While 100 years is a great milestone, it is also true that our profession is younger than the other scientific professions that serve as cornerstones of our modern industrial society.

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There are fundamental forces that geoscience professionals should contemplate when charting their own career strategies.

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Geoscientists working in all types of organizations and roles, including multinationals, small startups, consulting firms and government or academic institutions, become leaders when they have attained the technical and business competence and standard of professional conduct to cause other people to value their contributions, act upon their recommendations and place trust in their judgment.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
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In the past eight months, our industry has continued to be challenged by low commodity prices resulting in difficult times for many geoscientists in our industry. To everyone who has been affected and to those of you who are concerned that you will be, remember to stay focused and be optimistic about your future.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
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Three outer continental shelf (OCS) oil and gas issues were prominent in 2015 policy debates and will continue in the policy limelight in 2016 as the federal government moves to release final versions of the permits, plans and rules.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)
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Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), who authored the bill and shepherded it through the Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee last fall, describe the bill as building on recent technological breakthroughs. "Its provisions will save energy, expand domestic production, facilitate investment in critical infrastructure, protect the electrical grid, boost energy trade, improve the performance of federal agencies, and reauthorize certain programs that have proven effective.”

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In December 2015, the Committee on Offshore Science and Assessment held its inaugural meeting at the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). The committee, which was established by NAS’s Ocean Studies and Earth Sciences Boards, is sponsored by The Department of Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM). The primary purpose of this new committee is for NAS to assist BOEM by providing ongoing scientific feedback to most effectively manage the nation’s offshore energy resources in a way that is both environmentally and economically sound.

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The long-term projections have changed little in the year since this column last reported on the annual International Energy Agency (IEA) “World Energy Outlook,” but the tone is much different. Last year’s report was concerned about finding the investments to meet demand; now the world has surpluses of oil and gas and a booming renewables industry.  
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In the interest of continuing my theme of “Spreading the Word” about AAPG’s Division of Professional Affairs, here’s an update on some exciting events organized by DPA members for the spring of 2016. Many of you may be familiar with the Playmaker concept, as we have previously held five very successful events.
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On December 18, Congress passed the FY 2016 Omnibus spending bill—twelve appropriation bills rolled into one. It will boost funding for essentially all science agencies and offices.

 

Especially noteworthy is the removal of cuts to the Geoscience Directorate of the National Science Foundation. The AAPG policy office, AAPG members and other geoscience associations contacted dozens of legislators to explain the benefits of geoscience research to the nation and advocate against the cuts. It clearly made a difference.

 

The bill also will allow changes to the highly restrictive rules on travel by federal scientists. In addition, the tax package passed in parallel with the Omnibus makes permanent the industry R&D tax credit.

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