Sponsor Program a GEM of an Idea

International Bulletin Board

Sponsor Program a GEM of an Idea

Robbie Gries does it. Mike Party is just now learning how to do it. Bob Cowdery's been doing it for years.

Before your imagination carries you away, "it" is financial sponsorship of AAPG members — and the initiative is called the Geoscientists Enabling Membership (GEM) Program.

For many years, several AAPG members have quietly provided funds for other AAPG members around the world that, for one reason or another, simply couldn't pay the dues.

Sherm and Florence Wengerd, for example, began their financial sponsorship of a Madagascar geologist after a visit to that country in the mid-1980s. Their guide for that trip was a geologist's wife, and through their conversations they learned that currency was not allowed to leave the country, making it impossible for her husband to pay dues to any organization outside of Madagascar. They volunteered to provide funds for his membership should he choose to apply.

Mrs. Wengerd has continued their sponsorship even after Sherm's death a few years ago.

Please log in to read the full article

Sponsor Program a GEM of an Idea

Robbie Gries does it. Mike Party is just now learning how to do it. Bob Cowdery's been doing it for years.

Before your imagination carries you away, "it" is financial sponsorship of AAPG members — and the initiative is called the Geoscientists Enabling Membership (GEM) Program.

For many years, several AAPG members have quietly provided funds for other AAPG members around the world that, for one reason or another, simply couldn't pay the dues.

Sherm and Florence Wengerd, for example, began their financial sponsorship of a Madagascar geologist after a visit to that country in the mid-1980s. Their guide for that trip was a geologist's wife, and through their conversations they learned that currency was not allowed to leave the country, making it impossible for her husband to pay dues to any organization outside of Madagascar. They volunteered to provide funds for his membership should he choose to apply.

Mrs. Wengerd has continued their sponsorship even after Sherm's death a few years ago.


GEM is a member-to-member initiative open to all AAPG members, regardless of whether you give or receive, or reside inside or outside of the United States.

As a financial sponsor you may, if you wish, stipulate a country, region, discipline or other criteria for use in pairing your sponsorship with potential recipients. You may remain anonymous if you so choose.

Although a mentoring relationship may be an additional benefit of the program, no such obligation is required.

Sponsorships may continue on a yearly basis for whatever length of time you, the sponsor, desires. In most cases, a geoscientist may simply need financial sponsorship until their employment situation improves, or their country's economy is vitalized.

AAPG headquarters recently was informed by an international member that, because of the economic crisis within his country and the resultant uncertainty of his personal finances, he would be unable to pay his upcoming dues. Acting independently from AAPG headquarters, the GEM Program was able to locate a financial sponsor for him so that his membership remains intact until his country's financial situation improves.

Because of tax regulations, AAPG cannot be involved in the administration of the program.

I have volunteered to act as the GEM Clearinghouse, and as such will be responsible for:

  • Cataloguing those who wish to sponsor a fellow geoscientist, and all relevant information.
  • Receiving direct requests from those desiring sponsorship from within the United States.
  • Receiving requests from those desiring sponsorship that reside outside the United States via the appropriate Regional President or AAPG Service Team Leader.
  • Coordinating bookkeeping with AAPG headquarters.

As a clarification, this program in no way obligates an AAPG member to professionally sponsor an applicant, nor does it relieve an applicant from providing the appropriate professional sponsors on his or her membership application. The GEM Program involves ONLY financial sponsorship.

Since the beginning of my involvement with this program eight months ago I have been contacted by over 25 AAPG members wishing to become a GEM.

I encourage you, if your individual situation allows, to become a GEM. Please contact me directly if:

  • You wish to financially sponsor a fellow geoscientist.
  • You are in need of a sponsor and reside in the United States.
  • You have questions or comments.

If you are in need of financial sponsorship and live outside of the United States, please contact your AAPG regional president, regional vicechair, or AAPG Service Team Leader.

This year alone, the GEM Program has financially sponsored eight faculty advisors at universities in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. The program, in addition to the First Ladies' Initiative developed by Merrill Thomasson and other AAPG past presidents' wives, allows these professors, as Active AAPG members, to act as faculty advisors for new AAPG Student Chapters in their respective countries.

In light of recent world events, initiatives such as these that have the potential to close the "six degrees of separation" between the people of the world are even more important than ever. We are ALL scientists of the Earth.

Please join us in our efforts to make the benefits of AAPG membership a reality for as many qualified geoscientists as possible!

wtttbutczvyvzqbvf

You may also be interested in ...