President''s Letter - May, 2005

Support of Our Geoscience Professors

I have been very fortunate to visit with many outstanding university professors as a recruiter for the last 14 years. So many of these professors were likely the brightest in their university classes and could have easily chosen industry positions. We are fortunate that they elected to pursue education and research over industry.
Teaching at any level is hard work, just look at the turnover rate among the teachers in our K-12 classes. Amplify this hardship with the expectations of the universities and you might expect high turnover rates and quick burnout, but not so. Why not?  Perhaps it is desires to become world-class experts in their chosen discipline, a satisfaction in lecturing, or simply a preference to stay in a college atmosphere and location. Whatever the case, we know it certainly was not for the money, and we should be thankful for those that have made a sacrifice to stay with teaching or to migrate towards teaching from industry. It takes an enormous amount of energy and fortitude to instruct at the university level. Pressures for teaching faculty are everywhere – annually adjusted budgets, department head changes, competition from other departments for funding and prized students, college deans from different education/industry backgrounds, tenure pressures, too few undergraduate students, too many undergraduate students, not enough funds for graduate students, inadequate facilities, insufficient supplies, too few scholarships, under-achieving students, research funding campaigning, daily lecture preparation, test preparation, grading, field trip coordination, summer camp, weather, student safety, etc.
Despite all of these deterrents, practically every college professor I have met has remained upbeat, positive, and enthusiastic. It is as though no matter how much the outside forces try to beat them down – they retain that enduring sprit to convey the passion for the science to their students. That same passion had driven them into teaching in the first place. Their resilience and perseverance is most commendable.
Are there any ways that the HGS can work more effectively with the universities and community colleges for the betterment of the faculty and students? Yes, I believe we can. We can increase our visibility by linking guest lecturers from our membership to the universities, invite more of their members to HGS technical talks and social events, and visit university AAPG student chapter meetings.
Some HGS members have actually made significant linkages to the students and faculty. HGS members Michael Deal and Martha Lou Broussard have been instrumental in the success of the Student Expo. The AAPG has been a major supporter of recruiting students through the AAPG/SEG Student Expo programs. The next Student Expo is scheduled for October 6-8 in Houston at the Westin Galleria. Interested companies may sponsor the events that include field trips, meals, or coffee breaks. 
Upcoming AAPG “Town Hall” Meeting in Houston
The AAPG will conduct a Town Hall meeting on Wednesday, May 18 at 6:00 PM at the Marriott Houston Westchase (formerly the Adam’s Mark). This is a free reception for all AAPG, HGS members and guests (with complimentary wine, beer, soft drinks & hors d’oeuvres). A short presentation by AAPG leaders including President Pat Gratton, President-elect Pete Rose, and Executive Director Rick Fritz will be followed by an open discussion and Q&A. Please RSVP by May 10 to (800) 364-2274 ext. 409.
The Leaders Among Us
An impressive list of local HGS and AAPG members are serving on executive boards and national committees. I would like to recognize them for their enormous contributions to our profession.
AAPG Executive Board
Dwight “Clint” Moore – Treasurer (HGS Past President)
AAPG Advisory Council
Dan Smith  (AAPG Past President)
Jeffrey Lund (HGS Past President)
AAPG Divisions
Division of Environmental Geosciences (DEG)
Craig Dingler – At-Large Member of Advisory Board
Robert J. Menzie, Jr. – Managing Editor
Daniel Tearpock – Vice President
Division of Professional Affairs (DPA)
Deborah Sacrey – President-elect
Robert Shoup – Past President
AAPG Foundation
John Amoruso – Vice-Chairman
Michael Wisda – Vice-Chairman of Trustee Associates
AAPG Committees
Pinar Yilmaz
Barry Katz
Convention Coordinating
Charles Sternbach
Computer Applications
Bill Osten
Corporate Advisory
John Gibson
Distinguished Lecturer
Marianne Weaver
Eugene “Skip” Rhodes
Kevin Meyer
George Bole
Gonzalo “Gonz” Enciso
Jeffrey Lund
Preservation of Samples & Cores
Sherilyn Williams-Stroud
Public Outreach
Dwight “Clint” Moore
William Demis
Gretchin Gillis
Jim Handschy
Reservoir Development
Jeffrey Yarus
Reservoir Evaluation
Jeffrey Yarus
Resource Evaluation
Dwight “Clint” Moore
Earl Ritchie
Bob Stancil
Student Expo
Michael Beal
Martha Lou Broussard
Sister Societies
Association for Women Geoscientists (AWG)
Allyson Anderson – President
National Association of Black Geologists and Geophysicists (NABGG)
Robert Johnson – President
Marian Walters – Treasurer
Society of Sedimentary Geology (SEPM)

HGS Bulletin -- May, 2005
Sunday, May 1, 2005
From the President