Erling Brostuen and Angie Southcott are revising Erling's original "Petroleum Primer" for laypeople. This booklet provides the lay person with a synopsis of the exploration and drilling process. This was a "best-seller" at the North Dakota Geological Survey and also as a later version, with Don Baars, at the Kansas Geological Survey. It will include a discussion of petroleum demand and availability, and its role in the Nation's energy mix. Discussion will include increasing demands of developing nations and the impact on availability of foreign sources to our domestic needs. Also to be included are development, production, and transportation of crude and natural gas, as well as the environmental aspects of all of the above. I may also throw in a discussion of today's product costs, adjusted for inflation, and historical costs back to the early 20th century. While designed as a public outreach project, this could also be a good seller for AAPG.
The booklet "Energy and Environment, A Partnership That Works" awaits funding for printing. It is a color illustrated set of non-technical papers detailing what actual environmental impacts of the E&P industry are, and how modern technology mitigates the impacts. These presentations are those of the September 2002 AAPG President's Conference of the same title, in Washington, D.C. The intended audience is all legislators, regulators, and industry activists, with copies going to all affiliated societies for distribution at service club talks and similar venues. Educating people about the realities of what we do is the only way we know how to counter the propaganda from anti-energy organizations.
Two "Virtual Field Trips" have been compiled and are being scanned into the AAPG website. The first, Geology of the Canadian Rockies, is designed to illustrate typical structures of the Canadian Rockies, and the scenery in which some lucky geologists get to work. The second, "Anatomy of a Reef" is a tour from shoreline to deep ocean bottom, illustrated by organisms in the natural habitats. Photographed mostly in the U. S. Virgin Islands, these images were acquired before the Caribbean reefs declined. We plan to create a file of images of some national parks and monuments, illustrating both geology and scenery.
We have begun to provide committee members with draft letters to the editor to use locally, about issues that concern AAPG. It is not yet clear that committee members will use these or not. They are to use them as individuals, not as official representatives of AAPG.
Donna Willette's report on Earth Science Week to be attached when available
Projects under consideration:
Item 1: Energy Supply and Demand information: This is readily available if someone on the committee can figure out how to "disseminate" the information. Some of that "data" is processed into "information" and can be readily used. What is lacking is "knowledge" to go with it, in that there is little to accompany the data or information that is available to tell the average person "what this means to you". It is an issue that Government Affairs has tried to address, and that we frequently address in speeches. Perhaps we the committee should write the material, but that we need a professional media person to get the info out into the public eye AAPG has plenty of people that could provide that information as a public service, if there was anyway to get even a small segment of the public to care. AAPG has never focused on communicating with the public, but we agree that we, as a group, should.
Item 2: Increase public understanding of the profession: "Public understanding" should include all facets of the science of geology, not just petroleum. A geological education confers far more than just the ability to make a living as a petroleum geologist. Knowledge of geology enhances one's appreciation for all creation, from the alpha to the omega. The committee will work to articulate how this can be accomplished. We do engage in the Earth Science Week, but this is more comprehensive.
Item 3: Educate the public about E&P: We have an active project but I have been told there is not funding available to complete the project by printing the text "Primer on Petroleum," updating the original one that Erling Brostuen did for the North Dakota Geological Survey and then reconfigured with Don Baars for the Kansas Survey (See# 1 in midyear report, above). It will require a budget commitment. The initial printing cost will likely be in the $8-9 thousand range, and I expect that we can have it ready by June.
To a large degree, our public outreach only feeds the concept of the geologist who "goes out with his hammer and his sandwich, his magnifying glass and his imagination" and putters with rocks and fossils. Yes, that is good stuff with which we all identify and use to get in contact with kids. In that, it is a good thing. But we need to move beyond science fairs and Earth Day. The number of people in this country (supposedly more enlightened than most) that have any concept of what working geologists do and, more importantly, what they do FOR THEM is infinitesimal. And to a large degree, that is why our profession does not have a seat at the table for serious discussions on policy issues to which we could offer much. We are a non-entity. If we ever tire of being victims, we, as a profession, would get out of the flannel shirt and blue jeans mode and do something about it.
In addition, the environmental impact of E&P is on the exec committee's "desk"(#2, above, Mid year report.). This is the most significant piece AAPG has ever done on the actual environmental impacts of petroleum E&P, and should have been distributed months ago during the debates over the energy bill. The energy bill will be seriously deficient in energy production, having purposely foregone any inventory of offshore resources and development of any arctic tests. We should have had an impact on that debate. If ever a product of AAPG was to inform the public about the technology of oil and gas E&P, these two products are the two best (E&E booklet, and the Primer). Without the financial support to produce them, we of the Public Outreach Committee are stymied.
Item 4: Promoting requirements of membership and certification: This is a DPA function, and will be referred to them. The message is not difficult to put together, the conveyance may require professional assistance.
Item #5: Compile successful outreach programs of sister societies: We know of none. But we keep looking.
Item #6: Develop Intersociety programs: We have suggested hosting a "Stakeholders conference" to try to develop a larger and more influential group effort. See #6a in Midyear report. The chair has appointed a member of AAPL (Jane Crouch) to our committee, and invited the Geological Society of America to name a representative to our committee. Perhaps this should be expanded to include AIME/SPE/SME, as well as outreach conducted by universities such as colorado School of Mines.
One committee member has responded with the following (edited): "Getting AAPG involved in "intersociety programs" for outreach will be about as effective as trying to do something significant by working through the United Nations. This is a dodge that is in effect saying, a) we are not sure if we are capable of doing this ourselves, which is inaccurate, and b) if we do this with someone else, maybe they will pick up the tab. This is more wanting something for nothing. For the life of me, I cannot understand why a group containing many, many entrepreneurial sorts who at least in their dreams would emulate the wildcatter image of the tough, independent, risk-taking, go-it-alone type with faith in himself, can't make a decision to promote their own cause. Yes, we want to help and receive help from other geoscience and industry-supportive societies, but we NEED to have an effort of our own."
Item #7: The POC has actively assisted affiliated societies with materials and encouragement to be active during the Earth Science Week. Donna Willette has done great service to the society with her efforts in this area. If the leadership desires a fuller AAPG effort, then we need to appoint a special ad hoc committee to do this specific project. We recommend that Donna be asked to do that, with a budget!!!!!!!.
Item #8: Info, speakers, and legislative testimony: This is the province of the Government Affairs Committee, and they have done a good job of this. We coordinate with that committee though several joint members.
Item #9: Public policy on energy issues: Again, this is the responsibility of the Governmental Affairs Committee. Charles Mankin and Carl Smith are the co-chairs of that committee.
Item #10: Coordinate and nurture K-12 Programs: This is the main charge to the Youth Education Activities Committee, not the POC. The POC coordinates with the Youth Activities Committee to assist as requested in their work. Betsey Campen is our liaison for that effort, and she is also the Chair of the YEA.
Item #11: Promote Convention Activities in host area: I don't think we have ever considered this activity, and if the AAPG Executive Committee moves this responsibility to POC from the professional convention staff, we will consider it. But we think that is a decision to be made formally by the Executive Committee and coordinated with headquarters.
Item #12: Encourage AAPG Members to participate: We agree, but we haven't turned anyone down who wants to work on our issues. We have trouble finding active workers.
Item #13: Develop popular geology projects: See #3 of the Midyear report. We have a virtual field trip in the Canadian Rockies now in to Larry Nation. The "Anatomy of a Reef" set is also turned in with text notations, and is to be followed by a Grand Canyon set, and other national parks and monuments scenic geology. It is my hope that the scenery will sell the geology in most of these, but by using them as "virtual field trips" our sister societies and individual members can also access them for professional use.
Item #14: Develop 1-page fact sheets: We have not found anyone to actually prepare these yet, although we agree that they would be useful, including on the AAPG website. In addition, the "writing for the public" project is waiting for your response on the editorial approach. Phil Ryall and Lee Gerhard are willing to write these, but we need executive committee encouragement, since these will express opinions, albeit, professional geological opinions on energy issues.
Item #15: Create a Primer: See item #3. If there is funding to do the hard copy, we have the text underway. We have stopped the project until the exec committee budgets the money to publish the primer.
Item #16: Create online powerpoint slide banks on key issues. When AAPG members create these for talks, there should be a way we can access them for AAPG. Perhaps giving the committee a small box in the Explorer every once in awhile to solicit help might be helpful for gaining access to materials.
Item 17: Promoting position papers: This is a task that requires professional public outreach assistance. Getting the media to accept materials from AAPG and use them is something we desire, but have not been able to accomplish.
Item #18: Create a Speakers Bureau. We thought AAPG had one already, at least we've been called to give presentations.
Item #19: Create an intersociety POC: This is identical to item #6.Same response.
Item #20: Create relationships with media. This requires permanent staff who are knowledgeable about media relations and who can spend their time nurturing such relationships. When the executive committee creates a line item in the budget for this activity, we will recruit candidates for such a position.
In years past, the EMFI (Energy and Minerals Field Institute) at Colorado School of Mines has provided scholarships for media representatives to participate in the Interdisciplinary Energy and Minerals Field Institute conducted during the month of July. Attendees have included writers for major publications, as well as TV and radio reporters and anchors from regional stations and national networks. Nothing works better than getting these people on the ground and let them kick the tires to establish relationships between the program sponsor, industry officials and personnel, and the media. With support from AAPG this could be a useful method to gain access to media and to portray the story we wish to tell.
Item #21: Identify popular geology projects that members can work on: We have started the slide bank and virtual field trips, and are willing to assist local societies find people to help on such projects, but we know of no national level projects. Any ideas here?
Item #22: Participate in education booths at meetings: The GAC already does the National Conference of State Legislators with AIPG and AASG. This project costs money, and a budget will need to be created to handle it. This requires Executive Committee Action. Please advise if you want the convention staff to become involved and do this.
Item #23: Develop a list of commonly asked questions about the Petroleum industry. I assume with answers as well. Any volunteers?