AAPG is an organization driven by highly devoted members who aim to enlighten other geoscientists, both young and experienced, with novel strategies intended to close knowledge gaps and provide perspective in a fast-paced, global environment.
AAPG’s organizational structure relies on dedicated volunteers to carry out its mission. One of the many challenges for the Association is to keep our current volunteers engaged and to encourage other members to volunteer their time.
An engaged membership is an absolute necessity for the sustainability and growth of our organization.
To that end, we encourage our young professional cohorts to get involved early and often with AAPG.
Here are a few characteristics of effective volunteers:
♦ Be an extrovert: A social person with a gregarious nature is more influential in conveying their words than a more introverted individual. To bridge the gap between two people, one has to take the initiative – and why shouldn’t that be you?
Having trouble approaching people? The YP Meet-n-Greets held every year at ACE and ICE are great opportunities to practice.
♦ Be outspoken and share your passion: Don’t be afraid to ask questions or challenge paradigms.
This is our Association, too. Passionate members help inspire others to get involved and continue the success of the organization. In order for AAPG to continue to attract new members, we must address issues such as the value proposition of AAPG for young professionals, the transition from Associate to Active member, funding, sister societies’ benefits, etc., as an organization.
Join the conversation and let your voice be heard!
♦ Establish personal relationships: Volunteering for AAPG opens the door to a vast network of geoscience professionals. The opportunities that come from sitting on a committee, becoming involved with the organization of annual meetings or sitting on the HoD can help shape your career.
YPs should understand the importance of being part of a professional organization early in their careers. The Student-YP liaisons and YP committee are examples in which YPs can get involved with AAPG.
♦ Grab opportunities: There are many opportunities to become involved with AAPG. There are a number of committees in need of enthusiastic participants. Explore the existing AAPG committees and identify several that interest you. Email the chairs – or just show up to their annual meetings at ACE – and get involved.
You need to be proactive and grab opportunities rather than wait for them to be handed to you.
♦ Engage existing members: Always take the opportunity to discuss the benefits of volunteering for AAPG with existing members who may not be actively involved in the society.
Only when members are committed to improving AAPG will the organization grow and progress.
♦ Recognize others: AAPG thrives due to its volunteer population. Always remember to communicate your appreciation to your volunteers.
A simple “thank you” lets volunteers know they are appreciated and will go a long way towards making sure they remain active participants in the Association.
The Asia-Pacific YPs are great examples of the above traits.
When I began the Young Professional activities in the Asia-Pacific Region, I hardly knew anyone in this organization and was unfamiliar with many of the roles and responsibilities that come with a leadership position in the organization. My main objective was to bridge the gap between the YPs in different geographic locations.
Though I initially faced many roadblocks in convincing people that establishing the YPs in the Asia-Pacific Region was a worthwhile endeavor, my determination to grow and flourish AAPG in the eastern part of the world has resulted in many accomplishments. For example:
- We now have active YP Chapters in Indonesia, India, Kuala Lumpur and Pakistan.
- We have field trips, Visiting Geoscientist programs and guest lectures.
- We have YP talks and YP participation in events such as ICE, PGCE and ATC.
It’s all growing like the flame of a just lit candle.
Ready to join the effort?
I wish to recruit more volunteers in Australia, China and Thailand in the next several months in order to grow AAPG as a truly global organization.