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February 25, 2013

Years ago, BSU had a thriving Earth Sciences Club that had many members and even attracted the attention of local corporations looking to hire new graduates in the field. Unfortunately, it was abandoned.
However, early last winter Darwin Werthessen ’14, with the help of Dr. Stephen Kaczmarek, assistant professor of geological sciences, started the BSU Geological Society. The club has 35 active members who attend weekly meetings in the Conant Science and Mathematics Building. Its main goals are to help students network with professionals in the industry, organize field trips to geological facilities and areas for fieldwork, and provide a support system for students in their studies.
“The Geological Society allows students a unique opportunity to look into the geological industry and become aware of what life may be like after graduation if they chose to go into the field,” said Mr. Werthessen, who is head of the club. “It also helps mesh students and faculty together to assist students with any questions that they may have about classes or even whether to continue on to graduate school or move on to the industry.”
Dr. Kaczmarek spoke about what he sees as the goals of the club. “We want to get students interacting in professional situations by promoting them to go to local and regional meetings and seminars,” he said. “Also we want it to be a support group where students can go to each other if they need help with their work.”
This semester, the club is hosting the spring 2013 lecture series, which brings in professionals from the field to share their knowledge and experience with students. The most recent speaker was Jonathan O’Brien of Tata & Howard, a local environmental engineering firm. Mr. O’Brien spoke to the attendees about the skills and qualities employers are seeking in graduates in the field.
The club looks to organize field trips that help students connect what they learn in the classroom to actual fieldwork. One of the more recent field trips was a tour of the U.S Geological Survey facility in Woods Hole.
The society uses fundraisers to help fund its field trips. Future plans for fundraisers include selling T-shirts and a partnership with a 99 Restaurant where 10 percent of the night’s proceeds go to the club.
For more information regarding the Geological Society contact Mr. Werthessen at

(Story by Shawn Finn ’13, Office of University Advancement)

(Left to Right) Jonathan O’Brien, guest speaker, and Dr. Stephen Kaczmarek, assistant professor of geological sciences
Jonathan O’Brien speaks about his a current project
( Left to Right) Dr. Kaczmarek and student Darwin Werthessen look over a sample