Editor's note: Candidates for AAPG office have been given the opportunity to respond briefly to the subject: "Why I Accepted the Invitation to be a Candidate for AAPG Office." Their responses -- and brief biographical information on each candidate -- will be published in the EXPLORER beginning this month and continuing through the next two issues. Responses also will be available through the election on the AAPG Web site. Ballots will be mailed in the spring. Printed here are the responses from president-elect candidates Lee C. Gerhard and Robbie Rice Gries. Candidates were asked to limit their responses to 300 words.
Lee C. Gerhard, a candidate for president-elect of AAPG, is principal geologist at the Kansas Geological Survey, after stepping down as director and state geologist of Kansas.
A native of Albion, N.Y., Gerhard earned a bachelor's degree in geology from Syracuse University and earned his master's and doctorate from the University of Kansas.
Gerhard began his career as party chief with Amerada Petroleum and later became an exploration geologist and region stratigrapher with Sinclair Oil and Gas. He later became associate professor of geology at the University of Southern Colorado.
He later was assistant director and taught at Fairleigh Dickinson University's West Indies Laboratory USVI, then went to the North Dakota Geological Survey. He became the geology department chairman and state geologist and director of the NDGS.
From 1981-82, he was western region exploration manager of Supron Energy (later Union Texas Petroleum). From 1982-87 he was a professor at the Colorado School of Mines, as well as founding Gerhard and Associates, an independent oil and gas exploration and consulting company.
In 1987 be became director of the KGS in Lawrence, Kan., continuing as an adjunct professor at CSM. He was a founder of the KU Energy Research Center, serving as co-director from 1991-94.
A member of AAPG since 1961, Gerhard is a Certified Petroleum Geologist, has been active on numerous AAPG committees and has produced over 150 publications dealing with both petroleum science and natural resource public policy.
AAPG activities include the Matson Award Committee in 1972; co-convener of the first AAPG Research Conference in 1974; COSUNA coordinator of the Williston Basin; Committee on Preservation of Cores and Samples, 1979-94; Publications Committee, 1983-87; Board of Advisors on the AAPG Treatise Project, 1985-94; Academic Liaison Committee, 1986-92; chair of the ad hoc Petroleum Curriculum Development Committee, 1987-94; Education Committee, 1988-present; and co-chair of the AAPG ad hoc Committee on Global Climate Issues, 1998-present.
A charter member of the AAPG Division of Environmental Geosciences, Gerhard served as DEG president in 1994-95, served as managing editor for Environmental Geosciences from 1995-98, and has served on numerous DEG Committees.
He also was convener of the DEG Hedberg Conference in 1995 and was convener of the DEG/AAPG Conference in 1998.
Since 1994 he has been AAPG liaison with the Association of American State Geologists and representative to the AGI Environmental Advisory Committee.
He also is a founder of the AAPG Rocky Mountain Section Foundation, served as the RMS president from 1981-82, and is active in a number of other scientific organizations.
AAPG honors include Distinguished Service Award, 1989; the Journalism Award, 1996; Honorary Membership in 1997; and DEG Honorary Membership in 1998. He also received AAPG Certificates of Merit in 1990 and 1995.
Why I Accepted The Invitation to be a Candidate For AAPG Office
By LEE C. GERHARD
There are few professional honors that surpass being asked to run for president-elect of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. I am pleased and honored to do so, and I hope to bring to the AAPG my vision of the future of our profession and our Association.
Both challenges and opportunities abound for us. Maintaining the mantle of international leadership is more difficult than acquiring it. Building consensus about our future is priority one.
These are troubling times for the petroleum industry and for petroleum scientists. Mergers of large multi-national petroleum companies have undermined exploration and production programs, creating chaos in employment and in the growth of smaller companies. Many independents have been seriously hurt by market forces beyond their control. Our members have been devastated by these events, and somehow we must find ways to assist our members in finding new work and starting new ventures.
AAPG has addressed some of the challenges of being fully international. We have not yet directly addressed the growing differences in interests between members participating in international projects and the large number who are independents or small companies trying to develop domestic U.S. resources. Somehow, both interests must be equally served.
Internally, how can the AAPG more fully involve and integrate the DPA, EMD and DEG into its programs? How can the AAPG be more open in its communications about its operations? How can the AAPG bring more services to its members without increasing membership cost?
Our profession suffers as urbanized society loses understanding of the resource base of their wealth. Governments develop policies for social progress that ignore their economic resource base. The AAPG needs to work with society about how to balance resource requirements with social needs. We scientists have unique and special skills and knowledge that require us to more fully participate in the resource and scientific affairs of our nations. In land access, operating regulations and applications of technology, rational policy requires rational science.
Clearly, there are many challenges. But there are many opportunities as well. Nearly a third of the earth is unexplored by modern technology. The domestic petroleum resource is large; the will to access it has to be encouraged. The AAPG looks for ways to focus its resources more effectively to the benefit of membership. We have opportunity to grow the stature of the Association.
If given the chance, I hope to schedule open forums with members at every Section meeting to listen to your concerns. Serving you will be a rewarding challenge.
Robbie Rice Gries, a candidate for president-elect of AAPG, is president and CEO of Priority Oil & Gas LLC in Denver.
A native of Ingleside, Texas, she attended Del Mar Junior College in Corpus Christi, Texas, before transferring to Colorado State University, where she received her bachelor of science degree in geology. In 1970 she received a master's degree in geology from The University of Texas at Austin.
Gries began her career teaching geology at Wichita State, and in 1973 joined the staff at Texaco Inc. in Denver. In 1976 she became a staff geologist for Reserve Oil in Denver. In 1980, when Reserve was acquired by Getty, Gries began her career as a consultant and independent, opening an office in Denver.
Gries formed Priority Oil & Gas in 1992. She orchestrated the merger of two Colorado companies in 1993 and was a director and vice-president for a year.
Since 1995 she has been president of Priority, where operations are primarily in the Mid-continent and Rockies, with other onshore gas exploration projects in the UK/Northern Ireland and Ireland.
An AAPG member since 1977, Gries served as AAPG secretary from 1995 to 1997. She was the general chair of the 1994 AAPG annual meeting in Denver, chaired the Distinguished Lecture Committee and founded the International Distinguished Lecture Sub Committee, co-chaired AAPG's first Summit on Section meetings in 1998, co-chaired the first Summit on Committees and has been an Associate Editor.
She has served on Publications, Conventions, Membership and the Technical Program committees, as well as the Committee on Committees.
She received the A.I. Leverson award in 1985. In 1991 she received AAPG's Distinguished Service award, and in 1998 became an Honorary Member.
Gries became a Certified Petroleum Geologist in 1985 and has been a delegate for the House of Delegates, an alternate or a substitute for 19 years. She joined the AAPG Foundation Trustee Associates in 1996.
Gries has authored numerous papers on Rocky Mountain geology, edited the Rocky Mountain seismic volume and has received several awards for talks and papers. She has been honored by the Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists with its distinguished service award and honorary membership. The Denver Geophysical Society has recognized her service with its distinguished service award.
Gries is a member of EAGE, GSA and SEPM, as well as the Houston, Four Corners and Wyoming geologicial societies.
Why I Accepted The Invitation to be a Candidate For AAPG Office
By R.R. ROBBIE GRIES
AAPG is like "family" to me, and a very important part of my life. AAPG is people; people who are also scientists and who take seriously their responsibility of contributing to society. As a group we share a passion for the science of geology and a talent for creativity. These attributes propel us toward discovery and result in the provision of energy to the world.
Our profession requires us to endure risks that few other professions demand. From these shared attributes, AAPG provides a tremendous avenue for support and camaraderie.
I have agreed to run for president-elect because it gives me so much pleasure to work within this dynamic and enthusiastic body. I selfishly gain so much personal reward just working with other AAPG volunteers as we mentor, communicate, educate, create and appreciate. I want to continue the time-worn dedication to furthering the science of geology through these activities.
AAPG stands to benefit enormously from the new communication age that is upon us. Already we have improved communication between headquarters and members, between committees, between societies and between countries. I would like to work to continue to take advantage of today's new technologies, and continue to improve the speed and quality of communication within our organization and toward the general public.
My vision for AAPG includes a deep and respectful appreciation for the significant and solid foundation we inherit from the tireless labors of volunteers past. Each forward step the organization takes relies upon this inheritance.
This organization was formed to advance the science of geology, to promote technology, to encourage improvements in exploration methods, to foster a spirit of scientific research amongst members and to disseminate information.
I will not forget these basic goals, and will do everything I possibly can to maintain this fruitful and meritorious course.
I accept this honor of being asked to run with gratefulness and with enthusiasm.