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Geological Society of America (GSA)

Grants, Student Loans, & Fellowships

The Geological Society of America (GSA) is a nonprofit organization which caters to the professional growth of the world’s earth scientists, and the advancement in geosciences. Founded in 1888, this organization was the United States’ first society dedicated to the geosciences. Today it has supports over 22,000 members within 97 countries.

GSA’s mission is to be the leading geosciences organization, providing professional development to its members, while promoting geosciences services, and sharing scientific findings to improve the way mankind cares for the Earth.
In 1980, the GSA Foundation was established to endorse the science of geology and provide financial support for the Geological Society of America’s programs. This article provides an in depth look at GSA’s financial aid and awards program.

Financial Aid and Awards Offered by The Geological Society of America

The Geological Society of America (GSA) offers a number of awards to recognize professionals for their hard work and dedication to the field of geosciences, as well as some student scholarships to encourage degree-seeking students to choose careers within the geosciences field. Here are examples of some awards offered:

GSA Awards

Through a partnership with Subaru is the Subaru Outstanding Woman in Science Award which is given to women who demonstrate success in the field of geosciences through research while pursuing a doctoral degree. Deadline for nominations for this award is in February. To be nominated for this award, fill out and submit an online nomination form. Other requirements include a summary of your academic and work history; a bibliography; and letters of support (optional). Supporting materials can be emailed to awards@geosociety.org or sent via snail mail to: Geological Society of America, ATTN: Grants, Awards, & Recognition, P.O. Box 9140, Boulder, CO 80310-9140.

Other GSA Awards

John C. Frye Environmental Geology Award is an annual award given to one nominee with the best published paper on the topic of environmental geology which was published either by GSA, or a state geological survey publication. This award is provided in collaboration with the Association of American State Geologists (AASG) in the amount of $1,000. It is open to all members of GSA as well as non-members. To be considered, each paper must establish an environmental problem, provide the geological process associated with the problem, offer solutions and/or recommendations, and be written so it is easily understood for geological use. The paper must have been published within the last three years. Other requirements include a letter of recommendation and three original copies of the paper. All materials should be sent for nomination to the following address by the end of March: Program Officer—Grants, Awards, and Recognition, Geological Society of America, P.O. Box 9140, Boulder, CO 80301-9140.

Teacher Awards

Outstanding Earth Science Teacher Awards is administered by GSA, but is offered by the National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT). This annual award recognizes outstanding educators at the pre-college level. Sectional winner receives $500 in classroom supplies, plus an additional $500 for travel expenses to attend a GSA meeting, complementary memberships to NAGT and GSA, an assortment of subscriptions to earth science publications, as well as publications from USGS.

Biggs Earth Science Teaching Award provides one $750 cash prize to an earth science instructor who has taught full-time for up to 10 years. Nominees can be instructors or faculty at any academic institution. Self-nomination is accepted. In addition to the cash prize, recipients also receives up to $500 for travel expenses to attend the award ceremony at the annual GSA meeting.

Student Scholarships and Grants

The GSA Engineering Geology Division offers the Roy J. Shlemon Scholarship Awards. This program awards up to two graduate students $1,000 in scholarship money for the most outstanding research proposal within the field of engineering geology. One award is given to a graduate student pursuing a master’s degree, while the other is dedicated to students pursuing a doctoral degree. To be considered, applicants must be a student member of the division and provide proof of membership by submitting four typed and signed forms. In addition, two separate “Appraisal of Applicant Forms” from two faculty members are required, along with a letter of recommendation from each advisor. Deadline for this scholarship program is mid-March.

In partnership with Subaru, the GSA Geobiology and Geomicrobiology Division offers the Subaru Minority Student Scholarship Program to support undergraduate minority students pursuing a geosciences degree. One student from each of the six regional sectors receives a $1,000 scholarship and complementary registration to the annual GSA meeting.

Things to Note about The Geological Society of America

The Geological Society of America also offers several medals for outstanding geologic knowledge and/or contributions through research; divisional awards; distinguished lecturer awards; and, several national awards.
GSA offers research grants to qualifying students. Check within the Society’s divisional sections for those specific to your career interests.

Although student scholarships and grants are available through GSA, they are scarce. Therefore, it is important to start your search early and find scholarship opportunities that suit your career goals. The divisional awards seem to focus mainly on specific fields within geosciences, while most of the other awards focus on the general study of geosciences.

Contact Information for The Geological Society of America

The Geological Society of America
P.O. Box 9140
Boulder, CO 80301-9140
PH: (303) 357-1000
FAX: (303) 357-1070

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