Graduate Geology Scholarships

How to Apply

Welcome to the Geology Department scholarships and awards page!

The Geology Department offers multiple scholarships and research stipends for Geology graduate students. Please click on the name of a scholarship below to check the description, purpose and eligibility requirements. 

Applications are hosted and processed through Canvas. Geology students will be invited to the Geology Scholarship Canvas page in Spring quarter, where they may submit their applications. 

Geology students will be notified via the department listserv when they have been invited to the Canvas course. 

Applications typically close in May, and deadlines will be communicated through the department listserv. 

Please contact the Geology Department if you are a Geology graduate student and you have not been invited to the Canvas page. 

College of Science and Engineering

Marion Van Nostrand Scholarship - For Single Parents

The Van Nostrand scholarship is targeted to female single parents with dependent children, who are majoring in a STEM field, have demonstrated financial need through the FAFSA document, are in good academic standing, making progress toward a degree, and have a minimum GPA of 2.0. However, male single parents with dependent children who meet all of the financial and academic criteria applied to female recipients will also be considered.

The scholarship pays the full cost of in-state tuition and student fees. Each recipient also receives $1000 per year towards text books, supplies, and child care. Recipients will be supported until graduation if they remain in good academic standing and are making progress towards their degree. Potential students can contact for more information. There is no deadline for submitting the application.

Apply Now for Marion Van Nostrand Scholarship - For Single Parents

Oscar Edwin Olson Scholarship

This endowment is created and shall be operated exclusively to fund scholarships for students in the College of Sciences and Engineering.


  • For an undergraduate student majoring in a CSE program
  • Based on overall academic merit and must be children of single, divorced or widowed parents (adoptive or biological)
    • Eligible students are those who at any time in their first 18 years either:
      • Lived with one unmarried parent
      • Had divorced parents
      • Had one or more deceased parents
  • Must demonstrate financial need through a FAFSA or WAFSA document
  • Students awarded the Olson Scholarship the previous academic year can receive it for a second year, but no more than 2 years

Apply Now for Oscar Edwin Olson Scholarship

Geology Department

Christopher Anne Suczek Memorial Scholarship

This award is given annually for a Geology graduate student, particularly for applicants in the following fields of study: paleontology, sedimentology, or stratigraphy.

David C. Engebretson Scholarly Activity Award

For 31 years, Dave Engebretson was both a Geology Professor and life mentor to many students at Western Washington University. Dave achieved professional success despite his lifelong blindness. His disability was an inspiration to his students, and WWU and the Geology Department were extremely supportive throughout his career. In the later years of his career at WWU, Dave developed creative curricula including courses titled "Hearing the Mind's Eye", "Climate Related Geologic Hazards", "Sounds on Earth", "Interpretation of Geologic Data", and "Outdoor Science Learning Resources".

To honor Dave’s achievements, the David C. Engebretson Scholarly Activity Award was established. 

This award is given to an undergraduate (majors and minors) or graduate student in Geology. This award is normally given to undergraduate students who employ a multi-disciplinary approach focused on research or education or a melding of both. 

Elias Austin Bond Graduate Fellowship

This Graduate Fellowship will support a graduate student whose research emphasis does not fall within the guidelines of other named fellowships.

Geology Department Advance for Research

The Department of Geology will generally draws on its donation fund held by the Western Foundation to grant small advances for research expenses to undergraduate and graduate students in the department. Funds are available for field and laboratory expenses, which may include costs of analyses performed at other institutions. The amount of the advances will vary and will not exceed $800. All applicants are expected to apply for funds outside of the department. The effort you make to gather outside money will be a factor in our decisions to offer these grants.

Interested applicants should submit the following: Please submit and apply above.

  1. A research proposal approximately 2 pages in length; or a proposal submitted for another grant to fund the same research, include a cover letter to the Chair outlining how you would use the Departmental Advance in your research.
  2. A statement of other support, including awards received or pending, including copies of the proposals submitted;
  3. A budget of total proposed field and laboratory expenses, and how much of the total is requested from the Geology Department;
  4. An unofficial transcript for any classes not taken at WWU (for undergraduates only);
  5. A statement of support from your faculty adviser.

Past recipients of Departmental Research Advances for Field Work may apply again, but preference will be given to first-time applicants. Recipients will receive a contract informing them of the award and outlining the reporting requirements of the Western Foundation; when that letter is signed and returned, an advance will be dispensed.

Peter Misch Metamorphic Memorial Fellowship

In recognition of the outstanding education she received at Western Washington University, and the support and mentoring she received from Dr. Ross Ellis and Dr. Randall (Scott) Babcock, Dr. Kathleen Digges and her husband Robert Digges established this endowment.

Hans Peter Misch (“Pete” to his students) was a world renowned geologist, teacher, mountaineer and artist. He supervised thesis projects for more than 125 students and mapped much of the geology of the North Cascades under a series of GSA grants.

The graduate fellowship will be awarded to a graduate student who has a special interest in metamorphic petrology.

Robert and Bess Christman Scholarship Endowment

The Geology Department is proud to announce the Robert and Bess Christman Scholarship Endowment. This award was established by gifts from the friends, family and colleagues of Robert and Bess Christman. Bob and Bess Christman were renowned for their kindness, generosity and service to others. Bob was a beloved colleague, teacher and mentor in the Geology department at Western Washington University. He served as the department chair and was known for his love of teaching, leading many field trips and workshops. Bob and Bess were both heavily involved in their community, distinguished by the mayor of Bellingham as Citizens of the Year in 2000. This scholarship is an extension of their legacy, with the goal to support students who will make a positive impact on others.

This award is given to an undergraduate or graduate student in Geology, with a preference for applicants who demonstrate an interest and passion for science education or plans to become a science teacher. 

Steven and Edith Grega Memorial Fellowship

In recognition of the outstanding education she received at Western Washington University, Dr. Kathleen Digges and her husband established this endowment in memory of her parents, Dr. Steve and Edith Grega. Dr. Steve Grega, born to modest means in rural Appalachia, overcame many barriers to earn his medical degree.

Both share a deep commitment to the value of education.

The Graduate Fellowship will support a graduate student who has a special interest in engineering geology.

The Antoni "Jontek" Wodzicki Scholarship

This award is given annually to a student who is majoring in any of the specialties of the geological sciences, with preference given to students studying in fields related to economic geology, mineralogy, and/or who are attending summer or spring field camp. Also, special consideration will be given to students from developing country.

The David A. Rahm Scholarship

This award is given annually to a Geology major who has demonstrated interest, accomplishment, and understanding of the principles of geomorphology.  This award, which will not exceed $800, is normally given to an upper-division undergraduate student; however, graduate students are eligible to apply as well.

The James L. Talbot Scholarship

This award is given annually to a student who is declared major in any of the specialties of the geological sciences who can demonstrate both academic excellence and financial need.


Colorado Scientific Society

Offers several grants ranging from $600 to $1000 each will be awarded for field-oriented research on geology, geochemistry, and geophysics of the Rocky Mountain region. In addition, grants as large as $600 are awarded for engineering geology research (with no restriction on geographic area of interest) and one or more grants for as much as $1200 is offered for studies on the Heart Mountain fault in northwestern Wyoming or for Quaternary studies with no geographic restriction. Application deadline is generally March 31.

Apply Now for Colorado Scientific Society

Evolving Earth Foundation

Research Grants (Senior Thesis assistance) Deadline cycle is usually around March 1.

Apply Now for Evolving Earth Foundation

Geothermal Resources Council

Scholarships and internships available with Geothermal Resources Council

Apply Now for Geothermal Resources Council

Harriet Evelyn Wallace Scholarship

American Geosciences Institute - Harriet Evelyn Wallace Scholarship for undergraduate women pursuing a graduate degree $5000 Application deadline generally early January. The application process opens in October of each fall for the next academic year.

The Harriet Evelyn Wallace Scholarship is also available for female students pursuing a Master's or Doctoral degree at an accredited institution of higher education in a recognized geoscience program. The scholarship is a merit-based award, which is $5,000 per year, up to two years. Deadline is usually around January 1.

Apply Now for Harriet Evelyn Wallace Scholarship

Norman R. Tilford Field Studies Scholarship Fund

Grants from the Tilford Fund are intended to recognize and support deserving undergraduate or graduate geology students who are Student Members of the Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologists. The Tilford Fund does not support general and administrative (overhead) costs, technical or scientific consulting fees, or equipment purchase or maintenance costs of an educational institution employing or teaching individuals who receive grants from it.

Apply Now for Norman R. Tilford Field Studies Scholarship Fund

Sigma XI The Scientific Research Society

Grants-in-Aid of Research Program - Application Deadlines March 15, and October 15, annually

Apply Now for Sigma XI The Scientific Research Society

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