Face-to-Face Makes a Difference

American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG)

With the many means of electronic communication now available, one might wonder whether there is much interest in holding meetings during AAPG’s Annual Convention and Exhibition in Denver.

Judging by the seven meetings scheduled over the two-day period of June 8-9 (Monday-Tuesday), however, AAPG’s Section and Region leaders still find face-to-face meetings an indispensible tool for exchanging ideas and advancing the work of the Association.

Several committees hold monthly teleconferences, but meeting face-to-face at ACE and ICE helps networking and new members to feel comfortable with their colleagues. It also allows issues to be wrestled within a manner not easily afforded by e-mail or over phone lines.

Africa Region

The Africa Region leadership team will use their meeting on June 8 to bridge the vast geographic distance of their respective locales.

The Denver meeting marks the completion of this diverse team’s first year of service to the AAPG Africa Region. The meeting agenda features a preview of the Region’s new Web site and e-newsletter, a review of the Region’s 2009 Imperial Barrel Award competition and plans for IBA 2010. A group discussion will identify ways to strengthen existing student chapters and establish new ones.

Consideration of a process for establishing country representatives in each African country with at least one AAPG member will round out the meeting.

Eastern Section

Final preparations for the Section’s annual meeting (Sept. 20-22 in Evansville, Ind.) tops the agenda for the ES Council meeting on June 8. Eastern Section officers, delegates and affiliate society presidents are invited.

Other agenda topics include improvements to the archival of talks presented at the Eastern Section meetings, whether to develop a Web site and how to develop a cadre of speakers from the Section who are willing to give talks at local colleges and other venues.

Sections Committee

As AAPG continues its evolution as a global organization and a new AAPG corporate structure is considered, the role of the Sections Committee is vital to the process.

Alignment of the Sections with AAPG’s global initiatives will be a key topic during the Sections Committee June 8 meeting. All Section officers and committee chairs are invited to join W.C. “Rusty” Riese, AAPG’s vice president-Sections, for this important discussion.

Other issues to be discussed include how to engage the many geologists who work in the Sections but who are not AAPG members, and ideas for improved, more frequent communications – “connectivity” among the local societies, Sections and AAPG headquarters.

Latin America Region

The Latin America Region will welcome the AAPG International Conference and Exhibitionin Rio de Janeiro this November, and the Region’s June 8 meeting will help organize volunteers and further prepare for the conference. All AAPG Latin America Region members are encouraged to attend.

The Region faces a challenge of how to motivate cross-country interaction within Latin America. To address this challenge, candidates will be nominated to fill vacant or expiring officer positions on the Region Steering Committee. To support the newly elected Region Steering Committee, a point contact in each Latin American country will be identified. Other important business includes raising topics for Distinguished Lecturers and short courses within the Region.

Mid-Continent Section

The Mid-Continent Section Council will meet on June 9 to discuss:

  • Scholarships.
  • Teacher of the Year,
  • AAPG student chapters.
  • Imperial Barrel Award competition.
  • The Section’s next annual meeting, set Oct. 10-14 in Tulsa.
  • Finances within the society.

Any active member of the Section is invited to sit in and bring new business before the council, but only members of the council will have voting privileges.

International Regions Committee

The IRC is a forum for leaders of the international organization to communicate needs of the global membership, share best practices and thereby improve service delivery.

The annual meeting is a good opportunity to identify one or two global initiatives in which all the regions can participate and leverage off AAPG’s strong domestic resource base.

Over the years the IRC has worked with other committees to introduce the Distinguished Lecturer, Visiting Geoscientist and Student Chapter programs globally, as well as making regionalization a reality, developing a track record of successful international conferences and evolving regional Web sites of consistently high quality.

More recently IRC has worked to assure strong representation of internationals in the HoD, the standing committees and in the leadership councils of the Divisions and further upgrade our Web sites.

Key focus areas for the forthcoming Denver IRC meeting will be sharing ideas on creating a “country-by-country” contact structure to assure good communication and service delivery across the organization. Highlighted will be Regions best practices, along with a status report on the Global Corporate Structure and Regional Incorporation.

There also will be updates on the International Pavilion, student activities and how well the Divisions are doing in the Regions.

Each region is asked to present the two biggest issues confronting each of them. From this, one or two key projects may crystallize that IRC can focus on and pursue as a team over the next 12 months.

Canada Region

Last year, in lieu of a traditional business meeting, the Canada Region planned a small social gathering – and attendance was twice the number expected.

Based on that success, a similar social event is scheduled on Tuesday evening, June 9. Invited are all Canadian AAPG members, the Canada IBA team, Canada regional IBA judges, the Canadian winners of AAPG awards and Canada Region students, who will have a great networking opportunity by attending.

A brief annual general meeting will be held during the social.

Still doubtful about whether face-to-face meetings are really needed? Come join one of these Region or Section events in Denver and judge for yourself!

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Regions and Sections

Regions and Sections Column - Carol McGowen
Carol Cain McGowen is the development manager for AAPG's Regions and Sections. She may be contacted via email , or telephone at 1-918-560-9403.

Regions and Sections Column

Regions and Sections is a regular column in the EXPLORER offering news for and about AAPG's six international Regions and six U.S. Sections. News items, press releases and other information should be submitted via email or to: EXPLORER - Regions and Sections, P.O. Box 979, Tulsa, OK 74101. 

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