The Pickens Foundation has committed to a $9.4 million pledge for the development of a GIS digital geology consortium between the American Association of Petroleum Geologists Foundation and Oklahoma State University, the first consortium of its kind.
The consortium is developing digital GIS products through OSU’s geology and geography department, and will make them available to professionals and the public via AAPG’s intranet database. The gift comprises $240,000 per year for 10 years, plus a gift of $7 million provided in Pickens’ will as a legal testament. It is one of the largest single bequeaths the AAPG Foundation has ever received.
AAPG was established in 1967 with the primary goal of providing a source of funding for educational, charitable and scientific objectives, which directly and indirectly benefit the geologic profession and the general public.
“I was trained as a geologist, and have spent the lion’s share of my 81 years working in the industry,” Pickens says. “Supporting the AAPG Foundation seems a natural, as they reinforce one of the Pickens Foundation’s core areas, education.”
The funds are providing operating capital for the Boone Pickens Digital Geology Fund to provide geologic, scientific and resource information to the general public via a map-based format researched and compiled through graduate geology students. The project also benefits students by providing industry-specific research projects published in industry-friendly formats, enhancing their skill set and boosting their desirability as graduates.
“Mr. Pickens has provided funds for a unique opportunity – to merge the prowess and talents of AAPG and OSU to build a new Petroleum Geoscience Consortium that will develop maps and data that will be seen around the world – perhaps even change the world,” AAPG Foundation executive director Rick Fritz says.
In 2009, the AAPG Foundation provided more than $1 million toward the advancement of education and outreach through programs such as the Grants-in-Aid program, Weeks Memorial Undergraduate grants, Distinguished Lecture Tours, a Visiting Geoscientists program, K-12 Resources and more. The Honors and Awards program provides a means for recognizing outstanding achievements and contributions by professional geologists, especially in the area of exploration for petroleum and energy mineral resources, and by other professionals who further the goals and objectives of its science, profession, and association.
Pickens has received the L. Austin Weeks Memorial Medal, given in recognition for extraordinary philanthropy and service directed to advance the mission of the AAPG Foundation. The AAPG Foundation Teacher of the Year Program awards $5,000 to a K-12 teacher for Excellence in the Teaching of Natural Resources in the Earth Sciences. This National award includes $2,500 to the teacher’s school for the winning teacher’s use and $2,500 for the teacher’s personal use.
For more information about the AAPG Foundation, visit http://foundation.aapg.org.