Annual Report 2012: FY July 1, 2011-June 30, 2012
My year as President began a little earlier than usual. Two events that occurred during the previous president’s term extended well into my term.
Executive Director Search
First, the search for Rick Fritz’ replacement began in March 2011 and was completed in early August with the hiring of David Curtiss as Executive Director and David Lange as the Deputy Executive Director. The ad hoc search committee was chaired by David Rensink and comprised the 2010-2011 Executive Committee (David Hawk, chair-HOD; Alfredo Guzman, VP regions; Bill Houston, secretary; Marv Brittenham, VP sections; Jim McGhay, treasurer) and Steve Laubach, elected editor). Bill Fisher, representing the AAPG Foundation, also served on the search committee. I served as vice chair of the Search Committee.
Second, at our preliminary budget meeting in May 25, 2011, the original estimate of the FY 2012 budget was about a $1.3 million deficit. Clearly we began the year with many serious challenges. AAPG staff and Jim McGhay, treasurer, worked hard to reduce the budget deficit to about $0.3 by end of fiscal year. That was a pretty stunning accomplishment, and kudos to all of them.
The strategic plan was finished by the AC for discussion in August; its major points were reviewed at the August 2011 Leadership Days Conference held in Boulder. The entire document was uploaded for membership review, and discussed in the November President’s column. Three key recurring themes were discussed during the year by the EC: (1) how do we best advance our science, (2) how do we educate the public awareness and understanding; and (3) how do we grow our membership and improve our member services.
The EC spent considerable time discussing all of AAPG’s digital offerings, and how we might improve our offerings, including Bulletin, Website, Datapages and digital delivery, Search and Discovery, and integrating GIS into all of our deliverables. We now have the ability to deliver our scientific information almost instantly around the world. This transformation in digital offerings will take 2-3 years, but I think this is absolutely essential to our future ability to entice new members and retain current members. With these capabilities, we could reach the full potential of our influence as a professional society internationally.
Reconsidering membership requirements
The movement towards membership simplification that began several years ago, continued this year, led by Jeff Lund and Andrea Reynolds. The EC took a series of positive continuing steps to make the AAPG application experience more efficient (process) and welcoming (qualification and application requirements). Long-term membership trends remain a significant concern, and more emphasis on growing all new members is a priority for the entire association.
Several new areas of joint cooperation were pursued this past year. We opened the joint office with the SEG in Dubai in early March. On February 24, members of the AAPG and SEG Executive Committees met with staff members to discuss additional areas for future collaboration. One surprising fact that emerged was the number of members who belonged to both societies (about 6 % of SEG). I hope our collaboration will increase so that we can co-sponsor additional events for members.
Another example of cooperation was the establishment of a memorandum of understanding with EAGE in June to increase our joint offerings. The first joint EAGE-AAPG research conference will be held in Lisbon in 2013, with plans for subsequent annual affairs around the globe. A joint AAPG-EAGE core workshop was convened in Jakarta in February. AAPG also continued to work with SEPM and SEG on a number of projects and conferences.
Finally, one of the main goals of my year was to offer a half-day short course, free-of-charge, for students and professionals around the world: “The petroleum industry in the next decade: an overview to the science, technology and AAPG.” The purpose of this short course was to give students and professionals a strong sense of the spectacular technology with which we work, how much E and P concepts have changed during the past 3 to 4 years with the rapid evolution in developing unconventional resources, the future of their profession, and what they can expect in their careers. Along the way, the benefits of AAPG membership became clear. The short course addressed the following themes: (1) rejuvenation of old fields; (2) frontier exploration in conventional accumulations; (3) introduction to unconventional resources: tight-gas sandstones; and (4) the future: assumptions (supply and demand), technology (seismic, how we interpret), more on unconventional resources, why belong to AAPG. All total I gave the course in 22 sites, in 20 countries. I am most appreciative to AAPG membership for the support of this program.
Paul Weimer, President