Budget Matters Revisited

My co-author for this month’s column is Jim McGhay, AAPG Treasurer. Later this month, you will receive your dues statement, where there are two items that might attract your attention. We address them here.

In our October 2011 column, we reviewed the state of the AAPG budget, endeavoring to explain the causes of its cyclicity and what the Executive Committee must do to redress budget shortcomings.

As the EC and HQ staff have been analyzing our budgets during the past six months, it has become painfully apparent that our Association must find new ways to pay for the products, services, and programs – in quantity and quality – that we all have come to expect from a world-class organization. Of course, the alternative is to speak the unspeakable – cutbacks that, in seeking to preserve value, actually reduce it.

Contrary to some members’ perceptions, we do not have vast stores of excess funds sitting idle that can be used to balance the budgets. Yes, we have our investment portfolio, ably managed by the Investment Committee, which is considered the AAPG’s rainy-day fund to ensure the long-term financial viability of our organization in case of emergencies. The primary goal of the fund is to maintain at least one year’s worth of operating capital. Right now, the emergency fund holds less than that – $15M in operating funds, $17M in operating costs. So, as you can see, there are in fact no truly accessible stores of cash on which to draw.

As we wrote in October, two ways to address the need for revenue are by increasing dues, affecting all of the membership somewhat equally; and by increasing our service fees, which are paid directly by the individual and thus a choice that is separate from membership dues. In January, the Executive Committee voted on these two issues. Here are the details of the results.

Dues:

The Executive Committee is always and rightfully reluctant to raise dues; this act is not only unpopular, but affects us personally. During the past two decades, dues have increased about every three years for an average of about 3 percent/year, essentially keeping pace with inflation. However, services have continued to increase disproportionately even more than dues. Dues amounts to only 13 percent of the Association’s total revenues, but it does represent one method of assisting with the balance of revenue and expenses. Therefore, to bring services and dues back into equilibrium, the EC has decided to raise the basic member dues from $90 to $105. This increase will help your Association in avariety of ways.

Printing and Shipping Costs:

One budget item, which has been out of sync with its actual cost for several years, is the cost of printing and shipping the BULLETIN. This is especially true with the availability of this journal in digital form and the continuing decrease in the number of members requesting the printed copy. So, increasing the “hard copy” printing and mailing fees for the BULLETIN is another area that must come closer to “actual costs.”

Our bylaws state that all members will receive the BULLETIN as part of their yearly dues. In early 2004, the EC decided to make the digital version of the BULLETIN the default method for distribution. Any member who chose to receive the BULLETIN by hard copy was expected to pay for its extra cost. Unfortunately, this policy was never fully implemented. Currently, 80 percent of the shipping costs are still being absorbed by the Association; starting in July, however, these costs will be switched to those who choose to receive a hard copy of the BULLETIN. As a consequence, the EC voted to increase the shipping fees by $50/year. Increasing the shipping costs for those members who receive the hard copy BULLETIN will raise about $40,000 for the budget. With this policy, AAPG joins many other professional societies who faced the same issue with printing costs, and reached the same conclusion.

And now some positive news for future budgets! In early January, the executive directors of the AAPG, SPE, and SEG signed a Memorandum of Understanding to co-sponsor a new annual convention, titled the “Unconventional Resource Technology Conference (URTeC).” AAPG will act as the convention operator. The purpose of this meeting is to host an integrated, multidisciplinary science and technology event for onshore unconventional plays. Extensive floor displays will include all aspects of the science and technology behind the development of unconventional resources. The technical programs will highlight the interdisciplinary nature of the plays.

The first URTeC is scheduled for August 2013 in Denver. Several people have spent substantial time working on developing the structure and the organization of this conference, specifically Rick Fritz, Alan Wegener, David Lange, and David Curtiss. This convention is the newest program that has high upside potential for expanding our annual income. Needless to say, we are excited. Now the real work begins as we start to assemble the entire conference for its inaugural event.


At the Annual Convention and Exhibition on April 22, the AAPG will recognize the significant achievements of many of its members at the Awards Ceremony. We also wish to acknowledge here one group that goes unrecognized and is vital to the daily operations of AAPG – the AAPG staff. We have more than 70 employees working in five broad directorates: Communications, Finances, Global Development and Conventions, Geosciences, and Education. Within each directorate, we have two-four additional groups. In addition, we have three regional offices (London, Singapore, Dubai). All told, that is a lot of moving parts.

We have worked with many different professional societies, and one of the real strengths of the AAPG is the dedicated headquarters staff that has worked together for many years. Continuity like this can be rare in large professional associations, and it allows us to have extended success with good historical memory for the Association. For those of you who attend the annual convention in Long Beach this year, please take the time to say “thanks” to those staff who will be working there. They are a vital part of our Association, and we want to acknowledge them for their dedicated service.

Comments (0)

 

Division Column-DEG Jeffrey Paine

Jeffrey Paine is DEG President for 2014-15.

President's Column

President's Column - Ted Beaumont

Edward A. "Ted" Beaumont, AAPG President (2012-13), is an independent consultant with Cimarex Energy.

Division Column-DEG David Vance

David Vance is principal scientist, ARCADIS-US Inc., Midland, Texas, and is a member of the DEG CO2 Sequestration Committee.  

President's Column

President's Column - Paul Weimer

Paul Weimer, AAPG President (2011-12), is a geology professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Division Column-DEG Bruce Smith

Bruce Smith is a DEG member and is with the Crustal Geophysics and Geochemistry Science Center of the U.S. Geological Survey in Denver.

Division Column-DEG Doug Wyatt

Doug Wyatt, of Aiken, S.C., is director of science research for the URS Corporation Research and Engineering Services contract to the USDOE National Energy Technology Laboratory. He also is a member of the DEG Advisory Board for the AAPG Eastern Section.

Division Column-DEG Tom J. Temples

Tom J. Temples is DEG President.

President's Column

AAPG Presidents offer thoughts and information about their experiences for the Association. 

VIEW COLUMN ARCHIVES

See Also: Book

Desktop /Portals/0/images/_site/AAPG-newlogo-vertical-morepadding.jpg?width=50&h=50&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=90amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true 16538 Book

See Also: Bulletin Article

Select lacustrine and marine depositional settings show a spectrum of styles of carbonate deposition and illustrate the types of carbonates, with an emphasis on microbialites and tufa, to be expected in early rift settings. Early rift lake examples examined in this review article are all from East Africa: Lakes Turkana, Bogoria, Natron and Magadi, Manyara, and Tanganyika. Other lake examples include four from the western United States (Great Salt Lake and high lake level Lake Bonneville, Mono Lake and high lake level Russell Lake, Pyramid Lake and high lake level Lake Lahontan, and Searles Lake) and two from Australia (Lakes Clifton and Thetis). Marine basin examples are the Hamelin Pool part of Shark Bay from Australia (marginal marine) and the Red Sea (marine rift).

Landsat images and digital elevation models for each example are used to delineate present and past lake-basin margins based on published lake-level elevations, and for some examples, the shorelines representing different lake levels can be compared to evaluate how changes in size, shape, and lake configuration might have impacted carbonate development. The early rift lakes show a range of characteristics to be expected in lacustrine settings during the earliest stages of continental extension and rifting, whereas the Red Sea shows well advanced rifting with marine incursion and reef–skeletal sand development. Collectively, the lacustrine examples show a wide range of sizes, with several of them being large enough that they could produce carbonate deposits of potential economic interest. Three of the areas—Great Salt Lake and high lake level Lake Bonneville, Pyramid Lake and high lake level Lake Lahontan, and the Red Sea—are exceedingly complex in that they illustrate a large degree of potential depositional facies heterogeneity because of their size, irregular pattern, and connectivity of subbasins within the overall basin outline.

Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/Assessing-extent-of-carbonate-deposition.jpg?width=50&h=50&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=90amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true 3553 Bulletin Article

See Also: CD DVD

Desktop /Portals/0/images/_site/AAPG-newlogo-vertical-morepadding.jpg?width=50&h=50&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=90amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true 3935 CD-DVD

See Also: DL Abstract

In his classic 1965 GSA Bulletin paper “Origin of ‘Reverse Drag’ on the Downthrown Side of Normal Faults” Hamblin presented a conceptual model linking the formation of reverse drag (the down-warping of hanging wall strata toward a normal fault) to slip on faults with listric (curved, concave up) cross-sectional profiles. Although this model has been widely accepted, some authors have noted that reverse drag may also form in response to slip on planar faults that terminate at depth. A universal explanation for the origin of reverse drag, a common element of extensional terranes, thus remains elusive almost 50 years after Hamblin’s seminal paper on the subject.

Desktop /Portals/0/images/_site/AAPG-newlogo-vertical-morepadding.jpg?width=50&h=50&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=90amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true 10303 DL Abstract

See Also: Online Traditional Course

This online course provides an overview of the petroleum industry from what is natural gas and crude oil to how to explore, drill, and produce oil and gas.

Desktop /Portals/0/PackFlashItemImages/WebReady/oc-toc-petroleum-exploration-production.jpg?width=50&h=50&mode=crop&anchor=middlecenter&quality=90amp;encoder=freeimage&progressive=true 452 Online Traditional Course