AAPG Foundation Newsletter - March 2024

Greeting, friends –

What a start we’ve had to the new year – in fact, the first two months of 2024 provided what feels like a year’s worth of activity and emotions. And the best is yet to come!

We’ve already heard a lot of good reports and great stories from many members of the AAPG Foundation family – personal and often entertaining stories and updates about what’s going on in your lives, often apart from AAPG.

And here’s some good news: We plan to share a lot of those wonderful stories with you throughout the coming year in fun and exciting ways.

Be sure to stay tuned for that!

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More good news for the future of geosciences: The Trustees met recently and we’re happy to announce that the Foundation is in very good financial shape.

Part of that news, as you may recall reading in recent EXPLORERs, was the generous gifts we received from the estates of cherished Foundation supporters Marta Weeks Wulf and Boone Pickens.

But just as important were the much appreciated gifts we received from so many of you.

As you know, it is vitally important that we have multitudes of donors, offering any and all sizes of donations. Of course, that’s important to our federal tax status, but more than that, it’s another way for us to feel connected and united in a common cause.

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Your money in action: We previously reminded you about some of the success stories we’ve recently had thanks to your support and the effective, hard-working Programs Team at AAPG headquarters.

Popular programs such as the Distinguished Lectures; the Grants-in-Aid, L. Austin Weeks Undergraduate Grants, and Deana and Paul Strunk Military Veterans Scholarship initiatives; and all of our geoscience educational outreach efforts (TOTY, IGEA) are all possible because of your support.

And did you see the EXPLORER article on the Foundation-supported geoscience outreach at last year’s Scout Jubilee? Hundreds of Scouts – Boys and Girls – were helped in earning their Geology Merit Badges by a volunteer team of AAPG members, thanks to your support. You can read all about it here.

And you can add to the list …

The Trustees recently extended support for several specific new efforts for 2024, including:

  • Sustainable Development in Energy Competition. This is the third year for Foundation support.
  • The “Energy Starts with Me” program, managed by the EnerGeo Alliance.
  • This year’s spring Student Expo, which will be held at the University of Oklahoma.
  • The AAPG-AAPG Foundation Digital Media Communications Program.

You’ll read a lot more about all of these in future EXPLORERs.

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Want to feel even more involved?

You can help guarantee the success of our programs by simply offering even a brief amount of time. Volunteers are not only welcome but needed to help review the many grant applications we receive from all over the world.

Your wisdom, energy and insights will not only help ensure excellence is rightfully rewarded, you’ll also be helping to design the future of our profession!

Please consider being part of our mission. Contact Susie Nolen ([email protected]) at AAPG headquarters for more information or to volunteer to help your peers in making our Foundation programs a global success.

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Asheville, here we come!

Online registration is now open for this year’s Trustee Associates Annual Meeting, which will be held May 19-22 at the beautiful Biltmore Estate in Asheville, N.C.

The magnificent Biltmore House is a historic, French Renaissance-styled castle in the heart of the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains. Built and completed in 1895 by George Vanderbilt, it is America’s largest home, featuring 250 rooms, 8,000 acres, forested trails, beautiful gardens and one of the country’s top collections of azaleas.

As TA Chair Joe Davis said, “We want to make this year’s annual meeting something we’ll remember for years to come.”

So, join us to discuss Foundation financial updates; the chance to consider new directions and strategies for both the TAs and the AAPG Foundation; lots of fellowship and tons of fun – all in a breathtaking setting.

To register or for more information, simply click here.

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The Foundation Road Show continues!

We love getting to meet you face-to-face, and in April we’re planning at least two opportunities.

  • On April 10 we’ll be in San Antonio, having a Foundation reception at the DoubleTree San Antonio Airport in conjunction with the GeoGulf meeting.
  • On April 28 we’ll be in Abilene, Texas, for a special reception at the Double Tree hotel (by the convention center), in conjunction with the Southwest Section meeting.

Watch your email for more details, but if you’re in the area, plan now to join us. It’s our opportunity to hear directly from you about how we can make the Foundation even greater!

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Welcome to the family.

We want to extend an overdue welcome to several new members of the Trustee Associates. Joining us in 2023 were:

  • John Brett, Oklahoma City.
  • Claudia Hackbarth, our current AAPG president, Bellaire, Texas.
  • Michael Jarvis, Wexford, Pa.
  • Jeffrey Kremer, Dallas.
  • Glenn H. Felderhoff, South Graham, Texas.
  • Kimberly Parsons, Lakewood, Colo.
  • Reginal Spiller, Houston.
  • Justin Vandenbrink, Houston.

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In Memory

Recently we learned many of our longtime Trustee Associates members have passed, all after long and incredibly significant careers. Among them are three people who excelled in leadership and dedication:

Edward “Ed” Picou Jr., 91, who died at his home in New Orleans. Ed was a retired paleontologist for Shell Offshore, and he was involved in AAPG throughout his entire professional career. He was an AAPG Honorary Member, a member of the Trustee Associates, and in 2007 he funded the Foundation’s Edward Picou Grant-in-Aid scholarship, designated specifically for geology students at his beloved Louisiana State University.

A close-up of a person

David W. Worthington, 82, who died at his home in Naples, Fla. As you know, he was a Foundation Trustee Emeritus as well as a Trustee Emeritus of the MoC, served as an officer of both the Trustees (secretary) and the Trustee Associates (vice chair, secretary-treasurer), and in 2015 was the recipient of the L. Austin Weeks Memorial Medal, our highest honor.

Donald “Don” O’Nesky, 88, who died in Longwood, Fla. Don was a former deputy executive director for both AAPG and the AAPG Foundation. He also was the executive director for the Foundation in 1997-99, during which time he oversaw the establishment of the Members of the Corporation. Though not a geologist, he became a Trustee Associate in 1998 and later served as the TA’s vice chair and chairman. He received the Foundation’s Chairman Award in 2016.

You can read more about all three giants in the March EXPLORER.

And, sadly, there are other TAs who we’ve lost over the past few months but learned about only recently (based on information provided to the AAPG membership department).

Please join me as we recall and applaud their contributions to our Foundation, our profession and our world. They were all great professionals, and their legacies will be remembered for decades.

  • Leonard E. Bryans, 96, of Dallas, Jan. 24, 2024.
  • Walter “Paul” Buckthal, 96, Amarillo, Texas, April 1, 2023
  • Thomas “Tom” Cambridge, 87, Amarillo, Texas, March 24, 2023
  • Bruce B. Dice, 95, Spring, Texas, Nov. 5, 2022

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Finally, feeling connected to you is perhaps the best part of being a Trustee. We are a family, and it’s exciting to realize that together we are working to ensure the future of our profession and the geosciences with passion.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me or any of the Trustees with your thoughts about what we can do and how we can do it better. Your support, encouragement and inspiration are the things that keep us going.

As I love to say, we’re working for geoscience’s future – and we’re honored to be doing it with you!

Until next time,