Cooperation Counts, Step by Step

Over a year ago AAPG and SEG developed an ad hoc “joint cooperation committee” to review each society’s respective programs and look for different ways to cooperate. Then-AAPG President Will Green initiated the ad hoc joint committee at the end of his term with his counterpart, Fred Aminzadeh at SEG. Scott Tinker and John Lorenz continued the committee along with their SEG counterparts Larry Lines and Stephen Hill.

The co-chairs for this ad hoc joint committee are Dick Baile and Lee Billingsley. Members of the committee include Tim Berge, Lee Lawyer, Randi Martinsen, Elwin Peacock, Randy Ray, Gary Servos and Jim Tucker.

Typically the committee meets at AAPG’s and SEG’s annual meetings with some e-mail and telephone discussion in between. Initial discussions involved the committee members getting comfortable with the various society programs and the ways each society operates.

During the last two meetings (Denver-AAPG; Houston-SEG) discussions focused on specific programs and related committees.


SEG and AAPG have a long history of cooperating on various projects and programs; however, most of these have been ad hoc and along natural lines of cooperation between the two societies. Some examples include joint publications, workshops, conferences and insurance.

As a result, one of the primary areas considered for cooperation is between the various society committees.

For example:

  • Both AAPG and SEG have Distinguished Lecturer programs. SEG and AAPG have an informal arrangement to develop one joint Distinguished Lecturer on an annual basis. As a result of the “cooperation” discussions each society is contemplating a more formal arrangement with a regular series of joint AAPG-SEG Distinguished Lecturers.
  • Also, SEG has a very successful Distinguished Instructor Short Course, or DISC, which is similar to AAPG’s Distinguished Instructor program. This also may be an area for cooperation.
  • Another example is joint publications.
  • To date there are six joint AAPG-SEG publications. The most popular is “Interpretation of 3-D Seismic Data” by Alistair Brown. This is AAPG Memoir 42 and SEG Investigations in Geophysics No. 9 – and the seventh edition is currently in production.
  • Of course, the most natural joint committees are AAPG’s Geophysical Integration Committee and SEG’s Interpretation Committee. These two committees plan to discuss various programs and opportunities for joint ventures in the near future.
  • An example of past cooperation between these two committees is the popular “Geophysical Corner,” carried each month in the EXPLORER. Bob Hardage, the column’s current editor and frequent writing contributor, is both an AAPG and SEG member.
  • Another area under consideration by the joint cooperation committee is joint membership. MORE INFORMATION
  • Roughly 20 percent of AAPG’s and SEG’s members are members of both societies. The primary question in this case will be, “How much to charge for joint membership?”
  • The respective membership committees for each society have this under review and will make recommendations in time for consideration at AAPG’s annual meeting in New Orleans.
  • Finally, both societies are considering if it is prudent to build joint relationships on larger operations such as global offices and regional conferences. This will take more planning and will require a strategic decision by the leadership of each society.

The discussions within the committee have been wide ranging – from small joint programs to merging foundations and even annual meetings. The AAPG-SEG cooperation committee has made progress – if only in small steps.

It is hoped that these small steps will lead to more cooperation and a stronger alliance in the future.

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Director's Corner

Director's Corner - Rick Fritz
Richard D. “Rick” Fritz, an AAPG member since 1984 and a member of the Division of Environmental Geosciences and the Division of Professional Affairs, served as AAPG Executive Director from 1999 to 2011.

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

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