One of the first appointments Donald Juckett had as head of the AAPG Geoscience and Energy Office in Washington, D.C. (GEO-DC), was to attend the National Academy of Science Committee of Earth Resources meeting.
He came back with a proposal to the AAPG Executive Committee and is now pursuing the possibility of AAPG becoming a member of one of two committees advising the U.S. secretary of energy on implementing expenditures of at least $50 million a year headed for research and development in deepwater exploration and production and unconventional gas over the next nine years.
Thus, less than 100 hours on the job, AAPG was already pursing the goals of the GEO-DC office:
- To provide reliable scientific geotechnical and professional information to decision makers.
- Provide information on work force needs and develop opportunities for education and training for geoscientists.
- Identify changes to participate in emerging contracts or grants for the benefit of the profession and promoting sound energy policy.
- Participate as an active, informed and recognized member of the non-governmental organizations (NGO) that regularly caucus and counsel with respect to energy and science policy.
Juckett, who set up GEO-DC in the American Geological Institute's Alexandria, Va., headquarters in mid-November, has been in Washington since 1988, when he joined the U.S. Department of Energy as director of geoscience research. He retired in 2003 from DOE, serving as director of the Office of Natural Gas and Petroleum Import and Export Activities in Washington, D.C.
Most recently, he was a consultant and on the board of Far East Energy Corp.
Prior to joining DOE he worked for 14 years with Phillips Petroleum in various research and research management positions.
Previously, he was senior chemist for the New York State Department of Health. He received a bachelor's degree in chemistry from the State University of New York, Oswego, and a doctorate in organic chemistry from SUNY Albany.
"AAPG's Executive Committee and the GEO-DC Board of Governors are very pleased at the prospect of AAPG assuming a much higher profile in the Washington, D.C., community in the immediate future, under the leadership of Don Juckett, a bona fide expert in the legislative, administrative and NGO workings of the nation's capital, as they relate to petroleum geoscience," said AAPG President Peter R. Rose.
Having worked in the geoscience arena for more than 30 years (17 years in Washington), Juckett said AAPG is "very, very highly esteemed" in the Washington community and "is known as highly peer-reviewed in its publications and its policies.
"Because of the reputation in the knowledgeable community," Juckett said, "having a Washington presence will be very well received."
Long discussed, GEO-DC came to fruition with an Executive Committee vote at the Annual Convention in Calgary last year. The budget for the office is $150,000-$200,000 per year, with AAPG committing $150,000 the first year. The Division of Professional Affairs, also meeting in Calgary, voted to fund $50,000 per year.
The commitment for both is for a three-year trial period.
In addition, in 2004-05, a group of 10 members pledged annual donations of $1,000 each over the next three years to "kick start" the creation of the office. Donors are then-president Pat Gratton, president-elect Rose, Rick Fritz, Dan Smith, Jim Gibbs, Eddie David, Don Gifford, Bob Gunn, Scott Ritchie and Terry Hollrah.
GEO-DC is governed by a board comprising the current and immediate past presidents of AAPG; the current DPA president; the chairman of the DPA's Government Affairs Committee; and five other AAPG members who will have alternating two or three-year terms, appointed by the four permanent positions mentioned previously.
Thus, the first board of governors consists of Rose, Gratton, Deborah Sacrey, Carl J. Smith, Reggie Spiller, Lee Gerhard, John Armentrout, Ray Thomasson and James Gibbs.
Rick Fritz, AAPG executive director, serves as a non-voting secretary and coordinator of activities with the GEO-DC office and the governance board.
Juckett said setting priorities is the first order of business for GEO-DC -- and will be an ongoing process as opportunities are identified.
A regular report from GEO-DC will appear in the EXPLORER and on the AAPG Web site.