Objectives, challenges ahead

Ethics, Professionalism are Constants

Ethics and professionalism are relevant – regardless of your career stage or geography.

Think back, if you can, to 1965, the year the Division of Professional Affairs was formed. What did our industry and profession look like? Certainly nothing like today. What is constant, however, is ethics and professionalism, the foundation of the DPA.

It’s my honor to take over the presidency of the Division for the 2011-12 term and to serve our 3,000-plus members.

Serving with me this year are vice president Rick Nagy (Gulf Coast Section), president-elect Charles Sternbach (Gulf Coast Section), secretary Mark Gallagher (Southwest Section), treasurer Dan Billman (Eastern Section) and past-president Dan Tearpock (Gulf Coast Section). I look forward to working with this dedicated team of professionals.

Joining our executive team are 15 councilors from around the globe, representing DPA members in almost every Section and Region. In the U.S. Sections, I would like to welcome Greg Hebertson, Jim Grubb and Ralph Baird as new councilors for the 2011-14 term. They join Stewart Chuber and William Meaney to represent the Gulf Coast Section.

I also would like to welcome Debra Osborne, who joins Gregg Norman to represent the Southwest Section. David Morse (Eastern Section), Joel Alberts and David Tschopp (Mid-Continent Section), Bob Countryman (Pacific Section) and Jeff Brame (Rocky Mountain Section) round out our domestic councilors.

Please note that we are still seeking nominees to fill an additional vacant council chair in the Rocky Mountain Section.

Internationally, we have councilors representing all Regions with the exception of Latin America. International councilors are Bob Shoup (Asia Pacific Region), Bill Haskett (Canada Region), John Brooks (European Region), Adebayo Oladele Akinpelu (Africa Region) and Jim Tucker (Middle East Region).

We look forward to filling the vacant Latin America Council chair within the next year.

Get to know your councilors. They are your elected representatives and I expect them to be fully engaged in the affairs of the DPA. Give them your ideas and feedback.


Looking ahead to the 2011-12 term, I would like to continue to build on last year’s business plan, which focused on the following theme areas:

♦ International Growth –We are well on our way to having full global representation on the DPA Council, and I am the first “international” president in the Division’s history. The challenge is relevancy to our international membership.

Personally, I feel ethics and professionalism are relevant regardless of geography, but international growth does present a unique problem. If you are an International member of AAPG, please let me or your Regional councilor know your thoughts on this.

♦ Declining Membership –Our membership is aging. DPA requires a boost in its membership, from eligible professionals at all stages of their careers.

♦ Outreach and Education –Strong DPA programs are planned at AAPG Section meetings (Eastern Section in Washington, D.C., Sept. 25-27, and the Mid-Continent Section in Oklahoma City, Oct. 1-4) as well as at the next ICE and ACE meetings (AAPG ICE in Milan, Italy, Oct. 23-26 and AAPG ACE April 22-25 in Long Beach, Calif.).

These programs of technical sessions, short courses and luncheons are critical to our membership and also are vehicles to attract new members to the Division.

I will be appointing a chair to our Conventions Committee early in my term to work with Section/Region councilors to plan these important programs well in advance of each meeting.

♦ Washington Advocacy –There has never been a more important time for representation of our science and industry in Washington. GEO-DC’s mission over its five-plus years has been “to inform policy making with science.”

♦ Budget Challenges –With declining membership, DPA’s annual budget continues to run a deficit. There will be continued budget pressure on our current programs if our membership continues to decline and our revenue stream does not change.

With these objectives and challenges in mind, I would like to address these and other areas of concern to DPA members at a DPA Summit, early in my presidency. Details on this will follow in the coming months.

If you are a DPA member, please let me know your thoughts and concerns.

I also would like to challenge you to recruit one new member in the 2011-12 term – and if you are not a member, I would encourage you to join over 3,000 of your colleagues within AAPG who have achieved “gold standard” certification, which transcends local, state, national and international borders.


In closing, I would like to thank my employer, Nexen Petroleum USA Inc., who has been fully supportive of my three-year-term serving the DPA and AAPG (president-elect, president and past president).

I also would like to thank our outgoing Executive Committee, led by Dan Tearpock, for a job well done in 2010-11.

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