Rowan GEO Club: The Year in Review

Rowan GEO Club: The Year in Review

Rowan GEO Club: The Year in Review

The 2022-23 academic year saw the Rowan GEO Club - the only umbrella student organization for the entire School of Earth & Environment - grow tremendously by engaging more students and faculty than ever before. We began by attracting some 60 students to our kickoff meeting this past September in Discovery Hall. With excitement levels at an all-time high, the Club’s E-Board met the challenge with an array of activities, events and guest speakers that continued right through (and beyond) graduation week in May of 2023.

That Executive Board, which included Madelyn Palmentieri as President, Joe Deckhut as Vice President, Emily Arasim as Senator, Aarushi Gupta as Secretary, and Mazie Mulford as Treasurer, was part and parcel of everything the Club accomplished this past year.Winners of GEO Club’s first OrienteeringPalooza event!

Our biweekly meetings continued to attract large crowds, in no small part due to the amazing guest speakers who visited us and inspired us in 2022-23 with their stories, their research and their passions. Highlighting this list of speakers was the Dean of the School of Earth & Environment, Dr. Kenneth Lacovara, who spoke to the Club on April 5th and enchanted the audience with tales of discovery and perseverance. GEO Club looks forward to being frequent visitors and contributors to the Edelman Fossil Park Museum when it opens in Spring of 2024.

Among the other guests who spoke to the Club this past year were Amy Barraclough, Director of the Edelman Planetarium, who took us on a journey to the Red Planet, Dr. Gerry Rustic of the Geology Department, as well as Dr. John Hasse and Dr. Ashley York from Geography, Planning and Sustainability. Ashley brought our meetings to a close for the year with incredible stories and photos from Kilimanjaro!Rowan GEO Club at The Pinnacle overlook in Pennsylvania, November 2022

The Club was very active beyond our biweekly meetings - taking hikes, searching for fossils, celebrating the seasons, and contributing service hours to the Rowan community. In October we enjoyed our first “OrienteeringPalooza” event! Conceived and organized by Club Secretary Aarushi Gupta, GEO Clubbers scoured the campus looking for clues to solve puzzles and return them to Discovery Hall, where food and music awaited. Jackie Ganter, Jon Hansel, Graham Luther and Mazie Mulford were the winning team!

Leading up to the holiday season, the Club’s final meeting for 2022 was a festive gathering where every attendee received a holiday gift (many of which were quickly traded among the attendees!). Earlier in the year, on Halloween weekend, some 50-60 Club members descended upon Oldman’s Creek Preserve at the invitation of GPS faculty member Christine Nolan for a very spooky night hike and costumed bonfire - that was memorable.

GEO Club member Scott Schmal inspects his gift at our 2022 holiday partyHiking has long been a trademark of the GEO Club, and the 2022-23 school year saw no shortage of opportunities for Club members. On an unseasonably warm day in November the Club traveled to The Pinnacle in Pennsylvania, long one of our favorite day hikes, providing unmatched views over the forest and farmlands of Central PA. Back in September we visited another GEO Club favorite, the Lemon Squeezer formation on the Appalachian Trail in southern New York. The strenuous hike was rewarded with a swim in scenic Island Pond!

Early in the Spring 2023 semester the Club traveled to Allamuchy State Park for hiking and prospecting under the guidance of Dr. Paul Ullmann and Dr. Kristyn Voegele from Geology. We all came home with samples of magnetite that chilly afternoon! Also on the docket for the coming weeks is the Mt. Tammany Trail at Delaware Water Gap, New Jersey.

Club members are excited about our second annual GEO Club backpacking adventure! Scheduled for May 19-21, faculty and students will explore the Dolly Sods Wilderness in West Virginia over the course of a long weekend, expanding the exploration horizons of first-timers and veteran hikers alike.The GEO Club visits Allamuchy State Park in March 2023

Service has always been at the heart of what GEO Club is about - service to our university, the wider community, and to each other. 2022-23 saw no shortage of service-related activities on the part of the Club. We began by collecting a record amount of food for donation to the University sponsored Thanksgiving Food Drive. During the spring semester, GEO Club members were active participants in the annual Back to the Boro service day. The Club had entrants into the 2023 Run for Rowan 5k, which raises money for Rowan’s first-generation students, and potted/sold plants to contribute to campus wellbeing.

GEO Club presented at the Pitman Community Earth Day Event in April 2023, and will be tabling at Scotland Run’s Water Fest event in June. Our many members are central to the accomplishments of each of our three departments here in the School of Earth & Environment.A beautiful day for a GEO Club hike at the Sourland Mountain Preserve in March 2023

As we look ahead to the 2023-24 academic year, the future is brighter than ever for the Rowan GEO Club. We will welcome Aarushi Gupta, keynote speaker at the School’s 2023 Commencement ceremony, as our new President this fall. Aarushi, along with the other returning and new E-Board members, will no doubt raise GEO Club to unforeseen heights. I personally can’t wait to see what they will achieve.



Rich Federman
Senior Lecturer
Rowan GEO Club Faculty Advisor
Department of Geography, Planning & Sustainability