2011 Foundation Chairman's Report

As you know, the primary objectives of the AAPG Foundation are to provide funding for programs that encourage a better understanding and advancement of the geosciences to the general public. Through contributions and investment returns, the AAPG Foundation provides funding for dozens of programs that encourage a better understanding and advance geosciences to the general public through projects that support education, training, and career enhancement for earth scientists.

Included in this report is a summary of the Foundation's activities and preliminary financial results for the past fiscal year, including the investment portfolio and program support.

Contributions and Program Support

Total contributions to the Foundation in FY 2011 were $2.14M. Eight percent of AAPG dues paying members made a contribution to the Foundation in the last 12 months. Contributions in FY2010 were $2.24M.

Total disbursements for grants and program services were $1.66M compared to $2.12M in FY 2010. The Foundation Trustees established a 4% spending rate for FY 2011 compared to a 4.5% spending rate the previous year. Also, payouts from the Bridge Fund were down considerably in FY 2011 as the film neared completion.

Some of the AAPG core programs which received funding by the Foundation during the past fiscal year included the following:

  • Distinguished Lecture & Visiting Geoscientist programs, $235,200. The Foundation provided funding for eight North American and four international Distinguished Lecture tours.
  • Grants-in-Aid, $186,200. The Grants-In-Aid program continues to grow with 81 Named/Memorial grants and six additional grants established but not yet fully funded. This year, one new named grant was endowed – the John and Colleen Silcox Named Grant. The minimum contribution to establish a Named/Memorial Grant was raised from $15,000 to $25,000 this year.
  • Forty-two undergraduate students and their universities were the recipients of an L. Austin Weeks Undergraduate Grant this past year totaling $42,000.
  • AAPG Bulletin, $231,240
  • Digital Products University Subscriptions, $33,970. Five new Digital Products University Subscriptions were endowed at the $15,000 level.
  • K-12 Programs, $88,400
  • Bridge Fund, $365,856

Two new programs established were the Newly Released Publication Endowment Subscription and the GIS UDRIL University Subscription.

The AAPG Foundation Trustee Board entertained 22 proposals for funding and approved 15, totaling $480,015. Some of the major programs which received funding by the Foundation during the past year included:

  • Support the AAPG Young Professionals Committee to attend the Leadership Summit, $10,000
  • Continued funding for the GeoFORCE Texas program, $45,000
  • AAPG Student Focus booth at GSA in Denver, $10,000
  • Datapages, $43,150
  • AGI Geoscience Workforce Program, $25,000
  • Tulsa Geoscience Center, $5,000
  • K-12 earth science teacher training through the Bookout initiative, $50,000
  • AGI's "Promoting Geoscience Careers" program, $25,000
  • Bulletin Memorial Scans, $9,878
  • Santa Barbara Museum/Diblee Geology Center, $32,500
  • AGI's Earth Science week, $35,000
  • Indiana University for their field station in Montana, $100,000

Based on the approved spending rate, the Foundation expects support of programs to amount to approximately $1.6M in FY 2012.

AAPG Foundation Investment Portfolio

The Foundation portfolio is conservatively invested and well diversified and includes public and private mutual funds, international investments, natural resource funds and real estate.

As you know, the investment climate continues to be challenging and the Foundation Trustees meet regularly to review economic conditions, and monitor investment. I am pleased to report the AAPG Foundation had a very good year with the investment portfolio as the portfolio grew by 23% to $38.6M as of June 30, 2011.

Although the markets have continued to be volatile, we believe we have a properly managed and diverse portfolio, which had a market value of $37M as of August 31, 2011.

Operational Highlights

A few of this year's highlights include:

  • Jack Threet received the Weeks Medal at ACE in Houston, Texas in April.
  • Bill Crain is the 13th recipient of the Chairman's Award for his support to the Foundation.
  • A new Trustee Associate Service Award was established this year.
Membership & Committees

The AAPG Foundation Trustee Associates membership totaled 275 as of June 30, 2011.

The Trustee Associates support has been and continues to be a critical and important factor in the growth and development of the Foundation. The minimum contribution to join was raised from $12,500 to $15,000 this year. Twenty-two Trustee Associates accepted AAPG Emeritus membership status.

At the annual meeting of the Members of the Corporation in Houston, Texas on April 11, Donald Lewis and Ed Heath were elected as members of the Corporation for five-year terms. Robert Gunn and Scotty Holland were re-elected.

The current Board of Trustees consists of me as Chairman, John Amoruso, Vice Chairman, Jim Gibbs as Secretary, Bill Gipson Treasurer, Paul Strunk and Ray Thomasson.

Each Trustee Associate's support is essential to the growth and future of AAPG Foundation programs. We thank each of you for your dedication and commitment.

William L. Fisher, Chairman
Board of Trustees