Departmental scholarships are cash prizes which are competitive and must be applied for. Applications consist of a resume and a cover letter. Typically applications are due around the end of January and winners are announced around the end of February.
Scholarship winners are determined by a meeting of all tenure-track faculty after review of applications and discussion of any additional information available about the candidates. Applicants are ranked and usually two or three tiers of awards are conferred by agreement of a majority of the faculty. Typical award amounts range from $750-$250. Not all applicants win scholarships.
Funds for the scholarships are derived from donations to the department from faculty, staff, alumni, and friends; and also from departmental budget discretionary funds. There are four separate funds from which the awards are drawn: The John Chambers Memorial Scholarship Fund, The Rodney Morrison Memorial Scholarship Fund, The Geosciences Scholarship Fund, and The Geosciences Founders Fund.
There are four awards given each year by the Department of Geosciences. Awardees receive a certificate, but no cash. Award winners are selected by the faculty from the entire pool of students. Students do not need to apply to be considered. The four awards are:
- The John Chambers Memorial Award given to the top Geosciences Senior (also receives the top scholarship).
- The Rodney Morrison Memorial Award given to the top Geosciences Junior (also receives the top scholarship).
- The Thomas Herndon Award given to the top Geography major.
- The James Emory Boyd Award given to the top Geology major.
In addition to certificates of merit, winners of the Thomas Herndon and James Emory Boyd Awards are given special recognition on University Honors Day.