It's back-to-school time again for the AAPG Visiting Geologist Program speakers -- but this year something new has been added.
Long a popular program in the United States, the VGP is going international -- starting with the United Kingdom and Canada.
The VGP, which this year celebrates its 25th anniversary, was developed to provide colleges and universities with speakers who give students current information on the geosciences. The program also gives students a chance to meet practicing geologists and to discuss geological career options.
The speakers give the "working geologist's view" of the industry to students, faculty and administrators.
Formation of the program was approved at the annual meeting in 1974.
Formerly called the Visiting Petroleum Geologists (VPG) program, the name was changed in 1994 to reflect the efforts to branch out into other forms of the geosciences, according to Colin Barker, chairman of the VGP Committee and chairman of the department of geosciences at the University of Tulsa.
"Speakers now include many working in environmental geosciences and energy minerals," Barker said.
We are trying to encourage additional speakers in other areas, as well as oil and gas, to join the program."
This year, the VGP will be taking the first steps toward being totally international in scope.
"Initially the focus will be on a small group of countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada and Mexico," Barker said. "We are compiling a roster of speakers for the United Kingdom and expect to introduce the program there this year.
"Visits to some Canadian universities also will be a part of the 1999-2000 activities," he continued.
"As we gain experience, the program will be extended to other areas."
The VGP speakers are a dedicated group that cover their own expenses in getting to the universities, requiring no stipend. The VGP is open to any interested geoscientist. Each speaker must agree to make at least one visit a year, although some typically make three to four visits each year.
Speakers usually give a technical talk in their area of specialty, along with a presentation on career options and the best way to plan a career path.
The speakers welcome an opportunity to discuss the changes that have taken place in the job market, and to present information on new technical challenges.
"Despite the expanding program, however, the VGP only reaches only a small percent of college and university campuses," Barker said. "Although the total requests remained stable, more accurate reporting methods for 1998-99 showed an increase in new requests.
"We estimate that about 1,700 students attended talks by Visiting Geologists during the 1998-1999 season."
AAPG mails the VGP brochure to all U.S. colleges and universities with geoscience departments. The brochure is now available on the AAPG Web site (www.aapg.org), including an online request form.
Any school interested in inviting a speaker can also contact Glenda Stacy, VGP coordinator, with the AAPG education department.
This year's VGP speakers are:
- Sunit K. Addy, CGG Geosciences, Houston.
- William Almon, Texaco Upstream Technology, Houston.
- Charles S. Bartlett, Bartlett Geological Consultants, Abingdon, Va.
- Lyle G. Bruce, BP Amoco, Warrenville, Ill.
- Gary Citron, Telegraph Exploration, Austin, Texas.
- Robert D. Cowdery, consulting geologist, Wichita, Kan.
- William C. Dawson, Texaco Upstream Technology, Houston.
- Fred Duffy, Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission, Austin, Texas.
- Samuel A. Friedman, Oklahoma Geological Survey, Norman, Okla.
- John W. Gabelman, John W. Gabelman & Associates, Danville, Calif.
- Richard I. Gibson, Gibson Consulting, Cardwell, Mont.
- G. Michael Grammer, Texaco Upstream Technology, Houston.
- Patrick J.F. Gratton, geologist, Dallas.
- Joseph L. Haberfeld, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Tallahassee, Fla.
- Jean L. Hamilton, Marathon Oil, Houston.
- Debra K. Higley, U.S. Geological Survey, Lakewood, Colo.
- Peter J. Hutchinson, The Hutchinson Group, Murrysville, Pa.
- Gerald J. Kuecher, Baker Atlas Geoscience, Houston.
- Susan Landon, Thomasson Partner Associates, Denver.
- G.M. "Byrd" Larberg, Burlington Resources, Houston.
- Allen Lowrie, oceanographer, Picayune, Miss.
- Harry J. Meyer, Northwest Natural Gas Co., Portland, Ore.
- Diana Morton-Thompson, Earth Resources International, Kalamazoo, Mich.
- H. Roice Nelson Jr., Continuum Resources, Houston.
- James A. Noel, consultant, Ashland, Ohio.
- Robert Olson, consultant, Tulsa.
- Donald F. Oltz, Geological Survey of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Ala.
- Mark D. Orgren, Alliance Energy, Jones, Okla.
- Douglas C. Peters, Peters Geosciences, Golden, Colo.
- Rima Petrossian, Texas Water Development Board, Austin, Texas.
- W.C. (Rusty) Riese, Vastar Resources, Houston.
- Bonnie B. Robinson, USEPA Office of Solid Waste, Washington, D.C.
- Carl J. Smith, West Virginia Geological Survey, Morgantown, W. Va.
- Deborah (Debby) Sycamore, Aspect Resources, Denver.
- M. Ray Thomasson, Thomasson Partner Associates, Denver.
- Edward M. Warner, Expedition Oil Co., Denver.
- David M. Weinberg, Idaho National Engineering & Environmental Laboratory, Idaho Falls, Idaho.
- Nicolas R. Wemyss, Search Energy, Calgary, Canada.
- Edith Wilson, BP Amoco, Houston.
- Fabian Wirnkar, BP Amoco, Houston.
- Larry D. Woodfork, West Virginia Geological Survey, Morgantown, W. Va.
- James C. Woodson, Samedan Oil, Ardmore, Okla.
- Douglas E. Wyatt, Westinghouse Savannah Site, Aiken, S.C.
- Cindy A. Yeilding, BP Amoco Exploration, Houston.