AAPG Site Search | Home > Leadership > House of Delegates > The Delegates' Voice APRIL 1999
Chair Notes RETURN TO TOP
By: Tom Mairs, Chairman
The first three-quarters of this AAPG year have come and gone at a fast and furious pace, all during a rather dismal downturn in the oil and gas industry. But, now that springtime is upon us, there is, hopefully, another positive resurgence on the horizon, and once again time for the AAPG Annual Convention, April 11-14. I cant think of a better place to gather, at this time of the year, than San Antonio, Texas. Ed Roy and his committee must be in Top Form, since pre-registration was pretty bullish at 3,982 total registrants as compared to only 2,450 for Dallas in 1997 and 3,768 for Salt Lake City last year.
By now, you should have received formal notification of the House of Delegates twenty-ninth Annual Meeting Agenda, and other related information. They were mailed to the Delegates, Alternate Delegates, Executive Committee Members, Division Presidents, et al, on or about March 5, 1999. Please review these data thoroughly and become familiar with the Agenda items prior to our meeting on Sunday, April 11, 1999. Also, please notice and review the Parliamentary Procedure Information (pink sheet), prepared by Parliamentarian Mary Bahde, and included as an informational item to hopefully refresh our memories of some standard procedures commonly conducted under Roberts Rules of Order.
Due to the distinct possibility, if not the probability, of a rather lengthy business meeting this year, I decided to conduct HODs business affairs much earlier in the meeting, fully realizing that this may create an inconvenience to some of you who are giving reports. However, I think that this scheduling is logistically necessary. To those of you being inconvenienced, I sincerely apologize and certainly appreciate your patience and cooperation in this matter.
Summarized below is a final, repetitive reminder of the major items to be considered on the House floor:
The Constitution and Bylaws Committee will present five (5) Proposed Amendments to the AAPG Bylaws, for your consideration, as stipulated in the February Explorer Newsletter insert and briefly summarized elsewhere in this issue of The Delegates Voice. A change in the Bylaws requires a two-thirds (2/3) affirmative vote of the delegates, present and voting.
The Rules and Procedures Committee will present five (5) proposed changes the the HOD Rules and Procedures, for your consideration, as stipulated in the February 9, 1999 direct mailing, and also, briefly summarized in this issue. A change in the rules and procedures requires a majority affirmative vote of the delegates present and voting. This recommended proposal will include the four (4) Delegates Awards which were approved at the HOD meeting in Salt Lake City, last year.
The Resolution Committee will present two (2) pending applications to become an Affiliated Society of AAPG and two (2) pending applications to become an Associated Society of AAPG, as shown on the Meeting Agenda and in this issue. Approval of an application to become either an Affiliated or Associated Society requires a majority affirmative vote of the Delegates, present and voting. An Affiliated Society shall be eligible to elect Delegates to the HOD, but an Associated Society shall not.
Proposal by the HOD Ad hoc IRC Amendment Resolution Committee (SRC) to amend the IRC proposed amendment to the AAPG Bylaws as stipulated in the March Explorer Newsletter insert, by Committee Chairman Dan Smiths report, which was also included in the March 5, 1999 mailing. This proposed amendment or any other proposed changes or amendments to the original IRC proposed amendment will require a majority affirmative vote of the delegates present and voting.
Please be advised that subsequent to the March 5 mailing, agenda item 14 has been slightly revised and agenda item 23 has been changed to agenda item 10. The revised agenda, in a different color, will be available at the check-in table. The Delegates Reception, on Saturday evening, will be another good opportunity for you to meet the HOD and AAPG officer candidates, and to greet our new AAPG members who will be identified by a special ribbon. I encourage you to attend.
During the first quarter of 1999, I have attended AAPGs 18th Annual Leadership Conference in Tulsa, February 6-8, and the Southwest Sections Annual Meeting in Abilene, Texas, February 28-March 2. The Leadership Conference was very responsive, proactive and informative, with approximately 90 attendees representing the Executive Committee, Advisory Council, Divisions, Sections, Affiliated/Associated Societies, House of Delegates, committees and projects, Sister Societies, and AAPG officer candidates. I was assigned to be group leader for the breakout session on Sections, Status of Sections in AAPG Legal and Insurance Issues Implementation for the Future, attended by section officers et al. As reported by AAPG legal counsel, Craig Blackstock, all of the regional sections, with the exception of the Eastern Section, are incorporated and considered to be separate legal entities, neither one controlled by the other. Consequently, the implications are that the Sections and local Societies are not eligible to be insured under the AAPG coverage. Attorney Blackstock has been directed to request a standardized policy for Section events to cover: 1) CGL, Commercial General Liability; 2) E&O, Errors and Omissions Liability for directors and officers; and 3) Cancellation Liability; as well as a standardized form for Sections to request insurance premium quotes for non-standard events from AAPG underwriters. Section and local Society leaders will be kept informed on the results of this request. Michelle Mayfield, formerly Director of Conventions, is the newly appointed Manager of Leadership Services, and is now the Staff Liaison for Sections, Associated/Affiliated Societies, and Sister Societies. Ms. Mayfield has requested that she be included on the mailing lists of all Sections and Societies. Her address is:
ext. 618 or (918) 560-2618
The Abilene Geological Society hosted an excellent Southwest Section Annual Meeting highlighted by a strong technical program and the Sections customary Free Technical Seminar. There were 205 professional and 260 total attendees. The HOD breakfast meeting, once again held in a saloon, wasnt nearly as interesting as last years shootout, but was attended and enjoyed by approximately 40 anxious participants. General Chairman Alan Frizzell and his coordinating committee are to be commended for their fine effort.
Also during February, I represented the HOD at the February 6, 8, and 9, 1999 Executive Committee Meetings in Tulsa. During these meetings several important issues directly related to current HOD committee activities and future potential HOD legislation were discussed and decided upon. A brief summary of these issues follows:
The HOD ad hoc Elected Editors Committee has recommended and proposed a Resolution for a Bylaws Amendment to the Executive Committee during the October 25, 1998 meeting which was defeated (5-2) and deferred for further study and resolution. The recommended proposal was discussed in detail during the February 8, 1999 meeting, which resulted in a letter, mailed March 3, 1999, in response to the ad hoc Committee expressing the Executive Committees position statement established during that meeting. See the Elected Editors Committee status report in this issue of The Delegates Voice.
The Executive Committee approved a motion (5-2) recommended by the Advisory Council, to form an ad hoc committee to evaluate the Proposed Constitutional Consent Amendment, originally proposed by COCBAP, chaired by Lee Billingsley, and revised to read:
This Committee will consist of members from all three governance bodies and will discuss and determine the merit and advisability of proposing the amendment and report to the Executive Committee. The committee will be chaired by Brenda Cunningham.
A proposed recommendation submitted by the joint DPA/HOD ad hoc Ethics and Grievance Committee regarding possible methods to be used by AAPG in grievance procedures was reviewed. See that committees report in this issue. As a result, a motion was unanimously passed to form a broad-based committee composed of members of the Advisory Council, DPA, and HOD to respond to the recommended changes and, if agreeable, to define the procedure for implementation. A.T. Toby Carleton, Jr. has been named to chair this committee.
Lastly, I want to compliment and commend the members of the Executive Committee and the AAPG staff for their dedication to the membership and rapid response in providing critical services and benefits to the membership during this swift downturn and outplacement in our industry. Many of these services and opportunities are specified in the March Explorer magazine, but more specifically, I think the commitment of funds to decrease tuition costs for many courses at our Mid-Career Training Centers and conducting Career Transition Workshops at the local level and at the San Antonio Convention are very tangible benefits to our membership.
I hope that you receive this issue of The Delegates Voice prior to the Convention. If so, I will see you there if not, I will still see you there. Contact me at (214) 265-9533, or fax at (214) 692-9621, or e-mail to mairsgeol<at>AOL.com should you have questions or suggestions.
Donna Riggs, Director
AAPG Service Center RETURN TO TOP
The Customer Center, part of AAPGs new Service Center, is the first point of contact when calling AAPG Headquarters in Tulsa. The Center serves as a focal point for Association-wide information so that transferring you between departments can be held to a minimum.
The Center will assist the member in taking care of general business items, such as, changing an address, inquiries on meeting dates, requests for applications, etc. One goal of the Center is to be the primary source for basic data about AAPG's products and services and to handle a broad spectrum of questions.
You can now make this call toll-free in the U.S. by dialing 1-800-364-AAPG (2274). A second toll-free number, 1-888-945-AAPG (2274) should be used if you know the name or extension of the staff person you are calling. International members need to continue using the original number of 1-918-584-2555.
Although you can still use any of the direct numbers of staff members, AAPG is now giving many of you a toll-free option (1-888-945-2274) which, through voice prompts, will allow you to use the last three digits of the direct number for desk-to-desk access. For example, if you have been calling Donna Riggs at 918-560-2612, dial instead the 1-888 number, then when prompted, dial 612 for the direct link to her office. You will also have the opportunity to touch in the staff members last name, if you dont know the extension.
This Center and toll-free numbers are to assist you as members and volunteers a small way to say, Thank You for your expression of interest.
Committee Reports RETURN TO TOP
Future of Earth Scientists Committee RETURN TO TOP
By: Charles F. Dodge, Chairman
I have read the report of the HOD-FES Committee for 1997-98. The group did an outstanding job; but there was one statement in the report that is most disturbing to me, and it concerns a problem that I have tried to deal with for more than 40 years.
The comment was, Geologists do not have an image problem, they dont have an image. How true! Do we even have a self-image? If not, this is something that we must work on.
To me, Earth Science is the oldest profession (other opinions to the contrary). When the first person realized that the sharp piece of rock (chert) that cut its foot as it walked along the creek bed might be useful to the people (mankind) for cutting, our profession began. If you were to remove everything from our culture today that has been made possible as a result of an Earth Scientists work, we would be back in the Bone Age. Picture our lives today without any metals, no plastics, no brick or cement, no fossil fuels, andneed I go on? I think it is time we realize how important we are and remember the historian Will Durants statement: Civilization exists by geologic consent, subject to change without notice (italics mine).
I believe that the future of the Earth Sciences depends to a great extent upon what we, the Earth Scientists, decide to do in the early 21st Century. We can get involved in all aspects of our culture, tell mankind HOW it is and WHY; or we can sit back, relax, and watch our profession become extinct, as it is taken over by the younger sciences and the engineering sciences.
I taught Physical Geology to university freshmen for many years. The first problem I would present to a class was:
You are in complete charge of everything on this earth. At noon tomorrow, you must pick one of the three professions listed on the board as the ONE that will survive. The other two, and ALL EFFECTS that they have had on civilization, will be wiped out immediately.
The choice was between the medical, legal, and earth science professions. It was almost comicalthe lawyers always came in last and the doctors always came in first. You know where that left US.
After I counted the votes and had a few comments from the class, I would ask them how they would like to live in a world without everything that you and I and our colleagues supply the culturetin, iron, zinc, gas, sulphur, and all the earth materials they were so familiar with. It didnt take long for them to see that medicine could only prolong life, while Earth Science was responsible for sustaining life.
This committee has decided to tackle this IMAGE problem, along with several other areas of concern. We will be looking at the possible release and integration of older exploration data sets with so-called unconventional methods and new developments in remote sensing. another area of interest will be urban and environmental geology. Every town or city in the country has its own set of geologic hazards. What are we doing to bring these problems to their attention, and can we offer solutions? The committee also voted to encourage the USGSs geologic mapping program. We will be talking with the USGS in Washington and with State Geologists around the country.
Any ideas or suggestions will be greatly appreciated.
Nomination and Election Committee RETURN TO TOP
By: Donald W. Lewis, Chairman
The main responsibility of the Nomination and Election Committee is to nominate candidates for the House of Delegates offices of Chairman-Elect and Secretary/Editor. Again this year we were able to nominate outstanding candidates for each office. The finalists for Chairman-Elect are Lowell Lischer and James Rogers and for Secretary/Editor Joan Barminski and Deborah Sacrey. Whoever wins, the House will be well served.
The committee is composed of representatives from each Section and one member-at-large. The members this year are Bonner Bowden, Paul Catacosinos, Jeff Greenawalt, Don Lewis (Chair), Debra Nishida, Gerald Rolf, and Steve Shaw. They will be the ones collecting and counting the ballots at the House of Delegates meeting in San Antonio.
Resolutions Committee RETURN TO TOP
By: Valary L. Schulz, Chairman
Two geological organizations have formally requested affiliation with the AAPG. The AAPG Executive Committee has approved both, and their statutes have been reviewed and approved by Craig Blackstock, Attorney at Law. The organizations are the Florida Association of Professional Geologists [Tallahassee, Florida], and the Polish Geological Society [Krakow, Poland].
Two organizations have applied for affiliation with the AAPG as Associated Societies. Article VII, Sections 1 and 2 of the Bylaws, as amended, define the two relationships with other organizations. The unique difference between the two categories is that Associated Societies shall not be eligible to elect Delegates to the House of Delegates of the Association. The two organizations requesting association are the Society of Independent Professional Earth Scientists (SIPES) and The Geological Society [London, UK]. The Executive Committee has approved the applications from both societies and their Articles of Incorporation, Constitution, Bylaws and Code of Ethics have been approved by Craig Blackstock, AAPG legal counsel, as being in harmony with the objects and aims of the AAPG. The Resolutions Committee will refer these applications to the House of Delegates for vote at the 1999 Annual Meeting.
Ad hoc Committee on Elected Editor RETURN TO TOP
By: Thomas Mairs, Chairman
Since presenting our last Status Report to you at the House of Delegates Meeting in Salt Lake City, the Elected Editor Committee has convened twice again, on May 18, 1998, in Salt Lake City, and October, 3, 1998, in Dallas. At the latter meeting, the committee, following a full year of debate and deliberation, finally reached an accord on several key issues and approved the following motion and procedural policy:
MOTION of the HOD Ad hoc Elected Editor Committee:
Flow Sheet for Editor Nomination Process
The nine (9)-member committee approved the proposal, as written, by a unanimous vote of the eight (8) members who were present during the voting. Although it was thought that we had full committee approval, one member, who was unable to be present for the voting, subsequently informed the committee that he was opposed to the mandatory two (2)-candidate election; consequently, the motion was considered to be approved by an 8-1 vote.
The Editor nomination process does not require a Bylaws change to be implemented; however, the motion does require a Bylaws change. This was most expeditiously accomplished by the Constitution and Bylaws Committee and forwarded to AAPGs legal counsel for approval. The proposed amendment would amend Sections 5, 7, 9, and 10, Article II, of the AAPG Bylaws.
At the October 25, 1998, Executive Committee meeting in Houston, I recommended that the proposed amendment be adopted by the Executive Committee as a Resolution for Amendment to the AAPG Bylaws. Following much discussion, both pro and con, of the various items included in the proposed amendment, the motion was defeated (5-2) and referred back to the committee for clarification in wording and intent of the Secretarys new charge and for communication with the membership and other AAPG entities. The main disagreement had to do with 1) the proposed newly assigned duties for the Secretary, and 2) for having only one (1) member of the Executive Committee, rather than the entire Committee, being responsible for Policy Oversight.
The Executive Committee further discussed the recommended Proposed Amendment at the February 8, 1999, meeting in Tulsa. This discussion more discretely defined the areas of concern, and resulted in a March 3, 1999, letter to the Elected Editor Committee, which conveyed those specific items of agreement and disagreement.
My interpretation of the Sense of the Executive Committee is summarized below.
Areas of Significant Agreement
Areas with Less Agreement
The Executive Committee has requested that we further consider these issues in an attempt to resolve the areas of disagreement. Our final report, with recommendations, will be presented to the House of Delegates in San Antonio on April 11, 1999.
Should you have ideas or comments, please contact me at (214) 265-9533 or fax (214) 692-9621, or any member of the Committee.
Ad hoc Committee on Ethics (joint with DPA) RETURN TO TOP
By: Edward W. Heath
In a letter signed by both Eddie David and Dick Bishop, past and present AAPG Presidents, addressed to Tom Mairs, Chairman of House of Delegates, (HOD), and Steve Sonnenberg, President of Division of Professional Affairs (DPA), formation of a joint committee between HOD and DPA was authorized to prepare ways to improve AAPGs grievance procedures.
The committee consisted of myself, representing the HOD, and David Abbott, Jr. of the DPA. One of the charges to the committee was to review the procedures used by several of our sister associations. A thorough study of grievance procedures are conducted of the following socities: AAPG, AAPL, AIPG, SEG and SIPES. With the exception of AIPG, all other socities, including AAPG, have the same people involved in at least two of these areas: investigating body, hearing body, and appellate body. This is a violation of due process by the socities, rendering them subject to a legal challenge.
Four recommendations have been made:
In conclusion, adoption of the foregoing recommendations provides the basis for developing the detailed procedures required for implementation. Development of procedures is not warranted until the concept of separation of the investigation/prosecution, hearing and appellate roles is adopted. Furthermore, for an ethics/grievance committee to effectively enforce violations of the code, it must have administrative and financial backing of the Association. Enforcement of disciplinary action will not materialize without the will and means to pursue violators through court proceedings, if necessary. Any lesser commitment will render enforcement of ethics violations impractical and meaningless.
Ad hoc Committee on Membership RETURN TO TOP
By: Marth Lou Broussard, Chairman
We would like to propose a HOD Ad hoc Committee for Delegate Checks.
A large problem exists with the current procedure for conducting delegate checks for some applications for AAPG membership. Currently a significant number of applicants, from areas where there are no local active affiliated societies with delegates to conduct such review, are not undergoing complete delegate checks. Instead, they are being accepted for membership based solely upon the information provided from their application and statements included in the sponsorship forms.
It is here proposed that a HOD Ad hoc Committee of Delegate Checks be established to provide these delegate checks until more permanent solutions can be found. It is estimated that this Ad hoc Committee might have a life of up to five years.
The current process for application for Active or Associate AAPG membership involves an applicant submitting an application along with sponsorship forms from three Active AAPG members who know the applicant and can attest to the applicants eligibility. After a review by the Membership Department in Tulsa, the application then goes for review by delegates from the local society in which the applicant resides. The reviewing delegate then confirms the accuracy of the application and, using his own local knowledge and network, confirms that the applicant is eligible to join AAPG, having met the requirements of experience, degree, and ethical behavior. This process has stood the society well over the past years and has been strongly reaffirmed by the delegates in recent HOD Newsletter surveys.
A problem exists in the actual execution of this review where there are no local delegates to conduct the review. This occurs in two cases: 1) where the local society (usually a US-based society) is moribund and does not have existing delegates in place to conduct the review and, 2) in international areas where there are no established affiliated societies with delegates to conduct the appropriate delegate review. The current practice in these situations, as described by Donna Riggs, is that the membership form is reviewed by the AAPG Membership Department for completeness, the delegate check is waived, and the applicant is accepted based upon the comments of the sponsors. This places the sponsor in the role of being both a sponsor and providing the more in-depth delegate check. This is a role for which the sponsor may not be aware or willing to do.
There are several unacceptable difficulties with this existing process. First, it is not consistent with having all members meet the same strict rules for eligibility. Some applicants (those in areas with active affiliated societies) undergo two reviews for eligibility first by the Membership Department and then by local delegates. Other applicants (those in areas without active affiliated societies) undergo a single review by the Membership Department. This can lead to the appearance of two classes of membership, a situation consistently opposed by the delegates at the annual meetings. Secondly, since an independent review of the applicants eligibility is omitted for those applicants not undergoing a delegate review, it is more likely that an ineligible applicant could slip through and be accepted for membership. One has only to recall the forged application sponsorships, recently uncovered through the delegate checks conducted by the Houston Geological Society, to recognize how easy it is for an unethical applicant to slip past the initial review done by the Membership Department.
The proposed formation of International Regions will solve some of the problems in the international arena. The International Regions would have a contingent of delegates to vet the applicants from their region in a manner consistent to that currently done by the local affiliated societies. This, however, does not address the problem of what to do until International Regions become a reality, nor does it help to solve the problem of moribund US-based local affiliated societies that do not have delegates to conduct a delegate check.
We propose the formation of a HOD Ad hoc Committee on Delegate Checks to conduct the delegate reviews for those applicants for whom delegate checks are currently not being performed. This would include those from international areas lacking local affiliated societies with delegates to conduct the checks as well as for those US areas where the local society is dormant and does not have a named delegate. The Membership Department would forward this class of application to the HOD ad hoc committee for a delegate review analogous to that done where there are local affiliated societies to conduct delegate checks. This ad hoc committee would be made up of delegates from various affiliated societies who would be willing to conduct the checks in regions outside their immediate local society. A special effort should be made to locate delegates who are familiar with, or who have a network of contacts in, non-represented areas. If HOD members cannot be located for these areas, it may be needed to expand membership on the ad hoc committee to include members from the AAPG Committee on Membership or to include other Active AAPG members outside these two groups. It is envisioned that, for those moribund US local societies, the delegate checks could be conducted by ad hoc committee members from nearby active local societies.
We also propose that the charge to this ad hoc committee would include the duty to assist with applications lacking complete information, including the required number of sponsors. We envision that this would be a service to those without local Active AAPG members to give such help.
AAPG Mentor Program RETURN TO TOP
During the Summit on Committees held in Houston last October, the Membership Committee, working with the Student Chapter Committee, developed a proposal to establish a mentoring program. The Executive Committee has given the Membership Committee approval to go forward. They intend to have the initial Call for Mentors included in the registration packet at San Antonio. Shortly after the San Antonio meeting, they plan to announce the program to the Association at large. Before they do so, they would like your comments, particularly suggestions for how best to administer the program, and how best to coordinate the program with other committees. Following is a summary of the plan that the Membership Committee has developed:
Case for Action
Although students are generally well trained in the fundamentals of the science of geology, they are all too often not trained in how to practically apply their knowledge to the search for oil and gas. Mentors can help close that gap.
With the downsizing that has occurred within the industry over the last decade, many highly experienced members, who had served as mentors to less experienced staff, have retired. Many of these retired members drop their AAPG membership as they feel it is no longer of benefit to them.
It is hoped that the mentor program will provide both AAPG members and students an opportunity to grow professionally. Additionally, it is hoped that it will provide our retired members with an opportunity to stay involved with the profession, thereby giving them the incentive to remain members.
Members wishing to serve as mentors will complete the attached Mentor Volunteer Form (see next page). They may volunteer to serve as mentors for recently displaced professionals seeking to become an independent or consultant, or they may serve as a mentor for students.
If the mentor volunteers to assist a displaced professional, the Membership Department will forward the completed form to the nearest local society. The local society will be asked to find a protégé for the mentor. If the mentor volunteers to assist a student, the Membership Department will forward the completed form to the academic liaison of the preferred university, who will be asked to nominate a student for the mentor.
Once a protégé has been selected, the protégé will be responsible to contact the mentor volunteer and arrange for the first meeting.
Expectations of Mentors
Mentors should be available to meet with their protégé on a regular basis, with a recommended minimum of once a month.
Mentors should seek to help train their protégé in some aspect which will facilitate their work. Mentors to displaced professionals seeking to become independent should provide ideas and suggestions for establishing an office, generating prospects, buying production, etc. Mentors to students should help students become familiar with seismic interpretation, log evaluation, well planning, etc.
Mentors are encouraged to occasionally host their protégé for lunch, dinner, or pizza and beer and share some of their more memorable experiences.
Expectations of Protégés
Protégés are expected to contact the mentor and arrange for the initial meeting. During that meeting, they should let the mentor know what they hope to gain from the relationship.
Protégés should be prompt for all meetings, and conduct themselves in a professional manner. They should arrive eager to learn.
At years end, protégés will be asked to complete a questionnaire which will be used to provide feedback to the mentor.
The Membership Committee is excited about this program, and feel that it will benefit both the profession and the Association by providing better trained students, and by helping those members who have recently been displaced by the latest industry downturn. Furthermore, it is hoped that mentors will develop a renewed enthusiasm for their own career.
Please forward your comments and suggestions to the AAPG Membership Department. While youre at it, please fill out the Mentor Volunteer Form and return it along with your comments.
AAPG Mentor Volunteer Form
Below are the remaining reports from the Summit on Committees held in Houston in October 1998.
Financial Future of AAPG RETURN TO TOP
The purpose of the session was to review the financial structure of AAPG, discuss present and future income requirements, examine present funding sources, and propose such additional income sources as might be developed for the future.
A summary of comments about AAPG's finances include the following:
Recommendations (Keyed to Conclusions)
Public Information Committee RETURN TO TOP
This session examined the Public Information Committee's mission to determine whether there are more effective ways of achieving the Committee's goals.
Proactive Role for the Public Information Committee
The Public Information Committee should take a more proactive role in presenting the nature and character of the AAPG membership to the public. This theme resounded again and again through the course of the meeting. The committee has been in existence since 1932, and some suggested we have had relatively little impact on the public. This may be a misperception as it is difficult to measure our impact. Perhaps we can do a better job of documenting outreach activities and audiences affected so that we can quantify our efforts. It was suggested that we consider changing our name to Public Outreach Committee to reflect the goal of having a more proactive program.
The committee's mission statement reads "to develop means of informing the public about geology in general, and petroleum geology in particular, and to report successful projects to AAPG's affiliated societies" (see p. 2062 of Dec. 1997 AAPG Bulletin). The Committee should consider whether the mission statement should read "petroleum, energy minerals, and environmental geology in particular" or "petroleum industry" or "energy industry" in particular?
Address Each of the Committee's Audiences
The committee's principal audience includes the general public and decision-makers. The needs of educators are largely being addressed by the Youth Activities Committee. Decision-makers (legislators, regulatory agency representatives, and lobbyists) are critical to the decision-making process and warrant special attention. We need to learn to provide specialized and relevant information to these people. In Kansas, for example, the Geological Survey arranges an annual field seminar for 25 decision-makers and highlights a set of earth science issues for three days by use of a guided bus tour. The Utah Geological Survey was successful in involving decision-makers in the 1998 AAPG Annual Convention. The Public Information Committee should work with the DPA and other committees that interface with decision-makers to develop a coordinated approach to educating those that have influence on AAPG's interests and activities.
There are several levels of approaches to conveying information to the above groups:
In summary, we have been encouraged to think broadly of our mission, to take the initiative to increase our impact, and to be innovative in our approaches.
Publications RETURN TO TOP
This session focused on all AAPG publication efforts, examining communication between various groups and AAPG staff liaisons, and addressing what the future holds for electronic publication.
Goals (Keyed to Challenges)
Letters to the Editor RETURN TO TOP
The Azerbaijan Society of Petroleum Geologists has discussed and highly appreciated the work done by the HOD International Representation Committee with the goal of improving international member representation, and approves the main points of the proposed By-Laws amendments.
But we want you to be informed of our opinion regarding to some details.
According to the Article VI (Proposal 4), six International Regions will be created on the ground of geographical boundaries, and, as can be judged, our Society is supposed to be included into the Middle Eastern Region.
We do not think that geographical boundaries have to be the only ground on which to create new regions. It seems disputable that our being included into the Middle Eastern Region meets position and future prospects of the Caspian Rims petroleum geology. Nothing to say about the historic tradition. Besides, we do not want our contacts with AAPG to be complicated by any mediation.
From this viewpoint, it would be reasonable to create the Caucasus and Central Asia Region to be administered by the headquarters located in Baku. Our Society has come to decision to approach the AAPGs leadership with such a proposal.
Yes, at the moment we are the only AAPG Affiliated Society in the region. But increasing the number of such Societies here is directly linked to the permanently growing comprehension of advantages given by professional and ethical standards of your Association, and we welcome this process.
We are always thankful to AAPGs leadership for paying attention to our problems.
I would like to comment on the AAPG recent status as an international geological organization and on the ongoing debate on pending Bylaws amendments.
It is absolutely clear to everybody that AAPG is still very much a national American organization despite the international robe that has recently been acquired. Rationale for my belief is based on the following:
1. Your Association is called American Association of Petroleum Geologists. If the Association is truly an international one, the word American is out of context and should be replaced by the word International. Unless one may think that internationalism means Americanism which is not the case. Therefore, it is not justifiable to retain the old name or your association if it is to be recognized as an international one.
2. AAPG, from the day of its birth up to the present has been involved in US government affairs, providing advice on various matters related to policy making, legislation, regulations, etc., involving earth sciences, energy, etc. The majority of American members of AAPG, presumable wants such involvement to go on even though AAPG has become an international organization. For being a non-American, I may raise the following question: What business is it for an international organization like AAPG to be involved in US government affairs?
3. AAPG leadership, management, heads and members of various committees, etc., are entirely American. One would think, as it has always been the case in international geological organizations (IUGS, IUGG< IAS, etc.) that leadership and membership of such governance bodies should be international and not be restricted to American citizens. Thus, the ongoing debate on Bylaws amendment, to make international members more represented in the HOD and AC, is at best meaningless.
4. Even if one is to accept the current situation as it stands, and to go on with the amendment of Bylaws, the proposed establishment of six international regions equivalent to the six US Sections is unrealistic for the following reasons:
a) American membership in AAPG constitutes more than 78% of total membership and there will be no chance, whatsoever, for non-American members to compete against American members at any level within the establishment or to pass on any motion or resolution which may contradict with the interest of the American members. The unavoidable national prejudice is most likely to prevail.
b) From the point of view of geography, it is unrealistic to equate, for example, the AAPG Pacific Section with Europe as a region nor Canada with Europe.
c) Regions of the developing world (Mexico, Central and South America, the Middle East and Africa) will never be represented in the Advisory Council and other AAPG governance bodies neither in the near nor in the far future.
d) While AAPG proposed the amendment, it ignores the very fact that member nations of the United Nations, each has one seat and enjoys one vote at the UN General Assembly meetings regardless of the size of the country and its population.
Finally, there is a growing feeling among international community that the concept of globalization is gradually revealing itself as being no more that a process of World Americanization and thus by keeping the name, present structure, statutes and bylaws of the former national American AAPG you will not only provide ground for growing feeling, you will also jeopardize future growth and prosperity or your establishment as an international geological organization.
The above mentioned opinion is by no means meant to question the good will and legitimate intentions of those who were behind the idea for AAPG to go international. It simply aims to reflect what non-American geologists currently think of AAPG.
Special Notice! RETURN TO TOP
The Executive Committee has voted to postpone AAPG's inaugural International Regional Conference in Istanbul, Turkey. It had been scheduled for July 11-14, 1999, and will be rescheduled to occur within the year, probably in the May-June-July 2000 time-frame, depending on facilities availability.
It was felt that with the current uncertainty both in the industry and the region, the conference could only by strengthened by delaying its presentation. The technical program focuses on the Caspian-to-Black Sea region, one of the hottest areas of interest in the world. For registration materials stop by the AAPG Center in the exhibits hall in San Antonio, or contact the Convention Department. Those who register by November 15, 1999 will receive a special early-bird registration fee.