Review of RMAG Publications Committee Y2K

Title: Review of RMAG Publications Committee Y2K

Author: Donna Anderson, Publications Committee Chair, 2000

Publication: The Outcrop, January 2001, p. 14

One of the rewards of being an RMAG committee chairperson is working with a fine group of colleagues. Another is the opportunity to reflect on accomplishments that often get lost in a blur of frenetic schedules. Last year saw change and achievement for the RMAG Publications Committee.

Y2K began with new editors for The Mountain Geologist (Michele Bishop) and the Outcrop (editor Ed Coalson; associate editor Jane Estes-Jackson) after Mark Longman decided he needed a well-deserved vacation from being editor of both publications. With editor changes came new desktop publishing persons, Dianne Nelson of Shadow Canyon Graphics and Debbie Everton, for The Mountain Geologist and Outcrop, respectively. Both have done a fine, quality job. A first for RMAG was the January 2000 3D-seismic color issue of The Mountain Geologist with special editors Randy Ray and Mark Longman. Due to the outstanding efforts of an advertising committee headed by Jeanne Harris, combined with a very high demand for reprints, the 3D issue was more than financially self-sufficient. A big boost for sales, in general, came with the ability to purchase publications online from our revamped website, (kudos to Bret Siepman, Web Committee chairman, and Petroleum Exchange).

By mid-year, Hal Kellogg had melded the RMAG and DGS membership databases into the biennial joint RMAG-DGS Membership Directory. He also put together another effective advertising committee, which raised more than enough funds to cover the publishing costs of the directory.

Activity also was brisk with other hardcopy publications, although no new guidebooks were published. After selling out within 18 months, “Compartmentalized Reservoirs” by Roger Slatt was reprinted in March. Two new books slated for publication in 2001 were in progress: “Gas in the Rockies,” edited by Donna Anderson, John Robinson, Jane Estes-Jackson, and Ed Coalson; and “Coalbed Methane of North America,” edited by Steve Schwochow and Vito Nuccio. Jim Mullarkey began a renewed effort toward a book on petroleum systems of the Rockies, potentially slated for 2002. Expense of preparation and printing continues to be an issue with hardcopy publications; industry sponsorship and advertising is essential to offset costs.

Digital publications have been a topic for the last five years. Y2K saw the culmination of a four-year volunteer effort to reprint the 1988 and 1991 coalbed-methane books on CD-ROM. Bob Sandefur and John Horne spent many volunteer hours scanning and converting images to Adobe Acrobat format. With the acquisition of a CD-burner at the RMAG office and easy technology to make jewel-case and CD labels, the RMAG was able to prepare just-in-time CDs of these two books. Over 150 of these popular CDs were sold last year. Another perennial topic has been archiving all past RMAG guidebooks and The Mountain Geologist into a searchable digital format. Committee members Terri Olson, Michele Bishop, Jim Mullarkey, and Donna Anderson spent some mind-numbing hours, counting pages (about 18,000) of all RMAG publications in preparation for dialog with AAPG/Datapages regarding the inclusion of RMAG publications into their web-based searchable library. Discussions stalled, however, when we discovered that the cost would be about one-fourth of the annual RMAG operating budget. Back to the drawing board!

Last year, copyright permissions on non-RMAG websites were a nagging issue. With a basic policy to protect RMAG copyrights, the committee also recognized a need to disseminate information. Along those lines, the table of contents and abstracts of The Mountain Geologist articles will eventually be posted on the RMAG website. In addition, recent Outcrop issues are currently available as downloadable Adobe Acrobat files. As Internet copyright law evolves, the online permissions issue will remain murky.

Publications committee members in 2000 included: Michele Bishop, Ed Coalson, Jane Estes-Jackson, Debbie Everton, Linda Flis, Penny Frush, Jeanne Harris, John Horne, Hal Kellogg, Mark Longman, Jim Mullarkey (2001 chairman), Dianne Nelson, Terri Olson, Sandi Pellesier, Barry Perow, and Dennis Sponable. Numerous others contributed to the Outcrop, The Mountain Geologist, the membership directory, and guidebooks. Please consider joining this dynamic group; we welcome fresh ideas and perspectives.