5 Reasons to Join Kappa Alpha Omicron

Updated: Apr 19

Kappa Alpha Omicron is the Interdisciplinary Environmental Association's Honors Society. Its Greek letters, Kosmos (universe) Anthropos (humanity) and Oikos (household) are the three perspectives that we believe can be used to approach our biggest environmental challenges.

KAO serves as an academic home for undergraduate and graduate students in the environmental science and interdisciplinary studies that are passionate about deepening their understanding on today's most prevalent planet and human challenges. This is done through advancing research and conversations around sustainability, climate change, natural and indigenous rights, environmental equality and more. Students connect with a diverse community of young leaders, established professors, and institutions from across the US and around the world.

The IEA currently represents 15 domestic KAO chapters and is eager to grow its international community. So, what are the benefits of a KAO membership? Read on to discover the top 5 reasons why students and their associated university should join Kappa Alpha Omicron!

1. Establish an Academic Community

What sets KAO apart from other on-campus organizations and clubs is that the society is rooted in scholarly research, collective leadership, and action. Students can find their niche in KAO and strengthen it. Chapters are encouraged to use the diverse skill-set and background of all members to create action on the issues that matter most to their chapter and community. Students grow together as research partners, project organizers, activists, and leaders in the environmental science and interdisciplinary community. Lasting friendships and professional relationships are formed here and stay beyond university. Once you become a KAO member, your membership is a lifetime.

2. Take Interdisciplinary Action

Go beyond a campus activity and have a real, lasting impact on your community with the projects that your chapter develops. The diversity within each chapter means that the ability to reach more people and have a stronger influence over the issues is greater. Students can develop, execute, and communicate ideas, research, and projects to the world through collective efforts from various disciplines. For example, STEM students can take on the foundations of research while students from the humanities can turn the hard science into thought-provoking and digestible material that can be understood by all audiences. Together, members can merge environmental, social, and economic topics using diverse perspectives. This unique approach sparks interdisciplinary thought and action, which is necessary for addressing today's most complex and multifaceted environmental issues.

3. Attend a Accredited, Scholarly, Academic Conference

For more than 20 years the Interdisciplinary Environmental Association has hosted it's academic conference, the International Interdisciplinary Conference on the Environment, IICE, as a means to bridge the gap of environmental communication between disciplines and create a scholarly atmosphere to listen, share, and discuss ideas about today's most pressing and multifaceted environmental topics. The IICE gives you direct access to professionals in your field of study to pick their brain and learn more about potential career paths, graduate programs, and upcoming academic opportunities. This is your chance to present research, showcase your abilities, and potentially leave with your next internship or research opportunity! In addition, by attending an IICE students can discover a new city, state, or even country and immerse themselves in the environmental challenges most relevant to the host community. We always offer a field-trip or excursion during the conference. Even if you are joining us virtually, you will have the opportunity to discover the host country, meet, and communicate effectively with attendees.

4. Network with a Global Community

The IEA's community is international. You will discover this upon attending a conference or flipping through our journal, the Interdisciplinary Environmental Review. A global reach offers extended opportunities for students and recent graduates including but not limited to research, internships and jobs. What's more, is the invaluable advice and mentorship students have access to. All participating KAO faculty and the IEA Board of Directors are entrusted to offer support to students.

5. Publish Research

The Interdisciplinary Environmental Review, IER, is the IEA's international academic journal which seeks to present relevant and up-to-date information on environmental issues approached from an interdisciplinary perspective. Topics in the IER range of traditional disciplines to present a broader, more integrated view of environmental topics that can be read and understood by all backgrounds and disciplines. KAO students who wish to publish in the IER receive support and a free copy of the journal. Moreover, students can obtain the journal at no cost during their first year of KAO and then at a significantly discounted rate after.

Now that you have learned the Top 5 Reasons for joining Kappa Alpha Omicron, head over to our webpage to complete the Chapter Registration and start your KAO chapter today!

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