Chair to the House of Delegates
The mid-year meeting of the House of Delegates was an enjoyable and exciting event that took place in Boulder, Colorado. Coming together in the rarified atmosphere at the foot of the Rocky Mountains was inspirational for thinking about the future of AAPG and working on the upcoming agenda for the HoD meeting at the Annual Convention and Exhibition in Pittsburgh.
We began the weekend with a presentation by Dr. Stephen Sonnenberg about the Niobrara Shale Unconventional Resource play that is enveloping the Boulder-Denver metro area and expanding northward to the Wyoming border. We also had a walk around the hotel veranda as a mini-field trip led by Dr. Paul Weimer. We looked at Pennsylvanian red rocks of the Boulder Flatirons that formed a spectacular panoramic view from our hotel. There is nothing like having two past AAPG Presidents kickoff the meeting in royal style.
Once we got down to work, three items needed discussion and review by the House:
- A resolution to form a new technical division under the bylaws,
- A resolution to move five Central Asian countries from the Asia Pacific Region to the European Region, and
- An amendment to the bylaws to provide for the handling of delinquent member dues.
The first item asks delegates to look forward and evaluate a proposal strategic for AAPG’s future evolution, the second item improves AAPG’s global organizational structure to better represent its members, and the third item is necessary housekeeping to expedite headquarters’ daily operations.
The top priority was the review and discussion of the proposal for a new technical division, forwarded to the HoD by the Executive Committee. It was 1992, when the Division of Environmental Geosciences (DEG), our last new division, was created. The provision in the bylaws to create a technical division falls under Article VI, Section 2. This process was seen as a natural way for AAPG to organize and administer activities for the benefit of its members. Although Technical Divisions are very common in other professional societies, like Geological Society of America (GSA), Geological Society of London (GSL) and American Geophysical Union (AGU), AAPG only has three so far. These are the Energy Minerals Division, Division of Environmental Geosciences, and the Division of Professional Affairs. Frequent discussions in the AAPG Advisory Council over the last few years have focused on the importance of technical interest groups as drivers for keeping members interested and active in AAPG.
The new proposed division is called Petroleum Structure and Geomechanics Division (PSGD). The group is interested in aspects of structural geology including faulting, fracturing and seals which are influenced by rock’s mechanical properties. This also incorporates the study of stresses and pressures at reservoir level that affect drilling and completion procedures. Stephen Laubach and Peter Hennings are leaders in this group of geologists who have been meeting informally at AAPG annual meetings since 1997. The group currently includes some 150 to 200 people who are asking to be formally recognized as a technical division. This topic has broad appeal and will attract existing members as well as draw new members to AAPG from other professional societies with like interest. By forming the division, AAPG can lead the way in developing science and new knowledge about the geomechanical behavior of rock. This technical group does not compete with any of the existing technical divisions.
A second resolution comes from the Executive Committee requesting the HoD approve the move of five Central Asian countries of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan to the European Region from the Asia Pacific Region. This move aligns the geologic and geographic associations of members in these countries to the European Region to which they are more closely related. The move is supported by leaders of both regions.
A third proposal will be brought forward at the HoD meeting. The initial proposal was from Vicki Beighle, manager of AAPG Member Services, to change the reference in the bylaws for the collection of delinquent dues. The Constitution and Bylaws Committee has reviewed and written the necessary changes. It falls under Article XIII. Dues, Section 3-Dues Schedule and Billing, item (f). The full language and amended wording is available for review on the AAPG website. Please review this amendment to the bylaws and communicate your opinion to your delegate.
I want to thank David Curtiss and all the AAPG staff that attended our meeting in Boulder, and helped provide a well-run and organized meeting. Also thanks to all the House of Delegates committee leaders who presented and discussed the proposed changes and engaged in lively debate about AAPG governance. I look forward to the successful presentation of these proposals to delegates during the House of Delegates meeting in Pittsburgh, on Sunday, May 19.