What Membership Means to Me
Yueyi Che conducting field research for her senior thesis in Yosemite National Park.
I became a member in 2019 when I was an international college freshman at the University of California, Berkeley. I was looking for funding for my summer fieldwork at the Juneau Icefield Research Program. I came across GSA’s field camp scholarship, which later I got awarded twice. I was also a recipient of the On To the Future program, which was a great professional development opportunity.
When I was a junior, I became a student representative in both the GSA Education Committee and International Committee. It was eye-opening for me to attend business meetings in both committees, communicating with and learning from people in different career paths. Through participating in behind-the-scenes work for award nominations, I gained more insights on how to write my scholarship applications. I was excited to be a voice for the geoscience students, making decisions and changes to the professional field by serving on a committee.
Now I am the chair-elect of the GSA Student Advisory Council; my work is more focused on the student experience in geoscience. Like many students, I go to school in a small earth-science department, so organizing social events in GSA was a great way to know more peers in my field. I faced lots of hardship in funding my thesis research and I thought I should not be alone. Thus, I initiated an undergraduate student research funding survey to see how GSA can better support our undergraduate students.
Serving in GSA student leadership was an important step in transforming things I learned from my student organization leadership experience to a professional setting. I would highly encourage geoscience students, especially undergraduate students, to serve as student representatives. GSA loves to hear our perspectives. By contributing to the professional community, we can grow as individuals and shape the future of geoscience.
Chair-Elect of the GSA Student Advisory Council, 2021