President’s Column – November 2004

Title: The Many Faces of RMAG, Part IV: We are a Social Bunch!
Author: Donna S. Anderson
Publication: The Outcrop, November 2004, p. 3

While some of us, as science-types, tend to be slightly introverted, I think that on whole, RMAG members are a pretty social bunch of people. As part of our charter to foster collegiality among members, the RMAG holds several social functions every year: a ski trip (GeoLandSki Day), golf tournament, tennis tournament, and the Rockbusters’ Ball. For the last few years, Chris Gough has been organizing the ski trip in conjunction with the DAPL. Every year a couple of busloads of geo-ski enthusiasts make a Friday pilgrimage to the ski slopes. The event is so popular that the RMAG cancels its Friday luncheon on that date, because everybody goes skiing.

Co-sponsored with the DGS, the Golf Tournament has been ably handled on the RMAG side by Jeff Ware for the last four years. Jeff has the Golf Tournament logistics honed to a fine edge. Over 300 golfers tee up each year and, through various betting strategies, contribute a goodly amount of money to the RMAG Foundation to support scholarships. The tennis tournament, also co-sponsored with the DGS and chaired by Ken Parrott on the RMAG side, has a consistent, dedicated group of players, which grows each year. As a former tennis player, I can vouch for the enjoyment of hitting the courts for a day, working my way through the tournament ladder and meeting friends on the court and in the clubhouse.

The 2004 RMAG Board in a social moment. L to R: Sandi Pellissier, Bob Lamarre (spouse), Laura Wray, Tricia Beaver, John Curtis, Elmo Brown, John Horne, Mark Sonnenfeld. Not pictured: Jewel Wellborn, Donna Anderson, Chris Houston.

The Rockbusters’ Ball is the end-of-year banquet and awards ceremony for the RMAG. For the last few years, Bob Lamarre has spearheaded this event; this year Genevieve Young has capably assumed those challenges. As I mentioned in an earlier column, the Rockbusters’ Ball has been the scene of interesting events, especially in the humor realm. Gary Nydegger has emceed the event for the last few years, ably assisted by the RMAG president (victim?) for any given year.

This year brought the addition of periodic networking happy hours in downtown Denver. The DAPL and the Denver SPE brought the idea to the RMAG late in 2003. I generally think of the landman community as a very outgoing bunch, given the nature of their profession. I also know that petroleum engineers are not shy about socializing, either. However, after the first gathering in January, the feedback to the RMAG was that the geologists basically flooded the venue and continued to do so throughout the rest of the winter and spring. Hmm. Was it the free food? Or was it that geologists really like to socialize after work?

Technical activities invariably have a social component. The twice-monthly luncheons provide an opportunity to meet colleagues and make business contacts. If you doubt the social aspect, I challenge you to visit the “south stands” of the RMAG luncheons: the walk-in seats. On-the-Rocks field trips, chaired by Fred and Sandra Mark, gather geoscientists into one of the ultimate social venues: the field. The various standing committees of the RMAG commonly hold one meeting a year that has a more social aspect (see photo above). In addition, the RMAG hosts a social hour for all committee chairpersons in early spring. It gives everyone a chance to meet each other and compare notes.

Last and certainly not least, I want to extol the long-lived dedication of a group of people who have led the distaff end of the RMAG for over 50 years: the RMAG Auxiliary, or RMAGA. One of the privileges of presidency of the RMAG is becoming an honorary member of the RMAGA and receiving their newsletter, The Scoop. Perusing their 50th anniversary memoir (available at the RMAG office), I was struck by the talent and creativity consistently shown by the RMAGA. I am now certain of why RMAG members in general are a social bunch. The RMAGA leadership trained us. Thank you!