I hope that you have enjoyed the summer; we certainly seemed to have some extreme weather in certain parts of Europe. I would first like to thank all those who took part in the election for the Vice President of the European Region Council and the 14 House of Delegates positions for Europe. Voter turnout was lower than we had hoped and I encourage more Active members to take part in the next election. Our regional membership at the beginning of the 2010-11 fiscal year stood at about 3,250, not including approximately 600 members yet to pay dues.
July and August are generally a quiet time in terms of AAPG events, however staff in the London office have been busy supporting us and organizing the programs for the 2010-11 fiscal year. The European Regional Council is very active and meets four times each year and is additionally supported by various subcommittees responsible for particular aspects of our business.
Our goals are as follows:
- Promotion of Active membership
- Managing the transition from Student to Professional membership
- Expanding membership in Eastern Europe
- Broadcasting products and services
- Education, particularly in Eastern Europe
- Provision of services/support to Student Chapters
- Identifying European lecturers and visiting geoscientists
Our program includes regularly scheduled “Oil-Finders” lunches in Aberdeen and a Young Professional Lecture series. We have 25 active Student Chapters and we are creating Young Professional Chapters to compliment these. We hold a Student Chapter Leadership Summit in association with the European Imperial Barrel Award (IBA) competition each year and local chapters often organize meetings and field trips between themselves.
Our 2010-11 program includes the following:
- The 2010 European Regional Conference (ERC) and Annual General Meeting (AGM) will take place in Kiev, Ukraine, on 17th-19th October. The theme of the conference is exploration in and around the Black Sea and Caspian Sea Basins. There will be in excess of 220 presentations in 23 oral sessions and a number of poster sessions, in addition to short courses, field trips and student events. So hurry and register for what will undoubtedly be a fascinating conference.
- We plan on running short courses on rift basin geology and basin analysis in Paris in early December.
- In the first quarter of 2011 we plan to hold a GTW to review and discuss various resource assessment procedures.
- Our regularly scheduled upstream asset fair and conference, APPEX, will be held in London in early March.
- In late March the European Regional IBA competition will take place in Prague. This year 13 teams took part and we hope to be able to increase the number of teams next year, although it is stretching our logistical capabilities and financial resources.
- We will be holding the third in a series of GTWs on Unconventional Hydrocarbon Resources in association with the Middle East Region in Istanbul towards the end of May.
- There will be variously scheduled lecture series, a visiting geoscientist program and an education week.
- Other conferences that are in the early planning stage include a conference on CO2 sequestration which will be held jointly with the Geological Society in London in November 2011. Also planned is a conference on the Mediterranean basins which will be in association with the Africa Region in late 2012.
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending the AAPG Annual Leadership Conference which was held at a venue just outside Tulsa, Oklahoma. The conference centre comprised a number of lodges surrounding a central facility in a quiet wooded environment with no distractions. It was an ideal location to meet and discuss current issues and future plans. Attendance was comprised of AAPG officers and staff, the Advisory Committee and representatives from the House of Delegates, Divisions, AAPG committees, young professionals and student chapters. This very diverse group of members met in a number of sessions, the main theme of which was the future of AAPG. The event also provided an opportunity for networking and becoming more acquainted with AAPG colleagues from all over the world.
Prior to the start of the conference, Young Professional and Student Leadership summits were held to discuss the means of maintaining and expanding the network of student and young professional chapters and thus the grassroots membership of the organization.
The Advisory Committee met to discuss the Strategic Plan which was last reviewed and revised in 2006. The objective was to ascertain whether the assumptions about the future and the core purpose and values of the Association were relevant considering the current business outlook. The overarching goal of AAPG is “to be indispensable to all professionals in the energy-related geosciences”. Within this there are six Goal Areas: Advance the Science, Continuous Professional Development, Public Awareness and Understanding, Membership and Member Services, Financial Strength and Global Presence. Strategic objectives within each of these Goal Areas will be reviewed at a future meeting of the Advisory Committee.
During the meeting every attendee was given the opportunity of joining at least two focus groups to discuss the future of a particular aspect of AAPG business. The objective of these sessions was to develop a vision for the next 20 or so years and to discuss goals and strategies over this period. The focus groups covered: the Future of Publications, Outreach Planning, Student Activities, AAPG in 2035, the Future of the Divisions and Young Professional Development.
AAPG is becoming a truly global organization and with the projection of current trends, within the next 20 years, the majority of members will be of non-US origin. Activities within the Regions are becoming more important, especially with respect to the provision of membership services and the generation of income. The Annual Convention will move out of North America and annual Regional Conferences will replace the current International Convention and Exhibition. As membership grows the current Regions may have to be subdivided, for instance there is a distinct possibility of China and/or India becoming separate Regions.
The demographics of the Association are such that over the next 10 to 15 years a large proportion of the current membership will retire and it is not clear that they will be replaced by younger members. It is recognized that many young professionals do not recognize the value of being a member of AAPG. Nowadays much networking and data gathering is done through the internet and we, as AAPG members, need to stress the importance of face-to-face networking and technical discussions to our younger colleagues. They need to be aware of the value of AAPG products and services and being a member of a professional organization.
What AAPG Means to Me
I joined the AAPG in 1977 shortly after I started work as an Exploration Geologist with Esso Exploration and Production UK. My mentor, Sandy Davidson, encouraged me to join the AAPG as it was, and still is, the premier petroleum geoscience professional organization. Throughout my career I have found the AAPG invaluable as it provides access to high-quality technical publications and conferences and also to a huge global network of petroleum geoscientists. Through the AAPG, I have made a large number of friends and now as I have retired it provides me the opportunity to maintain contact with the business and profession.