EGGS Student Activities


EGGS Student Activities

Students who take advantage of all the available activities in the Department of Environmental, Geographical, and Geological Sciences can keep pretty busy! Our majors can be active in department student groups, the honor society, student research, going to professional conferences, volunteer opportunities, and Boot Camp, to name just a few possibilities.

Click below to find out more:

MaPERs: Maps, Plans, Environment, and Rocks Society

When we restructured the department, we joined our two specialties: Geography and Geosciences, and the student groups did the same. Two groups, the Bloomsburg University Geological Society (BUGS) and the Geography and Planning Society (GPS) became one: BUGS and GPS are dead, long live MaPERS!

What does MaPERs do?

  • MaPERs helps friends of Kocher Park and the Columbia County Conservation District with the Spring and Fall clean-ups at Kocher Park
  • MaPERs organized with the Green Campus Initiative to install "no dumping - drains to river" plaques on campus-area storm drains and help reduce the amount of pollution being swept into Fishing Creek and the Susquehanna River.
  • MaPERS members run tutoring sessions for introductory and some mid- level courses.
  • MaPERs has organized a departmental cell phone reuse/environmentally sound recycling program.
  • Monthly to biweekly meetings are usually held in the evenings in room B40 Hartline Science Center.
  • Check the MaPERs Bulletin Board outside of B38 HSC for more information on current meetings, events, and opportunities

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    GTU: Gamma Theta Upsilon, the International Geographic Honor Society

    Dr. Brunskill congratulates Kyle Postupack

    RIGHT: Dr. Brunskill congratulates Geography and Planning major Kyle Postupack on his induction into GTU as a crowd of admiring EGGS faculty look on.

    If you have completed a minimum of 3 geography courses, have a GPA of at least 3.3 overall and in geography, and have completed at least 3 semesters or 5 quarters of college course work, then you could become a member of the fourth oldest Gamma Theta Upsilon chapter in the United States! The Delta Chapter of GTU was formed at Bloomsburg University in 1931!

    Some benefits of GTU membership:

    • It looks great on a resume!
    • You can apply for one of four undergraduate scholarships available only to GTU members.
    • You can apply for a GTU/AAG (American Association of Geographers) travel grant to help fund your travel to the Annual AAG meeting where you can present your work!

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    Student Research

    Sarah and Al on the Susquehanna

    RIGHT: Pondering the possible sources of heavy metals in soil and the Susquehanna River.

    Doing research as a student is a great way to:

    • learn to think critically
    • improve your problem solving skills
    • work successfully as part of a team
    • build your proficiency with different technologies/instruments/software programs
    • develop your communication skills, and set yourself apart from the crowd
    • Notice that each of these benefits could be very useful in your future career!

    EGGS students may do research for course credit (EGGS 475 - Independent Study or EGGS 493 - Research in Environmental, Geographical, and Geological Sciences), for pure enjoyment of science, for building your resume, and/or (if grant funding is available) for money.

    Students in the Department of Environmental, Geographical, and Geological Sciences do research in a variety of settings:

    • Course-embedded research is research you do that is built into a particular course. EGGS courses that use course-embedded research include EGGS 460 - Aqueous Geochemistry, and EGGS 361 - Principles of GIS II. Students in these courses often develop their project into a presentation given at a professional conference, such as Northeastern Section Meeting of the Geological Society of America, or the American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting.
    • Some students do research on faculty-run or faculty-inspired projects. This work can be done during the semester or over the summer, or both, if you get really interested in what you are doing!
    • You may be inspired to develop your own research project! If so, working with a faculty mentor, you may propose that your work be completed as:
    a research project for credit (ex: EGGS 493)
    a project funded by an Undergraduate Research, Scholarly, and Creative Activity (URSCA), through the Bloomsburg University URSCA program
    a project funded by the Jessica Kozloff Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Grant, which was established to "enhance the undergraduate experience and to encourage collaborative research between undergraduate students and a faculty mentor".
    • EGGS students have successfully completed research projects following all of these paths.

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    Attending Conferences of Professional Organizations

    Liz and Steph poster

    RIGHT: Liz Chamuris and Stephanie McGilloway getting ready to present their work on Fishing Creek at the Northeastern Section meeting of the Geological Society of America

    Whether or not you have research to present, you should try to attend at least one conference of a professional organization (American Association of Geographers (AAG), American Geophysical Union (AGU), Geological Society of America (GSA), Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI), for example).

    Attending conferences allows you to hear about cutting edge science, find out more about careers in your specialty, network with faculty and students at potential graduate schools, and get excited about what you do!

    If you've been working on a research project, you may also get the experience of presenting your results to a scientific audience in either a poster presentation (and we're not talking glue sticks and construction paper here - look at this or talk to interested students, faculty, and professionals, and getting your name and face out there.

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    Volunteer Opportunities

    Environmental, Geographical, and Geological Sciences majors volunteer their time to many organizations around our community.

    Here are some examples:

    Fall 2014 Kocher Park Cleanup

    RIGHT: Students from EGGS 100, the Honors Program, Helping Our Planet Earth (H.O.PE.), Bio Club, and members of Pi Lambda Phi pitch in to help faculty, community members, the Columbia County Conservation District, and Friends of Kocher Park with Fall maintenance in Lightstreet, PA.

    • Kocher Park is a community park created on property donated to the Columbia County Conservation District by Keith Kocher and Joan McCarty. The park lies just upstream of Bloomsburg along Fishing Creek. Since the record flood of Fall 2011, Bloomsburg University students have been helping to maintain the park.
    • EGGS students helped plant flowers, trees, and shrubs in the park in Fernville, PA
    • students helped with Hemlock Creek bank stabilization and rehabilitation project in Fall 2013
    • students volunteered to help with setup and takedown at the Susquehanna Greenways Partnership River Towns Workshop and got to hear a bunch of fantastic presentations about causes and non-structural solutions to flooding issues in the Susquehanna basin.
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      Boot Camp

      WilkesBarre levee stop

      RIGHT: EGGS Students and faculty from EGGS make a Boot Camp stop on the levees at Wilkes Barre, PA.

      Since Fall 2009, the Department of Environmental, Geographical, and Geological Sciences has been inviting incoming and returning students to come back to campus a couple of days early for Boot Camp.

      The two days of field trips and skill-building activities bring EGGS majors of all levels together. Students are introduced to each other as well the faculty. You get hands-on experience with useful tools, a chance to learn (or brush up on) basic field skills, practice looking at the world through a scientists’ eyes, and an opportunity to enjoy some of the amazing scenery and geology within a hour’s drive of Bloomsburg. It also gives faculty a chance to answer questions about the program, EGGS careers, and student’s future plans.

      The activities vary each year, some highlights include:

      • visiting the world famous Bear Valley Strip Mine
      • orienteering at Upper Campus, Town Park, Frances Slocum State Park
      • camping at Frances Slocum State Park
      • hiking waterfall trails at Rickett's Glen State Park
      • walking on and hearing about the history of the levees in Wilkes-Barre, PA (prior to the Fall 2011 Flood!)
      • hearing about the effects of flooding on Fernville, PA and about a student intern's work to help residents build a vision for the future.
      • cookouts at Dr. Venn's house

      We hope you'll be able to join us next year!

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      EGGS 330 - Special Topics in Field Geology

      Students at Death Valley sign

      RIGHT: EGGS 330 students at Death Valley National Park, California.

      Since Summer 2007, the Department of Environmental, Geographical, and Geological Sciences has occasionally run a two-week, immersive field-based course in which students can apply what they already know as well as develop their skills in observation and interpretation. With support from the Bloomsburg University Teaching and Learning Enhancement Center, these experimental courses have been formalized into EGGS 330 - Special Topics in Field Geology. In Summer 2014, a group of 13 students and three faculty traveled through Death Valley and Owens Valley, California, learning about intrusive and extrusive igneous rocks, faulting, water resources issues, and alluvial fans, to name just a few topics! Check out these Tumblrs on our 2014 trip, 2015 trip, and our 2016 trip.

      Upper-level students are welcome, but this course is open to all EGGS students who have completed the three core classes!

      The location will vary each year, previous trips include:

      • Appalachian Transect (Coastal plain to the Appalachian Plateau)
      • Death Valley and Owens Valley
      • Southern California - from the Coast to the High Desert
      • Great Lakes Environments

      Planned future trips include:

      • Return to Death Valley and Owens Valley
      • Florida - Geology, Ecology, and Environmental Issues
      • Great Parks of the Northern Rockies - Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier

      The cost for this course includes a fee to cover travel as well as normal tuition and fees. Please see your advisor to find out more about the next offering of this course.

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