To begin with, this being the first of several articles that are one of the many responsibilities of the DPA president, I didn’t know where to begin or what to write.
Needless to say, I follow in the footsteps, most recently, of Tom Ewing, Rich Green, Mike Party, Deborah Sacrey, Bob Shoup, Tom Mairs, Royce Carr and many other past DPA presidents – and without exception, all have provided both distinguished service and vision to and for this Division.
So where do I want to go and what do I want to relate concerning our profession and the DPA?
Well, here goes – an announcement of something new and quite exciting.
In the very near future, an extremely valuable and useful tool will be available to all DPA members on the “Members Only” section of the DPA Web site. During the recent annual meeting in San Antonio the DPA Council chose to subscribe to a legislative reporting service, TrendTRACK, a service that provides a connective link, via key search words and filters, to all of the 50 state legislatures and the U.S. Congress.
Once the key profiles have been finalized, a DPA member who wants to determine if there is any legislation that will impact his/her professional geologic practice will go to the “Members Only” section of the DPA Web site and simply click on any of the predefined profiles that most appropriately fit and/or impact their area of practice.
With one click of the mouse you will be able to see, track and respond to (if warranted or desired) legislation that may influence your sector of professional geologic practice!
If anyone has tried to negotiate a state legislative site, or several different state sites, you already have discovered that every one of them is different and generally not very user friendly. TrendTRACK cuts through all of those differences and consolidates everything into a concise and reliable legislative tracking system.
Further, it is anticipated that state-level legislation that could be of note to the DPA membership (or to the general AAPG membership) also will be tracked by the Division’s Governmental Affairs Committee (GAC – ably chaired by Carl Smith), and when appropriate these legislative bills may be flagged and opposed or supported via the GAC.
When this information is deemed critical, action may be requested to contact legislators with the GAC’s recommended action.
The DPA Council also authorized the use and access of this legislative tracking service for the AAPG’s GEO-DC office via its director, David Curtiss.
With this service being made available, the daunting task of first being made aware of new, federal legislation and then tracking it as it makes its way through the legislative process will be readily available to that office.
This should make David’s work in Washington somewhat more manageable – and provide him with needed information, at his fingertips, to move forward with his charge.
Finally, this reminder to DPA members: On the "Members Only" section of the DPA Web site there is a section where you can go and record all of the continuing education courses, seminars, meetings attended, etc.
This feature is extremely useful and easy to use and was implemented by the Division for those DPA members who are subject to continuing education requirements that may have been instituted via a state board of licensure/registration, or have voluntarily elected to become "board certified" with the DPA.
If anyone has been subject to an audit - and it is not a matter of “if” but rather a matter of “when” you will be audited by one of these boards - you will find that the few minutes it takes to enter the information worth its weight in gold (or now, oil), especially when you are searching through check registers or errant pieces of paper that may clutter your desk, or floor around it, like mine.
This service is just like an insurance policy - you hope you never need it, but when and if you do it will be at your fingertips.
(Note: The Texas Board of Professional Geoscientists will accept a printout of your DPA record as evidence of your continuing education activities.)
Next time, online ethics courses.