I am honored to serve as your Division of Professional Affairs president for the 2023-24 term.
What is the purpose of the DPA? Our mission is to promote professionalism and ethical standards and provide a means for professional certification of petroleum geologists, coal geologists and petroleum geophysicists. Our community of DPA members commits to standards of competence, upholds the AAPG Code of Ethics and brings forward opportunities to continue our passion for lifelong learning and growth in professionalism.
This previous term was presided over by Andrea Reynolds, during which time she energized the DPA. Our Vice President Janet Brenizer, our Secretary Judy Schulenberg and our Treasurer Mohit Khanna have all ended their terms of service to the DPA in June. At the time of my writing, we don’t know who will fill their most capable positions. Usually there is some continuity between terms, but this year the situation is most unusual.
I want to thank the entire outgoing DPA executive team for bringing with them to every meeting their ideas, energy and enthusiasm. There was nothing these volunteers wouldn’t pitch-in to help with and I can vouch for their ability to bring remarkable outcomes to any volunteer role in their futures. My hope is that the new executive team, which should be elected by the time this is published, will all have the same enthusiasm to help with our efforts.
Andrea’s term carried the theme of “Renew and Engage.” The theme was most appropriate and timely. Renewal and engagement is, in a sense, how we have all been overcoming from the past pandemic period of self-reliance and isolation, both personally and professionally. My terms will be guided by the same theme, as our renewal and our engagement is not yet at the level where we need to be.
A Simplified Process to Join DPA
The certification process was updated just this year and the simplified application makes it easier to apply. Please tell your colleagues about this also.
Eligibility conditions are:
- Must be an active AAPG member in good standing
- Hold a geoscience degree from a recognized institution
- Attained eight years of work experience, but can include credit for advanced degrees (master’s counts for one year and a doctorate counts for two years)
This is good news for those starting your careers, making it easier to join the DPA while earning your work experience. AAPG members who would like to join but don’t meet the work experience criteria can join as a provisional DPA member at a reduced cost.
DPA Events at IMAGE’23
Planning for the AAPG/SEG International Meeting for Applied Geoscience and Energy 2023 conference is nearly complete. It is Aug. 28 through Sept. 1. In her last report, Andrea listed a tentative schedule of events:
- DPA Luncheon: Title and speaker pending, planned for Wednesday Aug 30
- DPA-sponsored panel, “Revitalizing the Energy Workforce post-Pandemic”
- DPA-sponsored short courses on ethics and the highly popular “orphaned wells”
- DPA Leadership meeting, likely Monday morning, Aug. 28
More details will be available in the EXPLORER. We are excited for the DPA-sponsored panel discussion. We are also coming back this year with our DPA annual meeting for our executive and committee members. We are all in “zoom burnout” and meeting in-person will be refreshing for us all.
This is a conference not to be missed both for all the technical sessions as well as for the networking and fun events that we all relish. IMAGE’23 is not only a great opportunity to learn but also to meet other professionals informally to share your experiences. I encourage all who attend to step out of your “safe zone” and take a moment to branch out and introduce yourselves to strangers, to say hello to those you don’t know (yet) and ask them about themselves. I’ve found that many times it’s those you don’t know who will turn out to be the most interesting.
The Importance of Volunteering
Volunteering early in your career is key to AAPG’s success and to yours.
I have had a long, successful and varied career, and am now in the middle of my fifth decade in the industry. I can easily say that volunteering within AAPG and the Houston Geological Society early in my career was a significant contributor to my success. Prior to stepping out into the expanded roles in management, I spent my first 20 years focused on multidisciplinary technical skills and applications for discovery and exploitation of oil. I also volunteered extensively with the AAPG and the HGS, which developed softer skills to prepare for higher management and leadership roles. If you are in this first 20-year period of your career, my quick advice is to make the time in order to take on a volunteer role with the AAPG (and with your local society). You will gain significantly both personally and professionally by doing so, and you will find that you become a better manager and leader when these types of opportunities in your career present themselves.
Please add your name to the list of volunteers, the AAPG needs your help in order to continue to provide its services to our membership. We need anyone and everyone.
For more information on the DPA and what we do, visit us at www.aapg.org/divisions/dpa/m/1, email us at AAPGDPA@gmail.com or contact your region or section DPA representative.