Annual Report 2012: FY July 1, 2011-June 30, 2012
Division of Professional Affairs
It has been an honor serving as president of the Division of Professional Affairs for the 2011-2012 term and a pleasure working with the dedicated professionals on my Executive Committee—vice president Rick Nagy (Gulf Coast Section), president-elect Charles Sternbach (Gulf Coast Section), secretary Mark Gallagher (Southwest Section), treasurer Dan Billman (Eastern Section) and past president Dan Tearpock (Gulf Coast Section). Thanks to each of them for their commitment to the DPA and the AAPG and a special thanks to Dan Tearpock, Dan Billman and Rick Nagy as their terms on our Executive Committee come to an end.
I know that each of us recognize what a privilege it is to lead our 3,000-plus members from around the globe.
The election for our 2012–2013 Executive resulted in an excellent slate of officers. Thanks to Mike Party and his committee for putting together this fine slate of candidates. President-elect is Valary S. Schulz (Southwest Section), vice president is Paul H. Pause (Southwest Section), and treasurer is Debra P. Osborne (Southwest Section).
Joining our executive team for the 2011-2012 term were 15 councilors representing DPA members in almost every section and region. In the U.S. sections, Greg Hebertson, Jim Grubb, and Ralph Baird were elected as new Gulf Coast Councilors for the 2011–14 term. They join Stewart Chuber and William Meaney to represent the section. Debra Osborne was elected to represent the Southwest Section joining Gregg Norman. David Morse (Eastern Section), Joel Alberts and David Tschopp (Mid-Continent Section), Bob Countryman (Pacific Section), and Jeff Brame (Rocky Mountain Section) rounded out our domestic councilors. Thanks to each of them for their service to the DPA and the AAPG. They are fine representatives of the DPA members in their Sections. A special thank you to David Morse, Bob Countryman, and Jeff Brame for their service as councilors as their terms come to an end.
Internationally, we had councilors representing all regions with the exception of Latin America. International councilors for the 2011-2012 term were Bob Shoup (Asia Pacific Region), Bill Haskett (Canada Region), John Brooks (Europe Region), Adebayo Oladele Akinpelu (Africa Region), and Jim Tucker (Middle East Region). Thanks to each of them for their commitment to the DPA and the AAPG. It is a challenge for the DPA to grow globally and we appreciate these gentlemen being the trailblazers for representation in our international regions.
Looking forward to the 2012–2015 term, president-elect Charles Sternbach put together a fine slate of nominees to fill the vacant councilor positions. Patrick M. Imbrogno was elected councilor for the Eastern Section with Jay G. Henthorne and Hannes E. Leetaru as alternates. Donna S. Anderson and Robert F. Garvin were elected as councilors for the Rocky Mountain Section with Clifford C. Clark, Peggy Williams, David A. Wavrek, and Jeff Brame as alternates. John T. Williams was elected councilor for the Pacific Section with Kurt E. Neher as alternate.
In our international regions, Robert C. Shoup was elected councilor for Asia-Pacific with Abul “Shams” Shamsuddin as alternate. William J. Haskett was elected councilor for Canada Region with Sanjeev S. Thakur as alternate. John R. V. Brooks was elected councilor for European Region with Iain P. Wright as alternate. We’re pleased to welcome our first councilor for the Latin America Region with Flavio J. Feijo elected as councilor and Hector San Martin as alternate.
To kick-off our 2011-2012 term, our EC held a half-day summit in early August 2011 along with key committee chairs to brainstorm our objectives for the term. Building on last year’s business plan put together by past president Dan Tearpock and his executive committee, the following main themes were identified as focus areas.
Growing DPA globally is a challenge and is a long-term goal. Demonstrating the value of certification is a challenge both globally and domestically. As noted above, councilors are now in place for all International Regions.
The role of the councilor is critical to the growth of the Division and is outlined in our Bylaws. Councilors are automatically members of the DPA membership committee. By definition, councilors serve as representatives of their respective section/region and should be aware of the number of certified members within their section/region. Councilors shall inform the leaders of their section/region regarding the DPA’s program of activities, especially as it relates to cooperative participation and service.
Representatives should make monthly announcements at their local society meetings about DPA activities and solicit new members. Charles Sternbach worked throughout our term to explore ways to get our councilors more engaged in representing their Sections and Regions going forward. This initiative will continue next year.
Rick Fritz was appointed the new chair of our Membership Committee. The DPA needs to build a compelling case for new members. What’s the DPA value proposition? What is our current state and where do we want to be? What is our purpose and has that changed with time? Does our membership process need to be more welcoming? What can we do to enhance our diversity– are we under-represented in various categories? Rick has kicked off a campaign with our councilors to contact high profile AAPG members as a starting point and encourage their membership.
A subcommittee including Charles Sternbach, Rick Fritz, Dan Billman, and Paul Britt spent the year exploring new “revenue growth engines.” One initiative the committee is working on is to have the DPA and AAPG have a bigger presence at NAPE. The committee is working with the AAPG’s Executive Committee to move their proposals forward.
At Leadership Days in Boulder in mid-August, our Young Professionals showed tremendous interest in getting engaged with the DPA. A DPA “member-in-training” concept was discussed and was explored by a subcommittee lead by Dan Billman and a team from the Young Professionals Committee. The committee has recommended the appointment of a Young Professional councilor to serve with the DPA councilors on a non-voting basis.
The approval process for certification has been streamlined this year with applications now being screened electronically by the Board of Certification.
Gathering and Learning
Paul Britt is chair of Conventions. In 2011-2012, we had DPA events at several meetings. At the Eastern Section meeting in September in Washington, D.C. the DPA coordinated an Energy Policy Forum, which was well attended. In October at the Mid-Continent meeting in Oklahoma City, we hosted a luncheon with guest speaker Rayola Dougher from the API. At the AAPG ICE in Milan last October, John Brooks coordinated an excellent program with Tony Hayward as our luncheon speaker discussing the challenges of Energy Security which was followed by an afternoon forum with four speakers discussing a potpourri of topics from the resource endowment offshore the west coast of the United States to who owns the Arctic. Unfortunately, the GCAGS meeting in Veracruz, Mexico was cancelled due to the ongoing security issues being faced in the Region.
At ACE in Long Beach, after our annual business meeting on April 21, we honored the DPA’s best and brightest at our annual awards dinner. This year’s dinner recognized seven DPA members for their significant contributions to the Division. Mike Party and his committee compiled a well deserving list of awardees. The recipient of the DPA Life Membership award was Rick Ericksen from Jackson, Mississippi. Life Membership is the highest and most prestigious award given by the DPA. Rick joins the elite company of 21 fellow recipients of DPA Life Membership and is well deserving of our highest honor for his continuous service and leadership to the DPA. The DPA’s Heritage Award has been awarded five times in the past and this year’s recipient is Dan Tearpock of Houston. The Heritage Award is awarded to an individual who is generally well known for their substantial contributions to the industry. These contributions can be significant discoveries, business accomplishments and/or their work in academia and publishing. Ideally, the awardee will be an individual who has built a reputation for success within the industry and has taken a proactive role in passing their knowledge and experiences to the next generation. When thinking about the criteria for this award, I can’t think of a more deserving candidate than Dan through his business and leadership with the DPA. We have two recipients of our Distinguished Service Award, Paul Britt of Houston and Craig Reynolds of Wichita Falls, Texas. Certificates of Merit were awarded to John Brooks of Brookwood, United Kingdom; Dave Entzminger of Midland, Texas; and Deborah Sacrey of Houston.
President-elect Sternbach also organized another Discovery Thinking Forum, a joint DPA/AAPG initiative. These talks enable AAPG members to see and hear about discoveries from those who know them well. In addition to learning about personal and professional challenges surmounted by the discoverers on the path to success, the format has evolved to include technical data about trends and discoveries. This session focused on “Exciting New Discoveries in Old Areas.” This was the fifth presentation of the AAPG 100th Anniversary Committee’s program recognizing “100 who made a difference.” Talks from the Pacific, Rocky Mountain, and West Texas were of particular interest for a meeting on the West Coast.
Our annual luncheon was held Tuesday, April 24, in conjunction with PROWESS, and featured two informative presentations by two respected members of the academic community—Sally Benson (Stanford University, California) and Sharon Mosher (University of Texas, Austin). Benson, director of the Global Climate Energy Project at Stanford University, spoke on “Following your Convictions: Even When the Going Gets Tough.” Mosher, dean of the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas at Austin, spoke on “Building a Diverse and Sustainable Geoscience Work Force.” Benson is a groundwater hydrologist and reservoir engineer who has conducted research to address a range of issues related to energy and the environment. She currently serves on the board of directors of the National Renewal Energy Laboratory and Climate Central. Mosher is the founder and past chair of GeoScienceWorld, an international journal aggregation for geoscientists. She is currently president-elect of the American Geological Institute.
Following the annual meeting, the 2012 Southwest Section meeting was held in Fort Worth, Texas with a DPA Breakfast featuring AAPG Ethics lecturer Rusty Riese. The committee is also working on programs for the upcoming term with the Rocky Mountain Section meeting in Grand Junction, Eastern Section meeting in Cleveland, Gulf Coast Section meeting in Austin, ICE in Singapore (several technical sessions and luncheon with guest speaker Scott Tinker) and the 2013 ACE in Pittsburgh.
Our presence in Washington is more important than ever. The AAPG’s Executive Committee re-authorized the Geo-DC office in their June meeting. The search to replace David Curtiss is ongoing and in the interim, the Geo-DC Board of Governors is responsible for the office. The Geo-DC office plays a valuable role for the AAPG membership and our goal is to assure that its operating level of excellence persists.
Beginning with the 2012-2013 fiscal year, DPA dues will increase from $40 to $50. This dues increase, the first since 1993, was unanimously passed by the council in order to maintain the value adding services and benefits associated with DPA membership. AAPG president Paul Weimer outlined the AAPG’s budget challenges in his October Explorer column. The DPA has the same deficit issues faced by the Association. The status quo is not sustainable and hard decisions like this increase in dues must be taken to partially offset our annual deficit. The DPA’S deficit in FY2011 was $42K with a budgeted FY2012 deficit of $70K. Several factors are driving this deficit—declining membership and increased expenses associated with DPA events at our annual meeting are two key elements. In addition to this dues increase, we’re addressing the revenue side by exploring new growth engines referenced above. On the expense side we significantly modified our DPA Awards dinner in Long Beach to help manage expenses.
Certified Member Class
Those of you who are delegates will recall that at the 2011 HoD annual meeting in Houston, legislation regarding the addition of a certified member category was defeated as the required 2/3-delegate vote was not achieved. This debate has been tabled until the HoD evaluated proposals on membership simplification at Long Beach.
Past-president Paul Britt told me when I became president-elect that about 40% of my role would be filled by unexpected events. This year’s unexpected event has been the Texas Bureau of Professional Geoscientists (TBPG) proposed rule changes announced in late September regarding mandatory licensure of geoscientists in Texas. Secretary Mark Gallagher took the lead in drafting a response to the TBPG on behalf of the DPA and AAPG.
In closing I would like to thank my employer, Nexen Petroleum USA, who has been fully supportive of my three-year term serving the DPA and AAPG.