Scholarships | Awards

Two geophysics students working in the field with Julie Bowles.

The Department of Geosciences offers several scholarships and awards to Geosciences students each year. Most application deadlines are in spring (March & April) for the following school year (i.e. apply in March 2020 for scholarships paid beginning in September 2020). Scholarship recipients are announced at the annual recognition banquet held at the end of the spring semester.

The scholarship application process for all students and all scholarships begins with UWM’s Scholarship Portal. You will need to create a general profile and upload a copy of your transcript.

Some scholarships require no additional application beyond this general scholarship application and uploaded transcript; students are automatically reviewed for these types of scholarships. You may also see scholarships on your Scholarship Portal dashboard that you can “Apply To.” These are scholarships which do require additional information beyond the general application and uploaded transcript. Be sure to read the description for these to make sure you meet the eligibility requirements before submitting the additional information that is being requested.

Our available scholarships and their criteria are listed below.

For Undergraduates

Katherine Greacon Nelson Memorial Scholarship

The primary purpose of this scholarship is to provide financial support to students for research or other appropriate programs of a professional nature related to their studies in geology or geophysics. This scholarship honors the Department of Geosciences founder and former faculty member, Dr. Katherine Greacon Nelson. Qualified applicants will:

  • Be an undergraduate major or intended major in Geosciences
  • Have demonstrated academic achievement, to be determined by the Department of Geosciences and the selection committee
  • Have demonstrated financial need as shown on the FAFSA
  • have plans for conducting summer research or field work

Robert E. Gernant Memorial Scholarship

The primary purpose of the Robert E. Gernant Memorial Scholarship is to support undergraduate students in geology field courses or extended field trips. This memorial fund honors former faculty member Dr. Robert E. Gernant. Applicants should meet these criteria:

  • Undergraduate major or intended major in Geosciences
  • Be a participant in field courses or field work in Geology
  • Preference will be give to a student enrolled in a beginning course
  • A secondary preference will be give to a paleontology student

Mary H. Mursky Scholarship

This scholarship is given to an outstanding Geosciences major who has demonstrated academic achievement and holds junior or senior standing. The Mursky scholarship was funded by a form Geosciences professor in honor of his wife.

Undergraduate Research Award

The Department of Geosciences, benefiting from many generous donations from our alumni to the UWM Foundation, were fortunate enough to set up a general scholarship fund to provide support for high achieving students in the department. In recognition of the accomplishments of many of our undergraduate students, who conduct much of their own research above and beyond the expectations of their curriculum study, the faculty determined the best use for these scholarships was to reward those hard-working undergraduate students and to promote further research achievements in our undergraduate program. Criteria include:

  • Undergraduate student in Geosciences, with a preference for declared majors or minors
  • High academic achievement
  • Conducting research in the discipline

For Undergraduates or Graduate Students

Nelson Cherkauer Lasca Legacy Scholarship

The Nelson Cherkauer Lasca Legacy Scholarship is intended to provide support for undergraduate students enrolled in the Geosciences Department who participate in Field Camp. The number of awards and amount per award vary. The criteria are:

  • Undergraduate student participating in a Field Camp or graduate student conducting summer research
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or more
  • History of employment (may be satisfied through university employment)

Dr. Thomas S. Hooyer Award

This department award provides field research support for undergraduate or graduate students enrolled in the Department of Geosciences. This award honors former Geosciences Associate Professor, Dr. Thomas S. Hooyer, who served the department from 2009 to 2014. Recipients of this award receive either $500 for domestic research or $750 for international research (including Hawaii or Alaska). Criteria include:

  • Demonstrated academic merit, to be determined by the Department of Geosciences and the selection committee
  • Enrolled in a degree program through the Department of Geosciences
  • Sophomore, Junior, Senior, or graduate student standing
  • Participating in a field research project, with a preference for students whose research is focused on the Quaternary

Student Conference Travel Award

The number of awards and amount per award may vary. This award is offered from funds allocated by the faculty to help students pay for travel expenses when presenting at local, national, or international professional geological conferences. Criteria are:

  • Undergraduate or graduate student in Geosciences
  • Presenting at the conference in which they are attending (either oral or poster is acceptable)
  • Preference will be given to students who have not received a department Conference Travel Award before

Student Research Symposium Award

Undergraduates and graduates students are urged to participate in the Annual Student Research Symposium by submitting an abstract and giving a brief presentation about the research projects they are currently working on. A call will be put out when materials may be submitted, but students will need to prepare a 300-word abstract which describes their research project, plus a 150-word introduction and biography, and a selfie for the program booklet. A faculty committee will review each submission and determine whether the student will give an oral presentation or a poster presentation.

Best Graduate and Undergraduate Presentation Awards are given to the recipients of the highest scores received from a judging panel of department faculty.

For Graduate Students

Graduate Research Award

This award is designed to recognize the top research conducted by MS and PhD students who are in the final year of their degree programs. Applicants should meet the following criteria:

  • Be in good standing within the Department of Geosciences
  • Be a student who intends to complete an MS or PhD degree in the Department of Geosciences within the next year
  • Have submitted a thesis proposal, which has been accepted by the student’s thesis committee
  • Have performed excellent research at UWM in the Department of Geosciences in partial fulfillment of MS or PhD degree

Applicants will need a recommendation letter from their research advisor.

L. Joseph Lukowicz Memorial Scholarship

The primary purpose of this scholarship is to provide financial aid to students undertaking field-oriented lithostratigraphic thesis projects. This scholarship honors a former Geosciences graduate student. Qualified applicants will:

  • Be a graduate student at the master’s level
  • Conduct summer field work/research

Wisconsin Geological Society Scholarship

The recipient of this award is expected to give an oral presentation on their thesis project to a meeting of the Wisconsin Geological Society. Scholarships shall be based upon the following criteria:

  • Graduate student in Geosciences
  • Priority to students who are (or have been) actively engaged as members of the Wisconsin Geological Society for at least one year, as evidenced by participation in membership functions
  • Academic merit
  • Preference for graduate students who will be continuing in the department next academic year

Wisconsin Geological Society Research Grant

The Wisconsin Geological Society Research Grant was offered for the first time in 2013 and is being made available again through an account that the Wisconsin Geological Society has generously donated to our department.

These funds are separate from the annual scholarship being offered by the WGS and are going to be awarded as a grant, rather than a scholarship. This money can therefore be used for field work, lab analyses/expenses, supplies, and/or any other expenses that are necessary to conduct your research as you work towards completing your graduate degree. All expenses charged to this award are subject to university policies and procedures regarding purchasing, travel, and reimbursements.