Societies and Divisions
Division of Professional Affairs
Who and What is the DPA?
The DPA is a professional community within the AAPG that is focused on the professional practice of energy resource geoscientists. Its members are Certified Petroleum Geologists and Geophysicists and Coal Geologists that are committed to the highest ethical and professional standards. The Division communicates, to both DPA and AAPG membership, information on issues affecting or having the potential of affecting our professional practice. The DPA further represents the profession by engaging policymakers on matters of professional concern. To that end, DPA members take an active role to inform themselves and all AAPG members about legislation and regulatory policy that may impact our profession.
The DPA Council is made up of elected Officers and elected Councilors from each of the AAPG Sections, and a Region’s Councilor. This year, we are attempting to expand the Regions’ representation by having Councilors from the various Regions, beginning with the largest Regions. All elected positions are voted on by the DPA membership.
DPA Membership and Certification Program
The DPA is the largest of the AAPG Divisions with just under 3,000 members. The Division currently provides two (2) levels of certification for petroleum geologists and geophysicists and coal geologists. An additional level of certification called “Board Certified” requires annual continuing education credits to maintain that certification. It is important to recognize that the DPA is the only organization in the U.S. that specifically certifies the credentials including education and experience of petroleum geologists and geophysicists. Although some 29 states and one U.S. territory currently license geoscientists, most of those states have specifically exempted petroleum geoscientists from licensure. And that is where the DPA continues to fulfill a critical and needed service, picking up where most legislatively mandated licensure programs leave off, to ensure the ethical and competent professional practice within the petroleum sector.
DPA Member Services
The Division provides short courses on professional development and ethics at national and sectional meetings as well as sponsoring or co-sponsoring forums and other special sessions.
Starting last year, the Division sponsors DPA Town Hall meetings in various AAPG Sections, where David Curtiss with the GEO-DC office presents current issues in legislation to DPA members and potential members.
Other Division member services include:
- The Correlator, the Division’s quarterly newsletter that contains a diverse amount of information, opinion, and outstanding technical articles related to professional development via “The Play of the Day” series of articles;
- Web-based short courses on ethics (free to DPA members and for a small fee to AAPG members and other professionals);
- Legislative Tracking Service that tracks legislation in all 50 states and the U.S. Congress (made available this year to all AAPG members);
- Reserve Analysis and Estimation (ongoing project); and
- Model Contracts and Agreements (currently working on updates and new contracts).
Other services are in the works, and will be announced as they become available.
The DPA is a financial co-sponsor of the Geo-DC Office and it maintains an active role in that office’s direction and support. The Division, through its Governmental Affairs Committee, participates semi-annually in the Congressional Visit Days (CVD) in conjunction with AGI and AAPG’s own CVD in the spring. The Governmental Affairs Committee continues to participate in the continuing mission of the Geoscience and Energy Office in Washington, DC (GEO-DC) in conjunction with the AAPG Governing Board of the GEO-DC.
The Division, primarily through its Governmental Affairs Committee, has developed and has aided in the development of AAPG Position Statements, including the procedure for regular updates and revisions to these statements.
Highlights of the New Orleans Annual Meeting:
The Ethics, Professionalism and Process of AAPG Statements - How does an international scientific professional society like AAPG stay true to its many self-imposed goals and policies, such as to educate, while not taking political stands? Moderators are Jeff Jones and Carl Smith and the panelists are David Curtiss, John Dolson, Lynn Hughes, Pete Rose, Ray Thomasson, and Scott Tinker. This topic will be offered as an extended Forum so that the discussion may cover more detail in the afternoon.
The “Discovery Thinking” Forum, a AAPG/DPA/HOPG sponsored forum, will be the third presentation of the AAPG 100th Anniversary Committee’s program recognizing “100 Who Made a Difference.” The New Orleans forum will feature six invited speakers who have made a difference. They are John Amoruso, Marv Brittenham, Gregg Robertson, Bill Zagorski, Mike Forrest and Dan Smith.
The Ethics, Professionalism and Process of AAPG Statements - How does an international scientific professional society like AAPG stay true to its many self-imposed goals and policies, such as to educate, while not taking political stands? Moderators are Jeff Jones and Carl Smith and the panelists are David Curtiss, John Dolson, Lynn Hughes, Pete Rose, Ray Thomasson, and Scott Tinker.
DPA Short Courses
Reservoir Engineering for Geologists, Stephen Norris
Quality Control for Subsurface Maps (QLTs), Dan Tearpock u