Image source: spatiallearning.org[/caption]
Every year the Geological Society of America (GSA) has several regional conferences and a larger annual conference. At every conference for the last few decades the administration has given their staff workers -- both paid and volunteer -- a high quality company logo shirt to wear while they work. The shirts range from polos to long sleeved outerwear in different colors and styles depending on weather, location, and budget. No matter what the item is, you can rest assured on the left breast the GSA icon, along with the name, location and date are proudly displayed.
The clothing is designed to give volunteer staff a uniform to wear both inside and out while they direct guests, help scholars, all while setting up and tearing down displays around the conference hall. They chose to do this every year because volunteers sign up about a week before the event or volunteer on the spot if GSA comes up short handed. With the icon and the name "Geological Society of America" along with the location and date embroidered on the left breast pocket, the shirts unify the volunteers to guests as instantly recognizable as eager, friendly rock hounds.
Image source: fiu.edu[/caption]
GSA meant for the shirts to be both uniforms and gifts to the volunteers for working at the conferences, but it goes beyond that without their intent. The volunteers wear their uniforms with pride and honor during the meeting and way beyond. Geologists often wear clothes until they fall apart. Every time a piece of embroidered clothing gets worn, new geologists to the field start asking questions about the society, then quickly join the ranks and get involved.
It starts with a simple membership, but before the budding geologists know it they've made friends, have volunteered to lend a hand, and end up wearing a lot of great GSA embroidered clothing at public outreach functions. Soon, even the public is curious as to what these jovial scholars are doing, and begin to realize that being a geologist is more than just scholarly work -- it's a community that bonds over the earth and is united by great company logo shirts.