Membership in Professional Societies

Opportunities exist for students to become members of professional societies. The advantages of this association are many. Once a graduate student accepts a research assistantship, that person is, in fact, a professional scientist because an assistantship is not a scholarship – one is paid for the performance of an investigation. Thus, one has the opportunity to associate with a professional organization. As a benefit of membership, each organization provides one or more journals and has a placement service for help in employment upon graduation. During one's graduate career, a student is encouraged to present papers or posters at the annual meetings and often only members are accorded this privilege. Similarly one must be a member to publish in the society journal, although only one of these authors on the paper needs to be a member. This policy varies with the society. Usually these are written using the format of a given professional journal in which the student is most likely to publish his/her results.

Several societies are appropriate to join. All have student membership fees that are much lower than full member fees. A few are listed below:

-American Association for the Advancement of Science

-American Geophysical Union

-American Meteorological Society

-American Society for Horticultural Sciences

-American Society for Microbiologists

-American Water Resources Association

-Clay Minerals Society

-Geochemical Society

-Geological Society of America

-International Soil Science Society (membership is available when joining the Soil Science Society of America)

-National Water Resources Association

-Soil Science Society of America (and its sister societies, American Society of Agronomy and Crop Science Society of America)

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