About NMGS Scholarships & Awards

Note: Students with prior NMGS Scholarships will not be considered this year due to budget limitations.

Overview:

New Mexico Geological Society grants-in-aid are awarded to students enrolled in New Mexico institutions and whose proposed projects are located in New Mexico.  Project areas and students enrolled in colleges outside of New Mexico are not eligible for funding.  Some “cross-over” projects that have elements of geology, but may not be exclusively related to geology, may be considered at the discretion of NMGS; however, the project must be geology-centered.  Proposals from undergraduate students are considered along with those from graduate students; however, some money is restricted for undergraduate research only.  Undergraduates are strongly encouraged to submit proposals.   Grants-in-aid are awarded without bias regarding sex, race, age, creed, sexual orientation, or national origin.

A final report is required.  For M.S. and Ph.D. students, a thesis or dissertation on file at the university is sufficient.  Otherwise, a written summary of results and conclusions must be submitted to NMGS or presented at the NMGS Spring Meeting.  A second-year applicant must submit a progress report on a previous award with the proposal; failure to do so could affect funding.  Note that new projects take priority over continuing ones.  For graduate students, preference will be given to thesis or dissertation projects.

NMGS will support mileage costs up to $0.40/mile, equipment costs up to $100, thesis preparation costs up to $100, and thin section costs up to $30 each. 

NMGS will not fund per diem requests or requests for food expenses, but may fund lodging requests if lodging is absolutely necessary (e.g. travel to work at a lab out of state or campground expenses).

Undergraduate research awards can be funded up to $1,500 and grants-in-aid can be funded to up to $2,000 (with an additional $1,500 increment if Graduate Mentorship funding is requested).  The base funding for the Frank E. Kottlowski Research Award is $2,500, which will be given to the highest ranked grant-in-aid application.  This amount may be increased by $1,500 if a Graduate Mentorship is requested. The Kottlowski Research Award will not be awarded to the same person two years in a row.  The recipient will be presented with the check for the Research Award in person at the Spring Meeting.

Requirements:

(Must be attending a NM institution with a proposed research project in NM.)

  1. Cover Sheet (for student assembled applications; online applications create this automatically)
  2. Abstract (1 page maximum)
  3. Resume (8 pages maximum)
  4. Description of Project (10 pages maximum) should include the following sections:
    1. Problem / purpose of study. Clearly state the problem to be addressed or the hypothesis to be tested. Include the field location where the problem will be studied.
    2. Previous studies.
    3. Significance of the study. Why is this work important? Place the project in a disciplinary context and in the context of New Mexico Geology.
    4. Method(s) of study. Concisely state how you plan to accomplish your investigation, including data analysis. Be specific.
    5. Duration of investigation.
    6. Description of Graduate Mentorship (only if requesting Graduate Mentorship funding).
    7. References cited in proposal.
  5. Itemized budget (in a summary table) and budget justification (on a separate page).  Items should be clearly identified and described in the proposal text. An itemized budget is still required to be provided even if the requested amount is only a portion of a larger project budget (i.e. if the NMGS award will offset larger expenses, the requested budget must still be itemized in a summary table).
  6. List of other grants that:
    1. have supported this project in the past
    2. are currently supporting this project, and
    3. are being applied for.
  7. Progress report on most recent NMGS Grant-in-Aid award (2 pages maximum).
  8. Two letters of reference:
    • At least one letter of reference must be from the student's advisor.
    • At least one of letter of reference must be from a current NMGS member.
    • At least one letter of reference must be from someone who is neither the student's advisor nor department chairperson.
    • Additional letters can be submitted either electronically or via mail (instructions provided once an application is complete).

Evaluation Process for Grants-in-aid:

Proposals should be sent to the Chairman of the Scholarship Committee.  A committee of geologists (commonly three), including the Vice President of the Society, reads all submitted proposals and independently ranks them.  Depending on available NMGS funds, the committee awards the highest ranked proposal the Frank E. Kottlowski Research Award and determines amounts for other grants-in-aid.  The committee is free to use its judgment in evaluating proposals beyond the general guidelines given above.  In past years, the committees have funded well thought-out proposals and innovative proposals not apt to receive conventional support.  Past committees have suggested proposal writers consider the following:

  1. Is the proposal well written with a clearly described purpose and objective?
  2. Is the proposed project “do-able”?  Past highly favored proposals were well focused.
  3. Does the proposal tie into ongoing work of major geological significance?  Does the proposal have the potential for making a major contribution in a given area?
  4. Are the number of samples taken (analyses, thin section) reasonable?  Proposals with too many analyses in a small area or too few in a large area will be questioned.
  5. Do not request excessive reimbursement for mileage.  Many daily commutes to a field area rather than a few trips with lengthy stays commonly are critically judged.
  6. NMGS will not fund per diem requests or requests for food expenses, but may fund lodging requests if lodging is absolutely necessary (e.g. travel to work at a lab out of state, or campground expenses).
  7. Do not request excessive duplication costs.
  8. Applicants are encouraged, but not required, to present a paper at the NMGS Spring Meeting.

Some Criteria For The Kottlowski Fellowship:

  1. Project should be a significant contribution to some aspect of New Mexico geology.
  2. Application should include a bibliography of the applicant's publications.  Emphasis is placed on publications and papers presented on the proposed area of study and on New Mexico geology.
  3. Application should note the student’s participation and contributions to the New Mexico Geological Society.
  4. Applicants are strongly encouraged, but not required, to present a paper at the NMGS spring meeting.

Some Criteria For Graduate Mentorship:

  1. Describe in the application the anticipated activities and duties that the undergraduate student will be performing under the Graduate Mentorship program. Be specific.
  2. How will the undergraduate student be selected by the graduate student?
  3. How will the requested funding be used?  If funding will go to the undergraduate student, how will that be managed?
  4. What steps will the graduate student take to help ensure that the undergraduate student is both performing adequately and learning additional skills?
  5. Applicants are encouraged, but not required, to present a progress report to the committee on the Graduate Mentorship after completion of the mentorship.
  6. A progress report is required after completion of the mentorship if a second year of Graduate Mentorship is requested.

Competitive Awards:

FRANK E. KOTTLOWSKI RESEARCH AWARD:

Awarded annually to a graduate student attending a New Mexico University at the NMGS Annual Spring Meeting based on Grants-in-Aid applications.  Selection is made by the NMGS Scholarship Committee.  Thesis/dissertation topic must be in New Mexico.  Applications mailed in late fall/early winter to geoscience degree-granting universities and colleges in New Mexico.

  • Focus: Excellence in New Mexico graduate thesis/dissertation research
  • Awarded: Annually at the Spring Meeting luncheon
  • To: Graduate (M.S. or PhD.) geoscience student
  • Selection: NMGS Scholarship Committee via Grants-in-Aid application. The top ranked grant-in-aid applicant will receive the Kottlowski Research Award.
  • Amount: $2,500

GRADUATE GRANTS-IN-AID:

These research grants are awarded every spring to support research by graduate students attending a New Mexico University.  Amount may vary, but is a maximum of $2000 per award.  Selection is made by the NMGS Scholarship Committee.  Applications and other information available on NMGS web site; deadline for submission of applications is typically the 3rd Friday in February.  Grant-in-Aid applicants are automatically eligible for the Kottlowski Research Award.   The top-ranked grant-in-aid applicant will receive the Kottlowski Research Award rather than a grant-in-aid.

A graduate student may also apply for a Graduate Mentorship Grant (up to $1500) as an additional funding increment to a “grant-in-aid” application. These grants allow a graduate student to employ and closely mentor an undergraduate student in research activities for a year. A brief statement of the anticipated duties and research training to be provided the undergraduate student can be added to the graduate student’s grant-in-aid application. 

  • Focus: Support of student research in New Mexico.
  • Awarded: Annually during the Spring Semester
  • To: Graduate (M.S. or PhD.) geoscience student
  • Selection: NMGS Scholarship Committee via Grants-in-Aid application. 
  • Amount: Up to $2000 per award (or up to a total of $3500 if Graduate Mentorship funding is requested)

LUCILLE H. PIPKIN UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH AWARDS:

Lucille H. Pipkin Undergraduate Research Awards will be made to undergraduate students attending eligible New Mexico institutions who are undertaking faculty-supervised research leading to completion of an undergraduate research thesis or report.  Students will submit proposals using the same guidelines and requirements as for the Graduate Grants-in-Aid Scholarships.

  1. Eligible institutions are those with formal undergraduate research programs.  The committee which selects the forwarded proposals will be informed that only proposals involving a substantial component of geoscience research will be considered for funding.
  2. The maximum award will not be greater than $1500.
  3. A listing of submitted proposals, including abstracts, will be posted prominently at the Spring Meeting.  A similar posting of proposals receiving grant awards will be made at the following Fall Field Conference, where recipients will also be recognized at the banquet.
  • Focus: Support of undergraduate research in New Mexico.
  • Awarded: Annually during the Spring Semester
  • To: Undergraduate students pursuing supervised research projects
  • Selection: NMGS Scholarship Committee via Grants-in-Aid application. 
  • Amount: $1500 maximum per award.

OUTSTANDING STUDENT PAPERS:

Awarded every Spring to the best oral and best poster presentations by a student during the annual Spring Meeting.  Selections are made by a panel of judges.  Solicitation for Best Paper judges is the responsibility of the technical chair(s) for the Spring Meeting. 

  • Focus: Recognize and award the best geoscience presentations
  • Awarded: Annually after ranking during the Spring Meeting
  • To: Students who prepare the best geoscience paper representing principally the work of that student
  • Selection: Panel of judges chosen by the Spring Meeting technical chair(s)
  • Amount: $100 each for the best oral and best poster presentation

Non-competitive Awards:

LUCILLE H. PIPKIN SENIOR SCHOLARSHIP: 

Awarded annually to a deserving geoscience major who will be a Senior the following academic year. Selection is made by the geoscience scholarship committees at ENMU, NMHU, NMIMT, NMSU, and UNM. The department must anticipate that, in addition to overall merit, the student will receive a geoscience degree by the end of the school year following that in which the award is made.

  • Focus: Support for undergraduate education
  • Awarded: Annually in the Spring
  • To: Undergraduate geoscience students who will be Seniors the following year.
  • Selection: Scholarship committee at the appropriate school
  • Amount: $3,000 each

LUCILLE H. PIPKIN BOOK SCHOLARSHIPS:

Awarded in the spring to undergraduate geoscience students to help defray the costs of textbooks. Up to three $150 scholarships available to each New Mexico school offering a geoscience course. Selection is made by faculty at the appropriate institution.

  • Focus: Support of undergraduate education by defraying costs of text books.
  • Awarded: Annually during the Spring Semester
  • To: Eligible undergraduate students
  • Selection: Scholarship committee at the appropriate school. 
  • Amount: $150 maximum per award

OUTSTANDING SENIOR AWARD:

Award of $100 plus a copy of NMGS Special Publication 11 (Geology of New Mexico) to the outstanding graduating senior in geosciences at WNMU.

Focus: Recognize and reward outstanding graduating seniors

  • Awarded: Annually in the spring
  • To: Senior geoscience student
  • Selection: Geoscience departments at WNMU
  • Amount: $100 plus a copy of NMGS Special Publication 11.

ROBERT WELLNITZ MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP:

Awarded annually at the Fall Field Conference.  Recipient must be a graduate student at UNM, NMIMT, or NMSU, and whose thesis/dissertation is field oriented and is in New Mexico.   The recipient must attend the Fall Field Conference Banquet in order to receive this award.   The award is rotated among the Geoscience Departments at UNM, NMIMT, and NMSU.  Selection is made by faculty at the institution of the recipient.

  • Focus: Excellence in field-oriented graduate work in New Mexico
  • Awarded: Annually during the Fall Field Conference banquet
  • To: Graduate (M.S. or PhD.) geoscience student
  • Selection: Scholarship committee at the appropriate university 
  • Amount: $1000 award
  • Rotation:
    • NMIMT 2010, 2013, 2016
    • NMSU 2011, 2014, 2017
    • UNM 2012, 2015, 2018

BEVERLY WELLNITZ MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP:

Awarded annually at the Fall Field Conference.  Recipient must be a graduate student at UNM, NMIMT, or NMSU, and whose thesis/dissertation is field oriented and is in New Mexico.   The recipient must attend the Fall Field Conference Banquet in order to receive this award.   The award is rotated among the Geoscience Departments at UNM, NMIMT, and NMSU.  Selection is made by faculty at the institution of the recipient.

  • Focus: Excellence in academic graduate work in New Mexico
  • Awarded: Annually during the Fall Field Conference banquet
  • To: Graduate (M.S. or PhD.) geoscience student
  • Selection: Scholarship committee at the appropriate university 
  • Amount: $500 award (for each of two recipients)
  • Rotation:              
    • NMIMT 2009, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2017
    • NMSU 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016
    • UNM  2008, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2016  

FALL FIELD CONFERENCE SCHOLARSHIPS:

Variable amount.  Awarded annually prior to the NMGS Fall Field Conference to defray the cost of attending the conference for deserving students.  Selection by the scholarship committee at the respective schools.   Two graduate and two undergraduate students at each New Mexico university offering earth science related degrees are eligible.  Depending on the availability of funding, the Executive Committee may extend this award to recipients at other colleges and universities in New Mexico.

  • Focus: Support for student attendance at the NMGS Fall Field Conference
  • Awarded: Annually prior to the Fall Field Conference
  • To: Two undergraduates at each of the schools offering geoscience curricula, and two graduate geoscience students at the schools offering graduate geoscience degrees.
  • Selection: Scholarship committee at the appropriate university
  • Amount: Fall Field Conference registration fee waived, plus a stipend (contingent upon available funds) to help with lodging or other expenses.

STUDENT SCIENCE FAIR WINNERS:

Awarded to outstanding presentation of geoscience-oriented science fair projects submitted for competition.  Selection by judges at regional New Mexico science fairs and by judges at the New Mexico State Science and Engineering Fair.  All science fair regions are eligible.

  • Focus: Recognize and reward excellence in geoscience-oriented science fair projects
  • Awarded: Annually in the spring for the Regional and State Science Fairs
  • To: Junior and Senior science fair winners in the earth science category
  • Selection: Science Fair judges 
  • Amount:
    • Two awards are available for each Regional Science Fair at $100 each.
    • Two awards are available for the State Science and Engineering Fair at $100 each.