DISTINCT PERSPECTIVES AND BENEFITS OF GSA’S GEOCORPS AMERICA PROGRAM
Participating in the GeoCorps program from “both ends” has provided unique experiences and distinct perspectives. While serving as Yellowstone’s Chief Geologist in 2001, the park’s first student GeoCorps geologist came to the park and worked with me to develop interpretive and educational materials. The rewards from selecting an undergraduate student as a collaborator in the world’s first national park were significant. In contrast, while on sabbatical in 2008, I was selected to serve as a GeoCorps America Guest Scientist in Manistee National Forest in Michigan. The project that began during that sabbatical continues today as an active research program, resource management effort, and undergraduate-mentoring endeavor.
Finally, involvement in geoscience initiatives on public lands provides an opportunity to mentor students toward service in public land management agencies. Recent graduates from the Geology program at the University of Southern Indiana have served, and continue to work, in Glacier and Mammoth Cave National Parks, Grand Staircase-Escalante and Craters of the Moon National Monuments, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Manistee National Forest, and the Bureau of Land Management in Montana. These experiences are the definition of win-win situations, as students, resource management staff, and the public benefit from diverse geoscience projects on our public lands.