Gamma Theta Upsilon

Gamma Theta Upsilon, an Honor Society for Geographers

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Gamma Theta Upsilon (GTU) is an honor society for students and scholars of geography. Academic institutions with geography departments across North America have active GTU chapters. Members must meet scholastic requirements in order to be initiated into the society. Chapters often hold geography-themed outreach activities and events. Benefits of membership include access to scholarships and academic research.

History of Gamma Theta Upsilon

Insignia of Gamma Theta Upsilon

Goals of Gamma Theta Upsilon

1. To further professional interest in geography by affording a common organization for those interested in the field.
2. To strengthen student and professional training through academic experiences in addition to those of the classroom and laboratory.
3. To advance the status of geography as a cultural and practical discipline for study and investigation.
4. To encourage student research of high quality and to promote an outlet for publication.
5. To create and administer funds for furthering graduate study and/or research in the field of geography.
6. To encourage members to apply geographic knowledge and skills in service to humankind.

Gamma Theta Upsilon Organization

Within the organization, GTU appoints a National Executive Committee. Roles include a President, First Vice President, Second Vice President, Immediate Past President, Executive Secretary, Recording Secretary, Comptroller, and Historian. Typically, these roles are held by faculty who often advise their university's chapter. Students are also elected to GTU's National Executive Committee as Senior and Junior Student Representatives. Omega Omega, the alumni chapter for GTU members, also has a representative. Additionally, the editor of The Geographical Bulletin serves as a member of the National Executive Committee.

The GTU leadership board convenes twice per year; first at the annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers, second at the National Council for Geographic Education's annual meeting. At this time, board members discuss procedures for the upcoming months including scholarship distribution, fees, and developing the organization's strategic plan.

Eligibility for Membership in Gamma Theta Upsilon

Initiation Into Gamma Theta Upsilon

Chapters of Gamma Theta Upsilon

Roles held within each chapter can differ, although most organizations have a President and a faculty advisor. Other important roles include the Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary. Some chapters elect a Historian to document important motions and events. Additionally, Social and Fundraising Officers may be elected.

Many GTU chapters hold weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly meetings where current projects, budgets, and academic research are discussed. The usual structure of a meeting varies from chapter to chapter. Typically, the meeting will be run by the chapter's President and overseen by a faculty advisor. Updates from the treasurer regarding funding are a regular facet. Meetings must be held once per year, in accordance with GTU guidelines.

GTU sponsors an alumni chapter, Omega Omega. This chapter covers all alumni members, worldwide. Membership fees range from $10 for one year to $400 for a lifetime. Omega Omega members receive a newsletter especially tailored toward alumni activities and news, as well as The Geographical Bulletin.

Gamma Theta Upsilon Chapter Activities

Participating in service activities is an important part of GTU's mission. For example, the Kappa chapter at the University of Kentucky has a monthly tradition of volunteering at a local soup kitchen. The Chi chapter at Oklahoma State University purchased Christmas gifts for underprivileged children. The University of Southern Mississippi's Iota Alpha chapter volunteered to collect litter at nearby Ship Island and Black Creek.

Field trips, often themed around recreational geography, are a common activity among GTU chapters. At St. Cloud State University, the Kappa Lambda chapter of GTU sponsored a kayak and camping trip to the Apostle Islands. The Delta Lambda chapter at the University of South Alabama organized a canoe trip via the Styx River. North Michigan University's Eta Chi chapter led a sunset hike to overlook Lake Michigan as a study break for members.

In an effort to spread geographical knowledge, many chapters invite a speaker to cover current events or host a research seminar related to the discipline. These events, hosted by GTU chapters, are typically open to the entire campus community. Mississippi State University's Mu Eta planned a Geoscience Student Symposium which featured students presenting their research via paper and poster sessions. At California State University - San Bernardino, the GTU chapter sponsored talks from faculty and a visiting speaker in conjunction with the internationally recognized Geography Awareness Week.

Gamma Theta Upsilon Publications

The Geographical Bulletin

Gamma Theta Upsilon Scholarships

Gamma Theta Upsilon Partnerships

Gamma Theta Upsilon works in cooperation with two like-minded organizations to promote the field of geography as a whole; GTU is active at the annual meetings of The Association of American Geographers and the National Council for Geographic Education. At these meetings, GTU members attend research sessions, banquets, and social events. Additionally, GTU is a member of the Association of College Honor Societies, which sets standards for honor society excellence.