Geology Students Our Virtual Future

"Can I take my photo with you?"

"Where do I apply for Grants-in-Aid?"

"How will I get an interview? An internship? A job?"

And the questions go on. One of the best things about traveling for AAPG is meeting students and fielding their questions.

During the Eastern Section meeting in Kalamazoo, Mich., I was impressed with a Kentucky student, Tina White, giving a superb talk on her reprocessing of 100 percent data, leading to identification of polyphase tectonic movement in the Rome Trough.

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"Can I take my photo with you?"

"Where do I apply for Grants-in-Aid?"

"How will I get an interview? An internship? A job?"

And the questions go on. One of the best things about traveling for AAPG is meeting students and fielding their questions.

During the Eastern Section meeting in Kalamazoo, Mich., I was impressed with a Kentucky student, Tina White, giving a superb talk on her reprocessing of 100 percent data, leading to identification of polyphase tectonic movement in the Rome Trough.

How do these students access job interviews from schools in the east? Schools that size seldom attract recruiters.


Our Student Expos have been great for getting students in front of recruiters. This initiative, started about five years ago by Susan Morrice in Denver, has grown in success and popularity. Martha Lou Broussard, Rice University, and Jamie White, ExxonMobil, have taken over the Expo and moved it to Houston, where recruiters abound.

This year's Expo, held in September at Rice University, was the best ever, with 75 recruiters showing up from 19 companies (double the number from two years ago!). Students (137) came from all over, though the largest number were from Texas. Students were very happy getting three to five interviews each.

Roger Slatt, of the University of Oklahoma, has started a Mid-continent Student Expo in Norman, Okla., during spring break. Lee Avary, of the West Virginia Geological Survey, has plans for an Eastern Section Student Expo.

The exceptional advantage of an Expo is getting exposure for students from small schools that never see a recruiter, and the recruiters have been very impressed with the quality of students from some of the "off the beaten petroleum path." I'm talking about schools like the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Oregon State, University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, Stephen F. Austin of Nacogdoches, Texas, and the University of Vermont.

We even had a student from Brazil, several students from Nigeria and a Romanian student attending in Houston this year.

But it is still expensive and time-consuming for students to make this journey from the East Coast, the West Coast, Canada, Mexico and other countries. Perhaps, as the Expo builds, universities can find ways to help finance more attendance -- but this can never fully serve our growing number of students and student chapters outside the United States.

Walter Grün, super team leader in Eastern Europe, has started 20 student chapters with about 300 student members. Chuck Caughey and others in the Asia Pacific region have been very active in developing more than 12 chapters. Bayo Akinpelu and Kunle Adesida have started more than seven chapters in Nigeria.


Obviously, we have a desire to try to work with these students toward accessing internships, job interviews and career planning.

But how?

One initiative we are considering is to build a "Virtual Student Expo." Our colleagues at SEG and GSA are very interested in this initiative, too. The idea is to have an area within our Web site where students each have a five-minute video telling about their thesis work and goals.

The site would be accessible to recruiters through a password and would give recruiters an opportunity to decide if they want to further interview the student or offer them an internship or at least set up a telephone interview.

We could use some volunteers (computer oriented!) to work on this initiative.