Author Archives: Julia Cahill Carr

AWG Fall Festival!

Fall Festival flyer. Says: AWG Fall Festival, Holmes-Foster Park, Sunday October 25th, 2 PM. All proceeds to support undergraduate scholarships. 10$ entry fee for a pumpkin and pizza.

What: a (socially-distanced and safe) pumpkin-spice filled afternoon that includes a pumpkin carving competition, FREE pizza, and baked goods/apple cider (for purchase for fund raising). $10 gets you a pumpkin, entry to this exclusive event, and free pizza (did we mention there will be pizza?). We will have trash disposal and *very few* pumpkin carving implements, so please bring your own if you have them (knife, spoon, etc)! Winner of the carving competitions will get a free piece of swag of their choosing!

Where: Holmes-Foster Park

When: October 25th, 2pm

How: sign up on this list and Venmo (or deliver) $10 to Shelby Bowden (Venmo username: @Shelby-Bowden) BY OCTOBER 20th!! (I have to go buy the pumpkins beforehand).

Competition categories:




-artsy fartsy

-nature (non geology)

*COVID-safety measures: We will enforce mask wearing, social distancing, and maintaining a safe and comfortable environment for all who want to attend. We will also be sanitizing the provided pumpkins before giving them out. If you would like to support AWG and participate but don’t feel comfortable hanging out, you are welcome to still come and grab a pumpkin, carve it at home, and share photos of your creation with us!*

AWG undergraduate scholarship for academic conferences

This year, both of the major national conferences in geosciences (GSA and AGU) will be virtual and free for student members to attend. These conferences are a great opportunity to learn about active research in geosciences, make connections with potential collaborators or graduate school advisors, engage with scientists from around the world, and learn about different career paths.
The Association of Women Geoscientists will offer scholarships to cover the cost of membership (20-40$) to these societies, which will make it possible for students to attend the annual meeting for free. We will also help provide mentorship on how to approach attending an academic conference.
The Geological Society of America annual meeting will be October 26-30, and the American Geophysical Union fall meeting will take place between December 1-17th, with focused synchronous time between December 7-11th. We recommend checking out the websites and talking with your advisor or research mentor (if you have one) about what conference will suit your interests. If you have any other questions on what these conferences are about, or how to choose, feel free to send a message to

If you are interested, please complete the attached form, and send it to by THURSDAY, October 8th, with the subject line ‘AWG conference scholarship’. We will notify you by Monday, October 12 about the funding and how to use it.


Brown Bag lunch discussion on being a grad student during COVID19

Brown bag lunch discussion o’clock. COVID can’t stop us from having engaging conversations about the world around us, so we will continue the tradition but virtually.  For those not familiar: Brown Bag lunch discussions are a time to talk with fellow grad students, undergraduates, faculty, staff, post-docs (whoever shows up, honestly) about all the life things that shape us as grad students, as a community, humans, etc. On the docket for discussion: I’d like to talk about “being a grad-student during COVID-19.” Beloware two links to make you think: 1) a science article about some COVID workarounds, and 2) a CE&N (chemical and engineering news) interviewing a bunch of graduate students and their experiences with COVID and grad school.
Example questions you may have after reading these articles, or just in general 1) How are grad students holding up? 2) What’s it like being a first year student during the pandemic? 3) What are you strategies for stress relief? 4) How are you able to focus on your work when you have a cat sitting beside you? 5) What can the grad school do to help?
To note: I personally don’t have any answers, but talking it out is the best way to get answers!
Above are merely some example questions, so feel free to bring your own thoughts, feelings, questions, comments, concerns, or even other literature! I’d love to talk with you, and have a great discussion. And if anyone has an immediate answer to question 4, please email me.
this FRIDAY 09/25/2020 a 12:00PM on ZOOM
Brown bags not required.
See you there!

Grad School Panel Event!

If you are someone interested in graduate school, AWG will be hosting a grad school panel event next week on Thursday, September 24th at 6pm! This will be a webinar where graduate student panelists will be available to answer any questions you may have about the application process, graduate school in general, different kinds of research, and other opportunities in Geosciences. The panelists all have different experiences and paths that they took to where they are now in the Penn State Geosciences program, and all have valuable insights to share.
Please share with anyone who may be interested!
If anyone has any questions, feel free to reach out.
Password: awg


Flyer for the Grad School Panel Event. Lists the zoom link for the meeting, and says to bring us your questions about grad school and other opportunities in geoscience

Welcome back ~ Fall 2020

Welcome back! AWG is still going strong, even while virtual. Our new 2020/2021 officers just met to make plans for the fall, and we’ve got a lot of events coming up, so stay tuned.

First general meeting for the semester will be September 1 at 6pm— details and zoom link coming soon!

Our Officers for 2020/2021

Erica Lucas & Julia Carr, Co-Presidents

Kalle Jahn, Treasurer

Ben Barnes, Secretary

Gabi Rossetto Harris & Kaelie Contreras, Outreach Coordinator

Katie Horisk & Kayla Irizarry, Mentor/mentee program coordinators

Charlotte Connop & Safiya Alpheus, Event Coordinators

Mary Reinthal & Troy Ferland, Social Committee

Nancy Weinheimer & Lucy Lu, Undergraduate Liason

Adam Benfield, Shelby Bowden & Kirsty McKenzie, Fundraising

Julia Carr, Webmaster

Roman DiBiase Faculty Adviser

AWG Election Tomorrow, Thursday April 30th!

We will be holding elections at our final meeting of the year for officer positions in the upcoming year. We welcome everyone to nominate yourself for officer positions.

Please consult this spreadsheet and our website (and even our AGU abstract!) to familiarize yourself with the group and its activities. A few things to keep in mind:
  • Don’t hesitate to reach out to current officers if you have questions about the position
  • We welcome all gender identities and grad years for these positions, and you need not have been a member of AWG this year to get involved next year
  • Academic job postings increasingly ask applicants to provide evidence that they work toward diversity and inclusion in their field, and our organization is dedicated to that. As an AWG officer YOU have the ability to plan events and spend $$$ to make your vision a reality!!
We will hold a virtual meeting and virtual elections TOMORROW:  Thursday April 30th at 4PM.
~For privacy concerns, please send a message via email (, facebook, or twitter if you need the Zoom link~
We hope that everyone is safe in this time.

Ceramic Paint Night at 2000 Degrees

The Association of Women Geoscientists is hosting a ceramic paint night at 2000 Degrees on Wednesday, March 4th at 7pm, open to members, mentees and friends! Have a creative, relaxing night with snacks, drinks and painting. AWG mentor/mentee pairs get priority signups, and we’re covering the studio fees for the first 15 registrants.
We hope to see you there! Sign up with the following Google Form.

PSU AWG presents poster at the American Geophysical Union

The PSU AWG group presented a poster at the American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco, CA.  We had a great time talking about the work that our chapter has been doing and meeting with other groups that promote diversity, inclusion, equity, and access.


Student led organizations as a mechanism for improving department culture

Poster:   AWG_AGU_2019


The Penn State University student chapter of the Association for Women Geoscientists (AWG), an international organization devoted to enhancing the experience of women geoscientists, was founded in 2012. The PSU AWG chapter established programs that broaden access to knowledge required to succeed in academia and industry, support underrepresented groups in the field, and facilitate communication between students, faculty and industry. PSU AWG runs a student mentorship program, caters breakfasts with visiting speakers from underrepresented groups, fundraises for field camp students, and provides outreach to the public. Each facet of our organization serves unmet or underserved needs in our community, and has acted as a catalyst for change in the department.

The mentor program pairs undergraduates (24 students for 2018-19) with graduate student mentors to provide advice on academic and career options. Breakfast meetings with visiting speakers facilitate candid discussions on work-life balance and navigating careers from a variety of perspectives. AWG-led department lunches have fostered discussions on issues in academia, including mental health, accessibility, and impostor syndrome. Scholarship fundraising began in 2013 to target the financial burden of PSU’s required undergraduate field camp on female and underrepresented students. AWG awards multiple scholarships annually which totaled $3,250 in 2019. In addition to participating in outreach sponsored by community groups, AWG has hosted their own events. Most notably, programs surrounding the visiting Bearded Lady Project exhibit brought 130 secondary school girls from across the state to PSU for activities exposing them to the geosciences.

By encouraging participation in the department, the chapter implements student-designed and student-run programs to benefit the broader community. The organization has emerged as a key interface between administrators and students, working with faculty to co-sponsor programming aimed at student mental health and advocating diversity and inclusion in the geosciences. Active student participation and discussion, paired with forward-thinking department faculty and administrators, have increased efforts to create a more inclusive environment in geosciences.

The 1st Annual AWG PIE BAKE OFF

Introducing the first annual AWG ~PIE BAKE OFF~


Pie bake off flier

This is a fundraiser and social event to help support the AWG field camp scholarship. It will take place on Friday, November 15th at 6PM at the Marone/Richardson residence.

Like cooking? Pay 5$ to enter a pie to compete. Like eating? Pay 5$ to taste and judge the entries. We’ll provide pizza pies for additional sustenance throughout the evening. Sweet and savory pies are both accepted.

Not into eating/baking, but want to donate money AND pie a professor in the face? Enter the raffle for a chance to pie faculty in the face! (There are at least 8 faculty signed up, including our own ~Dean Lee Kump~)

Have gently used field gear that you want to donate? Bring it along! Need AWG merchandise? We’ve got that too!

~get hyped, and practice your pie baking/throwing~

Brown Bag Lunch, Wednesday October 16th at 12 PM

We would like to invite you to another AWG-hosted brown bag lunch discussion on Wednesday (10/16) at 12pm in Deike 541. Julia Carr will lead a discussion on accessibility in the geosciences, particularly with regards to issues surrounding invisible illnesses.

To focus the discussion, we have selected a few articles that show lived experiences in the geosciences with suggestions for improvement. First, two blog posts written by Gabi Seratto Marks, a Ph.D. student in geoscience at MIT, which relate her experiences attending conferences while chronically ill and her advice for future conference organizers. In addition, we will discuss a blog post by Dr. Anita Marshall about her experience navigating field science after a near-fatal injury.

We hope to use these posts to launch our discussion around accessibility in our daily lives as geoscientists from the classroom to traveling for field trips, conferences, and more, and thinking about different ways we can incorporate accessibility best practices into our teaching and work.

Hope to see you there!

Conferencing while chronically ill:

How to make professional conferences more accessible for disabled people, by Gabi Seratto Marks:


Moving forward: Overcoming our ideas about disability in the Geosciences, by Dr. Anita Marshall: