Jack Shroder, GSAF Trustee, Research Coordinator at the Center for Afghanistan Studies, and Professor Emeritus at the University of Nebraska Omaha, shares how his desire to see the geosciences prosper inspires his service to the Foundation.
What inspires you to give so freely of your time serving as a GSAF Trustee?
The flip answer is that being able to schmooze with people who can give scholarship and other monies to GSA to help students is right up my alley. A more measured response would be that I enjoy being able to hear what is going on in the discipline as a whole. This fulfills a certain hunger to see that the discipline that I started to learn when I was so young (picking up quartz crystals in outcrops and outwash in Vermont in my childhood, Boy Scout merit badges) prospers; the fact that my beloved discipline actually appears to have a good future pleases me.
What motivates you to give to GSA?
It seems to have started back in early graduate school, when I could foresee that I wanted eventually to be able to have enough financial wherewithal to donate to the discipline after I retired, even if retirement was going to be after a fairly low-paying salary as a college faculty member. One possible way to do this, I thought, might be to purchase antiquarian geology materials if they were cheap enough and I had a little extra money to pay for them. This enabled me to haunt old bookstores in whatever city I was traveling in all over the world on my many geology field trips in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Africa. In short order, in fact, I started to find real antiquarian treasures, so that eventually I worked my way up to the likes of Lyell, Hutton, Smith, and lots of other names we all know. I sold that collection recently for enough monies to fund the Shroder Mass Movement Award.
What would you say to others thinking about making a financial commitment to the Society?
You could give your money in a variety of ways or to a lot of different organizations, but your donation to GSA can be followed from donation, through student application, to recipient, so that you can see where it goes or what it is being used for.
What would you like to say to other people who donate their time and resources to GSA?
Donations of time or money to GSA seem to give you more “geo-bang” for your buck than elsewhere. After all, where else can you see your hard-earned dollar go so directly to students in need?