The Geography and Anthropology Undergraduate Society established itself as an official campus organization Monday at its first meeting of the semester.
Anthropology sophomore Ashlee Smith and history sophomore Connor Garrett started GAUS at the end of last year. They felt the need for undergraduate geography and anthropology majors to have an official group on campus, as there is already a graduate society.
Assistant professor of geography and anthropology and adviser Jill Trepanier said the opportunities for students are vast.
“Students will get direct access to internships, access to meetings for faculty research, certain access to conferences,” Trepanier said. “This society is an outlet for people interested in geography and anthropology.”
According to Trepanier, one of the main goals of GAUS is student participation in field schools.
Field schools are in depth lessons and hands-on experiences to specific subjects in geography and anthropology.
“Field schools could be about how to use meteorological equipment, how to participate in evacuation digs and how to create and administer surveys,” Trepanier said in an email.
Trepanier hopes to bring guest speakers from outside the University to speak to the society. Some of the speakers will include representatives from the National Weather Service, the Southern Regional Climate Center and the Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program. The latter two are located at, but not funded by the University.
Geography and anthropology junior and GAUS Treasurer Eugene Marinski said the group is a way to change the perception of anthropology and geography majors around campus.
“It’s more than just maps,” Marinski said.
GAUS members are looking to extend beyond the world of geography and anthropology, and into community involvement. Anthropology sophomore and GAUS Social Chair Annelise Bella wants to host days where GAUS will volunteer at soup kitchens and animal shelters, and organize litter clean-up around the Baton Rouge community.
Anthropology and women’s and gender studies junior and GAUS President Ray Siebenkittel said he hopes GAUS will be more than an academic group, and also become a social group.
GAUS will reign in the Mardi Gras spirit Feb. 8. Its members will march alongside the Geography and Anthropology Department krewe, Krewe Du Monde, in the Krewe of Southdowns Parade.