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The Princeton University Geosciences Society (PUGS)

The Princeton University Geosciences Society (PUGS) is a student organization founded in 2011 dedicated to promoting excitement about and awareness of Geology and Earth Sciences at Princeton University.

Our Mission

We aim to foster a sense of community amongst undergraduates interested in the Geosciences by organizing exciting and engaging group trips to museums and field localities locally and around the world; hosting fun Earth Science centered events such as study breaks, dinners, and speakers; providing information about and access to unique academic and professional career opportunities.

CONNECT: PUGS Alumni Talks

On December 1, 2017 PUGS CONNECT held its first Alumni Talk at Guyot Hall.  Their guests were Naomi Levine from the University of Southern California with a presentation titled "New Insight into ocean carbon cycling by embracing the challenge of scales" and Rachel Zwillinger from Stanford University presenting her talk on "Integrating science, law, and policy my path from geosciences to wildlife conservation law."

Pictured below starting with Rachel Zwillinger from Stanford University, then PUGS coordinator Hannah Tandy ’18 introducing guests, followed by Naomi Levine and her presentation.  Photos by Hannah Tandy

Past Trips

AMNH: The Princeton Undergraduate Geosciences Society (PUGS) sponsored a day trip to the American Museum of Natural History. The AMNH, located in New York City, is  one of the world’s most celebrated scientific and cultural museums. On this trip, PUGS explored world-class exhibits featuring over 32 million specimens and artifacts—from dinosaur fossils and meteorites to thundering elephants and ammonites. The centerpiece of the trip was a private tour with the head curator of the Minerals and Gems collection, Princeton graduate Dr. George Harlow ’71. Dr. Harlow took the group for a “behind-the-scenes” tour of the minerals and gems portion of AMNH. PUGS had the amazing privilege  to examine recent acquisitions that are currently not on public display, as well as the opportunity to sneak-a-peek at the rock and mineral research laboratories.

Franklin and Sterling Hill Mining Museum: Located in Ogdensburg, NJ, these mines are home to a world-famous mineral deposit due to fluorescence. There is no other place like it on Earth, quite literally. Come take a look at an amazing fluorescing mineral collection, explore a mine, and scavenge for some precious rock samples yourselves!

Basic Field Camp 101:
Want to experience what conducting geologic fieldwork is like? Don't know what a Brunton is? Have no clue what to do when it comes to mapping? Have no fear! Three graduate students in the Department of Geosciences are willing to take you under their wing and show you the lay of the land. Take a day-trip to a local field site and learn strategies for conducting geologic field work, how to measure a stratigraphic section, and everything there is to know about your trusty compass. A 100- and/or 200-level GEO course is preferred, but not necessary.

Bad Geosciences Movie Nights:
Let's face it, the science portrayed in most famous Hollywood blockbuster movies are complete fantasy. Entertaining fantasy, but nonetheless, fantasy. PUGS is planning on hosting a series of movie nights dedicated to watching awful science-based movies like "The Core", "2012", "The Day After Tomorrow," and much more. (So by 'awful' we really mean 'awesome'.). The highlight of these movie nights will not be the free food and entertainment, but rather the informative discussion held after. PUGS plans on having a professor from the Department of Geosciences come talk to us about the "bad geoscience" portrayed in the movie, and what would actually happen given the environmental circumstances presented.

Careers in Geosciences Information Sessions: Meet professionals from the oil industry, environmental consulting firms, the United States Geological Survey, and many other geosciences-related corporations.

Civic outreach program: Come teach local elementary and middle school students everything there is to know about Earth science—like how volcanoes work, the facts about climate change, how clouds form, and the rock cycle.