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National Science Foundation Grant Will Support Recruitment of Students in the Geosciences

geology students

Academically talented students with financial need will benefit from a $639,136 grant the National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded SUNY Geneseo to recruit students interested in geology, geochemistry and geophysics programs at the college.

The “Geoscience Scholarship (GeoS) to Improve Recruitment and Retention of Academically Talented Students” program will provide an estimated 34 students with 114 annual scholarships of about $4,575 over the five-year project period from April 1, 2015 through March 31, 2020. The initiative is part of the NSF’s Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S-STEM) program.

The principal investigator for the program is Benjamin Laabs, professor and chair of Geneseo’s Department of Geological Sciences. Co-principal investigators from the department are professors Scott Giorgis, Amy Sheldon, Dori Farthing and Nicholas Warner.

“The faculty members of Geological Sciences are excited to launch the GeoS program," said Laabs. "The program is timely and important given the growing interest in the geosciences at SUNY Geneseo and the national need for more and better trained geoscientists. By augmenting existing learning opportunities and creating new ones, the GeoS program will help to maximize the educational experiences for geoscience majors and to make them accessible to a greater number of students."

The college will recruit freshman and sophomore students to the program and will be granted scholarships for three to four years. The co-principal investigators will work with the Office of Admissions and 20 alumni who are geoscience teachers in area high schools to recruit academically talented scholars with financial need to the GeoS Program.

"This is such a great confirmation of the good work of Geneseo's Department of Geological Sciences and our superb grants team," said Carol S. Long, Interim SUNY Geneseo President.  "This National Science Foundation grant provides an important boost to our funding for financial aid at a time when such funding is crucial to the college and to the academically talented students in our geological sciences, geochemistry and geophysics degree programs. This kind of federal support for research and education is a crucial investment in the future that will benefit our citizens for generations."

The objective of the program is to increase recruitment and enrollment of academically talented students with financial need by at least 20 percent, to enhance retention and graduation within four years by at least 10 percent and to increase placement of students in a geoscience or related STEM career or graduate program by 13 percent. Career placement-related program components will receive support from Geneseo’s Office of Career Development.

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