President’s Column – May 2010

Title: Sponsors Make it Happen
Author: Jerry Cuzella
Publication: The Outcrop, May 2010, p. 5-6, 8

How often have we heard these phrases: “And now a word from our sponsors” or: “We’ll be right back after these messages?” These few words are more often than not, the cue to pay no further attention to the broadcast that follows, or they are the signal to procure some other self-satisfying activity such as a snack or a drink, or some other diversion. We tend to neglect the role that sponsors play, but if it weren’t for the sponsors, the television or radio program simply would not make it to the airwaves. In many ways this also applies to the technical programs, publications, and social events that RMAG promotes every year; if it were not for the generous sponsors who come forward to support these events, they just wouldn’t happen. The importance that our sponsors play in the association’s activities cannot be understated.

In the committees where the planning phase of RMAG’s events and special publications are discussed, one important budget consideration is sponsorship. The sponsors’ contributions help defray the costs of putting these events on and correspondingly keep the cost to attend affordable. Without their help, the attendance fee for an event would be much higher, which would almost certainly detract attendance; so much so, that the attendance required for the event to breakeven would not be reached resulting in cancellation or financial loss to the association. During the year, two very important committees meet monthly to discuss, plan, and brainstorm future RMAG events and symposiums, and publications (guidebooks, “Mountain Geologist’ and “Outcrop”); specifically they are the “Continuing Education (ED) Committee” and “Publications (PUBS) Committee,” respectively. The Continuing ED Committee is chaired by the previous year’s 2nd Vice-President (VP) and the current year’s 2nd VP is the committee’s liaison to the board; similarly, the PUBS Committee is chaired by the previous year’s 1st Vice-President with the current 1st VP as the board’s liaison. These committees are open to any RMAG member who would like to take part in this important work and his or her participation is most welcome and encouraged. Getting involved in either of these committees is a great opportunity for members to participate in a “standing committee” where ideas are hatched and decisions made that have a direct impact on future symposium topics and special publications.

Three major events on the RMAG’s 2010 schedule have already occurred, the Paleogeography Symposium in January with Ron Blakey, the 3D Symposium, and GeoLand Ski both in March. With 162 people in attendance for the Paleogeography Symposium, 687 for the 3D Symposium, and two buses filled for the GeoLand Ski, they were marked with great success and exceeded expectations. RMAG has strived to put on high quality technical programs with themes and speakers that are pertinent and timely to the membership’s professional pursuits and interests. Despite current soft gas prices and a tenuous state of the economy, the attendance has been strong. The success of these events is a tribute to the hard work of the respective committees, volunteers, and sponsors who support these events and the people who attend; in addition, the RMAG office staff involvement is not to go unnoticed.

There is an exciting lineup of technical and social events that will fill out the year. Upcoming major events are the Colorado Oil & Gas Association (COGA) joint meeting with RMAG (July 7 – 9), the annual Golf Tournament (June 2), the Tennis Tournament (DTBD), the Fall Symposium, “Overcoming Geologic Challenges with Advanced Drilling and Completion Techniques” (September 30), the annual Prospect Fair and Technofest (November 5), and the annual Rock Buster’s Ball, awards banquet (November 19). In addition, the Rocky Mountain Section (RMS) of AAPG annual meeting will be held in Durango this year, June 13 – 16. The technical programs for this year’s meetings and symposiums will bring to the membership contemporary and relevant topics that are at the forefront of advancements in the geosciences.

Although the COGA-RMAG meeting comes close on the heels of the RMS-AAPG, the focus of the technical programs are quite different. Session themes for the RMS-AAPG meeting will center on the structure of Rocky Mountain Basins and Overthrust Belts along with the role of fractures in gas shales and tight gas sandstone reservoirs; in addition, other noteworthy topics include C02 sequestration, geothermal energy, and remote sensing applications to petroleum exploration. Field trips will concentrate on the geology of the nearby San Juan Basin coupled with short courses to be held on source rocks and the geology of uranium. The COGA-RMAG conference will take place in Denver at the Colorado Convention Center. The conference blends the business aspects of hydrocarbon exploration and development with a technical program that will showcase leading-edge technology employed by primary operators of significant Rocky Mountain shale and tight sandstone reservoir fields along with a session on geologic considerations in well-completions. A short course on Risk Analysis for Resource Plays and a field trip to Niobrara outcrops will round-out the program. The convention provides outstanding opportunities for networking and exchange of ideas with professionals involved in various business aspects of the oil and gas industry including investors, commercial bankers, marketers, transportation personnel, and both corporate and government policy makers. Each of these events provides the membership with a quality technical program and opportunities for social networking.

If you or your company has sponsored any event(s) in the past, I hope you will continue. If not, please consider it in the future. These contributions make a difference; they help deliver the high quality of continuing education programs, publications, and social events to the membership that are the hallmark of the association.

The association is most appreciative of our sponsors’ support and generosity. So next time when attending an RMAG or AAPG event, please take note of who the sponsors are; if it were not for their generosity, the event likely would not have occurred.

If interested in sponsorship or participating on the Continuing ED or PUBS Committee, please contact the RMAG office (303-573-8621), or the current Vice-President working with the committee you are interested in. Their contact information always appears in the first few pages of the Outcrop under the heading of 2010 Officers and Board of Directors.