I Accepted the Invitation To Be a Candidate for AAPG Office
DOUGLAS G. PATCHEN
Obviously, it is
a great honor to be nominated to be a candidate for an AAPG
office, and actually, it is a humbling experience as well.
Having served five years on the Advisory Council, I can attest
to the depth of the pool of highly qualified candidates that
was considered each year for the various offices. With this
in mind, it was one thing to sign the form last fall agreeing
to be considered as a candidate; it was quite another when
I received the phone call from President Gries this spring
asking me to confirm that I was still willing to do so.
over the years, AAPG has probably been a bigger part of my
professional life than I realized for a long time. Coming
out of a northeastern college, I was much more aware of GSA
than I was AAPG until I began working at the West Virginia
Geological Survey and met Dudley Cardwell, a long time AAPG
member and one of the finest gentlemen I have ever had the
good fortune to know. Through Dudley, I got involved in the
Committee on Statistics of Drilling and the AAPG Development
Papers, an involvement that lasted more than 20 years.
About that same
time I was asked to serve as the Appalachian Basin coordinator
for the COSUNA Project, or Correlation of Stratigraphic Units
of North America, and that led to my being asked to serve
on the Stratigraphic Correlations Committee. However, even
when I began serving on this committee in the early 1980s,
I still was not an AAPG member.
Eventually I realized
how much I really enjoyed working with the highly competent
and fully committed people on the CSD and COSUNA projects,
and that each year I had been presenting papers at the Eastern
Section meeting and attending the national convention, so
I gave in to the annual plea of Fred Dix to become a member
Why did I wait
so long? Perhaps as a goal-oriented and slightly cautious
person, I thought I was too busy doing other things to commit
to AAPG. I don't mind planning, and do a lot of it, but to
me planning means little or nothing unless those plans are
implemented, and this is what I really enjoy doing. I use
this same approach when considering whether or not to join
a professional organization. Unless I have the time to get
really involved, and feel that I can make a significant contribution
and make things happen, I do not join an organization just
for the sake of joining.
I commonly apply
this philosophy during discussions with those who have dropped
out of AAPG, and complained that they did not "get enough
out of it." My response is, "What did you put into it?" The
more you put into an organization like AAPG, the more you
will get out of it. It really is as simple as that, at least
When I served
on the Advisory Council, I noticed that on many occasions
AC members who also were in the House of Delegates or on the
Executive Committee saw the same issue a little differently,
while those who were in neither saw it still differently from
their AC-only perspective. That intrigued me, because I always
like to understand all sides of an issue before I reach a
decision. So, having served on the Advisory Council and in
the House of Delegates, I look forward to the opportunity
to see AAPG from the perspective of the Executive Committee.
AAPG is a business,
and not a small business. As such, some decisions made by
the Executive Committee and executive director must be made
with the health and future growth of the business foremost
in their minds. At the same time, however, AAPG is composed
of individuals, and these individuals have personal needs
that AAPG can and should address. I look forward to the opportunity
to be responsive to the needs of the membership and to be
part of an Executive Committee that promotes a strong corporate
entity while advancing the well-being of its members as our
The need for education,
training and re-training never ends, due to the cyclic nature
of the industry and the constant development of new technology.
I have been around long enough to observe the up and down
nature of the oil and gas industry, seemingly with a cycle
in every decade since the 1960s. And I have noticed how quickly
and efficiently AAPG has responded to the needs of their members
during and after each decline. In the 1970s, many petroleum
geologists lost their jobs and found new employment in the
coal industry. AAPG responded with the Energy Minerals Division
and programs to retrain these members. In the 1980s, after
another downturn, many members began a new career in the environmental
arena. Again, AAPG responded with the Division of Environmental
Geosciences, more training and new publications.
This is a good
track record, but the obligation to respond to member needs
never ends. The industry continues to change each year, with
new technology and an increasingly more global perspective.
As we reach out to new members and affiliated societies in
other parts of the world, we need to be proactive to fully
invest them in our organization. And, we need to do this not
only for the working petroleum professional, but for the petroleum
students as well, those who are the future of the global industry
to transfer, students to teach, interdisciplinary teamwork
to promote, an environment to protect: these are among the
key elements in the future of our organization, and all must
be addressed by future executive committees of AAPG. It is
an exciting prospect, and I hope not only to stick around
for a few more years to be part of it, but to have the opportunity
to be an active, productive member of one of these Executive
Committees as well.
I Accepted the Invitation To Be a Candidate for AAPG Office
ERIK P. MASON
It is a genuine
honor to be a candidate for AAPG vice president and I truly
appreciate having this opportunity. It represents a chance
to give back to an organization that has given much to me,
and to make a contribution to the petroleum geologic community
Why did I accept
the invitation to be a candidate for AAPG office? First, I
want to help guide AAPG into the future by building on its
foundation of encouraging technical excellence. And second,
I would like to actively help grow the AAPG membership in
order to ensure the long-term health of the organization.
AAPG was founded
on scientific and technical excellence. These strengths are
on display each year in publications, short courses, field
trips, and technical sessions at domestic and international
conferences. They remain at the core of AAPG and are the reasons
many of us joined this organization.
To continue to
build upon this foundation, I support and would like to help
implement some of the following ongoing and potentially new
the value of conventions and conferences to members.
Increase the quality
of technical sessions by encouraging organizing committees
to hold fewer of them with longer (e.g. 30 minute vs. 20 minute)
papers. Experiment with smaller sessions that allow for more
discussion. Encourage questioning from session chairs making
this the expectation. Continue experimentation with different
"poster session" formats allowing for increased innovation
by authors. Increase the number of Hedberg Conferences, which
provide a unique forum that can drive technical and scientific
emphasis on exploration.
Organize a conference(s)
focused on exploration successes and failures (war stories),
methods and techniques. Dedicate a BULLETIN issue each year
to exploration successes, large and small, and exploration
playmakers. Establish an exploration newsletter that keeps
current on scout activities, focusing initially on one area
domestically as a pilot and expanding to other regions in
time. Continue to expand APPEX in Houston and internationally
while keeping it focused, as it presently is, on showing prospects
vs. distributing glossy brochures, as has become the norm
in some other prospect expos.
a database of public digital well and seismic data to make
available to members.
Start with a core
area. Given success, expand to other areas, as has been done
with AAPG publications (idea suggested by Nathan Kuhl to Robbie
Gries at a recent New Orleans Geological Society meeting)
Beyond these specific
initiatives, we must continue to systematically build AAPG
membership by attracting new, and especially young, members.
I fully support the continued strengthening of AAPG student
chapters and expanded support of Student Expos (job fairs)
such as those held annually in Houston. I also believe that
we can significantly increase international membership through
membership drives associated with international conferences.
We can also reach out more to geophysicists and engineers
who could benefit from AAPG's benefits and services.
In summary, if
elected I will do all that I can to help AAPG. I am honored
and grateful to have this opportunity.