When she was President of AAPG in 2000–2001, Robbie Gries, on a speaking tour in Indonesia, met with eager AAPG student chapter members from Trisakti University and six other Indonesian universities who had travelled far to hear her lecture and also to help with the AAPG International conference in Bali. Gries states, “I had been to universities in Africa, Eastern Europe and Latin America whose libraries were the size of a WC and publications had to be locked away from students and professors alike, as they were so precious.” Recognising that these students shared a worldwide demand for access to high-quality geoscience research, Gries, partnered with Dr. Sharon Mosher, then President of the Geological Society of America (and currently the Dean of the Jackson School of Geoscience at the University of Texas in Austin), decided to try to develop a means for serving this need. Soon GeoScienceWorld was born – a non-profit digital archive of peer-reviewed geoscience journals interoperable with GeoRef. Once the organisation was established, Gries, who is President of Denver-based Priority Oil and Gas LLC, sponsored a subscription for Trisakti University, which has continued. The donation made through GeoScienceWorld has helped educate Indonesia’s emerging workforce by increasing the breadth of the university’s library holdings and making peer-reviewed research more accessible and easier to use for Trisakti’s 30,000 students.
“GeoScienceWorld has been very useful for students and lecturers,” according to Muhammad Burhannudin, a lecturer at the University of Engineering Geology FTKE Trisakti. With no way for many universities throughout the world to have the ability to provide and continually fund a comprehensive geoscience library, “Trisakti University’s access to the digital library through GeoScienceWorld has been a godsend the past three years,” says Gries. “However, there are at least six other universities in Indonesia alone that still await funding for their own subscriptions.”
As the Secretary for GeoScienceWorld’s Board of Directors, Gries continues to help shape and expand the mission and vision of the non-profit to be a comprehensive, widely-accessible, easy to use, integrated, and cost-effective online resource for research materials in the geological and earth sciences. While GeoScienceWorld now has a presence in more than 430 libraries in 41 countries across the globe, there are hundreds of academic institutions in developing nations hungry for access to this type of information for research and basic geoscience studies. Corporate sponsors like Gries are one way these schools can prepare the next generation of geoscientists to compete in a global economy. Says Gries, “I am inspired by every story available about people making it out of poverty and developing a successful career, and if this helps just one student achieve that, it has been all worthwhile.”
Students at Trisakti and institutions worldwide are pleased with the recent mobile optimisation of GeoScienceWorld’s 41 journals. With such a high percentage of mobile usage in developing countries like Indonesia, this is another way for students and researchers to gather necessary data from all points on the globe more easily.
For more information about GeoScienceWorld sponsorships and institutional partnering options, please contact [email protected].