News & Events

Please visit this page regularly for fund updates and to find out about new fund efforts.

Michaela Galarza taking notes in the fieldBefore the GSA Connects conference in Denver, I felt slightly aloof from the world of geosciences. My professors, mentors, and classmates are all wonderful people who are hugely successful in their pursuits; however, I felt like I did not completely belong as a person more interested in environmental science. On Saturday at 8 AM, I sat in a large conference room surrounded by students from all over the world with different life experiences. We spent the day sharing our “pathways,” a term I had never considered before. As a soon-to-graduate senior, I had been unclear about the path to take that would help me land where my interests could do the most good. Through the On To the Future workshop and attending GSA 2022, I came to understand that there can be many pathways to success. I heard about people’s unconventional stories and about their disparate pathways, ones that started long before college and were filled with triumphs and hardship.

While my story is unique in its own right, I heard stories that day during the conference that were filled with far more hardship and heartbreak than I have experienced, but even more often, I heard stories of amazing resilience. I do not believe that it negates my challenges to acknowledge those of others. We are all unique and have unique experiences that are drivers of our journeys. I believe we have a responsibility to create spaces that allow us to hear and learn from the stories of others. Diversity in opinion and experience enriches the outcome of any pursuit. While my pathway is still being forged, I now feel much more at home in the STEM field than I did prior to that conference, and am enjoying the opportunity to share with others my interest in geology and the environment.

I am proud of my pathway and very much appreciate those who have influenced me as I continue my education in the environmental sciences. Through mentorship at the GSA conference, I made the decision to apply to graduate school. As a graduate student, I hope to find situations, like the OTF workshop, where diversity of thought and experience is appreciated. People come to science from all walks of life, and that is likely why science has made the amazing strides it has in the past hundred years. Where my path eventually takes me I do not know, but what attending GSA 2022 has taught me will be there with me wherever I land.


Template Information

The information below explains the type, use and design process for this template

Template Name:


Template Design:
This is an interpolated template. The design of the site will be applied to this template. There may be design revisions available, but this template will now follow an approval process.