Letter from the Chair-Elect
Graduated Dues – A Regional Perspective
In the January issue of The Delegates’ Voice, I referred to AAPG’s strategic plan and the six goal areas that we hope to achieve over the next decade that will define our future success. The achievement of these goals will move the Association towards the realization of our envisioned future of being indispensable to all professionals in the energy-related geosciences worldwide. One step towards achieving our goal of global presence is the implementation of an ability-to-pay graduated dues structure that we will debate and vote on at our upcoming annual meeting in Long Beach.
To become indispensable, however, we must ensure we are accessible. A large number of geoscientists around the world view the AAPG as a prestigious organization; although inaccessible, because it is unaffordable.
Salaries and compensation systems are typically lower internationally, in comparison to the United States, Canada and Europe for example. Looking at the AAPG’s latest salary survey, a geoscience graduate with 0-2 years experience can expect a salary close to $70,000 US dollars. In several emerging economies, a graduate with similar experience can expect to make approximately 20% of that total or less. The comparable pay scale does not change dramatically as experience level increases. AAPG dues are cost prohibitive for many international and some domestic geologists with limited disposable income.
I don’t need to tell you the demographic need to make AAPG more accessible, both domestically and internationally – just take a look around the room at the annual HoD meeting or your last local society meeting. Picture AAPG in 20 years given the status quo!
Some may view graduated dues as a threat to domestic membership. The proposal is not geographically restricted and will benefit existing and potential new domestic members. Others may say, that members who are paying a higher dues level are subsidizing members overseas. This is not the case, as not all dues categories receive the same products. I believe we should view this proposal as an investment in the future of our association, science, and profession.
Here you’ll find background on the proposal in articles by House Chair, Larry Jones and AAPG President, Lee Billingsley. There is also a forum where you can post your thoughts on the proposal and read the views of your colleagues.
Think about AAPG and its importance to your career. Was it a Bulletin article that sparked an idea? Did you read about a conference in the Explorer that led to you to meet a new contact? Was it the Continuing Education course that provided you with a new skill? Was it the field trip that reminded you why you fell in love with this science and why you chose to pursue a career in the geosciences?
Let’s provide more geoscientists with the opportunity to be enriched by AAPG. With time, several will become active in our Association and will give back technically and financially.