AAPG has a history of providing good professional education to its members. This has been an important AAPG service, but now we are at a crossroads as a provider.
During the past 15 years competition and costs have increased. As a result, we are re-evaluating AAPG educational services and determining a new strategic model for the future.
Based on the last “All Member Survey” and a separate Education Committee survey, you indicated that you want AAPG to provide professional education opportunities, including short courses and field trips. We typically provide short courses and field trips associated with meetings and select offerings throughout the year.
Also, members said they wanted AAPG to add some shorter and less expensive courses, plus online opportunities.
To reach these goals, we first evaluated staff and internal costs. As part of an Association-wide assessment, we reduced staff in education and developed a new reduced overhead allocation. Now we have an efficient, streamlined department through which we can build a new educational system.
Second, Pat Gratton and Pete Rose (immediate past and current president, respectively) made changes to the charge and make-up of the Education Committee. The primary mission for this committee now is to develop new educational opportunities designed to meet the needs of the membership.
As a result, AAPG has a unique opportunity to build new products and services for our members. For example, this year AAPG will offer for the first time both winter and fall Education Conferences in Houston. The conferences are composed of various courses that last from one to two days during a week period. You can choose to attend just one or two courses, or you can pay for the whole week.
The conference’s unique incentive is that you can pay for one pass and share it with others in your group, i.e., one week’s pass will allow one entry into the “Basic Openhole Log Interpretation” course on Wednesday, and then someone else can take the course on “Unconventional Resource Plays” on Thursday and Friday.
If these conferences are well attended this year we will consider other locations.
We also are developing new global workshops for AAPG and with sister societies. We plan to make these workshops a key service for members around the world.
I read a quote by John W. Gardner: “The ultimate goal of the educational system is to shift to the individual the responsibility of pursuing his or her own education.” I believe this is true -- continuing education is critical to continued professional development and personal growth.
I know in my own career it is difficult to take the time for additional training -- but when I do take time, the opportunity is always beneficial to me, both personally and professionally.
AAPG now offers a Petroleum Geologist Professional Certificate program. It is designed to help you guide your future training needs and develop a record of training.
The staff and Education Committee’s charge is to help develop new content for AAPG’s educational offerings, and to provide oversight for existing courses. AAPG benefits by having direct access to the cutting edge of petroleum geology, and that’s in you as members. So we will be calling on many of you to help with this effort.
Of course, if you have an interest in developing a new course for AAPG please contact any of the chairs or vice chairs, or contact our education department coordinator at 918-560-2630.