Past Messages


Ron Waszczak, Summer 2001

waszczakIn the preceding issue of the NEWS, I reported that the Section would be looking at ways to grow our membership. We would do this on the belief that our member number, relative to potential, is low. We seek to grow membership for some important practical reasons.

We want to expand membership, firstly to expand the pool of candidates from which the offices on Executive Council would be filled. By by-law, a candidate for office must be a member of the Section. And though our member group has remained stable through the years, each year we become closer to exhausting an exhausted population of talent that had been willing to offer themselves for election to Section Officer or for appointment to Foundation Trustee.

We want to grow the member number, secondly to increase the income from dues that is required to finance Section activities. Our member's dues, by by-law, remain at only $10 per year! Income from dues at the current member number is, for now, sufficient to maintain our program. But there is little room for expenditure out of the ordinary, and there is no money available to budget for opportunities such as "improvement" or "growth". Though the Gulf Coast Section is an affiliate of the SEPM, and though the Section is co-sponsor of the Annual Convention with GCAGS, an AAPG affiliate, we operate - unfortunately -- without subsidy from any of those larger organizations.

Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, we want to expand the membership to increase the importance of our Section's newsletter. An expanded membership should increase the number of authors that we need to contribute to the NEWS, particularly the columns "Research Notes" (mid-length reports of scientific projects) and the "Professional News" (notes of change in career or in profession). Once Contributors are available to provide the critical components of the NEWS, then Readers will want the NEWS for its timely, substantive content. Our NEWS would become a more relevant service with potential to be the choice among trade letters for information exchange.

Since publication of the prior NEWS, the following have been accomplished as ways to expand membership. Vice President Santogrossi, Chair of the Membership Committee, has initiated a campaign to reinstate members by bringing current those who have recently fallen in arrears with dues payments. As an inducement for potential new members to make application, Secretary Corbo has mailed a complementary copy of our last newsletter (with application attached) to a target audience: Each non-member participant of our recently past Research Conference, "Deepwater Reservoirs of the World".

Further, Council and Trustee have been discussing ways to count among our membership the authors who choose the GCSSEPM as the preferred forum for their publications, and the advisors, committeemen, co-chairs and volunteers whom organize and assemble our Research Conferences and our Annual Conventions. We have also been discussing ways to recruit members of the National SEPM who would want to share in the esprit de corps the Gulf Coast Section's promotion of the discipline of stratigraphy.

If you have read this far down-column, than you too probably have interest in strengthening Section membership. Would each of you whom feel a commitment toward our organization act with stewardship in a simple way? Take a moment to identify a few good prospective members among your network of colleagues in industry, at university and in government. Take another few moments to ask if they are members of our organization. If not, explore their interest, share with them your feelings about belonging to our organization, and then, if it seems appropriate, ask them to join.