President’s Column – October 2009

Title: VOTE

Author: James Mullarkey

Publication: The Outcrop, October 2009, p. 6, 8

Yes, this month is the month that all RMAG Members, and RMAG Honorary Members will receive their ballots to cast your vote for your Association’s leadership for the next year to two years. PLEASE VOTE. The Secretary is the one year post, with the President-Elect, Treasurer-Elect, and the two Year Counselor, spending two years on the RMAG Board of Directors. The First and Second Vice Presidents serve one year on the Board of Directors and then chair the Publications Committee and the Continuing Education Committees, respectively, the following year. The voting will be open through Tuesday, December 1st at 4 PM (MST) with the results reported at the Friday Luncheon-Annual Meeting on December 4th. But don’t procrastinate, gather the information you need and make an informed choice. The difficulty will be choosing from this slate of great candidates for next year’s RMAG Board of Directors. Big thanks are due to this year’s six person Nominating Committee and the twelve Candidates. The Ballot Committee has decided to place a ballot box in the RMAG office so members can drop their ballots off if they would prefer, rather than mailing them to the office. This year the Board chose RMAG Members to comprise the Nominations and Ballot Committees, as called for in the RMAG Bylaws. The U.S. Postal Service should deliver your ballot within days of the arrival of this issue of the Outcrop. The chair of the Nominations Committee is Steven Goolsby and the chair of the Ballot Committee is Michele Bishop, please contact any of the Board, or either of them with your thoughts or comments.

The RMAG office staff was reduced to two full time permanent employees, Sandi and Josh, when Caitlyn, resigned on 8-19-2009. So if you can stop by the office and lend a hand it would be appreciated I am certain. Please call or e-mail the office ahead of time if you can lend a hand.

With winter approaching, this month’s initial energy saving fact falls back to an old standby, add insulation. An estimated 80% of older homes are under-insulated. Properly insulating and sealing your home can cut your heating and cooling bills by 10% (reference: ConsumerReports, October 2008, p. 23, The target R value for attic insulation in Parker, Colorado, about 15 miles from where I live, but in the same general ZIP code, is 38. This fact is from the website, search on “zip-code insulation program”; I used the R-Value Recommendations Calculator, which uses 2002 cost data. If your attic has less than 11 inches of fiberglass or rock wool or 8 inches of cellulose, you would probably benefit by adding more according to ConsumerReports (reference: ConsumerReports, October 2009, p. 22). Professional energy auditors use a blower door or infrared photography to pinpoint where your home is leaking energy. Some utilities provide free audits. There are two groups of certified energy auditors, Building Performance Index (BPI), these folks can also supply certified contractors trained to make the necessary fixes, and Residential Energy Services Network (reference: ConsumerReports, October 2009, p. 23).

I have just returned from attending the AAPG leadership days (ALD) in Tulsa, OK representing the RMAG as your president. The ALD is an annual AAPG sponsored event. There were about 120 attendees plus more than 30 AAPG staff involved in this 3 day event. The central topic was communication, especially at the committee level and with the AAPG headquarters. There were nine focus/breakout sessions held and the PowerPoint summaries of each will be made available on the AAPG website (search on “L” or “leadership” and you should find the summaries). The attendees included about 20 Young Professionals representing 15 student chapters in 9 countries, including the U.S.A. These younger folks gave the get together an infusion of energy and stimulated discussion of what younger geologists can contribute to professional societies and what they would like to see from the older members, and also from professional societies in general. I found it to be an exciting, informative and worthwhile event.

I have a couple of jokes to close out this month’s column. What did the mathematician say when he lost his parrot? … Where’s my Polly­gon? And, Johnnie’s mom asks him “Johnnie, there were two pieces of chocolate cake in the kitchen and now there’s only one. Can you explain that?” Johnnie answers, “I guess I didn’t see the other piece!”