Since 1965, the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies has awarded over $1.7 million in grant scholarships to support students entering professions in earth science.
This year, two GGP graduate students pursuing the MS in geography and geology received scholarships in recognition of their contributions to the field.
“The scholarship is graciously designed to help us launch two of our graduate students into their careers,” Dr. Douglas Gouzie, professor of GGP said. “Both Sarah and Joe have shown a serious commitment to succeed in the geologic profession.”
Dr. Matthew McKay, professor of GGP, advises both students.
“When science needs to get done, Sarah and Joe deliver,” McKay said.
St. Charles, Missouri
Sarah Prost’s focus is on Rocky Mountain geology.
“I am studying mountain-building events, particularly the Northern Rocky Mountains in western Idaho,” Prost said. “The focus is the Salmon River suture zone where metamorphic rocks have been uplifted.
“The magnitude of time and space for the different processes that take place is most fascinating for me.”
Her scholarship will be a great aid in continuing her research.
“This award will help with bills during my last year of graduate school and continuing to finish my research,” Prost said. “Receiving this award makes me feel very thankful for my time at Missouri State and helps make the hard moments a little easier.”
Her adviser, McKay, says she is like a geology version of Mary Poppins.
“Sarah is a work magician,” McKay said. “When she is given a task, it magically gets done. She makes it seem easy.
“When Sarah doesn’t understand something, she makes it her mission to absorb all the information she can find.”
St. Paul, Minnesota
Joe Lane’s focus lies underneath the earth’s surface.
“I’m currently studying the interplay of tectonics and geomorphology in understanding the effects on the modern Tennessee River,” he said. “The earth is a dynamic and constantly evolving place. It is amazing that we get to study it in school and then make a career out of learning how past environments affect us today.”
Graduating this spring, Lane hopes to continue his studies in a Ph.D. program while also becoming involved in bigger geological efforts, like the United States Geological Survey (USGS).
He believes his scholarship will help him get there.
“I am incredibly grateful for this award,” Lane said. “I did not expect to receive this generous amount and hope to use it to fund further exploration and understanding of the world around us.”
McKay believes he’s got what it takes to succeed in the geological sciences.
“Joe is a driven, curious and relentless scientist,” McKay said. “He has all the characteristics that make him a great investigative researcher. If you give Joe a geologic problem, he will descend into the rabbit hole and emerge an expert on the subject with a brilliant solution.”
The AFMS is a non-profit educational federation of seven regional gem and mineral societies, which includes the Midwest Federation.
The Midwest Federation just held its annual meeting here in Springfield, Missouri from October 22-23 at the Springfield Expo Center. The meeting served as part of the 55th Annual Springfield Gem & Mineral Society Show.