DPA Plans ‘Play Maker’ Forum

DPA can play an important role in developing the professionalism required to generate prospects, discoveries and exploration workflows.

In keeping with AAPG initiatives to advance professional and scientific content, DPA plans a new “Play Maker” forum for Thursday, Jan. 24, at the Norris Conference Center in Houston, in partnership with the AAPG Education Department.

This inaugural one-day event will feature prospecting and professional skills as discussed by the best in industry. Plans include talks on emerging plays, educational programs and an entrepreneurial/technical/ethical luncheon success story.

All AAPG members can benefit. Complete details will follow in the weeks ahead, but for now we can tell you that we plan to feature talks on emerging plays by those who know them well. We plan to select the very finest talks from top plays. Many will have open acreage and draw multi-disciplinary interest among geologists, entrepreneurs and land men.

Other talks will focus on “professional skills you can use right away.” Topics being considered include: Assembling and Presenting Conventional Prospects; Assembling and Presenting Resource Plays; Marketing Your Prospect; Play Economics; Screening Unconventional Plays; Quick Look Techniques to Evaluate Prospect Viability; 10 Habits of Highly Successful Oil Finders; Exploration Creativity; How to Decide to Get Into a Play (Or Not); Geo Scouting Regional Play Analysis; What AAPG Resources Can Do For You; Black Belt Ethics Class; and Do’s and Don’ts of Prospect Presentations.

Value Proposition

As professionals prepare for prospect expos at the beginning of 2013 (and globally throughout the year), we think a one-day format will deliver valuable and timely content. Attendees will benefit not just from the talks, but also from networking breaks, luncheon, course notes, continuing education credits and a “wildcatter icebreaker.”

Plans also are being made to broadcast webinars to expand the global reach of topical professional information.

Events like Play Maker can be the front line for mentoring Young Professionals. DPA welcomes new streamlined member applications online at dpa.aapg.org/certification.cfm.

Expanding the Conversation

Prospects and discoveries are a continuum. I believe AAPG members are the best prospectors in the world. Geologists are creative individuals and integrators. DPA has an important role to play in professional skill sets that drive economic engines (as mentioned in my July EXPLORER column), and programs like Play Makers can help each of us improve our bottom line.

This also is true for AAPG and DPA. Revenue and sponsorship will enable DPA to fulfill our promise to deliver value to our members, including continued support of the GEO-DC office.

(Incidentally, DPA is pleased and proud to welcome the new GEO-DC director, Edie Allison. )

Discovery Thinking

The Play Maker program on prospecting skills is a natural outgrowth of another AAPG program – Discovery Thinking (DT), where industry greats tell stories of exploration and professional skills.

Looking back, DT was a bold move five years ago, just like Playmakers is today. Ted Beaumont was my co-chair for the 2008 inaugural DT forum. Tom Ewing (DPA president 2008) had the vision for DPA to co-sponsor DT before success was assured. Ed Dolly joined me as co-chair in 2009, and stuck with the program at ACE meetings ever since. Past AAPG president Paul Weimer has been a constant contributor – in fact, Paul and I will co-chair a DT forum at the AAPG International Conference and Exhibition in Cartagena, Colombia, next September.

We look for important discoveries, a good story and a good storyteller who knows the discovery well. Ideas for discovery talks are welcome.

Early metrics suggest we’ve had about 500-800 attendees per each DT talk – and with 24 talks, the five forums represent about 15,000 seats filled.

Granted, some people sit through every talk, so perhaps we are reaching not quite that many people – but still, this is only the beginning.

The entire legacy of Discovery Thinking is a few clicks away on AAPG’s Search and Discovery web page, Discovery Thinking special collection.

Visit, learn and enjoy!

New Ideas: Update
  • DPA plans to engage Young Professionals (YPs) in professional development.
  • Rick Fritz is building a reference list of the top 20 plays of the last decade as a member benefit.
  • Bob Shoup plans great education programs.
  • Our DPA leadership team of Valary Schulz, Paul Pause, Mark Gallagher and Debbie Osborne plan to attend many AAPG meetings this fall and spring. Please join me in thanking them for their leadership and commitment.
  • I plan to travel the globe, meeting YPs and advocating DPA. This September we start off heading east and keep going around the world until we are back where we started.
Book Recommendations
  • “First Man – The Life of Neil A. Armstrong,” 2005, James R. Hansen, Simon and Schuster.
  • “Heritage of the Petroleum Geologist,” 2003, Shoup, Sacrey, Sternbach and Nagy, DPA.

Copies of “Heritage …” are available online at the AAPG Bookstore. It includes great exploration stories, plus a transcript of Michel T. Halbouty’s classic paper “Heritage of the Petroleum Geologist,” from his 2002 DPA Heritage Luncheon address.

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Division Column-DPA

Division Column-DPA Charles A. Sternbach

Charles A. Sternbach, DPA President.

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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