From the President - October 2014

If it’s August in Houston it’s October HGS Bulletintime! I attended the AAPG Leadership Days in Snowbird, Utah from August 8 to 10. Getting that close to awesome geology was quite an experience. Walking at 8,400’ elevation was not such an awesome experience though. Meeting old friends from around the world and making new ones reminded me of two key points:

•Geologists have a passion for science.

•Participation in a professional society should be part of everyone’s development plan.

A geologist’s passion for science is life-long. It is rocks and minerals, electric logs and seismic lines, geochemistry and basin analysis, lease sales and well sites; just to mention a few items. The passion is applied to “solving the puzzle” by creating a prospect and the satisfaction of seeing it drilled and completed. That passion can be seen in the euphoria of success and the woes spawned by a dry hole. I met several young professionals from Houston at this meeting. These young professionals have that passion for science and want to nurture it as part of their professional development. Experienced professionals have a passion for science that can provide the nurturing, encouragement, and mentoring that will develop our future professional society leaders.My desire is to bring those two passions together. Houston is well-represented in this group. One is a co-chair of the YP (Young Professionals) Committee of the AAPG. Another is the Gulf Coast liaison for student chapters. Two others represented Houston at the Young Professionals summit that took place the days preceding the conference. Those who will lead us in the future are the volunteers of today. I hope to have our own “summit” with these people in the near future and see how they can bring their passion to HGS in the best way.Not every young professional can find a spot in the national society. However, local and sectional societies offer opportunities to learn skills, find mentors, and take on leadership roles. I was amazed to see the number of young professionals in leadership positions in the Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists and the San Joaquin Geological societies. In fact, I believe that five of the six officers (including the President) for the San Joaquin Society are young professionals! The AAPG YP group is a little different than our NeoGeos because its members can have up to ten years of industry experience before moving out of the “young” category. I want to see a few passionate young professionals and NeoGeos in Houston become part of the future leadership for the HGS. The active participation and commitment of our young professionals is a must if we are to meet our vision and succeed in our mission.October brings us many events that offer educational opportunities, not only for the young professionals, but for the public as well. I encourage you to look at the events calendar and participate in these events. The 8th annual GeoScience Day will be held on October 16th (

This year’s theme is The Life of an Oilfield, a valuable learning experience for those new to our industry.The experienced professionals will have an opportunity to get out twice this month and promote geology to the public. If it’s October, it’s time for Earth Science Week! This year’s Museum Day is set for October 11 while the popular field trip to Whiskey Bridge will be on October 19. The ESW committee again this year has arranged with AGI to publicize Earth Science Week which has been rebranded as Earth Science Week Houston ( There are a lot of neat things to discover on that page. This year’s theme is Mapping Our World and it presents a wonderful opportunity to go through the Wiess Energy Hall with your family. There are also webcasts available on the AGI web site that discuss the upcoming events. There has been a lot of activity “behind the scenes” by the many HGS committees but they can always use more help. The Society also has several vacant committee chair positions. If we are to promote our outreach programs we dearly need to fill those. If you have a leaning to education and youth, look into the Academic Liaison, Continuing Education, and Science and Engineering Fair Committees. If you like outdoor activities, the Tennis Committee Chair position is also vacant.Some things to note this month and next:

•The Board is discussing the General Lunch meeting possibility. Vice President Jordan’s survey had a 66% favorable vote but was equally split on where to hold the meeting, west side or downtown. The majority of those voting in favor of bringing back the lunch meeting (80%) attended two or fewer (out of 5) meetings last year.

•I urge you to register for the Legends Night in January. Space is limited. Walk ups will not be accommodated! This is a great opportunity to see the Undergraduate Foundation scholarship winners, maybe the Graduate Scholarship winners, and learn about the AAPG Imperial Barrel (IBA) Award.

•There has been some discussion regarding the update of the Walking Tour of Downtown Building Stones. If you are interested in assisting with such an endeavor, contact me.

•After 3 ACE conventions in 7 years (2011, 2014, and the upcoming 2017), AAPG won’t return to Houston until 2022.

Last month I urged experienced HGS members to take their favorite NeoGeo or Young Professional to a technical meeting. This month I am turning it around and asking the NeoGeos and Young Professionals to invite an Experienced Professional that they would like to meet to a technical meeting. Whether it is for networking, mentoring, history, or just plain storytelling, it will be a great way to make some new friends.

Passion is what drives us.

To do the work we do

it’s why we go to the office

And why we get to play...

With rocks

With apologies to Burma Shave

Wednesday, October 1, 2014
From the President