I am writing to you just days following the completion of the 2023 International Meeting for Applied Geoscience and Energy. No doubt this issue of the EXPLORER will recap the success of the event. I intended to attend but circumstances were such that I was unable. We did go forward with our Division of Professional Affairs Council Meeting, albeit without a quorum, however the goal of our meeting was to relay to the Council and to the general DPA membership my objectives and aspirations for my 2023-24 term. I believe it was the first time in ages that the general DPA membership was invited to attend our meeting and to provide ideas within the context of our continued “Renew and Engage” theme. I have yet to receive the minutes of the meeting, and I am excited to read everyone’s input.
We also extended multiple opportunities prior to and during IMAGE ’23 for DPA members to set up and volunteer for our many open positions, both within the Council, the committees and for filling next term’s 2024-25 officer positions and for open committee positions. I created a special committee – Councilor Nominations – to ensure we fill all the councilor positions as soon as possible, and along with the Nominating Committee (for providing a roster of officer candidates for next term), I am excited to learn how many volunteers have already stepped forward. My goal is to have the DPA Executive Committee approve rosters for elections for councilors and 2024-25 officers within the next couple months.
There is time to volunteer for all these positions, so when you read my article, please step forward and submit your name to [email protected] now.
Certification and Board Certification
We have to get the message out to all those AAPG members who qualify to join the DPA and just have yet to do so. The DPA has always been the next step in AAPG membership for all professional geoscientists, and the process is very simple. I have no doubt that if you do know any colleague, working with you directly or as part of your network who is not a DPA member, he or she would be very open to certification. The process requires only a resume and evidence of a geoscience degree, and you as a reference to confirm the applicant’s professionalism.
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 for two years)
The next step beyond certification is board certification. This is designed to be equivalent to the type of rigorous licensing in Europe and Canada. Our board-certified members are also considered by the AAPG/DPA as qualified to sign reserve reports. I am a licensed geologist and geophysicist with the State of Texas, but I suggest holding a board certification has a much broader appeal for demonstrating your competency both within your current role and for when you transition to your next career opportunity. When you consider the obstacles to encounter when transitioning to the next step in your career, especially as an Independent or with a start-up of like-minded professionals, you are leaving those who know the quality of your work and the safety net provided by your current company. What better way to provide evidence of your geoscience capability and skills, aside from your past accomplishments, than being a board-certified member? I know from experience that investors and potential partners need more than just your resume. I am at the end of my career and retired, but if I had been aware of this earlier, I would have jumped right on it. Most of you should seriously consider this next step.
Continuing Education to Enhance your Professional Career
You have no doubt noticed the formation of the AAPG Academy. It is formed under the umbrella of the DPA and is led by the powerhouse team of Bob Shoup and Susan Nash, comprising great experience, knowledge and energy. I can’t imagine a more amazing team to lead the effort of improving the number and quality of courses to be offered.
The “Orphan Wells” series has been widely popular, among others. The DPA offered ethics training in an online workshop in August led by DPA member Dan Arthur. The topic was ethical considerations in plugging orphan, idle and abandoned wells. There were more than 200 registrants and more than 30 signed up for the continuing education units. Expect more content on ethics.
I am looking forward to more to come out of the AAPG Academy, possibly with offerings in resource and reserves estimation, possible focus courses for SMTs, carbon capture and sequestration, and perhaps offerings suited to those transitioning to or now working as Independents.
With the spirit of IMAGE in mind, I suggest each of you consider learning or refreshing another language. Language skills will enhance both your professional career and enrich your personal life. There are numerous apps available. It has never been easier and much simpler to learn and refresh than it was when I started my career.