Division of Environmental Geosciences
It is a privilege to be the President of the Division of Environmental Geosciences for the 2012-2013 term. I want to take this opportunity to inform the House of Delegates of the DEG planned activities that will focus on two key areas for the division - a web-based resource for our membership on the topic of hydraulic fracturing, and a concerted effort to add Members to our group.
As you know, one of the benefits of AAPG membership is access to tools that help you as a professional do your job better. Whether it is training or access to the most up-to-date publications, AAPG has traditionally been a leader in providing the industry with technical information. Concomitant with this approach, DEG serves as AAPG’s guardian on matters of environmental challenges, technologies, and compliance in the field of petroleum geology. We strive to lead the field of environmental geosciences by disseminating factual information on these important issues.
Our current initiative in this regard deals with the biggest environmental issue to face the industry in years: hydraulic fracturing. We want to provide both our membership and the industry-at-large with the necessary tools to become more proactive and innovative when it comes to unconventional well stimulation. To do this, we intend to provide AAPG membership with information about hydraulic fracturing using a multi-pronged approach. First, we are developing a series of slide shows that can be used by members to address civic groups and regulators on the environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing. We are also establishing an ad hoc committee that will collect, review and summarize legitimate research data and findings on the topic, and make these available via DEG’s website. We also intend to develop a series of short courses on how to deal with regulators, the public and intervener groups for the industry. And finally, we are evaluating several ways by which DEG’s Journal, Environmental Geosciences, can be improved and expanded so that it becomes the premier journal for articles that are relevant and informative to the AAPG membership.
The DEG can, and should, play an important role in the debate on environmental issues for the industry. We cannot do it alone, though. Whether you realize it or not, there is a connection between the environment and the oil and gas industry.
So, what are the reasons you should become a DEG member? Any professional working in the oil and gas industry, particularly those in resource and shale plays, is involved in environmental aspects of the business. Increasing regulations and “novel” attempts to regulate drilling through zoning laws will continue to impact your work. The better informed you are, the easier it will be to navigate the process. Every time a well is permitted, there are environmental issues that must be considered and addressed appropriately. By becoming a DEG member, you can stay abreast of the current happenings and have access to resources that will help you work better. Being a member of DEG shows that you take both the environment and your job seriously. With this in mind, we are working hard to increase our level of membership. We have seen growth in our student and young professional Membership over the past couple of years. We would like to see this same kind of growth in our professional and international membership categories.
As a Charter member of DEG, I recognize and appreciate the values of DEG membership. I want to challenge every member of AAPG to become a DEG member. DEG membership signifies that you are a responsible professional and are relevant in today’s energy industry.