Awards & Scholarships

Earth & Environmental Sciences Department


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One of our students, Lino Rauzi, won an honorable mention for a national Goldwater scholarship in 2016. Be sure to check out possible rewards for your hard work.

Student Lino Rauzi

Every year we recognize outstanding achievement by our undergraduate and graduate students at a spring banquet. The awards and scholarships presented are made possible by generous gifts from alumni, faculty and friends of our department.

Undergraduates can also apply for scholarships through Swenson College of Science & Engineering. And graduate students should apply for Graduate School Scholarships

Outstanding Graduate Student Award: This award recognizes a geology graduate degree candidate for the greatest overall contribution to the Department of Earth & Environmental Science, including thesis research and overall scholarship. Funds for this award are provided by the Ralph and Ellen Marsden Scholarship Fund and the Randy Seeling Fund.

Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award: This award is given to a graduate student who shows exceptional aptitude or accomplishment as a teaching assistant. The award is based partly on student evaluations. Funds for this award are provided by GTA Research Funds.

Outstanding Senior AwardThis award is given to an outstanding graduating senior on the basis of scholarship and service to the department. Funds for this award come from the Ralph and Ellen Marsden Scholarship Fund and the Randy Seeling Fund.

Outstanding Junior Award: This is an award given to an outstanding junior who is a geological sciences major. The award is based on scholarship (geology classes plus overall GPA) with funds for the award coming from the Hugh Roberts Scholarship Fund.

Kenneth E. Differt Scholarship: This scholarship is for a student who will be a graduating senior in the year of the award. It is based on academic achievement.

Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences Faculty Emeriti Scholarship: This scholarship is to help support students with a declared major in Geological Sciences at UMD. Students need to be in good academic standing and have financial need (as determined by the department head).

James R. Frantes Graduate Fellowship: The purpose of this fellowship is to help recruit and retain graduate students for our department. The fellowship will be a non-service related award that will help a graduate student(s) pursue a field of geological study at UMD. Jim Frantes was a graduate student at UMD when he was diagnosed with cancer. He did not let that deter him from getting his degree. Not only did he finish his thesis while going through chemotherapy, he did research on his medical condition. Jim received his master's in 1987.

Jill and Terry Swor Scholarship: This scholarship provides funding for undergraduate geological science students and is awarded based on academic performance and enthusiasm for the discipline; students with financial need will be given special consideration.

SME Tools-of-the-Trade Award: This award is given to three students who have done well in mineralogy and show enthusiasm for the geological sciences. Academic achievement in other geology courses is also taken into consideration in determining the recipients. The award comes from the Society of Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration.

Estwing Award: An Estwing rock hammer is given to a student for exceptional performance in petrology.

Ralph and Ellen Marsden Scholarship: This awards helps students attend either the Wasatch-Uinta or PRC summer field camp. Ralph Marsden was respected the world over as a scientist and person. He was chief geologist at U.S. Steel before joining our department in 1967. He was department head from 1967 to 1974 and retired from UMD in 1980.

Robert C. Bright Field Camp Scholarship: This scholarship supports field camp expenses for undergraduate majors in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. Robert Bright was an outstanding teacher of quaternary stratigraphy and paleo-ecology in the Department of Ecology on the Twin Cities Campus. He was also the state paleontologist and was instrumental in establishing the Wasatch-Unita Field Camp in 1967. He also served as the camp’s first director.

Robert L. Heller Field Camp Scholarship: This scholarship is used to support UMD majors in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences to attend field camp. The award is based on scholarship and financial need. Robert Heller founded our department and was deeply involved in science education. He moved on from here to become Chancellor of UMD.

Charlie Matsch Field Camp Scholarship: This scholarship supports undergraduate geological sciences majors through field camp and the maintenance of a field geology program such as the Wasatch-Uinta field camp or accessiblility to such a program for undergraduate geological majors at UMD. Charlie was a professor in the department from 1970-2001 specializing in glacial geology and geomorphology. Charlie also spent many summers instructing students at the Wasatch-Uinta field camp. This scholarship was established in honor of his retirement.

Charlie Matsch Surfical Processes Fellowship: This fellowship provides support to a graduate student(s) in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences whose research involves aspects of glacial or geomorphic processes as they pertain to geological agents. Funding may be used for field research and to promote the dissemination of research results in a thesis or scholarly publication.

Lempi M. & John W. Pagnucco Scholarship: This scholarship provides full tuition support to geology or mineralogy students at UMD, and if funds permit, assists students wishing to attend geology field camp. Preference is given to students with financial need and who have graduated from Chisholm and Biwabik High Schools, or if none, students from other areas of the Iron Range. The award was established by Lempi (Erickson) and John Pagnucco. They were avid mineral collectors and a small part of their collection is displayed on the first floor of Heller Hall.

Rip Rapp Geology Field Camp Scholarship: This scholarship is used for field camp expenses for majors in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at UMD and/or related field experience or field work by a student(s). Rip was dean of the College of Arts and Science and then the College of Science and Engineering at UMD from 1975-1989 before returning to the faculty to teach geoarchaeology and a popular course on dinosaurs. He became a Regents Professor in 1995 and retired in 2003.

Randy Seeling Graduate Student Award: Randy Seeling was a graduate student in Geology at UMD and completed his Master's degree in 1977. He met an untimely death while touring Europe in May 1979. Each spring, this fund is used to provide an annual award to an outstanding graduate student.

Roderick Syck Field Camp Scholarship: This scholarship is given to the UMD student who achieved the highest grade at the Uinta-Wasatch summer field camp. If enough UMD students attend the PRC field camp, a similar award will be given to the UMD student achieving the top grade in that field camp. Established by his family, in his memory, the Roderick Syck Fund awards the student with the highest achievement at field camp each summer.

Richard Patelke Scholarship: This fund is not only used to provide support for UMD students attending Precambrian Research Field Camp but also is used to support master's level UMD students who's thesis involves the Geology of NE Minnesota and to offset expenses for senior or gradutate students attending the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada conference.

New Millennium Research and Scholarship: Funds are awarded to support opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students within the Department of Geological Sciences including, but not limited to, travel support for field trips and geologic meetings, support for field work and laboratory analyses related to research projects and scholarship support for summer geology field camp and scholarships to attract desired graduate students to the department.

Harry and Margaret Walker Geological Sciences Scholarship: This award is given to graduate and/or undergraduate student(s) to help support summer research projects. Financial support can include a research salary plus a stipend per student covering housing, meals and incidental expenses.