Being ‘Active’ in AAPG Is Important

Last month we talked about why a geoscientist engaged in petroleum exploration and production should be a member of AAPG. After receiving that question from a fellow member, I offered two reasons:

  • For access to the science.
  • For professional development.

This month let’s talk about taking your AAPG membership to the next level.

The first step that I encourage you to take, if you haven’t already, is to become an Active member of AAPG.


The Association has several membership categories: Student, Associate and Active, as well as Honorary and Emeritus, which are both special designations.

Because of a host of legacy decisions, we also have a large number of geoscientists who are eligible to be Active members but are currently Associate members. That was my story – having joined AAPG as a Junior member, I was subsequently moved into the Associate category and sat there for many years.

But for those who are eligible, moving to Active membership is a simple process that requires little effort. All you do is complete a brief form, contact three AAPG members (at least two of whom are Active members themselves) who are willing to serve as sponsors, and submit it to our membership department.

Our membership team then manages your transfer application from start to finish: Contacting your sponsors and delegate, posting your name and sponsors for review, and communicating with you throughout the process.

But why is becoming an Active member important?

Three reasons immediately come to mind:

  • AAPG is a member-led association, and only Active members are allowed to vote in association elections.
  • Active membership is a prerequisite if you would like to run for one of the AAPG’s elected positions, or join and be certified by the Division of Professional Affairs.
  • AAPG’s divisions, Sections and Regions are allocated seats on the Advisory Council based on membership. Having a seat on the council requires a minimum of 750 Active members.

Again, I urge you to become an Active member of AAPG – but if you are ineligible or choose not to, there is another step you can take to maximize your return on membership that is open to all of our members: Get involved with AAPG and its programs.

The Association has two divisions that are open to all members: the Energy Minerals Division and Division of Environmental Geosciences. Each division emphasizes different technical and professional areas and concerns, but both play important roles in AAPG’s goal to advance the science of geology and promote technology.

And they are looking to add new members.

Our standing committees are another great opportunity to get involved. They provide a venue to actively contribute to the Association’s programmatic activities.

Young professionals, in particular, should consider committee involvement, because committees are a great place to hone and showcase your talents and begin developing a professional network that will benefit you throughout your career.


AAPG’s principal mission is advancing and disseminating the science and technology needed to find and responsibly develop energy – so the final way I’d encourage you to get involved is to present your scientific activities and insights at an AAPG meeting, and to write and submit it for publication in an AAPG journal or other publication.

We are an Association of geoscientists, and I can think of no better way to establish your reputation as a scientist than presenting and defending your views to your peers. Preparing an abstract and slides for a talk, or a manuscript for publication, takes time and effort. But in reality it is an investment in yourself, your career, your future.


As 2011 draws to a close, many of us will be celebrating holidays with family and friends. Enjoy the celebration, some rest and relaxation.

But also take some time to think about the coming year. Do you have specific professional goals that you would like to accomplish? Consider becoming an Active member of AAPG if you’re eligible.

And I urge you to expand your involvement with AAPG by joining a Division, contributing to a committee or presenting your science at an upcoming meeting.

With planning and preparation, 2012 can be a year of significant professional growth. And AAPG is here to help you do that.

Happy holidays and best wishes for a healthy and prosperous New Year!

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Director's Corner

Director's Corner - David Curtiss

David Curtiss is an AAPG member and was named AAPG Executive Director in August 2011. He was previously Director of the AAPG GEO-DC Office in Washington D.C.

The Director's Corner covers Association news and industry events from the worldview perspective of the AAPG Executive Director.

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