AAPG’s outreach and professional development programs and the dissemination of geologic knowledge are what make AAPG a key resource for its members. I would never have become a petroleum geologist if it were not for AAPG. In 1977, Edd R. Turner, former president of AAPG, visited Syracuse University and brought to life what a career in petroleum geology is like by discussing his experience in the field illustrated by a real life project that he had worked on. Today the Visiting Geoscientist Program provides this same outreach to students across the entire globe. Edd inspired me to find a position in the industry and recommended, since Syracuse was not a petroleum geology feeder school, that I drive to Houston and knock on any door that has the word “petroleum” in its company name. I did exactly that and found a job at Getty Oil.
My interest in being active in AAPG was strongly influenced by John Amoruso and Robbie Gries, both former presidents, who taught me that volunteering in AAPG has to be part of my career as a petroleum geoscientist. These two individuals and many other AAPG volunteers have influenced me to aspire to become vice president-Sections of our Association. My career has spanned working in both exploration and development at Getty Oil Company and Union Pacific Resources and as a research scientist at the Illinois State Geological Survey. Throughout this entire time period I have relied on AAPG for training, mentoring and geologic information. In the beginning I was mentored by AAPG members and now I am one of the mentors for the next generation of petroleum geoscientists.
As vice president-Sections I will continue supporting AAPG efforts to improve member access to professional development and relevant geologic information. I also will make certain that the resources are in place for these programs. My AAPG activities include organizing a Hedberg conference, convening a summit on Teaching Petroleum Geology, helping convene a joint London Geological Society/AAPG conference, being co-general chair of an Eastern Section meeting and an officer for this same section, and being a member of numerous AAPG committees. These give me a good perspective on the diverse activities of AAPG and the challenges that we face fulfilling AAPG’s missions including outreach, professional development, encouraging research and the dissemination of geologic knowledge. Our membership has diverse needs that vary greatly from young professionals to those members working as consultants or for independents, major oil companies and national oil companies.
As AAPG becomes a more international organization we must always remember our rich heritage and continue to provide members with a vibrant society that offers a compelling reason for AAPG membership.