Welcome back to 2019

We will be hosting our first two events of 2019 on Tuesday, January 15th. Both events will be in Deike 541:


Breakfast with colloquium speaker Christine McCarthy 8-9 AM

All breakfasts include free bagels and coffee, and are a great way to learn about career trajectories, science, and life in the geosciences


General meeting at 5:15 PM

Hear about our plans for the semester, including panels, outreach, and some new SWAG!

AWG Brunton Award (UPDATED)

>> UPDATE!! Award deadline extended until January 1st, 2019 <<

The AWG Brunton Award promotes the future of field mapping and data acquisition for the upcoming generation of women geoscientists. The award will go to a female geoscience student at the senior level or in her early graduate studies who has been a summer intern, excelled at field camp, or performed field data collection that leads to a senior or graduate thesis. The award is funded by Brunton.

General Information:

  • The award is an engraved Brunton transit.
  • A one‐year membership is sponsored by AWG.
  • Application Deadline: November 15th


  • Performed field work an essential component of a senior thesis, summer internship, field camp, graduate thesis or other types of field projects
  • Have future plans to continue in the geosciences, with fieldwork as an integral part of graduate degree or career.
  • Promote the fundamental value and need for field‐based studies within the geoscience profession through project results, quality of work, and capabilities of applicant


  • Cover letter
  • Description of research project, internship, field camp experience, or summer field experience including a sample of work, which may include a report, map, photos, and/or model based on collected data (not to exceed 4 pages).
  • Statement of future interests and career goals as related to field work and/or resume
  • Letter of recommendation from the primary field mentor

Selection Committee:

The selection committee consists of AWG members with varied and significant field experience, who are committed to promoting field data acquisition methodologies among geoscience students – our future professional geoscientists.


Send application via email to office@awg.org

Please note ‘Brunton Award’ in the subject line


Flyer attached below

AWG Brunton Award pdf-1mwktsf

The Bearded Lady Project screening

The Bearded Lady Project documentary screening poster

Join us on Sunday, September 23, 2018 for a screening of The Bearded Lady Project in 22 Deike Building from 1:30-3:30 pm.

This screening will include a presentation by Dr. Ellen Currano, co-creator of the film, which will be followed by a panel Q&A with Dr. Currano and five female PSU STEM faculty.

Faculty panelists (with their research interests indicated) include:

  • Liz Hajek– PSU Geosciences
    Uses the stratigraphic record to reconstruct past landscape conditions on Earth. Focuses on learning about internal (autogenic*) variability that occurs in different sedimentary environments and understanding how Earth’s surface responds to change.
  • Kate Freeman– PSU Geosciences
    studies fossil molecules and their stable isotopes. Interested in ancient climate, the carbon cycle, microbial biogeochemistry and the signatures of life on Earth and beyond.
  • Jenn Baka– PSU Geography
    Energy geographer interested in understanding the interconnected political and biophysical processes shaping and shaped by systems of energy provision
  • Kristina Douglass– PSU Anthropology
    An archaeologist, whose current work investigates human-environment interaction in Madagascar.
  • Parisa Shokouhi– PSU Civil engineering
    Infrastructure sustainability, non-destructive evaluation of civil infrastructure, multi-scale non-destructive testing (NDT) of construction materials


And be sure to see our previous post for ways to get involved with the project!

2018/2019 Mentor-Mentee Program

The AWG mentor-mentee program pairs  undergraduate and graduate students in order to build relationships and provide a resource for advice on internships, finding research opportunities, applying to graduate school, career options, and more. AWG will subsidize the cost for each mentor/mentee pair to go out for a coffee break or lunch once a month.  Undergraduate and graduate students, females and males are all encouraged to participate.


AWG will be hosting its annual match-up dinner this Thursday, September 13th from 5:30 – 7:00pm, in the EMS museum (ground floor of Deike Building).  Chipotle will be provided, come hang out and meet potential mentors or mentees!


If you are unable to attend the dinner, you may sign up to be paired with a mentor or mentee below, by SEPTEMBER 20th.

For undergrads looking for a graduate mentor, click here!

For graduate students looking to be a mentor, click here!



AWG Officers



Bearded Ladies Project


PSU AWG is excited to announce that the Bearded Lady Project is coming to the Earth and Mineral Sciences Museum & Art Gallery this fall (October-February)!

Ellen Currano, a Penn State alum, is leading the charge to challenge the face of science through this traveling portrait exhibit and short documentary film. Watch the trailer or visit the website to learn more about the project. Get excited about coming events here on campus that AWG is planning and promoting, like the documentary screening and panel event on September 23, where creators Ellen Currano and Lexi Marsh will be here to discuss the film with us!


Better yet, create your own images or short video to challenge the face of PSU science–see detailed information below including an opportunity to be invited to the invitation-only opening event!

The New York Time recently published an article, “Women Making Science Videos on YouTube Face Hostile Comments.” The article concluded, “If you have diverse voices, you’ll reach more diverse audiences,” Ms. Amarasekara said. “If you want to reach more people, you need people who speak to them.”

If you would like to be one of the diverse voices speaking, submit your videos to the Bearded Lady Exhibit at Penn State and be included in the opportunity to be invited to the invitation-only opening event. We have simplified our request to submittals of videos any length between 30 seconds and 150 seconds. See below for more information.

The EMS Museum & Art Gallery would like to collect short videos and images of women in science to accompany the upcoming Bearded Ladies exhibit and kick-off the new EMS Museum & Art Gallery website. All Penn State women of science are invited to participate, from students to established professionals. This is a great time of year while we are all out-and-about doing our research in the field, museums, and labs to capture images and video of ourselves in action. Five short videos will be selected by committee and those women will be invited to the invitation-only premiere of the Bearded Ladies exhibit! Please direct any questions to Claire Cleveland (czc5669@psu.edu) or Gabi Rossetto (gur53@psu.edu).

Images (submit by September 28, 2018)
We are looking for images of you participating in science. Field images are especially powerful as well as images in the lab or the museum. Images depicting all aspects of being a woman in science help young women envision the many different lifestyles we lead. We have partners, families, and do non-science activities too!
Step 1: submit images
Step 2: complete image supplemental information

Videos (submit by September 28, 2018)
We are looking for short videos of your experience as a scientist. Videos can be 30 seconds to 2.5 minutes in length. Be sure to include your first and last name, what type of science you do, your location, and what makes you excited about being a scientist. To see what we are looking for, check out Gabi’s example video in the video folder. When making your video be sure that your audience can hear you clearly–be aware of background noises or wind that might detract from sound-quality. Review your video before you leave location just in case you want to make a change.
Step 1: submit video
Step 2: complete video supplemental information


Lab Girl lunch discussion Oct 18

AWG’s next lunch discussion 
Lab Girl and Other Writings on Anxiety and Mental Health in Academia” 
will be held
Weds, Oct. 18 from 12-1 pm in Deike 541
Discussion will be led by Joanmarie Del Vecchio and Prof. Liz Hajek
For this lunch discussion we encourage you to do a little background reading for insight into the challenges some of your students, classmates and colleagues may face.
Excepts from Hope Jahren’s Lab Girl can be downloaded here.
Chronicle of Higher Ed articles on students with mental health struggles and anxiety more generally.
A beloved internet cartoonist takes on depression in parts 1 and 2.
In addition to the readings, here are a few resources for students on campus:
This campus group has a lot of helpful resources:
Info/program about suicide prevention:
And CAPS, of course:

Accessibility in the Geosciences Lunch Discussion

AWG hosted students, faculty and staff for a discussion on accessibility in the geosciences. Associate Professor of Geoscience Peter LaFemina presented his ongoing work collaborating with Associate Professor of Geography Alex Klippel, his lab and the Teaching and Learning with Technology office on creating virtual-reality field trips.
For online resources related to this discussion, visit these webpages:
Teaching and Learning with Technology http://tlt.psu.edu/
ChoroPhronesis, Alex Klippel’s virtual reality lab page on geoscience applications https://sites.psu.edu/immersivegeosciences/
Penn State Student Disability Resourceshttp://equity.psu.edu/student-disability-resources


The International Association for Geoscience Diversity – “Ending the Awkward” entryhttp://www.theiagd.org/resources/ending-the-awkard/

Earth Magazine – “Geology for everyone: making the field accessible” article https://www.earthmagazine.org/article/geology-everyone-making-field-accessible


YoutTube video – Immersive Virtual Reality for Thrihnukagigur Volcano in Icelandhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3RCsEQys_sE

Associate Professor Peter LaFemina website: http://poe.geosc.psu.edu/people/lafemina

Stay tuned for our next discussion on October 18th 12-1 pm (location TBA)

Status of women in academics report

We had breakfast this week with Dr. Kate Freeman, who chaired a committee to report on the status of women in faculty positions in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. Kate shared the committee’s findings with us and led discussion on the meaning of these results.

Summary: there is a lot that EMS is doing well in terms of numbers of female representation, but there is definite room for improvement in workplace culture to reduce feelings of isolation in both women and men.

You can take a look at the full report here (will download a pdf).

There was also some discussion about conducting a similar survey amongst geoscience grad students and postdocs. More later on the status of that!

January Meeting Notes

Since the last meeting….


Shake Rattle and Rocks > one of the teachers was really impressed by the women scientist turnout. Way to be great role models guys!!!


Beth suggested that send emails to the entire department for general meeting emails, we will do that from now on but other events via listserv. Add sentence that says how to join the listserv.


Let Allison know if you want to be on the listserv amk6331@psu.edu


Update from Claire:


Art Class feedback from last semester attendees would recommend it to other and the fact that AWG funded it was really important to people and attendees wanted to take it again.


For spring semester claire is sending around a questionnaire to tailor the course for what people want.


Museum is looking for people to volunteer to museum tours

Also there is an opportunity to help during a sand table workshop in feb

There is an event in april that they are looking for volunteers

May be more opportunities at the museum and there will potentially be a housekeeping day to reevaluate grad student and museum relationship.


Gabby Outreach and brainstorm


This semester we are going to try and focus on older students outside of the state college area


Contacting girl scout troops


AAUW > active with Middle school students and they have a series out outreach events on Thursdays > they need volunteers so Gabby will give details for those that want to sign up

From 3:30-5p

STEM related activity

St. Nittany Middle School


If have ideas send gabby an email


Liz and Cecilia: Northeastern/North Central GSA Meeting


Focused on energy but lots of sessions

We are responsible for running the AWG booth, requires that we have someone there are all times and two people that need to get the badges


Everything but food and 75% of transport is covered


Buffs are here!


Cost $10 each for purchase

Encourage friends to buy them!

We will sell them at the Chill and Spill tomorrow


T-shirt design


Female Atlas design


How does the club feel about the nudity > email offices if you have a concern


Continents and a quote from a female scientist on the globe


Send Virginia a quote if you have an idea but we have a good one from Marie Curie but it is really long


Virginia will send out an email with the quotes so that people can vote. Also for the color of the t-shirts




Let her know your votes by Friday!



Maureen wants AWG to participate in high school recruitment but we are not sure what yet. Beth Ann will be in charge


Pre-Field Camp Field Trip

To get people acclimated to camping and general outdoor stuff


Fun camping social with advice for future field campers and to answer questions


Advice: go to a good outdoor store and get them to set up the equipment for you to try


Need to figure it out within the next month so that Shelby can reimburse


Link to AWG google calendar



Chili Cookoff

Will be in March

Graduate only event

Raises funds for our Field Camp scholarships so undergrads should apply for the scholarship in March.


Breakfast with Colloquium speakers

First is February 7th


Beth will give the next chalk talk


Writing Group

Wednesdays 5-7p writing group

Productive hours to write together

Everyone supporting each other to write

Starting next wednesday January 25th


Undergraduate Thesis Deadline

Have something due every two weeks


Hidden Figures and Michael Mann are both tonight so go do something cool and sciency


November Meeting Notes

-Email suggestions for our club to awg.psu@gmail.com
-If not on the listserv let Allison (amk6331@psu.edu) know! Emails for event reminders and updates

Events that took place last month
-Discovery Space > kids really liked the stream table, earthquakes weren’t really a hit with the preschool audience
-Cosmic carnival > natural resource activity went well for less than second grade kids

-Speaker breakfasts are going really well

-Mixer went well and was a lot of fun!
-one a semester

-Lunch Discussions: Bias in recommendations and Imposter Syndrome
-Came up with a list of imposter syndrome things to bring up at the grad student meeting
-Peer resources
-Gong to celebrate little accomplishments
-Q&A with faculty/ shadow CVs
-Let Joanmarie know if you have any ideas for lunch topics for next semester
-After we sent out the letter on bias the faculty had a meeting specifically about it

-WeAreforScience > new coalition
-Group listservs will be set up soon!
-Voices for Democracy Event tomorrow in response to Breitbart Speaker > we have been invited to speak at the event
-Talk to Helen and Virginia about any ideas

-Writing Club
-Undergrads supposed to come in about personal statement, but it ended up being writing time for grad students and personal statements
-Support at Grad Student lunch, department will pay for food
-Invite post-docs to give feedback

Updates on Future Events
-Received a grant from the AWG foundation to provide 2 field camp scholarships!
-AWG has been really good about giving us money so share your ideas so that we can ask for money in advance

-Northeast Section Meeting for GSA in March > AWG will man the AWG booth
-AWG will give us money for registration fees
-March 19th through 21st
-15 people interested in going