DPA Riding Wave of Momentum

In 2006 I had the privilege to serve as the general chairman for the AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition in Houston. I believe every conference should have a meaningful theme to communicate common vision, and ours was “Perfecting the Search – Delivering on Promises.” We merged Mike Halbouty’s phrase “Perfecting the Search” about doing better science, with Pete Rose’s phrase “Delivering on Promises” about solid business practices.

These phrases resonate to me today about the core of DPA: good science, practical business, keeping promises.

DPA delivered on our promise to create a new high-impact program on prospecting skills and networking by creating January’s inaugural Playmaker Forum in Houston , a one-day event co-sponsored with the AAPG education department that boasted 225 attendees, 14 speakers and a packed networking reception with about 50 young professionals.

Playmaker debuted two weeks before NAPE for maximum impact and relevancy. Playmaker also raised funds toward DPA’s financial support of AAPG’s GEO-DC office – another promise kept!

DPA now moves forward with renewed mission and energy around our core beliefs. We created new momentum around prospecting skills and networking. For most DPA members, these topics are central to their passion, talents and economic drivers (see DPA column, July 2012 EXPLORER) . And we are not done yet.

DPA Initiatives

♦ Webpage updates.

Web Committee chair Linda Sternbach has added video content to our site to expand the reach of programs like Playmaker.

From Playmaker we have added highlight videos of Dan Tearpock’s talk, “10 Habits of Highly Successful Oilfinders,” Ted Beaumont’s “Creative Petroleum Exploration” and Rick Fritz’ “Geoscouts: Leveraging AAPG/DPA to Improve your Geoscience.”

Videos are now posted on the DPA webpage making valuable content accessible on demand, throughout the year and around the globe “at a computer near you.” The webpage also makes joining DPA quick and easy, with a new instructional video on how to guide new members through the process.

♦ Discovery Thinking (DT) forums.

As an organizer of these events (eight times), I know them well. We estimate about 5,000 seats have been filled for them at AAPG ACE and ICE conventions – and by posting DT talks on AAPG’s Search and Discovery website we have achieved 15,000 hits, already reaching a global audience at least THREE TIMES the original participants.

We plan to build on the success of these programs up to 2017 (AAPG’s 100th anniversary) with the help of wonderful people like Ed Dolly and Paul Weimer. Look for upcoming Discovery Thinking forums at AAPG ACE in Pittsburgh on May 19 and AAPG ICE Cartagena Sept. 10.

♦ GEO-DC.

Edie Allison, the director of our GEO-DC office in Washington, D.C., has scheduled the next Congressional Visits Day (CVD) for April 16-18. Linda and I plan to attend, and we welcome you to join us!

The GEO-DC office also plans exciting forums for upcoming meetings in Pittsburgh and at the inaugural URTeC conference, set Aug. 12-14 in Denver (see related story, page 28).

♦ Reserves Forum.

Education Committee Chair Bob Shoup and the Reserves and Resources Committee co-chairs Jim Coleman and Leslie O’Connor are planning a one-day course on reserves. This will help many DPA members engaged in the proper reporting of reserves and resources.

The program is currently planned for the fall of 2013, in preparation for year-end reserves reporting.

♦ Heritage II publication.

DPA has reprinted our popular book “Heritage of the Petroleum Geologist,” which is filled with stories and career advice from some of the best oil finders in the business. You can receive a copy as a gift as a new member of DPA or from the AAPG bookstore.

The original editors (Bob Shoup, Deborah Sacrey, Rick Nagy and yours truly) are planning “Volume 2,” to include many more international legends and role models.

When completed, the two-volume set will feature 100 inspiring geologists in time for AAPG’s 100th anniversary in 2017!

♦ Geoscouts.

Rick Fritz (former AAPG executive director) envisions “Geoscouts,” a new wiki-type, web-based service for AAPG members (sponsored by DPA), as a way to mobilize AAPG’s vast library of resources to provide key information to explorers.

Volunteers will be needed to add insightful commentary to geologic information. You can learn more by watching a video of Rick’s talk on the DPA webpage.

♦ Member recruitment.

Rick Fritz also chairs DPA’s Membership Committee, and he is recruiting AAPG leaders who are not yet DPA members with great success.

DPA President-Elect Val Schulz plans to attend the AAPG European Regional Conference in Barcelona, Spain, this April. European AAPG members take note: DPA has reciprocal membership agreement with the Geological Society of London. DPA also has reciprocal agreements with SIPES and AIPG. DPA is recruiting young professionals as soon as they are eligible to join. Our online member application (dpa.aapg.org/certification.cfm) and a new instructional video to help guide you through the process makes joining DPA quick and easy.

♦ Long-Range Planning Committee.

DPA plans to chart our long-term course (20 years out) so that our business plan (three-five years out) can help us achieve maximum benefit to all members here and now.


Each year DPA brings new leadership, fresh ideas, energy and value to our members. This will be my last column in the EXPLORER, but as your DPA president for three more months I plan to solidify DPA’s gains on global growth, improved member services, government affairs, stellar convention programs, continuing education courses, one-day events and career guiding publications.

During this busy quarter I look forward to presenting talks, chairing sessions, hosting Discovery Thinking forums, and listening to DPA and AAPG member ideas. Linda and I will travel to Fredericksburg, Texas, for the Southwest Section annual meeting, to Pittsburgh for ACE, to Washington, D.C., for Congressional Visit Days and to Cartagena, Colombia, for ICE.

Mike Halbouty reminded us that a geologist should leave his heritage better than he found it for his successors. That is our promise to keep – and DPA intends to keep our promises.

I am privileged to serve with DPA’s Executive Committee: President-Elect Val Schulz, Past President Marty Hewitt, Vice President Paul Pause, Treasurer Debbie Osborne and Secretary Mark Gallagher, committee chairs (12), DPA councilors and alternates (36), the AAPG Advisory Council (17) and AAPG headquarters Division manager Norma Newby. Please join me in thanking these wonderful people when you see them at future AAPG events around the globe.

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Division Column-DPA

Division Column-DPA Charles A. Sternbach

Charles A. Sternbach, DPA President.

Division Column-DPA

The Division of Professional Affairs (DPA), a division of AAPG, seeks to promote professionalism and ethical standards, provide a means for professional certification of petroleum geologists, coal geologists, and petroleum geophysicists, assist in career planning, and improve the professional well-being of AAPG members. For more information about the DPA and its activities, visit the DPA website.

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