June, 2000

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Jon Greggs: Helping Develop Future Of Professions Through Volunteering

By Tracy Sopkow

If you have suggested candidates for this series, please forward your ideas to The PEGG.

(Scuba-diver Jon Greggs, P.Geol., took the
plunge as an APEGGA volunteer.)

Among the most important contributions APEGGA members can make to their profession and the Association is to become a volunteer. Since 1996, Jon Greggs, P.Geol., has volunteered with APEGGA, first on the Practice Review Board's Continuing Competence Subcommittee and since 1998 on the Professional Development Committee. A professional geologist, Jon received his B.Sc. in geological sciences from Queen's University. He now works as a technical supervisor, geology and geophysics, at the University of Calgary.

How did you become involved with APEGGA as a volunteer?

My sister, Darcie Greggs, P.Geol., volunteered me to the Practice Review Board (PRB) subcommittee working on the Continuing Competence/Professional Development Guideline. Little did I know that I was getting into many hours of challenging work. From there, it was a natural transition to the Professional Development (PD) Committee.

What advice would you offer to other volunteers?

Prepare to be generous with your time. Giving of your time can be very satisfying. People recognize that you are making a contribution that you don't have to, and they appreciate the effort. Secondly, volunteer only for activities that you either enjoy or think important. If you are not committed in some way, you will not get any satisfaction from your effort and your continuing commitment may be poor. Finally, know it is important and acceptable to say "no" sometimes. You can't do everything!

Have you learned anything as a volunteer that you take and apply to other areas of your life?

Absolutely! APEGGA volunteers almost always work with other professionals and respected non-professionals. From this I've learned to recognize, appreciate and accommodate the various viewpoints and concerns people have with both professional and non-professional issues. I have also sharpened my writing skills and improved my interpretive reading. Having given many presentations to casual groups, Council and students, I have also learned the immense value of being well prepared.

What do you feel is an important issue facing the Professional Development Committee at this time?

We are in an important period of the implementation of the program as members start to reach the three-year window in their programs. There is a potential mountain of work for the PD Committee and the PRB as resistant and reluctant members choose not to supply acceptable data. I'm not saying that these members are not actively engaged in PD activities, they just may not like completing the necessary forms. As part of self-governance, APEGGA is obliged to follow-up.

What would be your ideal dream project?

Tough question! The University of Calgary is contemplating a new science facility with a cluster of major analytical instruments. Helping that to completion would be very satisfying. We just need a few tens of millions of dollars.

Do you have any hobbies and interests?

Don't tell anyone, they will start to suspect I am an engineer at heart. In connection with my scale model railroad, I build accurate replicas of local buildings serviced by the railways. I document each one for publication -- so far, all published in the leading model railway magazine Model Railroader. I also scuba-dive.





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