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Operations Manual

for AAPG Student Chapter


This manual is a guide to the operation of student chapters of The American Association of Petroleum Geologist (AAPG).The purpose of this Association is to advance the science of geology, especially as it relates to petroleum, natural gas, and other energy mineral resources; to promote the technology of exploring for, finding, and producing these materials from the earth; to foster the spirit of scientific research throughout its membership; to disseminate information relating to the geology and the associated technology of petroleum, natural gas, and other energy mineral resources; to inspire and maintain a high standard of professional conduct on the part of its members; to provide the public with means of recognition of adequately trained and professional responsible petroleum geologist; and to advance the professional wellbeing of its members. A strong student program, both graduate and undergraduate is a vital part of the Association. Additionally, student chapters also provide a means of contact with the geological profession both inside and outside of academia. That contact, facilitated through the Student Chapter Program, is of benefit to the AAPG, to the university and to students.


Members of the Student Chapter must be members of the AAPG. In applying for membership, the applicant must list a sponsor/advisor, preferably a professor. According to the latest graduation year (BSc, MSc, or PhD) indicated on student application, the student member status on this year will automatically be advanced to associate membership. If the expected graduation date changes, the student member must notify AAPG to extend student status.

Benefits of Membership

  1. AAPG Bulletin--the AAPG Bulletin is internationally recognized as a leading geologic publication for geology, petroleum, natural gas, and other energy mineral resources. Every student member receives Internet access (plus annual CD-ROM) to the AAPG Bulletin in lieu of a paper copy.
  2. The AAPG Explorer—is the monthly newspaper, which covers news and association information. It is distributed to each AAPG member; it enjoys the widest reading audience.
  3. Student Chapter members have the opportunity for meeting and networking with experienced geologists through activities with local affiliated societies, through section and regional meetings, at the AAPG annual and sectional meetings.
  4. Active participation in the Student Chapter provides the student an opportunity to develop leadership and management skills. A sense of professionalism is developed by actively running an organization and networking with professionals.
  5. Student Chapter members can participate in the student paper contest at the annual meeting. The cash awards are significant for both the student and the university.
  6. Members can participate in the AAPG insurance program.
  7. Members receive discounts on AAPG publications.
  8. GRADUATE STUDENTS: Graduate students are eligible for grants-in-aid for special research projects. Each year the AAPG Foundation awards grants ranging from $500-$3000 to support graduate students in geology, with a special emphasis on support of fieldwork. Visit the GIA website to download an application
  9. UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS: The L. Austin Weeks Undergraduate Grant supports undergraduate geoscience students and departments through the AAPG Student Chapter Program. The disbursement of the grant each year consists of $1,000 per qualified student chapter. $500 is to be given to a selected undergraduate student, with the remaining $500 to be issued directly to the AAPG Student Chapter and the funds used to support the Student Chapter’s activities. Application forms are released in September with the deadline date in December. To learn about L. Austin Weeks, go to:
  10. Discounts on short courses ($90 fee for student members/ $50 fee for chapter members) – limited number of reserved slots.
  11. Access to the Visiting Geoscientist and Distinguished Lecture Programs.
  12. Opportunity to participate in Student Expos (Job Fairs)
  13. Access to AAPG’s Career Center
  14. Student Outlook –blog and Facebook pages covering the Student Chapter Program activities and updates.
  15. The opportunity to work the General Store during the annual convention to raise money for chapter.
  16. AAPG Student Chapter Book Gift Program

Faculty Sponsor and/or Co-Sponsors

The continuity of a Student Chapter will be ensured by choosing a Faculty Advisor (or Co- advisors) who are committed to helping and maintaining a Student Chapter. The Chapter must chose a faculty advisor; the faculty advisor must be an Active or Associate member of AAPG and will serve as the liaison between AAPG and the Student Chapter. Additional duties of the Faculty Advisor are to be aware of the Constitution, Bylaws, and Rules of AAPG and assure the Chapter’s adherence to them; to assure that the Chapter prepares and delivers their reports to Headquarters as per the schedule; and to be a repository for the Chapter’s records.

The success (or failure) of a Student Chapter is often related to the participation (or lack of) of the faculty advisor. Even the most energetic of Student Chapter Presidents’ need the support and encouragement of the faculty advisor. When selecting your sponsor(s) we suggest you talk with them beforehand such that they may be aware of, and be willing to accept the responsibility.

Use these links to locate an affiliated society of AAPG near you:

Local Societies by Sections

Local societies by Regions (international)

Local AAPG Affiliated Society

The nearest local AAPG affiliated Society should be invited to sponsor the Student Chapter and, if it accepts, it should appoint a person to be the Local Society Sponsor for your Student Chapter. The Local Society Sponsor will serve as the liaison between the Society and the Student Chapter. The Chapter may consider asking the sponsoring society’s liaison to serve on the Chapter Executive Committee.

Students are encouraged to attend the meetings of the Sponsoring Society. In addition to their monthly meetings, they may provide you with speakers and/or field trip leaders.

Local societies often sponsor short courses, seminars or field trips, which you may participate in, sometimes for greatly reduced rates. The local society may also provide an excellent forum for your Chapter members. Sponsor a one-day seminar of thesis research for the society or put together poster sessions for their monthly meetings.

Members of the Sponsoring Society may be interested in attending your technical programs or field trips.

There may be some universities where the nearest affiliated society is too far away to provide support, in which case the student chapter will operate without a Society Sponsor. If there is no affiliated society to sponsor the student chapter, a local geologist can be asked to be a Professional Affiliate to provide support which normally comes from the affiliated society’s Sponsor.

Student Chapter Operation

In keeping with the purposes of the AAPG, a Student Chapter is encouraged to provide a strong technical program to its membership. We recommend having a monthly speaker at your monthly meetings. These can be faculty members, geologists from the Sponsoring Society, or might be requested from either of AAPG’s two speaker programs, the Visiting Geoscientist Program and Distinguished Lecturer programs. Information can be obtained from the AAPG Education Department or the AAPG website.

AAPG has a standing committee for Student Chapters and this committee offers several technical short courses and/or field trips at the annual convention especially for students. For information on, or assistance with, any of these AAPG services contact AAPG headquarters or a member of the Student Chapter Committee.

Appoint someone to serve as a program chair and another student to serve as a field trip chair. Assign the duties for writing reports to the President or Secretary.


The bylaws require the student chapter to submit two reports, one mid-year and another at the end of the calendar year. These reports are vital to AAPG in that they provide AAPG with its only tangible data regarding the success of the program. The Chapter’s reports keep the Chapter eligible for many of the benefits to having an AAPG Student Chapter and are what the Student Chapter Committee references in order to decide the Outstanding Student Chapters each year. It is preferable that the Chapters report be emailed to students[at], as a Word or PDF attachment. However reports may also be mailed or faxed to AAPG HQ.

A report is defined as a document containing:

  1. A listing of the officers of the chapter (AAPG member number, name and email addresses)
  2. Faculty advisor and any co-advisors (AAPG member number, name and email addresses)
  3. A member list for the Chapter (AAPG member number and name)
  4. A report on activities the chapter has engaged in since their last report was filed.
  5. A brief financial summary of the Chapter’s usage of funds.

Last updated: 6/18/10 MM/BM