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 -- are published in the EXPLORER. Ballots will be mailed in the spring. Posted here are the responses from vice president candidates Brenda K. Cunningham and Ronald A. Nelson.
Candidates were asked to limit their responses to 300 words.
Brenda K. Cunningham, a candidate for vice president of AAPG, is a staff geologist at Arco Permian in Midland, Texas.
A native of Great Bend, Kan., Cunningham studied at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and received her bachelor's degree in geology from the University of Texas, Permian Basin in 1977.
She began her career as a geologist for Enserch Exploration in Midland and later became senior geologist for American Trading and Production in Midland. She also served as senior geologist for two other Midland companies, Cotton Petroleum and Stone Petroleum, becoming the geologist for Midland-based McDonnold Cos in 1984.
In 1988, she became co-founder and president of West Texas Digital, working in that capacity until joining Arco Permian in 1995.
She has also taught geology on an adjunct basis at Midland College and the Permian Basin Graduate Center.
A certified petroleum geologist, Cunningham joined AAPG in 1977.
AAPG activities include numerous activities with the House of Delegates, to which she has been an elected delegate since 1987. House activities include stints on the Credentials, Constitution and Bylaws and Nomination and Election committees, and chair of the Resolutions Committee. She was elected chairman of the House in 1989-90, and as such served on the AAPG Executive Committee.
She also served on the AAPG House Management Committee, 1992-93, and the Committee on Committees, 1992-93. She is currently serving as the Southwest Section's Honors and Awards Committee chairman.
She also has performed numerous society and Section activities, and was elected president of the West Texas Geological Society (1993-94), president of the Permian Basin Section SEPM (1986-87) and secretary of the AAPG Southwest Section (1988-89).
She received the AAPG Distinguished Service award in 1995; Honorary Life Membership from the West Texas Geological Society in 1997; and the Permian Basin Section SEPM's first Dedicated Service Award in 1988.
Why I Accepted the Invitation To Be a Candidate For AAPG Office
By BRENDA K. CUNNINGHAM
During my geological career, I have been:
- Employed by a big company.
- Employed by a big company in the process of a merger with an even bigger company.
- Employed by small companies.
- Employed by even smaller companies.
- Employed by myself.
I have had supervisors that I liked, supervisors that I didn't like and jobs for which I had no supervision at all. Benefits, no benefits; paid vacation, no paid vacation; oil prices at $9 a barrel, oil prices at $40 a barrel -- all illustrating the point that the only consistency in our industry is change.
Aside from family and friends, the singular continuities of my 22-year career are the geological organizations that I became a member of during my first week of employment as a petroleum geologist. AAPG is one of those organizations.
The Association has provided me with many benefits. Examples include short courses and Distinguished Lecture visits, insurance options, literally thousands of technical articles in the BULLETIN and the Bookstore, technical presentations by geoscientists from throughout the world, and news of our industry and career-related topics contained in the EXPLORER.
But most importantly, the AAPG has provided a geological support system of people with whom I have made important business contacts, shared scientific and business knowledge and developed friendships that I am hopeful will continue through the years to come.
Throughout its 82-year history, many members have contributed their time, knowledge, leadership and energy to the Association. These contributions, coupled with a dedicated headquarters staff, have made the benefits mentioned above, and many more, available to every member, from college student to Sidney Powers recipient.
I accepted the invitation to be a candidate for office because I wish to acknowledge the contributions of those that preceded us, and, with others, provide the leadership that ensures the rewards of AAPG membership to our successors.
Ronald A. Nelson, a candidate for vice president of AAPG, is structural geology and geomechanics network leader for BP Amoco in Houston.
A native of Chicago, Nelson received his bachelor's degree from Northern Illinois University and received both master's and doctorate from Texas A&M University.
Beginning his career with Lindgren Exploration Co. in Wayzata, Minn., Nelson joined Amoco Production in Tulsa five years later as a structural and fractured reservoir research geologist.
In 1986 he moved to Houston with Amoco, working in international exploration and technology management before assuming his present position with BP Amoco in 1999.
A certified petroleum geologist, Nelson joined AAPG in 1976.
AAPG activities include being a Distinguished Lecturer, 1982-83 and again in 1997-98, when he was the Dean A. McGee Lecturer for Southeast Asia.; associate editor, 1983-88 and 1990-92; short course lecturer 1983, '86 and '91; school lecturer 1984-96; delegate to the AAPG House, 1984-86 and 1996-99; advisory board of the AAPG Treatise Project, 1985-90; Distinguished Lecture Committee, 1991-94; Advisory Council, 1996-99; Standing Technical Program Committee, 1997 - present, chairing the committee in 1997-98.
He also is a member of the Houston Geological Society, serving as president in 1995-96; and was a Society of Petroleum Engineers Distinguished Author in 1987.
Among his 65 publications is the textbook Geological Analysis of Naturally Fractured Reservoirs.
Why I Accepted the Invitation To Be a Candidate For AAPG Office
By RONALD A. NELSON
I agreed to run for vice president of the AAPG because I like our organization and have always enjoyed and benefited from working for it.
During all of the changes we have experienced in our industry over the last 15 years, the AAPG has been an important focal point in my career. With layoffs, mergers and changes in focus, the AAPG has provided me with education, camaraderie, the ability to share my thoughts and experiences with others and the chance to learn to work with people professionally outside of my company. I look forward to the chance to serve on the Executive Committee to use my unique history and experiences to help run our organization in a prudent manner today -- and to help shape its future.
Many of my early contributions in my 23 years with the Association were of a technical nature; as an author, teacher of short courses and schools, Distinguished Lecturer, Treatise advisor and associate editor. However, over the years I have taken on additional responsibilities, serving as an Affiliate Society president, delegate from two affiliates, member and chair of several standing committees and a member of the Advisory Council. These roles have given me a glimpse of how the Association runs and how it could be made better.
In particular, my background gives me first-hand knowledge of the views of the technically-based members of our profession and desires of our Affiliate societies in their interactions with and expectations of the AAPG. I believe this can be valuable experience to share with the Executive Committee in its decision making.
I have learned so much from the AAPG, the professional society I chose early in my career to be MY Society. The AAPG has made me a better scientist, a better professional and a better person.
If elected, I hope I can help do the same for the organization and our members.