The long-term financial health of the AAPG depends upon maintaining and growing its membership. In the May 2012 Explorer column, I reviewed AAPG’s membership trends for the past 35 years. If current trends continue, US membership will stay flat or decrease during the next 5 to 15 years. Our potential to grow, therefore, is in the non-US arena. If we don’t take action to entice new non-US members, the total number of AAPG members will almost certainly decline.
As members of the House of Delegates, you’ve already created policies to encourage membership in general via graduated dues, the young professional program, the Student Bridge program and this past year’s membership simplification amendment.
I urge you to build on these accomplishments by making it even easier to become a Member; specifically, by reducing the years of experience we require, and by reducing the number of sponsors we require. These policies will make it much easier for international applicants to join and participate. In fact, the reduced experience requirement (3 years to 1 year) has already brought new young professionals into the Association and even into the House.
The AAPG will celebrate its 100th Anniversary in 5 years. I hope that the association will use this opportunity to consider its role for the next 100 years, as we continue to evolve into a global organization. It’s up to you, AAPG’s leaders, to think positively and make decisions proactively.