2015 GSA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, USA (1-4 November 2015)

Paper No. 210-1
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM


FORD, Richard L., Department of Geosciences, Weber State University, 1415 Edvalson St - DEPT 2507, Ogden, UT 84408-2507 and WALTERS, James C., Department of Earth Science, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA 50614, rford@weber.edu

Sigma Gamma Epsilon (SGE), the National Honor Society for the Earth Sciences, celebrated its 100th anniversary in March 2015. It is one of the oldest, currently-active geological societies in North America; it is also one of the oldest discipline-specific honor societies in the sciences. Founded in 1915 at the University of Kansas, SGE began its life as a professional fraternity with membership consisting of mining and geology students. Women became eligible for membership in 1966 and this milestone finalized the gradual transition from professional fraternity to an academic honor society.

The primary mission of SGE has been to promote academic excellence and the professional development of students in the geosciences, and that remains at the core of its objectives today. Nearly 200 chapters of SGE have been established within university geoscience departments over the years. The National Council of SGE consists of a President, four regional Vice Presidents, a Secretary-Treasurer, and an Administrative Assistant. University faculty serve in these positions and, with the exception of the Secretary-Treasurer and Administrative Assistant, are elected by student delegates to the Society’s biennial conventions.

SGE became an Associated Society of the Geological Society of America in 1986 and has held a student research poster session at GSA Annual Meetings since 1989. These sessions have become increasingly popular and in recent years have attracted upwards of 100 presenters. There are currently over 1,200 active student members of SGE in approximately 95 active chapters across the country. SGE has published The Compass: Earth Science Journal of Sigma Gamma Epsilon since 1920. Originally a fraternity newsletter, The Compass has evolved into a peer-reviewed journal specializing in student research; it became an open-access online journal in 2012.

Sigma Gamma Epsilon’s future is bright. At its recent biennial convention and centennial celebration (1915-2015), the student delegates reaffirmed their commitment to: (1) promoting the geosciences on their campus; (2) increasing the diversity within the geoscience community; (3) promoting the professional development of their members; and (4) providing service to their campus, community, and profession – all while sharing comradery along the way.