Everybody’s talking about energy. And everybody agrees it’s important to talk about energy in a way that leads to positive impacts.
But everybody often has a tough time doing it correctly, right?
Overcoming that challenge is now a professional priority via an acclaimed training course that helps geoscientists to be better communicators – all thanks in large part to the AAPG Foundation.
AAPG members and geoscientists around the world can now receive free training in geoscience communication.
“Practical Geocommunication” is the course, presented by Geologize LTD and offered by the American Geosciences Institute. It’s an initiative that has been endorsed by geoscience organizations on a global scale and features some of the world’s leading geocommunication experts.
AAPG Foundation Trustees approved support for the program at their recent meeting. That means the course, which typically costs $400 per person, is now available free of charge to all members of AGI member societies – and that includes AAPG.
The training counts as nine hours of Continuing Professional Development, and a certificate is provided upon completion.
“The Trustees approved our support for the program at our recent meeting, and did so enthusiastically for several reasons,” said Foundation Chair Jim McGhay.
“A big reason, of course, is that we believe that part of our mission in the Foundation, and as professionals in the ‘energy’ space, is providing opportunities and encouragement for professionals to share their knowledge of geoscience and the energy industry with students and, more importantly, the public at large,” McGhay said. “Another part of our mission is providing ongoing support for our members to receive professional development that will help them with effective communications at all stages of their career.
“This program clearly addresses those priorities,” he added.
“But another big reason for our support is because we understand the importance of being able to effectively tell our story of the profession and of the energy industry, particularly with our local and global communities – especially at this crucial period of the energy transition,” McGhay said.
“There are dozens of important cultural and societal dynamics that are now part of the energy conversation, including affordability, reliability, security and sustainability,” he said. “By supporting this course, we’re helping to ensure that our members are expertly prepared to be effective communicators, whatever the audience.”
Communicating With Expertise
“Practical Communications” is an online course that allows participants access to lessons, quizzes, assignments and direct interaction with Haydon Mort, the program’s director and CEO.
Others who have provided course content include geoscience writer Anthea Lacchia and AAPG member Iain Stewart, an acclaimed geologist with an international reputation for creatively communicating geosciences to the public, using a host of media outlets.
Stewart is perhaps best known for his science programs for the BBC, including the BAFTA nominated “Earth: The Power of the Planet.” He received AAPG’s Geosciences in the Media Award in 2015.
Course topics include:
- Case studies demonstrating geoscientists’ ethical obligation to communicate
- From neurology to orating – the science and practice of effective communication
- The power of analogy and linguistic tools
- “Geologizing” geoscientific content into everyday concepts
- Identifying public and media “distortions” – and how to effectively respond
- Strategies to promote powerful social medial engagement in the geosciences, including case studies and practical activities
- Strategies for geoparks and geotourism projects to help them improve their audience demographics and engagement
Each lesson features a “big question” and at least one practical activity. There are often assignments (not compulsory) and quizzes to help gauge progress.
Participants can work through the course at their own pace; course creators suggest that completion typically takes around 15 hours.
For more information, or to start your participation, visit the Practical Communication website at training.geologize.org/pages/agi, where you’ll receive a link to the AAPG membership portal.
Annual Trustee Associates Meeting
Here’s an important update for the AAPG Foundation Trustee Associates: This year’s annual TA meeting, set for June 15-18, will be held at the Brown Palace Hotel and Spa, located in the heart of downtown Denver.
Also, it’s going to be different from past meetings – something that TA Chair Val Schulz emphasized in announcing the location, with changes that reflect the results of a recent TA survey.
For starters, the meeting’s setting and timing at the end of this year’s Unconventional Resources Technology Conference is intended to encourage greater attendance.
The schedule of activities will include:
- Thursday – a welcome reception
- Friday – a special field trip led by Dr. Robert Raynolds, research associate at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science
- Saturday – a business meeting (featuring important updates on Foundation programs and initiatives) and dinner
- Sunday – departure
Schulz said the changes – fewer days, affordable venue, convenient location – are intended to make the event more accessible for all while retaining the creative approaches to networking and activities that are TA traditions.
More details will be arriving – TAs, please watch your email inboxes and check the website for updates.
Remembering Bob Esser
Sadly, the expert who was responsible for presenting the informative and popular long-range global oil and gas capacity forecasts at the annual TA meeting has passed away.
Bob Esser, a longtime Trustee Associate who for nearly a quarter-century kept attendees informed and often entertained with his reports on the current state of the petroleum industry, died last year in his sleep. He was 89.
Esser, an AAPG member since 1961 and a TA since 1993, was a geologist and energy resource consultant at Mobil Corp. for 30 years, then became a senior consultant and director for IHS CERA until his retirement in 2016.
His TA presentations were often the highlight of the event.
“Bob’s expertise was ‘Worldwide Exploration,’” noted Trustee secretary and former TA Chair Mike Wisda. “He was an authority on new and old commercial oil and gas discoveries and reserves.”
He shared that expertise with the TAs for 23 years, always as a volunteer – and his presentations consistently were admired and applauded, Wisda added. Almost always there was not just an excitement but an urgency to his presentations. Often he gathered new data right up to the meeting date.
And his visionary remarks and predictions about global production trends often attracted attention and applause far beyond the TA community – especially the time when his remarks were quoted by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Daniel Yergin in a Washington Post article.
Esser’s insight? That despite worries about an imminent fuel shortage in the early 2000s, there will be “a large, unprecedented buildup of oil supply in the next few years.”
Esser, who served as a member of the Corporation from 2003-13, received the Chairman’s Award in 2006, and the TA Service Award in 2017. He was a graduate of both Yale and Stanford universities.
His presence will be missed; his legacy will be remembered and cherished.