Lisa A. Rossbacher, GSAF Trustee, President Emerita and Professor Emerita of Geology at Humboldt State University, as well as President Emerita at Southern Polytechnic State University, shares how the opportunities she received throughout her career inspire her to invest in the future of the geosciences through GSA.
What inspires you to give so freely of your time serving as a GSAF Trustee?
I know that the opportunities that I have had—in my education, in research, and in professional development—are the result of work that others have accomplished in the past, both in science and in service to our profession. Geologists, more than most people, appreciate the concept of connections through time. I feel that we all have a responsibility to be part of this professional timeline and to help others learn and grow, just as we have benefitted ourselves.
What motivates you to give to GSA?
GSA provides many examples of how the organization helps the profession—and particularly students, who represent our collective future. When I graduated from college 44 years ago, my parents gave me a knapsack, a Swiss army knife, and a membership to GSA. The knapsack wore out years ago, but the knife still opens, in spite of all the peanut butter and cheese in the hinges, and I am still a member of GSA. I was very honored to have been elected a GSA Fellow in 2010. I feel a long-term commitment to supporting the organization and its good work.
What would you say to others thinking about making a financial commitment to the Society?
Contributing to GSA through the Foundation is one of the most direct and effective ways for anyone to support science, scientists, and the future of our planet. Donors have dozens of funds to choose to support, including lecture series, scholarships, awards, field camps, a variety of research areas, travel grants, and “greatest needs of GSA,” which is where I direct my giving.
What would you like to say to other people who donate their time and resources to GSA?
Thank you, thank you, thank you. Organizations like GSA are a critical way in which young people are supported and learn—and more experienced professionals can connect, grow, and give back to the discipline in ways that support careers, society, discovery, and our shared future on this planet—and potentially other planets.