Annual Report 2012: FY July 1, 2011-June 30, 2012
Young Professionals Committee
The mission of the AAPG Young Professional Committee is to: Foster a challenging and successful career in the energy business for recent college graduates and early career geoscientists. Build an understanding of the value of a lasting relationship between AAPG and young professional members. Accomplishing this mission will require: Open communication with students about careers in earth science. Identifying and serving early career needs of young geoscientists. Offering opportunities for networking, career guidance, learning, and enhancing professional competence.
Our vision is to evolve from a membership committee into a leadership and career development committee, which represents AAPG’s diverse membership base and facilitates a dynamic relationship between students and young professionals. “Young professional” is a transitional status, which requires continued professional development and a commitment to lifelong learning. Additionally, young professionals will challenge the status quo by encouraging leadership to continue to move forward via two-way mentorship and guidance and by being a group that not only acts as an agent of change, but also embraces and promotes change. Finally, we envision that young professionals will develop into a pool of unique and competent talent from which the AAPG can identify leaders for committee chairs, HoD, Divisions, Advisory Council, Affiliated and Associated Society Leadership and Executive Committee Leadership.
A survey was sent out to AAPG young professional members to poll their awareness of the Committee’s initiatives and investigate their level of participation in Association affairs. The results of this survey showed that communication was poor and involvement with decision-making was lacking. The initiatives described below were taken to address these key issues.
The Young Professionals Committee engaged with a range of AAPG stakeholders to strengthen ties, promote regular interaction with young professionals and raise awareness of the Committee’s goals.
In a joint initiative with the leadership of the House of Delegates, we tried to encourage the Regions and Affiliated Societies to include young professionals on the ballot with the intent of accomplishing two main goals: increasing the number of young professionals as members of the House of Delegates, and promoting greater young professional involvement in the decision-making process governing AAPG affairs. This initiative had moderate success. The number of young professional delegates has increased from one in 2010-11 to four in 2011-12 when using an age limit of 35.
We also collaborated with the Division of Professional Affairs regarding the development of a DPA Member-in-Training program, which envisaged young professionals being mentored by DPA members in preparation for certification. Although this initiative has not yet matured, the decision was made to propose a Bylaws change to allow for an YP liaison to be incorporated into the DPA Council. Initial contacts with the other Divisions look promising and we have been pursuing the incorporation of YP liaisons with them as well.
We also had a committee recruitment drive where we identified vacancies in AAPG standing committees and aimed to fill them with young professionals. While this initiative was championed by both this Committee and AAPG President Paul Weimer, we had little response from other committee chairs. However, we were able to place a young professional as committee chair of the Visiting Geoscientist Program Committee. Previous efforts have resulted in the placement of 16 YPs on 8 committees. We plan to continue this initiative for next year.
To address the lack of awareness of both the Committee’s activities and the possibilities for active participation in the Association, both traditional and online communications were overhauled.
Several YP Committee members have published Explorer articles highlighting young professional events and initiatives and the Committee plans to continue submitting articles throughout the year. The Committee website was redesigned and brought up-to-date with the help of headquarters staff. It now provides an overview of the Committee members and activities, as well as contact information. Also increased was the use of our Facebook group and targeted emails.
Both at the ACE in Long Beach and the ICE in Milan, the Committee organised a meet-n-greet, which aims to promote networking and experience sharing between students, young professionals and experienced mentors. Both meet-n-greets have proven very well attended, with over 100 participants at ACE and over 130 participants at ICE. Also the Networking Challenge, a competition where students and young professionals are encouraged to engage with AAPG leaders by collecting signatures around the Exhibition Hall during Sunday’s Icebreaker, was conducted at both meetings. Both events aim to increase the exposure and participation of young professionals and students at our national and international meetings.
In Long Beach, the Committee hosted the first-ever YP Networking Reception at the Rock Bottom Brewery. Attendees enjoyed good food, local beers and the chance to network with other young professionals attending the ACE. The “YP-only” event gave YPs a chance to share their experiences with working in the industry and being a part of AAPG.
Prior to the Leadership Days in Boulder, Colorado, the Committee hosted the Young Professionals Leadership Summit. The program included: training on personality types and leadership styles; work sessions; information sessions by AAPG staff on the Sections and Regions, the Foundation and the Divisions; sessions with AAPG leadership on Robert’s Rules of Order, the AAPG President's Vision and AAPG Bylaws; and a session with Section and Region leaders to developing an action plan.
The committee also coordinates and promotes the activities of the YP Chapters in the below locations and aims to develop them in the other Sections and Regions:
- Egypt, Gabon, Nigeria, South Africa (Africa Region)
- Calgary, Edmonton, St. John’s (Canada Region)
- The Netherlands, UK, Norway (European Region)
- Colombia, Ecuador, Peru (Latin America Region)
- Houston, New Orleans (Gulf Coast Section)
- Bakersfield, Long Beach (Pacific Section)
- Denver (Rocky Mountain Section)
In addition to continuing to organize the annual activities described above in 2012-13, the Young Professionals Committee will be focusing on promoting a bylaws change to allow for an official “Young Professional” special designation, improving the integration with the Sections and Regions, further developing YP Chapters in industry hubs and maintaining our communication pipeline. To evaluate our progress, we will also be performing a follow-up membership survey towards the end of the year.
The 2011-2012 budget allocated funding to the Young Professionals Committee, with the goal of providing financial assistance to YP programs in the Sections and Regions, as well as Committee activities.
Noble Energy agreed to sponsor the meet-n-greet at ACE in Long Beach and have renewed their support for the ACE in Pittsburgh and extended sponsorship to include the YP Networking Reception.
Through generous support from the AAPG Foundation and the Executive Committee, ten representatives from the different Sections and Regions were able to attend the Young Professionals Leadership Summit in Boulder, Colo., in August 2011.
Nick Lagrilliere, Chair
Committee members: Nick Lagrilliere, chair; Meredith Faber, vice-chair; Olatunbosun Oke, Africa Region lead; Reetu Ragini, Asia-Pacific Region lead; Ryan Lemiski, Canada Region lead; Ruairi McDonald, European Region lead; Ignacio Iregui, Latin America Region lead; Anwar Al-Beaiji, Middle East Region lead; Bob Fedinetz, Eastern Section lead; Riyad Ali-Adeeb, Gulf Coast Section lead; Drew Kreman, Mid-continent Section lead; Jon Allen, Pacific Section lead; Catherine Campbell, Rocky Mountain Section lead; and Nikki Morris, Southwest Section lead