Meetings Refreshing for Professionals
This past fall I had the opportunity to attend a couple of enlightening conventions.
First, Buffalo, N.Y., provided my inaugural trip to an AAPG Eastern Section meeting. Usually I work on projects either along the Texas Gulf Coast, in the Texas portion of the Permian basin or the Powder River Basin in Wyoming. I thought the only petroleum geologists in the eastern United States either headed west soon after Drake’s well declined, or they represented East Coast investments in oil and gas projects generated by geologists from Texas.
Buffalo changed all that.
The meeting attracted a dedicated, friendly, close-knit group of petroleum geologists that freely shared their research. Geologists from industry, state and federal government and universities all appeared to cooperate for the sake of the science. The students were wellversed on the applications of geology to the search for elusive hydrocarbons.
To further dispel my misconceptions, I even met several geologists from Texas. They were in Buffalo because they were either already working the eastern U.S. basins or trying to get started there.
Thanks for the enlightenment.
Next, the AAPG International Conference and Exhibition (ICE) in Perth, Australia, provided a lesson in cooperation on many levels.
The conference provided a welcome break from the partisan, self-serving posturing that dominates everyday news anywhere in the world. The ICE drew 2,626 participants from 65 countries, with 283 registrants traveling there from the United States.
As an international organization, AAPG not only disseminates its technical knowledge base worldwide, but also facilitates international opportunities for U.S.-based members. It is refreshing that AAPG provides a forum and mechanism for people from all over the world to share and learn.
Although in many aspects the field of petroleum geology is very competitive, the outcome from our work – namely finding energy – is very additive to the world. When we find a new field it creates new wealth for individuals, companies, governments and service companies.
Maybe that is why geologists enjoy talking to each other about their work; talking about new fields is almost like talking about our children or grandchildren.
The Perth meeting was particularly successful because the local organizing committee/host society (Petroleum Exploration Society of Australia) and AAPG staff/members each contributed their strengths. The Aussies engineered one of the best technical programs we’ve ever enjoyed at an international conference, and AAPG provided superb organization that created the look and feel of an AAPG annual convention.
Several representatives from various countries were anxious to host a future ICE.
Thankfully, the Aussies provided their own flavor to the meeting in the form of one of the most memorable convention events I have ever attended. At the end of each meeting they traditionally have a “Sundowner,” scheduled on the last day after the last paper and after the exhibit hall closes.
In Perth it had no format other than beer and wine served on a large patio, which also happened to overlook a river – but it provided a terrific opportunity to just wind down and socialize.
In Perth several hundred – if not a thousand – attendees created a loud roar from excited conversations, which was a fitting testament to the success of the event and convention.
It felt like dessert after a fine meal.
The AAPG Executive Committee held its own meeting in Perth, and we reviewed AAPG’s position papers, in general, and the Global Climate Change position, in particular.
We decided that some topics, such as global climate change, are not appropriate for recommended government policies. Instead, AAPG should publish “Fact Sheets,” and individual members can use the Fact Sheets to influence government policies as they wish.
For more information on AAPG’s position on global climate change and a previously submitted Global Climate Change Card, see http://www.aapg.org/explorer/2007/01jan/climate_card.cfm.
I hope everyone had a restful holiday, because now is about time to plan to attend London APPEX March 20-22 and AAPG’s Annual Convention in Long Beach, Calif. April 1-4.