The summer has been busy but challenging for the AAPG Foundation, filled with adjustments and redirections caused by the impacts from the ongoing pandemic.
Certainly, there are plenty of positives to report, including the announcement of this year’s L. Austin Weeks grant recipients (see the ad on page 31). Even in difficult times, the AAPG Foundation continues to support the future of the geosciences and our profession, thanks to your generous contributions.
But the realities of COVID-19 can’t be ignored, and those concerns have now impacted one of our favorite annual events: The Foundation along with the Trustee Associates’ officers have made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s Trustee Associates annual meeting, which was scheduled this year at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington, Pa.
“This is a great disappointment,” said Jeff Lund, vice chair of the Foundation TAs and a major factor in Nemacolin’s selection for this year’s meeting. “It’s one of the highlights of our year, as we all look forward to connecting with old friends and catching up on the Foundation’s activities.
“But given the concerns around COVID-19, we arrived at the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 annual meeting,” he continued. “Obviously, the health, safety and well-being of our members was our priority.”
There is a silver lining, however.
“We will still get to enjoy all that the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort has to offer,” TA chair Martin Shields quickly added to the news. “The resort has graciously moved our dates without penalty to October 2021, which ultimately was the best possible outcome – no risks to the attendees and no negative financial impact for the TAs or the Foundation.”
The TAs have for more than 40 years been a crucial group for not only supporting but also promoting Foundation programs and activities. The group currently numbers more than 280 members, and some openings are available for others who have an interest in providing counsel to the Trustees and guidance for the Foundation’s scientific and educational agenda.
“We hope everyone will start making plans now to join us in 2021 for what’s going to be a great annual meeting,” Shields said. “Jeff Lund already was working on a great field trip and will continue to put the finishing touches on it. And you can be sure we’ll also put together a few group excursions to pique everyone’s interests.”
The resort itself is beautiful and offers a first-class spa, dining, wildlife academy, art collection and classes, golf, fishing and a casino. As TA secretary Val Schulz pointed out, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
But most importantly, it will be a chance to be together once more.
Virtual Meeting of the AAPG Foundation
And there’s even more Foundation updates and activities to report – and we’re working on a way to make that accessible and available to all.
Plan now to participate in the AAPG Foundation’s first virtual meeting later this fall, when we can provide an update on the many strides the Foundation has made over the past year.
You’ll have the opportunity to hear from both Chairman Jim Gibbs and Executive Director David Curtiss. You also can learn more about the 2020 grant cycle and its success despite the pandemic – the grant season was robust with high numbers of applicants for the Grants-in-Aid and L. Austin Weeks Undergraduate Grants.
The Foundation also for the first time provided grants to military dependents through the Paul and Deana Strunk Military Veterans Scholarship Program – a new initiative that has expanded the program’s reach and created new opportunities in the geosciences for deserving families.
Details will be announced soon, but plan now to participate in this historic meeting. Even in a pandemic, our mission continues.