My son Ian recently turned 18 and it has been interesting watching the development of his attitudes and forays in (and sometimes out) of maturity.
As a result many of our father-to-son talks have changed. For example, since he bought his car we have many more in depth discussions on finance.
I just returned from the AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition (ACE) in New Orleans, where I had the opportunity to spend time with several groups of students and young professionals.
There is an old saying that “youth is wasted on the young,” but in my opinion these young people have a lot going on. Several of them had just finished making presentations at the AAPG Imperial Barrel Award (IBA) contest, and I was impressed with their maturity and knowledge.
I also was amazed at how many students had worked in industry while getting their degrees. This was not the case when I was in school, but now through intern programs and summer hires many have experience in the industry.
I think this is a good trend for AAPG as a professional association. In the past, about 20 percent of student members joined AAPG immediately after school. Now more companies have hired young people out of school, and we are starting to see an increase in the percentage of young professionals coming into the Association.
When asked about the program, the most common student response is how important it was for them to learn to work as a team in integrating geology, geophysics and engineering into the project. This is a great program, and the announcement of the IBA teams and winners at the annual student reception at ACE is a truly electrifying event.
Also, this year I noticed an increase in young professionals active in committees. Particularly active is the Young Professionals Committee, led by chair Natasha Rigg.
The committee’s mission is to help students transition to their professional careers. In New Orleans the AAPG Executive Committee approved a proposal by the Young Professionals Committee to develop a Young Professionals Leadership Summit. The goals of the summit are to:
A Young Professionals Leadership Summit is being considered for early FY 2011.
In regards to a discussion on youth, American baseball legend Satchel Paige once mused, “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you was?”
My sentiments exactly!
No matter what your age, if you are interested in working with students and young professionals there are many great opportunities to develop new leadership and foster new science in AAPG.
Just send me a note if you are interested.
Richard D. "Rick" Fritz, an AAPG member since 1984 and a member of the Division of Environmental Geosciences and the Division of Professional Affairs, has been AAPG Executive Director since 1999.