Letter from AAPG President
The AAPG Executive Committee met seven times during 2009-10, with several interspersed teleconferences. Secretary Bill Houston, even while transferring from Denver to a new job in Thailand, has thoughtfully recorded the minutes of these meetings. Most of the meetings were planned to coincide with other regular AAPG meetings (e.g., the Annual (ACE) and International Convention and Exhibition (ICE) meetings, several section meetings, and NAPE) in order to promote interaction between the Executive Committee and the AAPG members who elected them.
For the same reason, the Executive Committee members, as well as Directors from Headquarters, have been visiting many of the US affiliated societies (Wichita, Ardmore, Tulsa, Houston, Anchorage, Roswell, Midland, among others) in order to answer questions and to promote an understanding of the operation of AAPG, while gathering grass-roots information on member views and concerns. Members of the AAPG Executive Committee and the Executive Director have also visited AAPG members and affiliated groups in Moscow, Cartagena, Bahrain, London, Aberdeen, Tokyo, Singapore, Bangkok, and Paris.
This year’s Executive Committee focus has included not only strengthening connections with the affiliated organizations but also the scientific mission of the Association. Geoscience, underpinned by both our scientific publications and the AAPG technical meetings, is the core of AAPG; and Elected Editor Gretchen Gillis has nurtured that mission, receiving over 200 manuscripts for consideration by the AAPG BULLETIN by diligently working to make it an attractive place for authors to publish.
Several geological societies have requested affiliation with AAPG during the course of the year, including the Atlantic Geoscience Society and the Balochistan Geoscientists Association. Provisional acceptance has been offered pending final action by the House of Delegates and HoD Chair, Steve Sonnenberg.
Another part of this program, for enhanced and standardized interaction with the affiliated societies and groups, has been the formulation of a set of procedures and guidelines delineating the interactions between AAPG Headquarters and the international regions, overseen by AAPG Vice-President for Regions, Alfredo Guzman. If successful, the guidelines and procedures can be used as models for standardizing the presently diverse interactions between Headquarters and the US Sections, although such follow-up will be more complicated since the US Sections are independently incorporated. There has been a gratifying increase in the participation in AAPG activities by the International Regions over the course of this year, and the next two International Convention and Exhibitions will be held in Calgary, Canada, and Milan, Italy. The next two Annual Convention and Exhibitions will be held in Houston and Long Beach, and after much deliberation, the Executive Committee voted to accept the Eastern Section bid to hold the 2013 Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh.
Rusty Riese, Vice-President for Sections, has followed up on last year’s discussions on global corporate structure, obtaining an important second legal opinion that confirms that AAPG assets will be protected by our existing corporate structures as we expand internationally. We now have three Region offices in Bahrain, Singapore, and London. These offices will provide member services and develop AAPG programs in the local regions. Plans for additional international offices are on hold until the global economy and the AAPG budget will definitively support them.
The AAPG budget began the year with a significant deficit (about 7% of the annual budget in the red, see the accompanying treasurer’s report), and the global economy did not allow us to gain on that deficit during the year despite economization programs instituted by Headquarters and AAPG elected Treasurer, Kay Pitts. The final tally for the year is not in as this is being written, but we have held the line and have not gone deeper into the red than budgeted at the beginning of the year.
Much Executive Committee discussion this year has revolved around an expansion initiative by the AAPG Energy Minerals Division. This plan would provide as many as 12 new technical committees, focused primarily on energy-related commodities. These committees will promote the science of these commodities and would collect related data for Web sites that would be available to all AAPG members. In order to facilitate this and to expand this division, the Executive Committee, at the request of the division, voted to eliminate dues for the division, at the same time opening up EMD membership to all AAPG members who express interest.
The Executive Committee also voted to disband or ‘sunset’ the AAPG Global Climate Change Committee. The Committee was deemed to have fulfilled the purpose for which it had been created, and it was felt that AAPG’s expertise in subsurface fluid flow, coastal processes in the event of rising sea level, and deep-time climate change would be more appropriate areas of investigation.These areas are being assigned to other existing AAPG committees.
An ad hoc Tactical Operations Committee, chaired by President-elect Dave Rensink, was charged with assessing the effectiveness of the implemented changes at AAPG Headquarters recommended by the previous four Tactical Operations (Tac Ops) Committees. The final report of the Tac Ops Committee has not been submitted as of this writing, but the Committee found that overall the changes have been effective and beneficial, and additional minor changes were suggested.
This year’s Executive Committee has been compatible and productive even while expressing divergent opinions and voting in different directions on many of the issues that have been debated and decided. It has been a pleasure to chair this group and to work with the dedicated AAPG Headquarters staff. It has been an honor to serve the AAPG membership as President.