The Eastern Section (ES) is honored to have been selected to host the 2013 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition (ACE) in Pittsburgh, PA. Our goal is to host a first-class event that provides a challenging and comprehensive technical program. Pittsburgh has turned into a natural gas hub of activity in North America with the explosion of activity associated with exploration of the Marcellus and Utica Shales. The AAPG Executive Committee will be voting in San Antonio on our proposed General Chair for the meeting.
The Eastern Section has embarked on a challenging goal of adding at least 50 new student chapters by May of 2011. There are 399 colleges or universities with geology departments in the Eastern Section, yet we only have 20 student chapters and 8 of those are currently inactive, so we have a lot of low hanging fruit to pick. The huge areal extent of the ES presents real challenges that will need to be overcome, as the Section extends from Maine to northern Florida and west to Indiana and Wisconsin.
Our plan is to find a motivated person who will act as student chapter liaison and begin the process of contacting professors and students to encourage them to create a chapter. We also plan to create a mentoring program where we hope to pair one AAPG member with each student chapter to give them a contact geologist that can assist them in strengthening their chapter and locating speakers. We plan to have yearly ES Student Leadership Training that will coincide with our annual ES Meeting and we have commitments from the ES and several affiliated societies to provide travel expenses for these students. The ES currently has 2,865 members, which represents a loss of 458 members from the year before.
I am Director of Geology for Texas Keystone, Inc, a Pittsburgh-based natural gas operator. I joined AAPG in 1978 while a student at West Virginia University. Much of my time recently has been consumed with political work related to my role as President of the PA Coalition for Responsible Government.