A New Day Dawns for AAPG

Listening to “Feeling Good” by Nina Simone as I write this – it’s a new dawn and a new day for AAPG. It is also a great time to listen to new voices as we pursue a better Association that welcomes and serves all of its members.

As the gavel passes, we should all thank the 2020-21 Executive Committee for their dedicated service to AAPG, including President Rick Fritz, Vice President – Regions Bob Shoup, Secretary Stephanie Nwoko and Chair of the House of Delegates Steve Brachman.

President-Elect Steven Goolsby, Vice President – Regions Elvira Pureza Gomez and Secretary Jonathan Allen join the EC for two-year terms. Vice President – Sections Linda Sternbach, Treasurer Denise Stone, and Editor Bob Merrill continue into the last year of their terms. Kristie Ferguson steps up for one year on the EC as HoD chair. Thanks also go to Douglas Wyatt and Nosa Omorodion, who stood for election. All these people have served AAPG for years, and I appreciate the opportunity to work with them for AAPG, along with the hardworking staff led by Executive Director David Curtiss.

IMAGE and Substance

Energy geoscience is the magnet that brings us together in AAPG. After reading the AAPG Bulletin in my college library as a student, AAPG membership became critically important for science. Over time, my personal value proposition for AAPG expanded beyond geoscience to include skill development and networking. Because of how well AAPG has served me throughout my career, keeping AAPG relevant to geoscientists in all stages of their careers is a key priority.

How does AAPG stay relevant and best serve the energy industry when the last few years have brought astonishing changes to our global population, our industry and AAPG itself? After many informative discussions with the ad hoc Strategy and Tactics Committee and Corporate Advisory Board representatives, Rick Fritz initiated discussions with the Society of Exploration Geophysicists and the Society of Petroleum Engineers, with me engaged as president-elect, with other volunteers and staff.

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Listening to “Feeling Good” by Nina Simone as I write this – it’s a new dawn and a new day for AAPG. It is also a great time to listen to new voices as we pursue a better Association that welcomes and serves all of its members.

As the gavel passes, we should all thank the 2020-21 Executive Committee for their dedicated service to AAPG, including President Rick Fritz, Vice President – Regions Bob Shoup, Secretary Stephanie Nwoko and Chair of the House of Delegates Steve Brachman.

President-Elect Steven Goolsby, Vice President – Regions Elvira Pureza Gomez and Secretary Jonathan Allen join the EC for two-year terms. Vice President – Sections Linda Sternbach, Treasurer Denise Stone, and Editor Bob Merrill continue into the last year of their terms. Kristie Ferguson steps up for one year on the EC as HoD chair. Thanks also go to Douglas Wyatt and Nosa Omorodion, who stood for election. All these people have served AAPG for years, and I appreciate the opportunity to work with them for AAPG, along with the hardworking staff led by Executive Director David Curtiss.

IMAGE and Substance

Energy geoscience is the magnet that brings us together in AAPG. After reading the AAPG Bulletin in my college library as a student, AAPG membership became critically important for science. Over time, my personal value proposition for AAPG expanded beyond geoscience to include skill development and networking. Because of how well AAPG has served me throughout my career, keeping AAPG relevant to geoscientists in all stages of their careers is a key priority.

How does AAPG stay relevant and best serve the energy industry when the last few years have brought astonishing changes to our global population, our industry and AAPG itself? After many informative discussions with the ad hoc Strategy and Tactics Committee and Corporate Advisory Board representatives, Rick Fritz initiated discussions with the Society of Exploration Geophysicists and the Society of Petroleum Engineers, with me engaged as president-elect, with other volunteers and staff.

Both discussions made rapid progress, leading to the five-year agreement for the International Meeting for Applied Geoscience and Energy, or “IMAGE” conferences with SEG and the proposal to merge with SPE to create a new organization.

This proposed merger to form a new organization would allow both organizations to position themselves for the future of energy, including a new mission, vision, branding and governance. Multidisciplinary collaboration is the reality of the energy industry, so bringing geoscientists and engineers together under one roof makes sense and satisfies the concerns of many of our members and supporters. The combined organization would represent the largest one-stop shop for the energy industry, so we expect stronger support from advertisers, exhibitors and sponsors. Financial considerations based on cost savings are a benefit, but not the primary motivation. The primary opportunity is to become the inclusive, multidisciplinary community of technically proficient scientists and engineers dedicated to the ethical and sustainable development of the planet’s energy and natural resources to assure reliable and affordable energy for all. For those of us who see the end of their working days in the future, we can take pride in positioning AAPG to serve the next generations. Oil and gas finders, CCUS experts, geothermal explorers and producers, mineral explorationists, and other geoscientists and folks working in adjacent fields such as digitalization will be well served by the new organization, and they will make sure we have the energy and resources needed globally.

AAPG and SPE bring important common attributes to forming a new organization:

● Shared technical and professional interests in petroleum geoscience and engineering in an environment of relentless progress toward multidisciplinary teamwork in all aspects of oil and gas exploration and production

● Substantial and complementary bodies of literature

● Global reach

● Significant and overlapping stakeholders from corporate, academic and government organizations, with potential to gain more through integrated and enhanced technical offerings and a shared vision of the future of energy

● Engagement in the ongoing energy transition, which will succeed through the expertise and creativity of geoscientists and engineers who understand energy and the subsurface, and for whom innovation is second nature

As we move forward, it is important to recognize that AAPG leaders have already made many difficult decisions in response to ongoing business challenges accelerated by the pandemic. As we continue to adapt and change, the 2021-22 Executive Committee will focus on making sure that AAPG continues to serve its members while maintaining organizational health.

In the short term, you can support AAPG by logging into AAPG.org, updating your profile, paying your dues, registering for a conference or buying a book, and encouraging your colleagues to join AAPG. In the longer term, you can be part of a dynamic, responsive organization that provides a broader range of products and services to further your career. Please be sure to read information about the new organization as it is posted to AAPG.org/AAPG-SPE-merger.

Since you have read this far, I will award a $100 AAPG gift certificate to the first person who can identify my connection to the legendary Nina Simone and post it in the comment section of this article online. I can assure you, it is not my singing voice!

Until next time,

Gretchen Gillis

Comments (3)

Gretchen Gillis’s presidential column July 2021.
Re: Gretchen’s challenge concerning what she and Nina Simone have in common. They both attended Julliard school of music. Best wishes as she undertakes a very challenging job.
7/13/2021 2:59:33 PM
Gretchen Gillis first President's Column
Hi Gretchen, I enjoyed your first article and fully support AAPG's current efforts to forge a new organization. Concerning your connection with Nina Simone, the only thing I can think of is Philadelphia, PA. Best wishes for your year as AAPG President. Bill
7/13/2021 11:07:37 AM
Gillis first President's Column
I enjoyed your first column. I appreciate the shout-out to past EC members. I have searched the web for Nina Simone ties to you without success but will keep trying. Thanks for your leadership! I look forward to a great year and new, exciting future for AAPG.
7/12/2021 9:59:14 AM

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