Sigma Gamma Epsilon

Sigma Gamma Epsilon is the National Honor Society for the Earth Sciences. Sigma Gamma Epsilon was established to recognize scholarship and professionalism in the Earth Sciences. Its objectives include the scholastic, scientific, and professional 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 Cornell chapter, the Beta Pi chapter, has quite an interesting history. It was installed February 7, 1957. Beta Pi was the first SGE chapter established in the state of Iowa, and in fact, the Cornell Chapter officiated at the installation of the University of Iowa chapter. In the mid-1960's the chapter became inactive due to the controversy over whether women should be admitted to the society. By 1968, the amendment to allow women membership into the society had passed, and Cornell looked into re-activating their membership. They did not reactivate at that time. In 2008, a geology major (Kelsey Feser, currently a Visiting Assistant Professor in the department) researched the honor society and got the Beta Pi chapter reactivated. James Walters, the SGE President, came from UNI for the re-activation and initiation ceremony of the first modern class of initiates in May, 2009.

Requirements for admission to the Beta Pi chapter of Sigma Gamma Epsilon:

1. Major GPA of 3.2.

2. Having completed 5 OCAAT courses within the major.

3. Having completed 3 service/outreach projects for the department.

These projects can be self-designed but must be sanctioned by department faculty before being carried out. These do not need to be large or particularly time-consuming projects but must yield some benefit to the department.

(Some examples might include: working with the Mount Vernon school system or local boy scout or girl scout troops to run tours through the Norton museum; creating a new, meaningful script for the SGE initiation; working with the Geology club to put on demonstration or display on the OC, etc.)