What Membership Means to Me
Juk Bhattacharyya, GSA Member since 1996
1. When did you first become a member? Did anything or anyone influence you to become a member?
I became a GSA member in 1996 as a graduate student.
2. Did you or do you participate in any programs or committees or apply for research grants?
I received the GSA-ExxonMobil Bighorn Basin Field Award in 2011.
3. How has GSA membership been particularly impactful on your career?
Being a GSA member is perhaps the best career decision I made. I started my academic career at a two-year campus before moving on to a four-year regional comprehensive university. I could always count on the GSA Geoscience Education Division and the National Association of Geology Teachers (NAGT) for finding opportunities for professional development and a support system. Most importantly, being part of GSA made me aware of the barriers and challenges faced by people from marginalized communities in the geosciences and gave me a space where I can find like-minded people who are as passionate as I am in making the geosciences more equitable, accessible, diverse, and inclusive at all levels. GSA helps me be a change agent in my discipline.
4. What is the greatest benefit to being a member of GSA?
Being a GSA member exposed me to the range of career opportunities for geoscientists both within and outside of academia. GSA maintains a nice balance between pure research, applied research, pedagogical research, and research on effective teaching practices. There is something beneficial for everyone, no matter whether someone is a beginning student or a seasoned geoscientist. However, as a field geologist, the greatest benefit of being a GSA member for me is the various field trips organized as part of every GSA regional and annual meetings. Being able to visit various field locations in the company of a group of other geologists is, perhaps, the most impactful opportunity for my continued professional development.
5. What would you say to a peer who is considering joining GSA/starting their geoscience journey?
Just do it. You will not regret this decision.