Hi! I’m Gabi Serrato Marks, a PhD candidate in the MIT-Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program in oceanography, where I study paleoclimate with stalagmites. I’m writing to tell you a little bit about what the IAGD means to me, and to ask you to support us.
As part of my research, I get to go caving in Mexico to monitor caves and collect samples. I also have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a connective tissue disease that causes all kinds of issues, like widespread chronic pain — that makes fieldwork and lab work a challenge. This condition has been impacting my work since 2017, which is when I first contacted the IAGD, looking for support and guidance.
Since then, I’ve become a member of the executive committee, a travel grant recipient, field trip participant, and more. I’ve also learned that I’m one of at least 13 geoscientists with EDS!
I’m proud to be part of the IAGD because it gives me a community of other geologists with disabilities who care deeply about their work. Although we have different experiences, both in terms of our careers and our disabilities, we are able to bond over success stories and strategies that are familiar to all of us. This year, I received a travel grant from the IAGD to travel to the GSA meeting in Phoenix, where I was able to present an invited talk on accessibility on social media and participate in the accessible field trip to Petrified Forest National Park. I would not have been able to attend the meeting without this travel grant.
Thank you all so much for supporting the IAGD with your time, knowledge, resources, and donations. If you’d like to contribute to our mission, we have a wishlist that will help us cover the cost of our annual accessible field trips and provide more travel grants, or you can donate via PayPal. (Note: don’t worry that the page says that it goes to the PayPal giving fund, it gets routed right to us, plus a 1% bonus from PayPal!)
We appreciate your contribution toward making geoscience more accessible for everyone.