‘Bridges Built’ On Four-Country Visit
AAPG made history and was part of history during AAPG President Scott Tinker’s recent European Region tour.
The tour, lasting from Sept. 22 to Oct. 2, marked the first-ever presentation by an AAPG president to a German geologic association.
Back to the basics: Scott Tinker establishes scale at an outcrop near the borders of Germany, Belgium and Switzerland.
Tinker was accompanied by an AAPG delegation comprising European Region president Istvan Berczi; European Region president-elect David Cook; and AAPG Regions and Sections manager Carol McGowen.
The tour began in London, England, and then proceeded to Moscow, Russia; Aachen, Germany; Kassel, Germany; and Warsaw, Poland. The delegation was warmly welcomed by their hosts in each city.
While in Aachen, Germany, Tinker became part of history as he gave an address at the opening ceremony of a joint conference presented by Germany’s two oldest geoscience societies. The conference recognized the 160th annual meeting of the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Geowissenschaftern (German Society for Geosciences, or DGG, founded in 1848), and the 98th annual meeting of the Geologische Vereiningung, a non-profit international earth science organization with more than 1,700 members in over 64 countries.
With the theme of “Global Energy: Building Bridges for the 21st Century,” Tinker met with officials and representatives from universities, large national oil companies or international oil companies in the four countries to promote collaboration among industry, academia and AAPG.
At each stop along the way, whether the audience was faculty and students or senior level company leadership, the message was consistent:
- Fossil fuels are the bridge to an energy future.
- The cost to reduce carbon in the environment is high – everyone must participate.
- The developed and developing worlds are interdependent.
- We must find energy solutions that work for the world.
- We must integrate policy, economy and the environment.
- AAPG and other international organizations are the glue with members world wide from industry, government and academia.
- Collaboration and building bridges are key to the global energy future.
Anniversary time in Aachen: (left to right) Werner Stackebrandt, president, DGG; AAPG President Scott Tinker; AAPG Regions and Sections manager Carol McGowen; Gerold Wefer, president, GV; Istvan Berczi, president, AAPG European Region.
Mutually beneficial rewards and results of the tour were many; lively conversations across the conference table and dinner table helped form new friendships, develop trust and sow seeds for positive future working relationships.
Without exception, the AAPG delegation was impressed with a deeper understanding of the historical past and present vitality of the energy industry, people and cities visited.
Through university presentations and informal gatherings with students at all levels of study, existing AAPG student chapters were reinvigorated and inspiration given to start new student chapters. The delegation learned that interest is strong to bring AAPG data, education, training opportunities and publications to companies on the European tour route.
Face-to-face communication also yielded insight into the unique subject areas where AAPG can support the work of current geoscientists in each company and society, and future geoscientists in each university.
In turn, AAPG as a global scientific organization will be enhanced through new partnerships with sister societies, hundreds of new student and corporate AAPG members, and new industry leaders serving on AAPG committees.
To our hosts and all those who helped organize this historic tour, thank you.