History of COCBAP
Ed Dolly and George Eynon, COCBAP Members
AAPG Executive Committee created the Ad Hoc Committee
on Constitution and Bylaw Amendment Process (COCBAP) on March
1, 1998. The twelve-member committee, including Chairman Lee T.
Billingsley, was given the charge to analyze both the amendment
process and the responsibilities of the Executive Committee with
respect to determining legality of proposed amendments
to the AAPG Bylaws. After exchanges of opinion and much discussion,
the COCBAP met twice at the annual convention in Salt Lake City
in May 1998.
COCBAP members represented divergent views on the charge. They
took their charge seriously, and debated vigorously, honestly,
and professionally. They invited four guest speakers to offer
insight on the subject and to answer questions of the Committee
members. Those speakers were Frank Harrison, John Hogg, Clint
Moore and Larry Woodfork.
of the COCBAP, made in June 1998, are listed below. For the sake
of brevity the Executive Committee will be referred to as the
EC, the Advisory Council as the AC, and the House of Delegates
as the HOD.
Interpretation of Legality - Legality as set out
in Section 2, Article XIV of the Bylaws should be interpreted
literally. The ECs determination of legality for proposed
Bylaw amendments should be limited to the mechanical process
as outlined in the Bylaws. It should not include a
broader responsibility which includes a consideration of the intent,
purposes and spirit of the Association and all of its governing
documents. (Quote from the COCBAP charge.)
Procedural Charges - The following recommendations are designed
to a) improve communication about proposed Constitution and Bylaw
amendments (amendments) and b) allow amendments to
be in more of a consensus form before they are debated and voted
upon in the HOD.
A) Require opinions from the AC, EC and HOD on resolutions
for amendments. Opinions must be submitted by September 30
of each year to the Constitution and Bylaw Committee of the HOD
in order to be considered in the HOD at the Annual Meeting. An
opinion is not necessary from the body which originated the resolution
for amendment, but submission of the rationale leading to the
resolution would be in order and helpful. (Example: If a resolution
for amendment came from the EC, the EC would not submit an opinion,
but the AC and the HOD could each submit an opinion.) Envisioned
choices for opinion include 1) no opinion, 2) recommend passage,
3) recommend passage with specified changes, and 4) recommend
B) The HOD should publish all resolutions for amendments, which
have passed the HOD, within 30 days of conclusion of the HOD meeting.
Suggested means of publication include Delegate newsletter, notification
to the EC and the AC, notice to the International Liaison Committee,
and notification to any other group identified as affected by
the proposed amendment.
C) The Constitution and Bylaw Committee of the HOD shall consult
with other interested groups during preparation of wording of
proposed amendments. Interested groups must submit views by
October 30. If alternate views are identified, the Constitution
and Bylaw Committee shall publish such views with the proposed
Constitutional Amendment - The EC should pass a resolution
proposing a constitutional amendment. The proposed amendment would
prevent any one body (AC, EC, or HOD) from proposing amendments
which would alter the composition, manner of selection,
the terms of office, the specific duties, responsibilities, and
other matters relevant to such bodies and officers without
the consent of the affected body. This resolution for amendment
should be submitted to the HOD, and if passed by a majority vote,
will be submitted to the entire membership for vote.
COCBAP recommendations received unanimous endorsement when taken
as a whole, but there would not be a consensus if any of the three
main sections of recommendations were deleted. COCBAP is divided
on support of the amendment itself (item 3 above). But COCBAP
is unanimous in support for the concept that such an amendment
should be brought forward for consideration.
1998 Executive Committee moved to receive the recommendations
of the COCBAP, but deferred approval of the report itself.
Action to Date
Executive Committee thus far has put into practice two of the
three recommendations (specifically items 1 and 2 of the COCBAP
report). As the recommendations applied to specific Bylaw amendments
within the International Representation Committee Report, the
EC deemed all were legal in the literal sense of the
word, as per the COCBAP recommendation. The ad hoc IRC Amendment
Resolution Committee was formed to propose amendments to the original
IRC Report. As requested by COCBAP, representatives of the AC
provided their input and consent to proposed amendment changes.
respect to the third recommendation, no new constitutional amendment
was proposed by the EC in 1998. However, in March 1999, a Special
Ad Hoc Committee (SAHC) to the EC was formed to evaluate the advisability
of the proposed amendment to restrict the ability of one body
of the Association to alter another without its consent (item
3 of the COCBAP report).
Special Ad Hoc
of this Committee were Brenda K. Cunningham, Committee Chairman
and HOD representative; Carlos A. Dengo, AC representative; and
Terry R. Hollrah, EC representative.
AAPG Annual Convention in San Antonio in April of 1999, the Special
Ad Hoc Committee held a forum in which fourteen Association representatives
spoke before the Committee and/or submitted written statements.
presented to the Committee at the forum were of three exclusive
1) Those in favor of the proposed amendment,
2) Those opposed to an amendment, and
3) Those in favor of a proposal being
brought forward before the HOD.
percent of the 14 representatives were in favor of an amendment
in some form, 46% were against a proposed amendment in any form,
and 38% wished to see the issue brought before the HOD regardless
of their personal position relative to the issue. The Committee
members deliberately expressed no opinion to this forum. Multiple
aspects of the issue were considered, specifically:
1) What was the general impression
of what informed members of the Association desire?
2) What were the initial charges to,
and the final recommendations of, the COCBAP?
3) What obligation, if any, does the
EC have to act upon the recommendations of the COCBAP and other
ad hoc committees?
4) What effects, both positive and
negative, might result if this issue is not brought forward?
5) What effects, both positive and
negative, might result if this issue is brought forward?
6) Is there a need for a different
course of action not identified previously?
on all the data collected, the SAHC drew the following conclusions
and made the following recommendations.
the best interest of the Association, it is incumbent on the EC
to make, and act upon, a decision independent of the SAHC.
The issues surrounding the advisability of a proposed amendment
restricting one body of the Associations ability to alter
another without its consent are complex, emotionally charged and
evenly divided in both support and opposition. The SAHC believes
an independent decision derived and implemented by the EC will
reiterate its leadership role within the organization.
informed Delegate body is critical to the well being of AAPG,
and the SAHC strongly supports open, honest, and timely communication
between both the Delegate body and Association leadership, and
with Delegates and members.
Most Recent Action
April by a vote of five (5) for and two (2) against, the EC moved
to forward the third recommendation of the COCBAP report as a
resolution by the EC for action and decision by vote in the HOD.
The EC has taken no position to date, for or against the measure,
and defers to the judgment of the HOD and the membership as to
this amendment to the Constitution.
short summary on the history of COCBAP comes from more detailed
reports on COCBAP prepared by Lee T. Billingsley, notes from HOD
Past Chairman Dan Smith, EC minutes, and the SAHC report. It has
been reviewed by House leadership and by the chairs of the EC
on COCBAP will be published in future 2000-2001 issues of The
Science Week 2000 TOP
the time you receive this issue, celebration of the 3rd annual
Earth Science Week will occur in over 20 countries, including
the U.S., Australia, and Canada. It is an international event
designed to foster public awareness of the earth sciences and
to increase public access to information about local geology.
Activities include field trips, science demonstrations, lecture
and film series, exhibits, school visits, and open houses. The
American Geological Institute (AGI) initiated Earth
Science Week on behalf of the geoscience community to provide
an annual focus for public education about the earth and earth
16 April 1972, the House met in Denver to consider several issues.
Probably one of the most significant New Business proposals
was a resolution, presented by Hugh Frenzel on behalf of the
West Texas Geological Society, to add the phrase ...and
to advance professional well-being of its members to Article
II of the Constitution. The House adopted this resolution and
passed the amendment the next year in Anaheim, California.
Accordingly, the Constitution of the Association was changed
to recognize that issues such as those dealing with professional
livelihood were part of the Purposes of AAPG.
from History of the House of Delegates 1970-1995
compiled by George R. Gibson and Herbert G. Davis.
from Affiliated Societies
Houston Geological Society Establishes NeoGeos
that early-career geoscientists seek specific information for
establishing and developing their careers and also need to network
among themselves, a new special interest group has evolved in
the Houston Geological Society (HGS) - the NeoGeos. Originally
an informal group of newly hired geoscientists within one company,
a chance discussion between a NeoGeo leader Kelly Latter and
HGS VP Denise Stone (a Houston Delegate) led to incorporating
the NeoGeos as an HGS committee. The membership is targeted
at, but not restricted to, geoscientists with up to seven years
of career experience.
As of the end of summer, there are 120 members on the mailing
list, consisting of people who attended a NeoGeo event or expressed
interest in the group. Some interesting statistics on these
are male, 42% female;
work in the petroleum industry, representing 25 companies;
are graduate students, those seeking employment, and one environmental
represent graduates from at least 27 different schools in
two-thirds were already HGS members, although their activity
level ranged greatly.
NeoGeo dinner meetings are scheduled for the second Wednesday
of alternating months, beginning in September with a presentation
by former AAPG President Michel T. Halbouty. Other activities
include participation in Earth Science week and the Houston
Museum of Natural Science, field trips, and social events such
as happy hours and picnics. Currently there is discussion about
assisting young professionals in other disciplines, encouraging
them either to join the NeoGeos or else to form similar groups.
Further information can be found on the HGS website, www.hgs.org,
or by e-mailing NeoGeos<at>ev1.net.
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