Eligibility and Participation

Eligibility

Applicants must:

  • Be at least 18 years old before they participate
  • Be either a U.S. citizen or U.S. lawful permanent resident (Green Card holder)
  • Be able to pass a federal background check and an employment background check from our program's staffing partner
  • Possess a valid U.S. driver's license, and have a current and valid auto insurance policy
  • GeoCorps participants must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19

If you are selected to participate in GeoCorps, you will be required to provide proof of vaccination status. Individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their last dose of their vaccine. Selected candidates who need an exemption from this policy due to a medical reason or because of a sincerely held religious belief must submit a completed request for accommodation promptly after selection. Accommodations will be granted where they do not cause undue hardship or pose a direct threat to the health and safety of others. Participants who are approved for a reasonable accommodation and are not fully vaccinated will be required to take additional safety precautions. 

In addition, projects often specify a set of qualifications to participate. We recommend reading the project description carefully for more details. The level of qualifications required does vary among GeoCorps projects based on the complexity and rigor of the project.

You do not need to be a GSA member to apply, but GSA invites you to join or renew your membership. GSA membership helps you develop your professional career and sense of community through its meetings, publications, programs, and leadership opportunities.

Participation

  • We invite the full participation of individuals currently being underserved in STEM career fields. This includes, but is not limited to, individuals from racially and/or ethnically diverse communities, individuals with disabilities, individuals from LGBTIQ+ communities, all gender identities, and individuals who experience intersectionality with one or more of these identities.
  • Applicants do not need to be an enrolled student to apply. We welcome applications from undergraduate students, graduate students, and recent graduates with a college or advanced degree. In some cases we have had post-docs, teachers, and retirees participate.
  • We welcome applicants from diverse disciplines, such as chemistry, physics, engineering, mathematics, computer science, ecology, hydrology, meteorology, the social sciences, and the humanities. Applicants with backgrounds outside of the geosciences should review each project’s qualifications and apply to projects that match the majority of their qualifications.
  • Past GeoCorps participants remain eligible to apply for future GeoCorps projects and are welcome to apply. We do not limit the number of times a person can serve in GeoCorps. GSA recommends previous participants limit themselves to participating in two projects, in order to broaden their experiences and create space for new participants. Past participants may not apply to the exact same project they previously participated in.
  • Project locations may recommend or require the participant to bring their own personal vehicle. If a vehicle is required, this will be specified in the project description. If you are interviewed for a project, it is a good idea to ask about the vehicle requirements.

International Students

Due to U.S. government regulations, all applicants must be either a U.S. citizen by birth or naturalization, or a U.S. lawful permanent resident. Unfortunately, we are not able to make any exceptions to this rule. People with temporary education or work visas are not eligible for the program. Neither GSA nor its federal partners can sponsor temporary visas through this program. Here are places to look for related opportunities:

The following GSA opportunities are open to international students:

Pre-College Students

GeoCorps has a minimum age requirement of 18 years old and in most cases the qualifications for projects would be difficult to fulfill without having taken some college-level geoscience courses. Here are some additional programs to look into: The Student Conservation Association (SCA); AmeriCorps; CityYear; Volunteer.gov; the National Park Service "Volunteer-In-Parks" (VIP) program; volunteer opportunities with the U.S. Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management; volunteer opportunities in local state/county/municipal parks and nature centers. Local community colleges and universities may also have programs for high school students and recent high school graduates.

If you have any questions, please contact Lesley Petrie and Matt Dawson.