Professional Development

A group of people sit at a round table and converse at a GSA Annual Meeting.
OTF participants at the GSA 2019 Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona.

On To the Future (OTF) alumni, and those eligible for OTF, may apply for a special award to receive a $500 stipend, a one-year membership to GSA, and paid registration to a GSA spring Section meeting.

Awardees will attend three Saturday Zoom professional development meet-ups focused on cover letters and applying for jobs and internships. This project is a partnership between the University of Arkansas and GSA and is sponsored by the National Science Foundation – IUSE GeoPaths Program.


Eligible applicants meet the following criteria:

  • Enrolled in a geoscience, environmental science, or Earth Science degree program at a university or college in the United States.
  • Advanced undergraduate with an interest in applying to an internship program, and employment assistance.
  • Student from an underrepresented community in the geosciences and/or a past On To the Future participant.
  • Able to attend three virtual workshops on 26 February, 5 March, and 2 April.
  • Have not yet had a research or internship experience.


Awardees will receive the following benefits:

  • Access to geoscience professionals who serve as mentors to guide individual students in the development of materials (CV, résumé, cover letter) required to apply for an internship or job.
  • $500 stipend. Students will receive the stipend after submission of a complete application packet (due 30 March 2022).
  • One year membership to the Geological Society of America (GSA).
  • Paid registration to attend the GSA South-Central Section meeting in McAllen, Texas, 14-15 March 2022 or the GSA Joint North-Central and Southeastern Section meeting in Cincinnati, Ohio, 7-8 April 2022.

How to Apply

  • Complete an online application.
  • This will include a statement of purpose with your professional goals, how attending the workshop will help you, and a description of why you are applying for the award.
  • Have one letter of recommendation sent directly from the writer to Dr. Kathy Ellins,

Deadline to apply: 7 February 2022

Questions? Contact Dr. Kathy Ellins,

Zoom session topics that will be covered:

  • Orientation and pathway mapping
  • CVs/résumés/cover letters
  • Building social capital/networking

Resources and Handouts

OTF Contact:

Elizabeth Long, Associate Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

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