Products, Services Benefit Members
In August I attended the North American Prospect Expo in Houston, also known as Summer NAPE. The show was a success with over 500 booths and 5,000 attendees, and it provided a great opportunity as president of AAPG and vice president of Abraxas Petroleum to visit with a wide variety of geologists.
I was surprised to receive a recurring comment from geologists and attendees: “Thank you for serving as president of AAPG.”
Wow! Sometimes the leadership of AAPG and the staff focus so much energy on why geoscientists are not members that we forget about all the appreciative ones that are members. I felt very gratified and inspired by the appreciation.
I ask all readers of this column to thank someone who is serving on behalf of your profession. It will help them do a better job. That includes your local societies, House of Delegates members, committee chairs, AAPG staff, etc.
Question: What is free for the giver, but valuable to receiver; frequently gets returned; and everyone has an unlimited supply?
Answer: “Thank you.”
Reflecting on why geologists would thank me for serving AAPG, they obviously feel that their professional association is important. But what do we do that is so important?
First, we offer products and services that directly benefit members.
The direct benefits are expanding and improving so rapidly that one of our big challenges is to communicate the new benefits to members. I think most prospective member decisions to join are based on these direct benefits, such as BULLETIN articles, the EXPLORER, access to conventions, short courses, digital library and search capability, Foundation Library, group insurance, certification, etc.
Any geologist or company that cannot derive at least the value of one barrel of oil per year per membership (approximate cost of our most expensive membership) is simply not using AAPG’s available resources. If you consider AAPG’s entire revenue from dues of $1.7 million divided by the price of a barrel of oil (about $70), we only need to help members find an additional 24,000 BO/year to “payout” our entire dues cost.
With such a cost-efficient, productive organization, no wonder people are thanking me for serving.
Second, AAPG offers many indirect benefits that accrue both to current and future members.
If you look beyond your own personal needs, how does AAPG contribute to global energy supply? AAPG’s areas of contribution include these specific examples:
- Creator and curator of technical data– BULLETIN, special publications, Datapages (digital publishing of all AAPG inventory plus an increasing volume of publications from affiliated societies), new and growing geospatial library.
- Connecting professionals – Annual North American and international conventions and exhibitions, the EXPLORER magazine, prospect expos (Winter NAPE, Summer NAPE and London APPEX), regional conferences (GEO in Baharain, recent European conference in Mallorca).
- Continuing education – Oral and poster papers at conventions, short courses, field trips, research conferences.
- Recruitment of new professionals – Visiting Geoscientists Program, student grants, student job expos, AAPG student chapters, Youth Education Activities (educational materials and instruction for pre-college age).
- Public education – Public Outreach Committee and GEO-DC office.
The above list shows that AAPG is much more than the BULLETIN and EXPLORER, a member’s most frequent, visible and direct benefits. Having a large, vibrant membership allows us to develop new products and services and to deliver them globally.
For example, many petroleum geoscientists view prospect expos like the one I just attended as one of their most important business venues. Professional associations, including AAPG, began all such expos.
Looking forward, AAPG can fulfill a critical role in supplying world energy by technically enhancing geoscientists worldwide and providing a medium for professional exchange. Our role applies to both current and future geoscientists.
Take heart, if the papers in last month’s BULLETIN did not seem to apply to your current work project or you did not have time to read the EXPLORER; your dues were still being applied to the good of all mankind – and the profession.
In my short time as president I have frequently received input in the form of questions and suggestions, and I have learned to ask the question, “What do you want me to do?” It is simply a method to distill requests into potential actions. To turn that around at the end of this column, even though you did not ask, I will answer that question.
If you are a member, I want you to recruit at least one new member.
If you supervise geoscientists, I want you to invite and encourage them to join and recruit at least one new member. If you are a corporate manager, make it company policy to reimburse membership dues or recruit 100 or more members through our Corporate Membership category (contact AAPG Member Services for details).
If you are a member in academia, recruit a colleague and encourage all your students to join (membership fees for students will be reimbursed).
Some geoscientists with low incomes do have trouble paying their dues. Within the next few months the Executive Committee will review a report from the ad hoc Graduated Dues Committee and prepare a recommendation on dues structure for consideration by the House of Delegates.
Last month I did recruit a former classmate of mine to join as an Active member. Welcome, Steve.
Who will be my next happy convert?
‘Til next month ...
P.S. AAPG-sponsored student job expos take place in early October in Laramie, Wyo., Buffalo, N.Y. and Houston. Check AAPG’s Web site for details– it might not be too late to sign up.