AAPG Convened Town Meeting in Denver

Title: AAPG Convened Town Meeting in Denver

Author: Connie Knight

Publication: The Outcrop, April 2009, p. 11

Approximately 250 AAPG members gathered at the Ritz Carlton for a town meeting on February 25. Featured speakers included Rick Fritz, AAPG Executive Director and Scott Tinker, AAPG President. A key objective of the meeting was to educate the membership regarding the mission of the AAPG Foundation and the programs supported by the Foundation. The AAPG is calling upon the membership to raise additional capital for the Foundation.

The mission of the AAPG foundation, which was founded in 1967, is to support: educational, charitable, and scientific objectives. Ongoing educational projects of the AAPG foundation include: developing K-12 educational materials and training opportunities, funding distinguished lecture tours, donating digital products to universities, dispersing research monies to students through the Grants in Aid program, and supporting the AAPG Datapages. Additional key programs funded by the Foundation include: the Imperial Barrel Award, the PTTC, and the AAPG corporate offices. The AAPG currently has international offices in London and Bahrain. An office in Singapore will open soon.

Scott Tinker stated that the AAPG membership is approaching 34,000 members. As the AAPG evolves into an international geologic community, AAPG leaders are renewing a focus on student chapters and on young professionals. For example, the AAPG, in conjunction with the NSF, awards $1.5 million each year in research grants. Tinker stated that if the U.S. geologic community desires to maintain a leadership role in supporting education and academic research, it is critical to continue monetary support of existing research and career develop programs. (Chinese universities currently have 60,000 students pursuing petroleum career paths.)

Tinker maintained that we as professionals are doing a poor job of educating the public. While the topic of climate change is dominating the political arena, we need to raise awareness of other energy issues. Tinker strongly recommends that we speak at events, write to our congressmen, and write letters to editors.