makes good business sense to celebrate the dynamic range of people we have in energy geoscience and leverage their participation in making the Association better both scientifically and socially. In an era where we continue to see racism and discrimination in our daily lives, it is critically important to achieve higher visibility in our efforts to promote diversity, inclusion and equality. I personally believe that such action is part of the professional, ethical behavior required of all AAPG members.
As you likely know, there is potentially no court more vicious than that of public opinion and, as DPA president, I am committed to communicating, both internally and externally, that what we say and do, and how we say and do it, matters. I believe that the DPA, as certified geologists and for whom certified members have attested to their character, should be at the forefront of this initiative. This intention requires that I come to you, proverbial hat in hand, and ask for help.
Please help me demonstrate the inherent value of diversity and inclusion to our membership and beyond, and support the work of STEMulating and the AAPG Women’s Network, by joining the DPA. Both full and provisional memberships are available and DPA members can assist you with sponsorship. Together we can make the AAPG a more welcoming place for geoscience research and innovation to prosper. No one person can or should be expected do the heavy lifting alone; sometimes you have to ask for help.
For more information on the DPA and what we do, visit us at AAPG.org/divisions/dpa, email us as [email protected] or contact your region or section DPA representative.