Long Beach Had Many Highlights
Long Beach convention chair Dalton Lockman, left, gives a cheer as President Billingsley waves a race flag at the start of the meeting.
The convention in Long Beach was a huge success by any measure.
Although the West Coast is two time zones away from a large percentage of our U.S. members, it is an important venue for our annual meetings -- and having a West Coast convention gives the AAPG Pacific Section a chance to “show their stuff.”
This issue of the EXPLORER contains other news from the convention, but my personal highlights include:
Graduated dues bylaw amendment -- It passed overwhelmingly in the HoD with about 90 percent approval by my estimate.
The HoD approved the graduated dues bylaw amendment on April 1, but the new dues structure will take a few months to implement. Consequently, current members will not see a change in this year’s (2007) renewal statements, but nearly all of current members will not be affected by the new structure anyway.
Student programs -- Student participation in the meeting increased due to efforts of the convention committee. Students appeared very excited to get a glimpse of petroleum geology as a profession, as demonstrated by a convention. And we were excited to have them.
Imperial Barrel Award competition -- This is a new program for AAPG and adopted from Imperial College in London. Students from participating schools form groups to analyze a data set that includes 3-D seismic and subsurface data. The group presents a complete exploration analysis of the area to a panel of judges.
The competition creates extra work for the students, but it provides them a fantastic experience. I will appoint a permanent committee to help with the expansion and further implementation of this exciting new program.
Thanks go to Steve Veal, past AAPG vice-president and current part-time manger in the London office, for bringing us the idea and helping to make it happen.
Corporate Advisory Board -- Representatives from petroleum companies have a new charge and system for advising. AAPG leadership and staff will provide them with background information on selected topics.
The initial topics are: a) university geoscience research projects funded by corporations and administered through AAPG; b) a pool of visiting professors from industry available to universities; and c) endowed faculty support through the AAPG Foundation.
Ad hoc Global Climate Change Committee -- The group held a private meeting and drafted a statement for EC review.
I will transmit the statement to DPA and DEG leadership for comment. We will post the draft statement on the AAPG Web site by May 1 for member comments. After approximately 3 0 days for comments, the EC will review and approve a new statement on global climate change by June 30.
The topic of global climate change will not be “solved” by the considerable work of our ad hoc committee and our revised statement. AAPG needs a permanent committee on the subject.
The Sundowner -- This event, taught to us by the Perth organizing committee, is like dessert after a fine meal. It occurred on the evening of the convention’s last day. This year we enjoyed Executive Director Rick Fritz wearing a Hawaiian party shirt. Tommy Bahama would have been proud.
The annual convention and exhibition is an extremely busy time for EC members, because we try to attend all the various committee meetings scheduled during the convention. This year seemed especially fruitful with several new ideas coming from the committees.
I want to personally thank the Long Beach organizing committee, AAPG volunteers and AAPG staff for making the convention an uplifting, memorable experience for me and other attendees.
The new structure should be in place for new applicants beginning in July of this year.
As my year as president is nearing a close, I am even more convinced of and committed to the missions of AAPG.
As I have stated in numerous addresses, AAPG has opportunities to play important roles in the areas of support for geoscience education, delivery of technical content and public outreach. As a professional association we are uniquely qualified for some of these roles.
If we do not assume these roles, no other institution will. Not government, not corporations, not the public and not academia.
As my high school and college-aged children used to complain about “burnout” near the end of their semesters, my exhortation to them was, “Sprint to the finish!” I intend to take my own advice.
Remember to vote in the AAPG elections. The deadline is May 15, and you can vote online.