Business of HOD
Why I Became an AAPG Delegate
The first AAPG national convention I attended was in Dallas, Texas, in the early 1980s. Thousands attended, and I didn’t know a single soul other than the three geologists that came along with me from the company we all worked for. I felt lost, and as you might guess, somewhat overwhelmed by the shear scope of the event.
Now, I can’t take three steps down a hallway or an isle in the exhibit area without bumping into someone I know. I’ve either worked with them, consulted with them, presented plays to them, been on a great field trip with them or simply listened to them give an outstanding paper at a previous AAPG meeting. Throughout the years, we’ve become business associates, collaborators, in some cases fellow students, and friends. But the one thing we all have in common, is that we all belong to AAPG. And we don’t just “belong,” but we actively participate in the organization in one form or another.
Meetings, if you let them, can become boring; the same old plays and presentations re-warmed like yesterday’s leftovers. Or meetings can be invigorating, full of new ideas, new twists and turns, strategizing with old friends and searching out that next cutting-edge paper giving new, exciting clues to the next big discovery. It’s up to you. Your level of participation is the key.
And now, as I get older, I see an added importance to these meetings; passing our profession along to the next generation. Our profession faces a major challenge. Most of us started in the oil and gas industry back in the early eighties, and we are now about to retire. Where are the replacements? We have a big job ahead of us encouraging students to first become petroleum geologists, and then to help them gain the education and “artful skills” to become good at the profession. This not only takes time, but it also takes dedication from the senior members of the profession.
AAPG is perfectly positioned to lead the way. It has been for years, and now, it is more than ever. It is time for us “wise old owls” to step-up-to-the-plate and become mentors and leaders. What better way to do that than to become a delegate from your local geological society, representing your fellow geologists at our national AAPG organization. As an AAPG chapter member, you can first help encourage students in local schools and universities to become geologists, and then, as a chapter delegate, help facilitate their transition into the petroleum geology profession on a national and international level. If you do your job well, then maybe that student’s first national AAPG meeting won’t be so overwhelming.
We owe this not only to the next generation, but also to ourselves. We all strive to be the best. That is a big reason why we belong to AAPG, the most respected petroleum geology organization in the world. Why would we then stop short and not participate to our fullest in such an organization? That is why I became a delegate.