As I have gotten older, it has become obvious to me that time has started to pass much faster.
Maybe it is the speed of technology, the slowing of the Earth’s rotation or the number of section meetings I attended this past year, but I can say for certain that time has flown by this year.
This fact has also been confirmed by my youngest granddaughter growing two more inches and going from crawling to running around the family room so fast it is hard to catch her. I have also had to relocate several sparkly mineral samples that she finds fascinating. (Go little Geo-Girl!)
The year has been a busy one.
I was pleased to be able to attend the section meetings in Anchorage, Morgantown and Oklahoma City, as well as the ACE meeting in Houston and the ICE meeting in London. These meetings were amazing, with strong technical content and great networking and social events. I salute the convention committees and officers that put together these meetings. Great Job!
For me, a big benefit of attending these meetings is the ability to meet these committee members and officers and other special people that really make the sections and the AAPG work for the benefit of all our members. The Awards Committee had a hard time this year as there were so many people deserving of recognition. The staff at AAPG headquarters, despite reduced staffing, has continued to deliver on programs and events in support of the meetings. And I sincerely thank them for continuing to work so hard for the membership.
New Member Category
This year the Division of Professional Affairs has a focus of bringing early career professionals into our division with the new member category of Provisional DPA member. The requirements for certification have not changed but the new category allows an AAPG Member in good standing to join the DPA before the required experience level for certification is reached. When the needed years of experience are reached, the member must apply for certification or be dropped from membership. Provisional members have all the same benefits as certified members, except it is a non-voting and non-certified level.
Provisional members can serve on committees, and their ideas are much needed. The Division members need to advance our knowledge about communications and data management in this new exploration world. New oil is found by new ideas and technologies and we need to know how best to serve our members. By bringing these Young Professionals into the division, we will incorporate their energy and vision into the future of the DPA. Being a DPA member will also give our YP’s a much greater opportunity to network and build relationships with many of our more “seasoned” members.
Short Courses in 2018
The DPA has always tried to give our members relevant education and career development courses. Keeping that in mind, we will be bringing back some of short courses on how to interpret old well logs with an added section on how to get the most out of dipmeter data. There is no question that 3-D seismic has revolutionized interpretations, but in complex geologic areas where the data is poor, a dipmeter can be a very powerful tool. I can say that several of the discoveries with which I was involved were directly related to a solid dipmeter interpretation. The industry has spent billions of dollars acquiring data, and even old data can be of great value if we understand its limitations and how to use it. We are working hard to have these courses ready by the ACE meeting in Salt Lake. The ACE meeting this year will be one of the best with strong technical sessions with a focus on value to those that attend. The field trips will be amazing as well.
New Playmakers Forum
The Division is also planning a new Playmakers Forum, “Re-emerging” Shale Plays of the Gulf Coast” in Houston in April of 2018. This will be an exciting conference with the re-emergence of the Haynesville as the 800-pound shale-gas gorilla. This conference brings with it new technologies and new lessons that also apply to other plays. We hope to include the Austin Chalk and Cotton Valley as they also fit the themes of “re-emergence,” although they are not classic shale plays. These forums have contributed greatly to the AAPG during these challenging economic times and we continue to explore methods to better monetize our unique knowledge to the benefit of the members.
I have always tried to hold to the idea that surviving hard economic times is strongly related to attitude. Opportunities abound in these times if we can see clearly with a focus on the future. With that, I wish everyone a wonderful Holiday Season and a very prosperous New Year!