Adapting for the Future
Somebody mentioned to me upon being elected Secretary/Editor that I had “big boots” to fill. In the case of Patrick Gooding, our last Secretary/Editor, this is true in more ways than one. Under Patrick’s stewardship the quality of The Delegates’ Voice has continued to improve and it is an outstanding medium of communication for the House of Delegates and the broader membership of the AAPG. The challenge for me will be to maintain and hopefully improve the quality and relevance of The Delegates’ Voice. In order to do this I will need your help and I would be pleased to receive your comments and suggestions for improvement and articles that you would like to be included. In this issue there is a good cross section of articles from AAPG and the HoD leadership, Divisions, Regions and Sections, however you don’t have to be an officer of the Association in order to have an article published. All contributions will be gratefully received by the enthusiastic editorial team comprising Gretchen (Chainsaw) Gillis, Rob Diedrich and me.
Paul Weimer and Dave Rensink address a plenary
session at Leadership Days.
During August I had the pleasure of attending the 31st Annual AAPG Leadership Days in Boulder, Colorado. It was a welcome relief to leave the heat of the Houston furnace for a few days. AAPG President, Paul Weimer, brought us together to discuss the future health of the AAPG. Prior to the official start of the program there were various council meetings and both a Young Professionals and Student Chapter Leadership Summit. Much time was spent during the meeting discussing six topics: the Strategic Plan, Publications, Young Professionals and Students, Membership Simplification, Membership and Member Services, and New Business Opportunities. AAPG President, Paul Weimer, asked the assembly to divide up into discussion groups and report back in a plenary session. Some of the key messages from these discussions are summarized on the next page.
Don Clarke reported on the Strategic Plan discussions which focused on the changing demographics of the organization and the need to modify the assumptions and strategies in line with this change. It was suggested that there should be more outreach and that the AAPG should consider conducting courses on managing interactions with the media and general public.
The most significant issue in the report by Steve Laubach and Ken Nemeth on Publications was the “supply train”. It was considered necessary to identify the key scientific issues facing petroleum geoscience over the next few years and identify topics for future meetings and publications. It was recommended that recipients of Grants-in-Aid should be encouraged to make the AAPG their “publication partner”.
Tom Ewing and Jeff Lund reviewed the discussion on Membership Simplification and stated that the application process is considered by some to be a barrier. It was suggested that the membership categories should be further simplified and the membership application process streamlined.
In their report on Membership and Member Services Lee Krystinik and Marv Brittenham emphasised the need to create alliances between universities, Young Professionals and Student Chapters and that the IBA program could facilitate this. They suggested that young professionals and students should be encouraged to take a more active role in the Association and that the relevancy and value of membership emphasized to them.
The discussion on Young Professionals and Students was summarized by Denise Cox and Rebecca Dodge. It was proposed that young professionals should be encouraged to become Visiting Geoscientists and that they should adopt a Student Chapter. Furthermore, the AAPG should consider developing an “app” for membership renewal and that Young Professionals should be encouraged to run for the House.
The report by Jim McGhay and Deborah Sacrey on New Business Opportunities considered publications, education, conferences and exhibitions, and technology. It was suggested that the “Explorer” should be divided into E&P versions and should be made free on-line. They also proposed that the delivery model for education should be changed to emphasize the use of webinars. It was recommended that accredited courses, petroleum geology courses for finance/business managers and short courses for academics and teachers should be developed. Finally, they suggested that more topical conferences and executive development seminars should be held.
The AAPG needs to adapt to the changing business and technological environment and the Strategic Plan needs to be reviewed regularly to ensure that it remains relevant. The discussions that took place in Boulder have gone a long way in helping the organization develop a plan to achieve its goals.