On June 30, the official transfer of power from the Energy Minerals Division’s now past President Justin Birdwell to myself occurred. I find myself slowly acclimating to the new position and finding our path forward.
One would think that, having experienced the past three years, we have achieved a degree of acclimation to tumultuous events. Unfortunately, this is not the case and, despite the threat of the pandemic having passed, we still find ourselves on unsure footing.
This experience is best illustrated through a quote by John Allen Paulos: “Uncertainty is the only certainty there is, and knowing how to live with insecurity is the only security.”
The fallout from our collective experience is still today determining how we communicate and organize, as well as our worldview. Make no mistake that these fundamentals have been forever changed. This truth is readily apparent in our struggles to correct course and make decisions that were previously made with little forethought in the pre-pandemic world.
Rather than looking back at the maelstrom with regret, though, we must continue to move forward.
Goals for the Year to Come
It is from this perspective that I outline my hopes and aspirations – not just for the Energy Minerals Division and not just for AAPG – but for each and every one of you who have taken the time to read this brief statement (and to those who did not).
All of us desperately would like to find an edge, something to tether us to a solid foundation. The truth is that this foundation does exist and, while admittedly cliché, it is the people around us who are responsible to rebuild and navigate toward a more productive and brighter future.
As scientists we all have a common goal in the pursuit of knowledge. There will be disagreements. The beauty in uncertainty is that we all have a shared responsibility for its outcome. I encourage each and every one of you to do your absolute best to ensure that we are engaging with each other constructively, remembering that not all disagreements need to be polarizing.
Here are my objectives for what I plan to address in my role as EMD president this year:
● The Energy Minerals Division, like many others, suffers from a lack of volunteers willing to participate in its operation.
● We want to hear from you – those who are on the front lines of societal change, policymakers and resource managers. We want to hear from you who work at a more localized level, as well as internationally.
● I plan to increase outreach. It doesn’t matter if you are a student, professional, member, non-member, work in politics, industry or government – please accept an open invitation to talk and discuss the issues that are important to you. I guarantee that they are also important to those around you.
● Lastly, try and keep an open mind – we are all educated and the information stream is coming from somewhere, so let’s take our time to give balance to ideas and try to find out what is fact versus fiction.
With that, I would also like everyone to continue to hope, help each other, and research. This is something that cannot be accomplished alone.