Geology conferences

Going to Geology Conferences
The Department is happy to be able to provide travel funds for Geology majors to attend one scientific meeting each year, even if you are not presenting research. The meetings are a terrific way to learn presentation skills if you present research, to realize the breadth of geological inquiry through a huge number of talks and presentations, network with potential employers and graduate school advisers, and talk with people representing geology graduate schools -- and have a great time with your peers. Declared majors are encouraged to attend; talk to your advisor about this. Travel to conferences is supported by the Kozak, McGuire, Spencer, Schwab Geology Fund.

Here's what one student had to say about her experience:
"The presentations that I attended and the posters that I saw gave me good ideas about how to format my senior thesis work for the Spring. More importantly as a senior, the greatest benefit of attending this conference was that it gave me insight to a variety of graduate schools and programs and potential jobs. To be entirely honest, the graduate school application process has been quite daunting for me, so this experience rejuvenated me and made me excited for graduate school! Additionally, I saw a variety of interdisciplinary, applied environmental, geoscience talks and found them highly interesting."

The following meetings occur every year and you may seek special permission to attend other meetings:

Annual meeting of the Geological Society of America (usually in early-mid fall): GSA -
Annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union (mid December, usually during finals week): AGU -
Southeastern GSA (usually early spring)
American Association of Petroleum Geologists (spring or early summer): AAPG -

The minimum time spent at a conference is 2 full days, but the department will support more days if they are spent fully engaged at the meeting. You must have your absence from your classes, geology and non-geology, with your professors prior to making plans to attend the meeting.

The Geology Department will cover:

  • the cost of your travel to and back from the meeting 
  • lodging (shared rooms) while at the meeting
  • GSA membership
  • meeting registration
  • for presenters: meals ($30/day for full days at conference)

Geology Administrative Assistant Sarah Wilson will make travel and lodging arrangements. You are responsible for your own meals (unless you are a presenter) and for any baggage you want to check. Please let Sarah know if you need assistance with these costs.

In order to go to a meeting you need to:

  1. Submit to Geology Department Head Jeff Rahl and the Administrative Assistant a justification for funding. Your justification should include your abstract if you are presenting and at least a preliminary schedule of talks and events that you plan to attend. Also say why you think this would be beneficial to your current work and future plans in geology, or, in other words, what you hope to gain from the experience. You can change up what you actually go to at the conference -- you probably won't know what days you are going when you submit this -- but checking out what will be going on at the conference will be helpful to you. And we want to see that you've thought about how you might spend your time there.

  2. When it gets closer to the conference, Sarah will be in touch about what days you will travel to and from the meeting. We will need to know what time you can leave campus and what time you need to be back on campus. Remember, you need to have cleared any absences from classes with professors.

  3. After the conference you need to submit to Geology Department Head Jeff Rahl and the Administrative Assistant a 1 to 2 page summary of your experience at the meeting, including the most interesting presentations and topics you attended, the benefit that attending the meeting had for you as a student of geology or citizen, and any new opinions you have about the geological profession. These notes will likely be shared with the donors to the fund that supports your travel. 

Let any of us know if you have any questions about conferences!