Looking for Options to GrowLast month’s President’s Letter dealt with a chart showing the number of members by year for the AAPG and HGS and the real and inflation-adjusted price of crude oil between 1982 and 2009. This month we will look at a chart showing energy companies in Houston with a breakdown of the number of HGS members versus the number of AAPG members who do not belong to HGS. Again, I am grateful to Greg Murrie of Inexs for providing the graphics work. The chart shows there are 7 companies that have more HGS members than AAPG members and 16 companies with the reverse relationship. These numbers are based on 2008 membership. The chart shows a large number of AAPG members not in HGS for Chevron and Exxon. This may be due to employees who work internationally but have Houston as their mailing address. In an ideal world, there would be no AAPG members in Houston who are not HGS members. Why this happens is not readily apparent to me. As I wrote last month, our membership problems could be apathy of geoscientists today or lack of encouragement by oil companies’ management, or both. When I first started working in the oil patch, we were encouraged by management to join both AAPG and the local geological society. At that time the companies paid for annual dues to both organizations as well as the monthly dinner meetings. Geoscientists were sent to national conventions on a rotating basis. It is apparent that our methods for recruiting and retaining members are not working. The Board is in the process of evaluating what we have done and what we need to better. This month (March) we will meet with a marketing professor from the University of Houston to get advice on ways to combat this problem. On a different note, Rosemary Laidacker and her Continuing Education Committee have arranged to offer a “Quality Control for Subsurface Maps” short course by Dan Tearpock, Chief Executive Officer of Subsurface Consultants & Associates, LLC (SCA), on March 9th, 2011, at the Marathon Building. This is an excellent short course, especially for younger geoscientists. Remember to register for the AAPG Convention to be held in Houston on April 10-13. Laissez les bon temps rouler!