Sarah Graham, Chattanooga, Tenn. – The University’s Geology Club really “rocks”! At least, it does according to club president Dylan Dudley, who has been a part of the club for almost three years and president almost as long.
“I was an art major that switched to being a geology major and I was looking for a place to get involved,” said Dudley on his main reason for joining the Geology Club. “I want to do mostly field work in my career and I wanted to join a club that helped that.”
Dudley explained that there are actually two geology clubs here on campus, but they focus on very different things. There’s the American Institute of Professional Geologists (The AIPG), that focuses on the academic and career side of things and goes to scholastic conferences.
The Geology club focuses on social events and team building with activities like rock climbing, caving, scuba diving, and paintball. At their meetings, they listen to talks from previous students in the field and they participate in local fossil and mineral digs. It’s not all fun and field games, however, as the club also encourages members to focus on their grades with interclub study groups.
“I wanted to make sure there was still balance in the club, because at the end of the day we’re all here to go to school and I don’t want to lose sight of that,” Dudley said. “After it was implemented, there was immediate improvement because members don’t have to choose between getting involved and getting good grades.”
Alongside these study groups, the club also sponsors tutoring for physical and historical geology classes.
To finance all of these great activities, the club participates in fundraising events. One of their key fundraising opportunities is selling unique bags of rock boxes that contain a key and information about the rocks and minerals in the bag, as well as a recent jewelry selling event that raised $400. “We’re trying to establish a funds base so that students don’t have to pay for events, that way more people are able to participate,” Dudley said.
The rock and mineral bags are available for study in the geology department, and their next fundraiser is their Earth Day fundraiser which takes place from April 20 to 22 in the UC.
The club meets every Wednesday at noon in Grote 208, and currently consists of about 15 active members. Students can expect small giveaways at meetings, won through rock-paper-scissors battles. Some giveaways include small fossils and crystal quartz. It is open to any current student with an interest in geology and a desire to participate in something.
“There’s a lot of benefits to joining the Geology Club,” Dudley said. “Not only are we close friends, but members learn skills like management from the fundraisers and leadership, as well as increasing their knowledge about field work, local geology, and gaining a support group for academics. We’re here to promote and foster an interest in geology, but we’re also here to create valuable life skills and friendships.”