Wallace scholarship for women geoscientists awardees announced

Alexandria, VA – The American Geosciences Institute congratulates the latest recipients of the Wallace Scholarship for women in geoscience. The newest awardee is Penn State doctoral candidate Elizabeth Denis and 2013 awardee, University of Florida doctoral candidate Kelly Deuerling, has received a second year of funding in a re-compete application.

Denis’ research, funded in part by a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship, currently integrates geochemistry and sedimentology to investigate fire and aridity relationships during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) a past hot, CO2-rich climate. Denis researches how organic matter distribution is influenced by sediment dynamics. Her undergraduate degree at Brown University provided the foundation for her dissertation by identifying that certain compounds of organic matter found in the sedimentological record can be used as fire markers. Her research is part of a greater project between NSF, and the Smithsonian Institution to demonstrate how the PETM serves as a unique analog to the current anthropogenic induced changes to the carbon cycle. Her research will be used to develop educational modules for grade school students through Penn State’s outreach programs.

Deuerling, who was awarded the Wallace Scholarship initially in the 2013-2014 year, has been awarded the one-time renewal of this scholarship. She has spent the last year analyzing the samples she collected in western Greenland as part of a research team she helped coordinate, and she hopes to have her first manuscript on solute fluxes in proglacial watersheds submitted  by late spring 2014; research that may provide insight on ice sheet fluctuation over time and watershed sourcing. The timeliness of her research, as well as its broad appeal and potential impacts on the greater geoscience community, helped to distinguish Deuerling as a promising young scientist within the geoscience profession. Although Deuerling anticipates graduating in two years, she has already started seeking out traditional postdoctoral positions and she is keen to be passionate about whichever career path she pursues.

Given annually in honor of Harriet Evelyn Wallace, a founding member of the Geoscience Information Society (GSIS), a national organization and AGI Member Society that facilitates the exchange of information in the geosciences, the new Harriet Evelyn Wallace Scholarship is awarded to a female student pursuing a thesis-based Master’s or Doctoral degree in the Earth sciences. The scholarship is awarded to the applicant who most exemplifies the strong likelihood of a successful transition from her graduate studies to the geoscience workforce. The successful candidate receives $5,000 for her first scholarship year, and will be eligible for a second year scholarship of $5,000 upon successful completion of her first year. Each year, a second $5,000 award will be given to a new female graduate student for a total of 2 awards per year starting in 2014. For more information on the scholarship please visit http://bit.ly/1g4K7gl.

The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of 50 geoscientific and professional associations that represents more than 250,000 geologists, geophysicists and other earth scientists. Founded in 1948, AGI provides information services to geoscientists, 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 interaction with the environment.

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