Geoscientists tackle some of society’s most challenging problems.  They are scientific detectives who look for clues about the past and future of the earth and other planets, help us better understand economical and sustainable uses of our natural resources, inform the design of safe buildings based on earth processes such as earthquakes and floods, and much more!   

The state of Colorado is the perfect ‘laboratory’ for geology.  The landscape of exquisitely exposed rocks in the mountains and plains offers endless opportunities for fieldwork. At the University of Colorado Boulder, Geoscience research and education are ranked 2nd in the world by U.S. News and World Report, bringing together the best and the brightest students, faculty, and researchers.  These remarkable individuals are continually making new discoveries that advance work in the field, related-industries, and communities across the globe. 

In 1997 the generosity of Marcy and Bruce Benson and other philanthropists made the Benson Earth Sciences Building possible.  Within this facility we have some of the best lab spaces, classrooms, and the Jerry Crail Johnson Earth Sciences & Map Library to physically support the work of the department.  Twenty years later, we need to ensure that the next generation of geoscientists can sustain and expand our already world-recognized scholars and researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder.  The chair, faculty, and Advisory Board for the Department of Geological Sciences have identified Graduate Student Fellowships as a top priority for which charitable support is vital to the future of our Geoscience programs. 

Why Graduate Student Fellowships?

  • Compete for Top Talent: While the University of Colorado Boulder was recently named the world’s second-best University for Geosciences, the department’s graduate program is ninth in the country.  With private resources to offer fellowships, the University can compete with peer institutions to attract and train the very best students, while reducing our dependence on variable Federal funding. 
  • Ground-Breaking Research: Graduate students play a critical role in the innovative research conducted on the Boulder campus. Guided by faculty, graduate students drive many of our research projects, ultimately leading to their advanced degrees, publications, and continued personal and departmental success.
  • Undergraduate Education: Graduate students are integral to our undergraduate education experience. They serve a unique role in mentoring, engaging undergraduate students in the field and research labs, and assisting in classrooms.

Our Vision

At least 20 named graduate fellowships established though $1 million endowments each.  This will generate funds to fully support the annual tuition and stipend for 20 graduate students, approximately 30% of our graduate student population.   

Additional Impacts Your Donation Can Make

Fellowship funds can be named for the donor(s) or as a tribute to another person.  Beyond just naming a fund, a Graduate Fellowship can aim to have specific impact on:

  • A particular field of geology like geoenergy - geobiology and geochemistry – paleoclimate – hydrology – or - geophysics, geomorphology, and geodesy. 
  • Discovery research in support of seed-funding to pursue new ideas that are considered high-risk and high-reward.
  • Scientific communication outreach so that students can share their research to broader audiences through popular-science writing, filming, or multimedia.
  • Enhanced diversity so the department attracts and retains students from underrepresented groups such as minorities, veterans, women, or first-generation graduate students.

To Learn More:

Please contact us if you have questions regarding this ambitious initiative and how you can help make it a reality.

Department of Geological Sciences
Chair and Professor Shemin Ge
University of Colorado Boulder
Campus Box 399
Boulder, CO 80309

Office of Advancement
Jane Marsh, Senior Director of Development
College of Arts and Sciences, Graduate School, & Research Institutes
1305 University Ave., 461 UCB
Boulder, CO