The awards and scholarships available are made possible by generous gifts from alumni, faculty and friends of our department. The deadline for the departmental scholarships and awards is March 1st. Please submit only one application to be considered for the Department of Earth & Environmental Science scholarships, including field camp scholarships.
Every year, we recognize outstanding achievement by our undergraduate and graduate students at a spring banquet.
The Swenson College of Science and Engineering has additional scholarships available - click here for more information.
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 the Randy Seeling Fund.
Outstanding Senior Award - Geology: This award is given to an outstanding graduating senior who is a geological sciences major on the basis of scholarship and service to the department. Funds for this award come from the Ralph and Ellen Marsden Scholarship Fund.
Outstanding Junior Award - Geology: 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.
Outstanding Senior Award - Environmental Science: This award is given to an outstanding graduating environmental science senior on the basis of scholarship and service to the department. Funds for this award come from Barr Engineering, Duluth office.
Outstanding Junior Award - Environmental Science: This is an award given to an outstanding junior who is an environmental science major. The award is based on scholarship and service. Funds for this award come from Barr Engineering, Duluth office.
Tools of the Trade Award: This award if for student(s) 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 recipient(s).
Estwing Geology Field Methods Award: An Estwing rock hammer and goggles is given to a student with exceptional performance in petrology.
Randy Seeling Fund: This fund is used to provide an annual award to an outstanding graduate student and outstanding graduate teaching assistant. Randy Seeling was a graduate student in Geology at UMD and completed his Master's degree in 1977. He went to Alaska to work in the minerals exploration industry. He took his first vacation and met an untimely death while touring Europe in May 1979.
Roderick Syck Field Camp Award: This award is presented to the student with the highest GPA at field camp each summer. The fund was established by the Syck family in memory of Roderick Syck.
Kenneth E. Differt Scholarship: This scholarship is for a student who will be a graduating senior in the year of the award, based on academic achievement. The late Mr. Differt established the fund for worthy students majoring in the areas of mathematics and the sciences.
Faculty Emeriti Scholarship: This scholarship is to help support students with a declared major in geological sciences at UMD attending field camp. Students need to be in good academic standing and have financial need. The fund was initiated by Drs. Penny Morton and Charlie Matsch.
Peterson Memorial 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. The late Paula M. Tabler established the fund in memory of her parents, Hazel and Paul Peterson.
Barr Engineering Scholarship: This scholarship is to help support students with a declared major in Environmental Sciences at UMD. Students need to be in good academic standing. An award is made to an Outstanding Junior and Senior in Environmental Sciences
James R. Frantes Graduate Fellowship: This fellowship is to help recruit and retain graduate students for the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at UMD. The graduate fellowship is 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. He finished his thesis while undergoing chemotherapy, and he did research on his medical condition. Jim received his master's degree in 1987.
Jill and Terry Swor Scholarship: This scholarship provides funding for undergraduate geological and environmental science students and is awarded based on academic performance and enthusiasm for the discipline and for students with demonstrated financial need. Jill and Terry Swor grew up in Grand Marais and Duluth, respectively. Jill received a master’s degree in Psychology from UMD and had a long and successful career with 3M; she passed away in 2005. Terry graduated from UMD with a degree in geology and is founder and president of American Engineering Testing, Inc. The Swors always felt strongly about giving back and this scholarship is a legacy of their passion for education.
Crain Family Scholarship: This scholarship is for full-time enrollment Geological Sciences major students with demonstrated financial need. This fund was established by William Crain (BS 1955), member of SCSE Science Academy, retired from Chevron as Corporate Director and Vice President of Worldwide Exploration and Production.
Gearns Family Scholarship: This scholarship rotates between the geological sciences and civil engineering and was awarded for the first time in 2020. The Gearns Family Scholarship was established in 2019 by Mr. James Gearns, an alumnus of UMD. Jim minored in earth science and created this scholarship to honor his family's many connections with UMD, including his nephew Tim, who received his BS in Civil Engineering in 2012 and his MS in Civil Engineering in 2015 from UMD
Ralph and Ellen Marsden Scholarship: This awards helps students attend the 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. Annual distributions from this fund may be used for the Outstanding Graduate and Undergraduate Award Scholarships and to support other student needs and activities. Annual earnings must be used to benefit students in the Department of Geological Sciences.
Stephen and Karen Brand Geological Sciences Field Camp Scholarship: This scholarship is awarded annually to the student with the highest ranking cumulative GPA in the Earth and Environmental Sciences department prior to attending a department-approved field camp course. Stephen Brand was a 1971 graduate of the department and went on for an MS and PhD at Purdue. He began his career with Phillips Petroleum Company in 1976 as a geologist for exploration and production (E&P). He became supervisor of North America E&P in Houston in 1982. Beginning in 1995, he served as Canada region manager of North American E&P. He was also president of Phillips Petroleum Resources, Ltd. and served as E&P business development manager. In 1998, he was named general manager, Australia division. Following the ConocoPhillips merger in 2002, Brand became President, Australasia, then in 2005 was named Vice President, exploration and business. He retired from ConocoPhillips in 2010.
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 the Geology Department in 1955 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 scholarships, the maintenance of a field geology program such as the Wasatch-Uinta field camp, or accessibility to such a program for undergraduate geological sciences majors at UMD. Dr. Charlie Matsch 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. Dr. Matsch passed away in 2014
Charlie Matsch Surficial Processes Fellowship: This fellowship provides support to graduate student 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. Dr. Matsch passed away in 2014.
Lempi M. & John W. Pagnucco Scholarship: This scholarship provides 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 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, who were avid mineral collectors. A small part of their collection is displayed on the first floor of Heller Hall.
Rip Rapp Geology Field Camp Scholarship: This scholarship is for field camp support to students in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at UMD and/or related field experience or field work by a student. 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 before retiring in 2003
Richard Patelke Geologic Scholarship: This fund provides support for UMD students attending field camp, master's level UMD students whose thesis involves the geology of northeastern Minnesota, and to offset expenses for senior or graduate students attending the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada conference. The fund was established by Marsha Patelke, in honor of her husband, Richard.
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. This fund was established 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. This fund was established by William Crain (BS 1955), member of SCSE Science Academy, retired from Chevron as Corporate Director and Vice President of Worldwide Exploration and Production.
UMD Natural History Scholarship: The scholarship is awarded to students in Earth and Environmental Sciences and Biology who demonstrate a strong interest in natural history and are considering a career in the field of natural history. The Solidarity Through Science Scholarship, established in 2003 by Professor Emeritus John Pastor and his wife Mary Dragich who is a UMD alumna, became the Natural History Scholarship in 2019. During his tenure at UMD, John was involved in establishing the natural history minor and served as the program director.
Nancy Elizabeth (Caldwell) Koski Scholarship: This scholarship provides financial support to an undergraduate student in the Swenson College of Science and Engineering in their sophomore year or higher, studying toward a degree with a major focused on environmental science or earth science with a demonstrable environmental application. This award is based on academic merit defined as having a minimum GPA of 3.0 and demonstrated financial need. Additional consideration will be given to female students if underrepresented at the University or in the applicable major or program at the time of the award. Dr. Randolph Koski established the fund in memory of his wife, Nancy Koski.