Listening to “Long Hard Night” as I write prompted me to think about the success of the inaugural IMAGE event in Denver last month. As usual, Dr. Lesli Wood, professor and Weimer chair at the Colorado School of Mines and 2002 J. C. “Cam” Sproule Memorial Award recipient, contributed to the technical program as author and session co-chair. Also as usual, Lesli, her band, and members of the Jammin’ Geos Special Interest Group took to the stage and entertained a crowd of enthusiastic geoscientists, engineers and dinosaurs.
The dinosaurs were unusual, and their presence reminded us that fun and professionalism are not mutually exclusive. They demonstrated the passion one would expect from a trio of member-volunteers that shares seven university degrees, two division presidencies, two Advisory Council terms and two affiliated society presidencies!
My only regret about IMAGE was that so many people I enjoy networking with at these events were unable to travel to Denver, especially several of our stellar group of award recipients.
Like the song lyrics say, the committee and staff involved in IMAGE spent many long hard nights working to make the IMAGE experience as worthwhile as possible for in-person and remote participants and presenters. Conditions leading up to IMAGE were far from ideal this year, so we can look forward to an even better event with more in-person participation when we meet in Houston in 2022.
IMAGE was a terrific start to a multiyear agreement to hold AAPG and Society of Exploration Geophysicists annual meetings together. In addition to bringing together a broader community of geoscientists, this integrated event better serves our exhibitors and other supporters by increasing their number of potential customer contacts and reducing the number of events they attend.
AAPG leaders held a variety of meetings in Denver. The Executive Committee met twice, the House of Delegates met once with a Zoom connection, and a general Leadership Meeting included those folks who wanted to talk about AAPG business on a beautiful day when the nearby mountains would have beckoned less dedicated folks.
The House of Delegates received more details about the merger exploration with the Society of Petroleum Engineers, including an overview of the legal path outlined by our Colorado and Oklahoma attorneys and our parliamentarian.
The Executive Committee reviewed the confidential merger proposal, spending two extra hours asking questions and preparing a short list of items to be addressed by the Steering Committee before the proposal is publicized. The proposal addresses fundamental elements, including the mission, vision and values of the merged organization; the corporate structure; the governance; the membership model; and the fit of the components of AAPG in the merged organization, such as committees, divisions, regions, sections, SIGs and TIGs. The Steering Committee has not worked out every last detail, including the name of the new organization and the future of society-branded publications – these issues will need to be addressed with the guidance of branding experts. Even so, there is a lot to absorb.
After the Steering Committee addresses questions from the Executive Committee and the SPE Board of Directors, Members will receive formal notification and – 30 days after that – the opportunity to state their preference during a voting period of 60 days. A quorum of 25 percent is required, and a simple majority will determine the outcome. The precise timing is not set, so please stand by.
Make Your Voice Heard
As one of the advocates for AAPG on the Steering Committee since its inception, I have had the opportunity to become comfortable with our SPE colleagues and the proposal we have developed during months of hard work. Through a series of strategy sessions with the AAPG EC and the SPE Board; town hall meetings with the House of Delegates, regions, sections and other groups of members; and communication through the AAPG-SPE merger website (aapg-spe-merger.org), AAPG members have been provided high-level information along the way. More detailed information will flow through these channels, so please take the opportunity to ask questions and express concerns. Please also plan to carefully review the formal proposal and make your voice heard through your vote.
As previously noted, change is not comfortable for some of us because we focus on how change affects our sense of self, or we fixate on the potential loss of the familiar and comfortable. For AAPG, change is inevitable because of our evolving industry and business.
As we see on the AAPG web site, “The purposes of this Association are to:
- advance the science of geology, especially as it relates to petroleum, natural gas, other subsurface fluids, and mineral resources;
- to promote the technology of exploring for, finding, and producing these materials in an economically and environmentally sound manner;
- to foster the spirit of scientific research throughout its membership;
- to disseminate information relating to the geology and the associated technology of petroleum, natural gas, other subsurface fluids, and mineral resources;
- to inspire and maintain a high standard of professional conduct on the part of its members;
- to provide the public with means to recognize adequately trained and professionally responsible geologists; and
- to advance the professional well-being of its members.”
As I see it, merging AAPG and SPE allows us to continue this mission with greater scope, access to a broader community of experts, increased efficiency and less competition.
Giving Thanks for AAPG
As the North American Thanksgiving holidays come and go, you can support AAPG by logging into AAPG.org, paying your dues, registering for a conference, buying a book and recruiting new members. It is especially important to update your profile, confirm your contact information and opt into email communications from AAPG!
Since you have read this far, I will award a $100 AAPG gift certificate to the first person who provides an interesting fact about seismic geomorphology as an online comment to this EXPLORER article. Congratulations to James Huggard, winner of the October prize!
Until next time,