The end of
2004 and the start of a new year are joined with giving thanks and
hoping for improvement. (It is also usually a time for accounting,
financial and operational, but AAPG's fiscal year doesn't end until
June 30, so we'll address that later.)
to the greater AAPG community for your support and willingness to
labor, mostly in committees.
to the leaders who chair those committees and who work as officers
of our divisions, sections, regions, House of Delegates, affiliated
societies, etc. The number of volunteers currently engaged in these
activities is over 1,000, but probably less than 5 percent of the
total AAPG membership.
also are due our paid staff, which totals close to 5 percent of
the current active volunteers (i.e., 5 percent of 5 percent!).
volunteers and staff are like bricks and mortar. It takes a lot
of bricks to build a meaningful structure, but it also requires
a little mortar -- without which the structure cannot stand very
to those who are not currently volunteering in the roles identified
above but who have written geoscience papers, given talks, visited
schools, contributed to the Foundation, attended conventions, mentored
young geoscientists, served before, may serve later and all of you
who have paid dues (or had someone pay for you!).
we are an important part of the Geotribe, with the joining of many
clans (e.g., paleo, petrophysics, geophysics, etc.). Give thanks
that our tribe has a base in science and another base in art (representational,
abstract, performing, etc.).
we all are lucky to be members of this tribe, which has no national
for a future as rewarding as our past.
"rewarding" is a stretch when earth-derived commodities are priced
low and our members' livelihoods are threatened. It is small solace
to know that so many of our members have had the strength to endure
(along with their supportive families) the agony and pain of unemployment
and underemployment, depletion of capital, undesired relocation,
etc. But it is becoming a mark of our tribe that so many of us are
survivors (it just took TV a long time to find value in such character).
to build on the past -- and we anticipate greater compensation for
our efforts as worldwide economic shifts place greater value on
discovery and recovery of earth resources.
has proven itself very adaptable -- and this trait will be tested
as we move down the resource pyramid (That's triangle for two dimensions;
time for third dimension, as past president Steve Sonnenberg has
manifested many ways:
The recent Cancun international meeting was very well attended
and received high grades from attendees (December EXPLORER).
annual meeting in Calgary (June 19-22) has had a fantastically
large number of abstracts submitted.
drilling activity has increased about 10 percent (recent month-to-month,
2004 vs. 2003).
working seismic crews have not participated in the rising petro-statistics,
increased focus on recovery vs. discovery technology may explain
that and simply shift the focus of hope a little.
thanks and having hope is not to trivialize the greater picture
and its relationship to individual belief systems. But as president
of AAPG, I think this column should have a narrower field.