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A Brief History of AIPG

Prior to 1963, numerous societies existed in the United States to focus on the science of geology and upon specialty areas within this science, but many geological scientists were concerned about the lack of any national organization that focused on geology as a profession. The practice of geology, particularly with respect to public responsibility, regulation, and business practice, had no established guidelines and no national representation. This deficiency was finally addressed in 1963, when a small group of dedicated geologists met in Golden, Colorado, to compose the Constitution and Bylaws for the American Institute of Professional Geologists. November 14, 1963, when AIPG was chartered as a non-profit corporation, is considered the official date of the founding of the Institute. Martin Van Couvering was elected the first President, and the first AIPG Headquarters was located at the Colorado School of Mines. Members were distinguished as a "Certified Professional Geologist" and were authorized to use this title, abbreviated by the letters "CPG" after their name.

Steps were promptly taken to establish Sections of the Institute at the state and regional levels. In some areas, local organizations existed with the purpose of advancing geology as a profession. Members of these organizations recognized the advantages of having national affiliation and merged into the Institute. AIPG became a national organization with a membership of nearly 850 by 1965, little more than a year after its founding.

By 1974, the Institute had a membership of over 2,000, outgrew its office at the School of Mines, and moved its Headquarters to 622 Gardenia Court in Golden, where it remained for eight years. Additional geological scientists such as geophysicists, geochemists, and engineering geologists expressed interest in membership. This broader constituency is also served under the certification title "CPG", (Certified Professional Geologist).

In 1982, Headquarters moved to Arvada, Colorado, in 1999 to Westminster, Colorado and, in 2004 to a different location in Westminster, Colorado, in 2010 to 2000 Washington St., Suite 285, Thornton, Colorado and in 2018 to 1333 W. 120th Ave., Suite 211, Westminster, Colorado 80234-2710 through present. Today, AIPG has over 7,000 Members and Adjuncts. They are organized into thirty-six Sections.

The primary purpose of AIPG, to strengthen geological science as a profession, remains undiminished. AIPG remains dedicated to communicating to the public and to its representatives the importance to society of the profession of geology. The Institute promotes ethical conduct and seeks to protect the public and the geological sciences from unprofessional practice. AIPG establishes qualifications for granting of the title, "Certified Professional Geologist", and certifies to the public that those geologists who hold this title have undergone peer review and have been deemed competent practitioners who are worthy of public trust.

A History of AIPG 1963-2003 (2004)

This 390 page book includes many photographs, a Who's Who/Who Was Who in AIPG, and more than 70 selected speeches and papers by CPGs. Find answers to questions like: How did AIPG really get started? What roles did the well-established AAPG and AGI play in the formation of the first Professional (not scientific) geological society? Who were the "Magnificent Seven" who founded AIPG in 1963-63? The answers to these and other questions make interesting reading to the curious as to the formation and progress of AIPG. Contact the office about this publication at aipg@aipg.org or call 303-412-6205.

AIPG Membership Statistics 1998 - 2019


Legend: A - Associate, S - Student, C - Corporate, Mem - Member, CPG - Certified Professional Geologist.

AIPG Executive Directors

Edward E. Rue, 1963-1964
Arthur F. Brunton, 1964-1979
Stuart P. Hughes, 1980-1981
Victor C. Tannehill, 1981-1988
William V. Knight, 1989-1999
William J. Siok, 1999-2014
Robert A. Stewart, 2014-2015
William J. Siok, 2015-2016
Aaron W. Johnson, 2016-present

AIPG Past Annual Meeting Locations

2019 - Burlington, Vermont
2018 - Colorado Springs, Colorado
2017 - Nashvile, Tennessee
2016 - Santa Fe, New Mexico
2015 - Anchorage, Alaska
2014 - Prescott, Arizona
2013 - Broomfield, Colorado
2012 - Rapid City, South Dakota
2011 - Bloomingdale, Illinois
2010 - Orlando, Florida
2009 - Grand Junction, Colorado
2008 - Flagstaff, Arizona
2007 - Traverse City, Michigan
2006 - Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota
2005 - Lexington, Kentucky
2004 - Saratoga Springs, New York
2003 - Glenwood Springs, Colorado
2002 - Reno, Nevada
2001 - St. Louis, Missouri
2000 - Milwaukee, Wisconsin
1999 - Anchorage, Alaska
1998 - Baton Rouge, Louisiana
1997 - Houston, Texas
1996 - Columbus, Ohio
1995 - Denver, Colorado
1994 - Flagstaff, Arizona
1993 - Springfield, Massachusetts
1992 - South Lake Tahoe, Nevada
1991 - Gatlinburg, Tennessee
1990 - Long Beach, California
1989 - Arlington, Virginia
1988 - Tulsa, Oklahoma
1987 - Lexington, Kentucky
1986 - Dillon, Colorado
1985 - St. Paul, Minnesota
1984 - Orlando, Florida
1983 - Jackson Hole, Wyoming
1982 - Pasadena, California
1981 -Williamsburg, Virginia
1980 - Mobile, Alabama
1979 - Lafayette, Louisiana
1978 - Albuquerque, New Mexico
1977 - San Antonio, Texas
1976 - Denver, Colorado
1975 - Tucson, Arizona
1974 - Denver, Colorado
1973 - New Orleans, Louisiana
1972 - Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1971 - Denver, Colorado
1970 - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
1969 - St. Louis, Missouri
1968 - San Fransciso, California
1967 - Houston, Texas
1966 - Denver, Colorado
1965 - Denver, Colorado
1964 - Denver, Colorado