AGI Announces Lauren Sankovitch and Erin Donaghy as 2023 Wallace Scholarship Recipients

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) congratulates master's student Lauren Sankovitch and doctoral student Erin Donaghy for being named as the 2023 recipients of the Harriet Evelyn Wallace Scholarship for Women Geoscience Graduate Students. This highly competitive scholarship, which is awarded to women pursuing graduate degrees in geoscience, provides each recipient with a $5,000 award for one academic year.
Lauren Sankovitch is a second-year graduate student in the Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno. Her research focuses on developing a more precise dating method for silica-rich sinter deposits, which form around high-temperature hydrothermal systems such as geysers. With implications for geothermal energy and ore deposits, this work is also looks at paleoclimate data in evaluating how meteoric waters impact the evolution of these systems. Ms. Sankovitch anticipates her master's research can give insights into how climate change is affecting geothermally active sites worldwide.
"Being awarded the Wallace scholarship is an incredible honor as well as a huge vote of confidence in the potential I bring to the geosciences as a researcher and science communicator," Ms. Sankovich said. "Being a nontraditional student, I am so grateful for the family, friends, and employers who have given me such unwavering support since I returned to school. I would not be here without this diverse community."

Erin Donaghy is a fourth-year doctoral student in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences at Purdue University. Her research targets large-scale basin analysis with an emphasis on integrating field and analytical datasets to solve regional tectonic problems. She uses the sedimentary record to better understand oceanic plateau formation and break-up by studying fragments of plateaus now exposed in Alaska and Washington. In related work, Ms. Donaghy is developing new U-Pb zircon geochronologic methods useful for distinguishing fine-scale differences in the ages of source terranes supplying sediment to a basin.

"I am incredibly grateful and honored to receive the Harriet Evelyn Wallace Scholarship," said Ms. Donaghy. "This scholarship funds a new project to understand fault propagation and linkage in strike-slip basins through integration of high-precision chronostratigraphy and sedimentology. As I prepare to finish my Ph.D., results from research funded by this scholarship will help me initiate new projects as a postdoc or faculty during the next stage of my career."

The Wallace Scholarship is celebrating its 10th year supporting women geoscientists in graduate school. The original bequest was given by Harriet Evelyn Wallace, who was one of the founding members of the Geoscience Information Society (GSIS), a national organization and AGI Member Society that facilitates the exchange of information in the geosciences. The scholarship is awarded to the top applicants who most demonstrate a strong likelihood of success as a professional geoscientist. Learn more at
To make a tax-deductible donation to support rising women geoscientists through the Wallace Scholarship Fund, please visit
About AGI
The American Geosciences Institute (AGI), a federation of scientific and professional associations representing over a quarter-million geoscientists, is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to serving the geoscience community and addressing the needs of society. AGI headquarters are in Alexandria, Virginia.
AGI Contact:
Geoff Camphire, Communications