‘Communities’ Concept Starts to Grow

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)

One of the AAPG Executive Committee’s priorities during the first five months of this fiscal year has been to study the Association’s science program with the goal of creating new conduits for generating and disseminating scientific content.

Fostering communities with specific geologic interests within the Association is an obvious strategy for meeting this goal.

I’m happy to report that under the leadership of Elected-Editor Steve Laubach and the past Vice President-Sections Marv Brittenham, AAPG is indeed considering ways to better empower “communities of interest” within AAPG – that is, community members who share common interests in specific geological subjects.

Several of these communities of interest already have self-organized within AAPG. One example is the “petroleum structure and geomechanics group,” chaired by Peter Hennings.

These informal groups are doing excellent science in the background of AAPG – and what we would like to do now is find ways to nurture them without harming them. Our fear is that by formalizing them we might stifle their enthusiasm or creativity.

At the same time, however, we would like to help them share their ideas with the rest of AAPG in new publications and short courses – and the best way to do that probably requires some type of formal structure.

As mentioned, we’re happy that at least one of these communities is ready for formal recognition – the petroleum structure and geomechanics group.

Our hope is that others will be ready in the near future.


A question being considered by the AAPG Advisory Council, led by past AAPG president Paul Weimer, is what should the formal recognition be?

Should it be as new divisions, like the Energy Minerals Division, for example? Or should it be some new entity within AAPG, like a “super committee” with authority to create new AAPG science products?

The best part about all of this: AAPG’s communities of interest are open to whoever is interested. They are intentionally very informal, so the trick is finding out about what they are and where they are meeting.

And right now, this is mostly accomplished by word of mouth.

If you are interested in starting one please let someone on the Executive Committee know and we will try to help.


On a different subject, in many places around the world December is a holiday season. And as such it is a perfect time to consider making a gift to the AAPG Foundation.

The Foundation supports many worthy and significant projects, including Scott Tinker’s movie “Switch,” the Imperial Barrel Award, AAPG’s open access website Search and Discovery, Distinguished Lecturers and Grants-in-Aid to students, just to name a few.

Any contribution is appreciated.

Have a wonderful holiday season!

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President's Column - Ted Beaumont

Edward A. "Ted" Beaumont, AAPG President (2012-13), is an independent consultant with Cimarex Energy.

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