Paper No. 10
Presentation Time: 10:45 AM
THE ALUMNI NETWORK: FORGING CONNECTIONS BETWEEN THE USF GEOLOGY DEPARTMENT AND THE PROFESSIONAL COMMUNITY
The University of South Florida (USF) Geology Alumni Society (GAS) provides opportunities for USF geology students to network with professional geologists in the Tampa Bay community and, increasingly, in the State. Floridas geological workforce is mainly in hydrogeology and environmental geology, including coastal geology -historically fields of concentration in the USF geology graduate program. GAS activities include an annual GeoExpo where students meet with working geologists and observe geological equipment in operation, and an annual Job Fair where students network with prospective employers. In addition, the GAS holds an annual fundraising banquet, with proceeds going to a GAS-originated endowment for fellowships to graduate students who are honored at the banquet. At its 2002 GeoExpo, the GAS inaugurated an on-campus GeoPark, which the Department will use as a field site supporting hydrogeology and geophysics courses.
The GAS plays a proactive role in the Department's professional masters degree (PMD) program: the hydrogeology internship-track program. Students in the PMD program conduct an internship masters project funded and supervised by a Florida Professional Geologist (PG). Each semester, the GAS sponsors an Internship Symposium, where students present their projects to the community at a dinner event at the Tampa offices of the Southwest Florida Water Management District. Since 1997, when the GAS came into existence, two-thirds of the students who have graduated from the PMD program conducted their internship project under the supervision of a PG who is a USF alum.