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MSU Geology Club looks to engage with Minot community

Submitted Photo Nikita Neyshtadt, right, is president of the Minot State University Geology Club and his twin brother, Yoni Neyshtadt, is a member of the club. Both are from Toronto, Ontario. Nikita is a sophomore and Yoni is a junior at Minot State.

The Minot State University Geology Club has returned to the MSU campus after a hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the club’s goal this semester is to engage with the Minot community.

“When COVID hit, everything shut down,” said Nikita Neyshtadt, president of the Association of Undergraduate Geologists in Industry, Technology, and Education (AUGITE) Geology Club. “It’s taken a while to get back to where we were.”

The previous president, who graduated last year, was approached by professors in the department who encouraged him to start the club back up again after COVID-19, Neyshtadt said.

“They had been fundraising and collecting funds for community outreach events and thought it was a good idea to start using that,” he said.

This semester the club plans to set up a speaker series, inviting local and national speakers to campus to lecture on many topics related to geology.

“Our main goal is to share what we love about geology with the community, but it’s not just about geology,” Neyshtadt said. “We want to excite and motivate people about schooling and education in general, and inviting speakers to campus is one way we can do that.”

After hearing a few guest lectures the year previous, including the Army Corps of Engineers, the club decided this is something they could open up to the MSU campus and community.

“The series begins on Feb. 16 here in the Cyril Moore Science building on Campus in Room 16,” said Neyshtadt. “Our first speaker will be John Paul, the director of the Bismark office of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA). He will cover who the NOAA are, what they do and discuss spring weather outlook, like flood risk and drought update.

“We will have a week-long series in May, where we will invite two speakers with experience in excavation and archaeology, and one speaker, a Minot native, whose team was responsible for discovering the lost city of pyramids,” Neyshtadt added.

Geology may seem like a very niche topic, and one that could be considered a more difficult major by some university students, but according to the Geology Club, geology is for everyone.

“Enrollment in geology is pretty low, and I think that it could be because we don’t really learn a whole lot about it in high school, so it’s hard to know what your future in geology could be,” Neyshtadt said. “Throughout this year and next, we plan to reach out to local high schools in order to get them on campus to see how cool being a geology major can be. We’d love to see more geologists on campus in the next few years.”

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