ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) congratulates Stephanie Sparks as one of two 2019 recipients of the Harriet Evelyn Wallace Scholarship. This highly competitive scholarship, which is awarded each year to two women pursuing graduate degrees in geoscience, provides a $5,000 award for one academic year.
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March 8, 2019
Sparks is a first-year doctoral student at Arizona State University in the School of Earth and Space Exploration where she studies orogenesis – the process by which mountain ranges are formed – with a focus on the Himalayan range.
According to Sparks, the eastern region of the Himalayan range appears to have been formed differently than the rest, and she hopes to ascertain why through her research.
Sparks, who began her career working in engineering and polymer science, has followed a nontraditional path to her doctoral program. During an internship with the U.S. Department of Energy, she began taking classes – including a geology class which included her first experience doing field work.
"That experience opened my eyes to how much happier I felt doing geology as opposed to polymer science and also that my knowledge is highly transferrable to what I'm interested in in the geosciences," said Sparks.
Sparks' research is supported in part by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program. The Wallace Scholarship will fill in gaps that her existing funding sources do not cover, empowering Sparks to do the work she loves to do.
The Wallace Scholarship supports women geoscientists in graduate school and is awarded to applicants who demonstrate strong likelihood of successfully transitioning into the geoscience workforce. Wallace Scholars who are continuing their graduate studies are eligible to apply for the award a second time. The original bequest was given by Harriet Evelyn Wallace, one of the founding members of the Geoscience Information Society. To learn more about the Wallace Scholarship, go to
Funding for the Wallace Scholarship is provided through a new partnership with IF/THEN, an initiative of Lyda Hill Philanthropies.
To make a tax-deductible donation to support women geoscientists through the Wallace Scholarship Fund, go to https://bit.ly/GeoWomen2019.
The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) is a nonprofit federation of more than 50 scientific and professional associations that represents over a quarter-million geoscientists. Founded in 1948, AGI provides geoscientists with access to scholarly information, serves as a voice of shared interests in the profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in society's use of resources, resiliency to natural hazards, and health of the environment.
AGI is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to serving the geoscience community and addressing the needs of society. AGI headquarters are in Alexandria, Virginia.
The American Geosciences Institute represents and serves the geoscience community by providing collaborative leadership and information to connect Earth, science, and people.