Division's Column: DPA

DPA Executives Approve Dues Increase

The DPA’s Mid-Year meeting was held Nov. 5 in Plano, Texas, and was attended by 17 people, including the DPA’s Executive Committee, councilors and committee chairs along with AAPG Divisions manager Norma Newby.

At the halfway point in our term, what have we achieved?

As mentioned in my last article, our Executive Committee has tried to build on three main themes for the 2011-12 term:

♦ International presence and DPA councilor engagement.

Growing DPA globally continues to be a challenge and will be a long-term goal for the DPA. Of course, demonstrating the value of certification is not only a challenge globally but also domestically.

President-elect Charles Sternbach is in the process of seeking nominees for vacant and expiring councilor seats in the Sections and Regions for the 2012-15 term. Open councilor vacancies are available in the Pacific, Rocky Mountain and Eastern Sections and the Canada, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Latin America Regions.

♦ Membership.

Membership Committee chair Rick Fritz continues to work with our councilors on enhancing the value proposition to our existing and potentially new DPA members.

Fritz, along with Sternbach, is exploring several new “revenue growth engines,” such as increased DPA participation in various prospecting forums. The committee is entertaining ideas such as “Playmaker” sessions for late-breaking plays, Geo-Scout checks for geological assessment and education ideas such as webinars and professional forums.

At the mid-August Leadership Days in Boulder, Colo., our Young Professionals showed tremendous interest in getting engaged with the DPA. A DPA “member-in-training” concept was discussed, and a subcommittee led by DPA Treasurer Dan Billman and a team from the AAPG’s Young Professionals Committee has been working on a Bylaws proposal for the Long Beach convention to adopt the member-in-training concept.

Scott Douglas, AAPG’s Young Professionals representative for the Southwest Section, attended the mid-year meeting and will continue to work with Billman and his fellow committee members to finalize this proposal.

We continue to explore ways to make our membership process more efficient. Board of Certification review and approval of applications will now be completed electronically on a private AAPG intranet site rather than mailing the original applications through the postal system to a panel of five members and the DPA president. This process was causing lengthy delays in notification to these applicants.

In addition, the publication of DPA applicants in the EXPLORER will now move to the AAPG website (same as the list of membership applicants) for 30 days rather than the print for 60 days, effective immediately.

♦ Gathering and learning.

Paul Britt, chair of Conventions, reported on conventions and meetings that have taken place so far in the 2011-12 term. DPA events have been held at three meetings to date:

  • At the Eastern Section meeting in September in Washington, D.C., the DPA coordinated an Energy Policy Forum, which was well attended.
  • In October at the Mid-Continent meeting in Oklahoma City, we hosted a luncheon with guest speaker Rayola Dougher from the API.
  • The ICE meeting in Milan was a great success. European Region Councilor John Brooks coordinated an excellent program with the former CEO of BP, Tony Hayward, as our luncheon speaker who discussed the challenges of energy security. An afternoon forum followed, with four speakers discussing a potpourri of topics from the resource endowment U.S. West Coast offshore to who owns the Arctic.

Looking forward to the ACE in Long Beach, the DPA will be co-hosting a luncheon with PROWESS, featuring two guest speakers: Sally Benson of Stanford University will be speaking on “Energy and the Environment – The Future of Energy,” and Sharon Mosher from the University of Texas will be speaking on “Science and Crew Change.”

President-elect Sternbach also has organized another “Discovery Thinking” Forum featuring five speakers, including several from Occidental who will discuss their recent exploration activities in the San Joaquin Valley.

DPA events also are being planned for this year’s Southwest Section meeting in Fort Worth, Rocky Mountain Section meeting in Grand Junction, Eastern Section meeting in Cleveland, Gulf Coast Section meeting in Austin, ICE in Singapore and the 2013 ACE in Pittsburgh.


HoD delegates will recall that at last year’s meeting in Houston legislation regarding the addition of a certified member category was defeated when the required two-thirds delegate vote for passage was not achieved.

The HoD’s Constitution and Bylaws Committee is looking into a revised “certified member class" Bylaw amendment proposal for possible consideration at the next HoD meeting in Long Beach.


Past-president DPA Paul Britt told me when I became president-elect that about 40 percent of my role would be filled by unexpected events. So far, this year’s unexpected event has been the Texas Bureau of Professional Geoscientists (TBPG) proposed rule changes, announced in late September regarding mandatory licensure of geoscientists in Texas.

DPA Secretary Mark Gallagher took the lead in drafting a response to the TBPG on behalf of the DPA and AAPG. The significant negative reaction to the proposal from the geoscience community was overwhelming, and the proposed new rulechanges were retracted at a meeting of the TBPG on Nov. 7 that was attended by several DPA and AAPG members.


And finally, the bottom line: Beginning with the 2012-13 fiscal year, DPA dues will increase from $40 to $50.

This dues increase, the first since 1993, was unanimously passed by the Council in order to maintain the value-adding services and benefits associated with your DPA membership.

AAPG President Paul Weimer outlined the AAPG’s budget challenges in his October EXPLORER column. The DPA has the same deficit issues faced by the Association.

The status quo is not sustainable and hard decisions such as this dues increase must be taken to partially offset our annual deficit.

Please feel free to contact me on this or any other DPA-related matter that you would like to discuss.

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Division Column-DPA

Division Column-DPA Marty Hewitt

Marty Hewitt, DPA President, is an employee of Nexen Petroleum USA Inc.

Division Column-DPA

The Division of Professional Affairs (DPA), a division of AAPG, seeks to promote professionalism and ethical standards, provide a means for professional certification of petroleum geologists, coal geologists, and petroleum geophysicists, assist in career planning, and improve the professional well-being of AAPG members. For more information about the DPA and its activities, visit the DPA website.

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