For every poster and oral session you visit during your time at the 2017 Annual Convention and Exhibition (ACE), there will be a judge nearby. AAPG judges play the critical role of finding the most ingenious studies and applications in petroleum geology. It’s the judges’ responsibility to determine which new technologies are the most imaginative, which methodologies are most logical and repeatable, and which oral and poster presentations deserve to be celebrated by being awarded the George C. Matson Award (for best oral presentation) and the Jules Braunstein Memorial Award (for best poster presentation).
In advance of the meeting next April, the ACE 2017 Judging Committee would like to bust a few myths about the judging process and encourage everyone who plans to attend the meeting to sign up to be part of the team.
• Myth 1: “I’m not qualified to be a judge.”
Reality: Many conference goers have expressed concern that they’re not qualified to judge because they’re not a subject matter expert. The reality is that anyone can be a judge. Whether you’re a Student, an Associate, a Member or an Emeritus member, all you need is a willingness to critically evaluate the material being presented and the ability to see how the ideas would advance our science.
• Myth 2: “My conference schedule is so busy, I won’t have time to judge.”
Reality: There are hundreds of oral and poster sessions during ACE, occurring both in the morning and afternoon. The best way to help with the judging effort is to offer to judge the sessions you’ll already be attending. Even if you don’t have a particular session in mind, we can help you find which part of the technical program will work with your schedule. Volunteers are welcome to judge as many or as few sessions as they’d like.
• Myth 3: “ACE Houston is a big meeting. There will be enough volunteers to judge.”
Reality: There are never enough judges! More and varied opinions lead to better results. We need everyone’s input to pinpoint groundbreaking ideas and identify gifted speakers who might otherwise be lost in the shuffle. On average, each session at ACE will secure one to three judges, but a program as robust as ACE really needs five to seven judges per session.
• Myth 4: “The judging forms are complicated.”
Reality: The judging criteria have been streamlined over the past few years and the forms are easier and less cumbersome to complete. Guidelines and suggestions for our numerical scoring process have been created to keep you from getting bogged down in comments and notation.
• Myth 5: “Judging might restrict my ability to make connections at the meeting.”
Reality: Whether this is your first AAPG meeting or your 30th, it can be extremely difficult to find a way to approach someone who might be a crucial component to your network. Whether you’re looking for a job, a client, a connection or even to make a social connection and find new friends, the process can be exhausting. Judging offers a means to alleviate those social pressures by guaranteeing a level of interest and dedication of attention that can and does forge new relationships.
Being a judge at any AAPG meeting is a rewarding experience that not only can expand your professional network, but also your scientific horizons. It’s also a moment of philanthropy taken on by those with the insight and selflessness to identify the quality, thought and ingenuity in others. We hope you’ll sign up to be part of the team, but if you’re still unsure, or have questions about the process, contact Judging Chair Meredith Faber at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you in Houston!