David Dolph, Chair-Elect 2013-14, House of Delegates
House Chair Larry Wickstrom certainly had his hands full
with the sponsorship issue this year! At our 44th annual
House of Delegates meeting in April Larry did a great job
moving the sponsorship amendment forward. With our new
parliamentarian, Colette Collier Trohan, Larry introduced a
well-scripted agenda and allowed for formal presentations
both supporting and opposing the
sponsorship amendment before
opening the floor to questions,
comments and a vote (or two!). I
think a supporting/opposing formal
presentation is an excellent idea going
forward for all major contentious issues before the HoD, and I
would like to take this opportunity to thank Larry for a job well
Moving forward with the one-sponsor requirements for full
membership, I understand the EC has suggested that a check
box be added on the application form stating, “Need Assistance
Finding a Sponsor.” AAPG staff feels in most cases they will be
able to link the applicant with a sponsor. If unable to do so, they
will pass the applicant’s info on to the Regions and Societies/
Sections, which are discussing the need to set up committees to
deal with these cases. Also in discussion is the means to provide
the applicant the ability to designate which Region, Section and/or affiliated society they wish to be associated with, as it is not
always obvious based on geography alone.
I believe there can be great power in putting new, sponsorless
applicants in direct contact with an AAPG Member. The
Member will be able to provide information on how AAPG
operates, services available, AAPG staff contacts, website
layout, dates of major events, committees and functions and,
most importantly, volunteer opportunities. I know many new
members at first find the AAPG to be a complex and confusing
association. But I think these new procedures will be an
excellent opportunity to “quick-start” new members and better
feed our ever-sparse volunteer pipeline!
The “Need Assistance Finding a Sponsor” check box may also
help reduce the number of qualified new members who join as
Associates. Perhaps when the new member application form
is approved it can be the standard form included with ACE/ICE
technical program material rather than the Associate member
form as is currently done? It will be worthwhile to notify
existing qualified Associate members of the sponsorship
Bylaws change with the hope of pulling more over to the
Member category with very little work required on their part.
It’s all a work in progress, and I ask all delegates to get the
word out regarding the sponsorship change and to be a
sponsor for existing Associate members and new Members, as
House of Delegates meet regarding the proposed sponsorship amendment.
I have had several conversations with members, particularly
Young Professionals (YPs), who feel we should have term
limits on how long a Member can be a delegate. I know this
topic has been discussed for several years, and there is not a
simple answer. Many affiliates of AAPG are very small and may
only have one person willing to assume the role of delegate.
I know in the past the Canada Region has had a tough time
getting new members to stand for election as delegate and
we have had to ask existing delegates to stand for re-election.
There is no easy answer, but let’s keep the conversation going.
As Larry mentioned in his column there are several items that
have been discussed this year that I will be taking with me
into my term (I heard the term “D.O.D.” [Dump on Dave] used a
number of times). A few of the items follow:
- Electronic voting through the year for housekeeping
items which usually have unanimous support (e.g.
voting to remove the word “Active” from the Rules and
Procedures of the House) to free up more time for
discussion of issues in the HoD annual meeting.
- ARS (Audience Response System) electronic voting
in annual meeting to speed up voting process as well
as provide a more anonymous, democratic voting
atmosphere. There is a cost involved, so do we want to
- Allowing delegates to attend the annual meeting
remotely, thus eliminating the need for an alternate
delegate. It’s an Interesting idea, but it could be
logistically challenging, expensive and likely will require
major changes to our Bylaws.
- Development of new Technical Interest Groups (TIGs) and
Special Interest Groups (SIGs). Governance issues will
need to be addressed. I have heard that a Geochemistry
Group is interested in starting up when appropriate.
- Perhaps institute a regular “Associate Member Corner”
column in the EXPLORER to educate qualified Associate
members on the advantages of becoming full members
and possibly attracting new, non-geotechnical members
About this time every year the incoming HoD chair begins
to think about staffing up the seven House of Delegates
committees. I encourage you all to consider volunteering,
especially our younger members. Feel free to review the
various committees and their functions on the AAPG Houseof Delegates website. I would be delighted to hear directly from all
interested members who would like to help out. It’s always a
great experience and leadership opportunity.
As this is my last column as chair-elect I would like to
congratulate Larry Wickstrom on his role as chair as well as
Dan Billman as secretary/editor for “herding the cats” and
keeping their patience! It was a pleasure working with you
both. I also would like to welcome Bob Shoup, incoming
chair-elect, and Tom Anderson, secretary/editor. I am very
much looking forward to serving the House with both of you