PATRICK J.F. GRATTON
2004-05 AAPG President
Disaster Prompts Response by Association
Asian tsunami, an event that will go down as one of history's worst
natural disasters, has created an outpouring of heartfelt assistance
from all over the world. The tsunami has killed more than 150,000
people in Asia and east Africa, but millions more are in desperate
need of aid that will help them survive.
to do its part. The Executive Committee is gathering information
and is planning a program to provide geologic education materials
to affected educational and government institutions for both replacement
and use for future planning.
EXPLORER for details.
has set up a fund to match relief effort contributions made by the
AAPG headquarters staff. A list
of reputable agencies gathering funds and involved in the aid endeavors
are listed on the AAPG Web site.
are not directly related (I hope!) but are treated in sequence in
some observations about continuity.
leadership requires continuity and good corporate memory. The staff
of the Association has continuity, but our elected leadership is
challenged in this respect.
which provides for a president-elect and a chair-elect of the House
of Delegates (HoD), addresses the problem. But I've observed that
even so, there are discontinuities due to short terms of office
of Executive Committee (EC) members.
In a simpler
lineup of tasks and issues, our system of one-year apprenticeships
would easily solve the problem. But AAPG's business and service
lines have become complex and very numerous. In order to be well
acquainted with all is a challenge even after a two-year learning
experience, much less after one year.
I've initiated the practice of inviting the candidates for president-elect
to our EC meetings. As guests they have no vote, but I usually ask
for their comments on topics of discussion. Since usually there
are sensitive and competitive items on the agenda, these guests
are admitted only after those issues are acted upon.
also is being used in the Budget Review and Finance Committee meetings.
The president-elect chairs the committee and the treasurer is the
vice chair. The committee is appointed by the president -- ordinarily
from recommendations made by the president-elect. These recommendations
usually include candidates for president-elect and for treasurer
(in the years when there are candidates for the treasurer's post).
of these cases, participation not only makes for better education
and continuity but also engenders "ownership."
10, 2004, the EC unanimously approved a resolution recommending
the HoD, with advice from the Advisory Council, to consider an amendment
to the Bylaws to allow candidates for president-elect to attend
the EC meetings as non-voting members.
seen the utility of president-elect candidates Tom Ahlbrandt and
Lee Billingsley attending EC meetings, I believe institutionalizing
this arrangement would greatly benefit the Association by improving
continuity and corporate memory in our leadership.
is commonly called upon to make decisions for events several years
in the future. These include locations for annual meetings and international
conventions, plus commitments for representatives or joint ventures.
By involving the senior officer candidates in the decision discussions
we improve accountability.
recommend books, but a recent publication is so well based in geoscience
and modern politics that it seems worthy.
Crichton's State of Fear is a true geothriller and an easy read.
Bailey's review in the Dec. 10, 2004 Wall Street Journal provides
unusual insight on many elements of the novel.
of this suggestion the EXPLORER had arranged for a book review (see
related story) by Chris Steincamp, vice president of the Division
of Environmental Geosciences. These two analyses will help you understand
the importance of State of Fear.
is being written, the magnitude of yet another geologic disaster
is being realized worldwide due to the tsunami that destroyed so
much and so many lives in the circum-Indian Ocean. Our hearts go
out to those suffering, and we are saddened by the tremendous loss
will be offering our specialized assistance to education institutions
impacted by the Sumatra tsunami, and I encourage members to contribute
to some of the numerous private relief agencies focusing on assisting