Like many people, I take inspiration from music to motivate me during workouts, soothe me while traveling and generally improve my mood. As my term as AAPG president concludes, “Lake Shore Drive” by Aliotta Haynes Jeremiah reminds me that I will have more time for visiting my beloved daughter in Chicago. It also reminds me of the joy of Ferris Bueller – in his best friend’s father’s red Ferrari – escaping the frustration of a sunny day stuck in a classroom.
Serving AAPG encompasses joy and frustration, and AAPG’s current realities dictate that this month’s song cannot possibly be “Don’t Worry Be Happy.” While AAPG has many good days ahead, we all need to be mindful of the significant, long-term challenges AAPG leadership must face, most immediately 2022-23 AAPG President Dr. Steven Goolsby. Steven will have the support of a talented Executive Committee, including President-Elect Claudia Hackbarth, Vice President – Regions Elvira Pureza Gomez, Vice President – Sections Rebecca Dodge, Treasurer Ali Sloan, Secretary Jonathan Allen, Editor Matthew Pranter and House of Delegates Chair Justin Vandenbrink. Congratulations to our newly elected leaders and best wishes to the 2022-23 EC to act strategically to fulfill the mission of AAPG. Please give the next EC and AAPG staff your enthusiastic support.
Completing EC terms are Linda Sternbach, Denise Stone, Bob Merrill and Kristie Ferguson. I am recognizing the 2021-22 EC with a $1000 donation to the Ike Isaac J. Crumbly Minorities in Energy Grant of the AAPG Foundation that provides Grants-in-Aid to graduate students.
A Spirit of Reinvention
On a recent trip, I noticed an advertisement by TotalEnergies that read, “Energy is reinventing itself.” We witness that every day in bold exploration, deployment of new technology and innovations that address carbon emissions, all of which have roots in petroleum geoscience.
AAPG needs similar reinvention. When I stood for AAPG president-elect, I stated, “I want to foster the preeminence of AAPG in energy geoscience to serve our profession and society while maintaining the highest ethical standards of professional practice. These core purposes are as important today as they were when AAPG formed in 1917.” I also stated, “One of the most important lessons is that not-for-profit organizations must match budgets with revenue to stay healthy. While AAPG is fortunate to have a ‘rainy day’ fund, we cannot continue to dip into it every year.”
Meanwhile, the 2021-22 EC has dipped into the rainy day fund for $1.5 million this year to manage cash flow. Membership continues to decrease. How can AAPG meet the needs of members in today’s world with less costly but more impactful and inclusive offerings?
I again urge individual members to step up and support AAPG with their time, talent and treasure. AAPG relies heavily on a core group of corporate sponsors, and while their support is laudable, AAPG members need to be aware that this support is never guaranteed. For those of us who have derived significant, long-term career benefits from AAPG, it is time to give back. I am looking especially hard at the members whose rallying cry has been “Save the AAPG!”
To address the membership decline, AAPG leaders and members must make our Association more welcoming of all potential members. As the American Geophysical Union points out, exclusion is a justice issue in addition to being bad business. Make sure your colleagues, and especially your female and minority colleagues, join AAPG. Do your part to make everyone feel that they truly belong. This includes adhering to the AAPG Code of Ethics, with reminders about decorum communicated at conferences and online events.
I am including Bill Maloney’s photograph of the 2022 Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage Conference panelists who spoke on the future of energy – Victor Fakeye, Neha Bhat, Julian Chenin and Sarah Barnes – to remind us that the future is bright and inclusive if we work to make it so.
Commitment to Science
Attending recent in-person events has been a joy, most recently the International Conference and Exhibition in Cartagena, Colombia, which attracted about 1,000 participants from more than 50 countries. Congratulations to the Latin America & Caribbean Region members, volunteers and leaders, and to the AAPG-Society of Exploration Geophysicists Joint Events Team for their excellent work to make the conference so rewarding, from the energizing opening ceremony to the informative Student and Young Professional Leadership Summit. The technical and business programs also set high standards for future events.
The Offshore Technology Conference returned in fine form, and the AAPG program subcommittee led by Dr. Huyen Bui is already hard at working planning for next year’s event.
More science and networking are on planned at the Unconventional Resources and Technology Conference later this month and IMAGE in August, both in Houston.
Going to the End of the Line
Paraphrasing lyrics by the legendary Freddie Mercury, serving as 2021-22 AAPG president has not been a pleasure cruise, so I am grateful for support from many AAPG members and colleagues – too many to mention individually. Saudi Aramco and Aramco Americas have been astonishingly generous and supportive of both AAPG and my work, and I am truly grateful for that. The AAPG staff has done superb work under exceedingly difficult circumstances that show no signs of letting up, and I appreciate them. The AAPG Women’s Network has been enduringly supportive. Special thanks also go to the Kitchen Cabinet, the “OK Boomer” chat group, my family, and especially my long-suffering husband, Dave Cook.
Since you have read this far, I will award a $100 AAPG gift certificate to the first person whose online comment to this EXPLORER article correctly identifies the connection between the music featured in this year’s President’s Columns and AAPG as a whole.
Congratulations to May’s winner, Daniel Flores of Peru, who wrote, “San Pedro Field is an offshore deposit located approximately 15 kilometers from the coastline … of Peru. Here I got my first job as wellsite geologist one year after its discovery in 2005.” He also reported that the field produces light crude with associated gas in a naturally fractured reservoir within Paleozoic metamorphic rocks (quartzites and slates). Check out GeoScienceWorld for many papers related to this topic.
Finally, for anyone who stands ready to improve AAPG, please allow yourself to be nominated for a position on the Executive Committee so that you can make a difference. I commend the willingness of Richard Ball, Julian Chenin, Juan Pablo Lovecchio and John Breyer to stand for positions in the Executive Committee, and they deserve the thanks of all AAPG members.