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History of AWG

AWG was founded in 1977 in the San Francisco Bay Area, with approximately 50 members. These early members often met in each others' homes to discuss their research activities and career situations. Within a few years, the number of San Francisco Bay Area members had increased to over 100. Women from other parts of the country learned about AWG through its published newsletter and many outside the Bay Area began to join.

The first official chapter formed in 1980 when about 40 women in Denver became associated with the Bay Area group. Within a few months the Denver group was well established and women in several other cities began to start chapters. The Bay Area served as Association headquarters during this growth period. As more chapters formed, the need for a representative Association structure became apparent.

During 1981 and 1982 a series of meetings was held to determine the details of electing a representative Board of Directors. Under the capable leadership of Jessica Donovan, who was serving as President of both the Association and the AWG-Bay Area Chapter, the details of such a structure were finalized. The members of the 1982-83 Executive Committee were the first officers elected by all members of the AWG organization. Vicki Cowart of the Denver Chapter was elected to serve as the first President of the expanded Association.

In 1983, AWG incorporated in the State of California as a nonprofit mutual benefit corporation organized under Section 501(c)6 of the IRS code. Also in 1983, the AWG Foundation was established as a Section 501(c)3 non-profit public benefit corporation. Lois Ongley served as the first AWGF President.

In 1985, AWG became a member society of the American Geological Institute. In 1988, AWG became an associated society of the Geological Society of America.

In April of 1987, in honor of the Association's 10th Anniversary, AWG held its first convention in San Francisco, the birthplace of the organization. On the Association's 15th Anniversary, the Denver Chapter hosted our second convention. In 1997, AWG's 20th Anniversary was held at the Snowbird Resort in Salt Lake City, UT. In October 2003, the Puget Sound Chapter hosted AWG's 25th Anniversay in Seattle, WA. In October 2007, AWG celebrated its 30th Anniversary in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

Today, the AWG has approximately 1,000 members who are either affiliated with one of its regional chapters or prospective chapters, or are Members-At-Large. There are AWG members in 48 states as well as several foreign countries.

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Updated 03/26/12
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