Listening to “Will the Wolf Survive” as I write got me thinking about the one thing we must keep alive – the core purposes of our Association. These include advancing geoscience, promoting relevant technology, disseminating information, inspiring high professional standards and advancing the professional well-being of members.
As we pursue AAPG’s core purposes, it is important to recognize our strategic environment. The energy transition presents challenges and opportunities as operators and service companies adapt to the changing expectations of their customers, employees, shareholders and regulators while simultaneously evaluating their support of organizations like AAPG. Companies are adapting by consolidating, trimming expenses and further integrating their subsurface teams to work as efficiently as possible.
These adaptations affect AAPG members. Geoscientists are facing significant career uncertainty as their numbers in large companies decrease, yet there is still a lot more oil and gas to be found and produced in the coming decades. And, as we work through the energy transition, there clearly will be demand for geoscientists who understand the subsurface and can affect the energy transition through development of geothermal resources and carbon capture, utilization and storage, for example. The big questions today are, “How many geoscientists will be needed, and when, and where?”
To support members who are making career transitions, AAPG has partnered with the Society of Petroleum Engineers’ Gulf Coast Section’s Members in Transition program to provide information on topics such as starting a company, effective networking, financial careers for oil and gas professionals, and so on. Many of these presentations can be accessed through the MiT web site, and you will notice that many are relevant to geoscientists who might not be making a career transition now, but who want to improve their skills and broaden their knowledge. MiT also hosts occasional hiring events virtually (and in-person for those in the Houston area), so look out for the announcement of their Autumn 2021 hiring event.
Member Engagement and Professional Well-Being
Member engagement is a key part of advancing the professional well-being of members because we can learn so much from each other. AAPG Divisions – the Division of Environmental Geosciences, the Division of Professional Affairs, the Energy Minerals Division and the Petroleum Structure and Geomechanics Division – are well-established to serve technical and professional interests of AAPG members. Technical interest groups are easy to join by logging into AAPG.org and visiting the TIGs page. Similarly, special interest groups are listed under the Career tab, where groups like the AAPG Women’s Network, the History of Petroleum Geology SIG, and even the musicians of the Jammin’ Geos are waiting for you to join. Liaisons from the Executive Committee are working with chairs of committees, SIGs and TIGs to ensure that these groups produce great results for AAPG and welcome members of all description. That includes you!
Speaking of welcoming, AAPG looks forward to welcoming registrants who can safely travel to upcoming conferences, including to this month’s Offshore Technology Conference (Aug. 16-19) and NAPE Summit (Aug. 18-20). Later in the year, we’re preparing for the inaugural International Meeting for Applied Geoscience and Energy, or “IMAGE” in Denver (Sept. 26 – Oct. 1), the Eastern Section meeting in Pittsburgh (Oct. 2-6), the Midcontinent Section meeting in Tulsa (Oct. 3-5), GEO in Bahrain (Oct. 4-7), and GeoGulf in Austin (Oct. 27-29). Other events are in flux while we assess whether travel and gathering are safe.
Walking and Chewing Gum
Meanwhile, the Steering Committee developing the proposal to form a new organization from AAPG and SPE continues to explore what the new organization would look like, starting with its mission, vision, governance and corporate structure, membership models and other essential topics. These in-depth discussions will lead to a proposal to the AAPG Executive Committee and the SPE Board in September, and later to the House of Delegates before approval by the membership. As new information becomes available, it is posted to AAPG-SPE-merger.org. Please visit the site to offer your comments and suggestions.
At the same time, we continue to operate AAPG as AAPG, publishing the AAPG Bulletin and the EXPLORER, sharing the Sustainable Development podcast and providing technology networking opportunities like My Favorite Outcrop and Pivoting 2021 webinars.
In the short term, you can support AAPG by logging into AAPG.org, updating your profile, paying your dues, registering for a conference or buying a book, and recruiting new members. In the longer term, you will be part of a dynamic, responsive organization that provides a broader range of products and services to further your career.
The Los Lobos song reminds me that I need to visit Yellowstone National Park to finally see the geology and to observe how wolves have affected the ecosystem. Since you have read this far, I will award a $100 AAPG gift certificate to the first person who provides an interesting fact about wolves and their ecosystems it to [email protected] or to the comment section of this article.
And, for those of you who are concerned, within the context of AAPG’s core purposes, the wolf will survive and thrive!
Until next time,