AAPG: Doing What We Say We Do

During my formative years I was raised with a consistent and simple theme: Do what I say I will do and do it to the very best of my ability.

Much as I may have wished it wasn’t so true on some occasions, this policy seems to work in virtually all aspects of life and business.

I have the great honor to follow Ted Beaumont as president of AAPG. During his term as president, Ted did exactly what he said he would do: He put the spotlight on getting good geoscience out to our membership and to our society at large.

He often reminded us, “If we deliver good geoscience, most of our other problems will take care of themselves.”

Ted delivered the goods during his watch, and it is my intent to follow his lead as we aim toward our start on a second century of AAPG as the premier petroleum geoscience organization in the world.

AAPG’s primary missions are:

  • Foster scientific research.
  • Advance the science of geology.
  • Promote technology.
  • Inspire high professional conduct.

AAPG has done a great job delivering on these missions, ever since our inception in 1917 – but there always is room to improve.

We have seen radical changes in the ways we gather, analyze and interpret geoscience data; the ways this information is transferred and consumed; and in the ways our profession may be viewed by governmental agencies and by our society.

The exponential technology explosion has made the globe very small indeed – and in order to survive and, we hope, thrive, AAPG must respond to ever more rapidly accelerating changes throughout the world.

This requires focus and efficiency.


Our primary focus will continue to be advancing petroleum geoscience – and in order to achieve optimal efficiency, we will be linking each activity within AAPG to what we say we do.

We will call upon each Region and Section to examine the linkage between their respective missions and what they are actually doing; to determine whether our money spent is directly aimed at these goals, or perhaps toward worthy, but diffusive efforts.

We will call upon each committee within the AAPG governance structure to align its efforts with our strategic goals, and to focus on expenditures, activities and products that link directly to what we say we do.

We will ask each director within AAPG to look at their tasks within the context of our strategic objectives, and to work with their teams toward an ever-better job of proactively capturing and delivering excellent geoscience.

To further enhance our efficiency in delivering our science – and to assure our Association’s future as the baby boomers enter retirement – we have to touch new members.

We will continue looking for ways to extend our outreach to young professionals – many of whom may have been student members but perhaps fell away from AAPG as they graduated and moved into our profession. Whatever their “era” – whether Gen X, Gen Y/Millennials, Gen Z/Plurals or those yet to be named – our intent is to make AAPG their geoscience home.

We must find a way to successfully communicate our “value proposition” to them and to other potential members worldwide.

My international colleagues tell me that our membership application and approval process is a huge deterrent to geoscientists from their countries joining AAPG. To be more efficient at doing what we say we do, we need to be more inclusive.

The AAPG membership is a remarkable group of geoscientists, of excellent professional character, but I would hope that few would call us an exclusionary club.

We will look for ways to make it simpler for new members to join, while still holding to rigorous technical/professional standards.

Finally, the linkage to doing what we say we do will carry through to our budgetary planning process, with three-year business plans that will be directly linked to the strategic goals of AAPG.

Survival is a useful first step in meeting our long-term objectives. We will be working to establish a better financial buffer for AAPG in the event of an industry downturn (we currently have about a nine-month cushion and will be aiming for 12-18 months).


I am looking forward to a great year, and would like to call upon you, the members of AAPG, to please provide your suggestions on how you believe AAPG could better serve you, your Section/Region, our science and society.

Feel free to “ping” me at lkrystinik@aapg.org.

We need your input, wisdom, creativity, energy, scientific contributions, passion, professionalism and volunteerism to help us to do what we say we do!

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Presidents Column

President's Column - Lee Krystinik
Lee Krystinik, AAPG President (2013-14), is a principal with Fossil Creek Resources, Arlington, Texas.

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