President’s Column – December 2005

Title: Journeys
Author: Elmo Brown
Publication: The Outcrop, December 2005, p. 3, 5

The casual reader will have probably noticed that the pictures accompanying this column have been of yours truly (and/or relatives and acquaintances) as I have aged over the years. I included these as a metaphorical representation of how I have progressed (hopefully) during the year in this presidential adventure. But, in a greater sense, I have been on a journey with the RMAG for many years now. During these past two and one-half decades, the RMAG has not only provided me with low-cost education and literature but also a community of mentors and compatriots. During the lows of industry, it was the people of the RMAG who helped me keep me in touch with geology even when I had to jump to another career. And when I decided that the teaching gig wasn’t my thing, the RMAG hired me for a few months while I figured out how to get back into the geology business. Now, I have come full circle in my career as I have once again taken a full-time job in the oil business. Not surprisingly, the RMAG provided the initial contact between my present employer and me. So it is not astounding that I have enjoyed the honor of representing the RMAG in its dealings with other societies and accepted the responsibility of acting as a steward of the RMAG’s fortunes during this past year.

It is no wonder why the hair of Greenleaf Fisk, Texas judge, representative, and patriot, is so snowy white with having raised 15 children. His great-great-great-great grandson doesn’t have any kids, but has been charged with the supervision of over 2,200 member in the pre-eminent geologic society of the western United States.

Though I stated in my first column that I had no real agenda for my tenure other than not messing up a good thing, I have proceeded with my personal philosophy of taking care of self, family, and community. Transferring this philosophy to the RMAG is equivalent to insuring the availability of quality services and products for the RMAG membership, to managing the cares and concerns of the RMAG office and personnel, and to promoting the profession to the general public.

As for the membership, we have had three successful symposia this year, cumulatively attracting over 1,100 professionals. In addition, RMAG volunteers created three core workshops and two short courses to help supplement the profession’s need for up-to-date information on today’s topics of interest. The recently completed Prospect Fair and TechnoFest, with our four co-sponsors (two of which are new), brought in about 30% more booths than last year and about 1,000 attendees.

Speaking of topical information, there is probably nothing of greater interest right now than tight gas sands, a subject covered in detail within the cover of the RMAG’s newest CD guidebook, Gas in Low Permeability Reservoirs in the Rocky Mountain Region. And have you noticed that this publication, The Outcrop, is now published in color and on glossy paper? These new modifications have brought in so much new advertising that The Outcrop is nearly financially self-sustaining. This is a first during my years on the board of directors.

And what about providing fellowship opportunities? The RMAG continues to provide events that promote interaction amongst its members. These range from informal happy hours to more formal functions like the annual awards banquet, the Rockbusters Ball. In addition to these, the RMAG also sponsored a tennis tournament, a ski outing co-sponsored with the DAPL, and a golf tournament co-sponsored with the DGS. The golf tournament this year attracted 360 golfers and generated over $6,100 in scholarship monies through fees and sponsorship to the RMAG Foundation and the DGS Scholarship fund.

As for the RMAG office, we did see some turnover this year. By the time you read this article we should once again be up to full staff levels. In an effort to provide continuity to the office, Donna Anderson, in conjunction with other past presidents and the Board of Directors, crafted a comprehensive policy manual for our em-ployees; something that we have probably been needing since we started having employees! The RMAG also now has an upgraded computer system and its website has been redesigned for easier modification by the office staff.

Elmo Brown, President

Finally, you have probably noticed in my previous columns that reaching out to the general public is of major personal interest. In this regard, in addition to the scholarships and teaching recognition that the RMAG traditionally award each year, we have completed and distributed a CD to area schools and have begun a partnership with Great Sand Dunes National Park with the goal of spreading geologic knowledge.

None of these things could have happened without the hard work of volunteers in the RMAG and in associated societies. I feel very fortunate to be associated with such a wonderful bunch of people who feel the need to do so much good for so many. To wrap up my RMAG presidential journey in words from a previous column: Wow! What a great trip!