Team Leaders 'Spread
me to introduce myself as one of these proud AAPG Service Team Leaders (STL).
was more than two years ago when AAPG’s Executive Committee decided to establish
the Service Team Program as a response to the increasing international AAPG
membership. The idea behind this program was to better serve the needs of
members far away from AAPG headquarters – and, no doubt, there was also the
intention to increase the membership in foreign countries.
friend Bruce Lemmon (former head of AAPG’s International development)
gave a clear definition of an AAPG Service Team and you can read it in the
“AAPG Service Team Operational Guidelines & Resource Book,” the bible
of every STL.
short, it is the duty of an AAPG Service Team to be “the hands, feet, eyes
and ears of the Association in specific countries or multi-country ‘focus
areas,’ acting as an extension of headquarters’ operations in delivering products
and services to members and the broader geoscience community around the world,
as well as collecting feedback for AAPG staff, committees and international
Regions to act upon.”
1999 I was appointed one of the first STLs by then-president Ray Thomasson.
Since then Bruce and I visited several countries in my focus area in order
to spread AAPG’s gospel.
was no waste of time and money. In most of these countries AAPG’s membership
didn’t exceed five, although there was great interest in becoming a member
and participating in AAPG activities.
main problem in all these countries was the lack of money. A monthly salary
of a university professor equals the annual dues of an Active AAPG member.
we developed the “AAPG Student Membership Program.” Due to a fund, which was
fed by companies like Schlumberger, Landmark and mainly by BP, I was able
to pay the membership dues for needy students. As AAPG is not permitted to
pay the dues of its members, the Austrian Geological Society as an affiliated
society to AAPG took over the administration of this fund.
the last two years 340 students in 13 countries took advantage of this AAPG
program. Eight AAPG Student Chapters were established in five countries, and
we expect the establishment of additional five chapters within this year.
In this way we are able to support a young generation of outstanding geoscientists.
Now we are supporting the future of our science and of our profession on an
Student Chapter is headed by a local faculty sponsor who must be an Active
AAPG member -- which creates severe financial problems.
was discussed in the International Liaison Committee last year during the
AAPG annual meeting in New Orleans. As a result, Merrill Shields, wife of
Ray Thomasson, inaugurated a ‘First Ladies Fund’ designed to encourage wives
of past presidents to sponsor the establishment of students chapters -- especially
in countries where AAPG is just beginning to make its presence known.
also came from Chris Heath, who annually donates a significant amount for
paying membership dues of faculty sponsors. This “Chris Heath Fund” is open
for everybody who wants to foster the internationalization of our Association.
how to support all the others who are willing to become a member and can not
afford it? I don’t see a solution, unless, we can convince charitable AAPG
members to take on a “godparenthood” for these colleagues.
our cooperation with colleagues in Central and Eastern Europe we have been
confronted with the request to help to close the gap regarding the lack of
AAPG BULLETINs in the libraries of universities and institutions. I was proud
to learn that our BULLETIN always was one of the most demanded scientific
publications in the former communist countries. If an Internet–connected member
wants to get rid of his BULLETIN paper copies – here is a place.
are plenty of other AAPG programs available to serve the needs of these countries,
Distinguished Lecture Program
-- a majority of Central and Eastern European countries participated in the
past and they are looking forward to this year’s tour of Brad Prather.
Visiting Geologists Program
just started to go international and I am convinced we will find enough Western
European AAPG members who are willing to visit the exciting Eastern part of
our continent and its universities crowded with skilled and enthusiastic geoscience
foundation for all these activities are the Service Team Leaders of their
present there are 15 active in Central and Eastern Europe, all volunteers
who agreed to spend their time for our Association. They are valuable multipliers
in both directions and they should, sooner or later, become the backbone of
the AAPG regions.
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