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Sigma Gamma Epsilon was established to recognize scholarship and professionalism in the Earth Sciences. It has for its' objectives the scholastic and scientific advancement of its' members and the extension of relations of friendship and assistance among colleges and universities which are devoted to the advancement of the Earth Sciences.
The Society was founded on March 30, 1915 at the University of Kansas. Nearly 120 chapters throughout the United States have been installed since 1915. Government of the Society is by student members and the ulimate legislative authority is vested in a National Convention held every two years. It is composed of one student delegate from each chapter and the seven national officers who are faculty members.
Any person in any branch of the Earth Sciences who has completed at least 11 semester hours or 18 quarter hours in Earth Science courses and has maintained a minimum 3.0 GPA (on a 4.0 system) in all Earth Science courses together with an overall GPA of 2.67 in all college courses is qualified for membership. If you qualify and wish to apply, you need only inform any officer of your chapter who will propose you for membership at a regular meeting. A majority vote is required by the chapter members on your application to approve it. The vote is taken to assure that in the eyes of the members you have demonstrated your interest in the profession by participation in your department's activities.
Membership in Sigma Gamma Epsilon or a listing of it on a resume (or the wearing of a member's key or pin) tells a prospective employer or a colleague that you are at least a "B: average student and that in the eyes of your peers you are professionally motivated. Members serve their departments in a number of ways, such as organizing field trips, tutoring, arranging displays, etc. Many chapters have money-raising activities to obtain funds to use for scholarships, awards, or to purchase items needed for student use which the department cannot afford. Membership also includes subscription to a professional journal, The Compass.
A one-time initiation fee of $25.00 is charged. This initiation fee is placed in a fund used to defray the costs of the National Convention. Once you are initiated, you are always a member of the Society; however, while you are a student, you pay annual National dues of $15.00, plus local chapter dues of $4.00 per year. These annual dues pay for the publication of the four issues of The Compass that you will receive each year. The Compass contains student papers and articles by practicing earth scientists in addition to news and notes about the Society. No page or plate charges are assessed to students who publish in The Compass. After leaving school, you may become an Active Alumni Member and continue to receive The Compass by payment of $15.00 per year to the National office.