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Geology Alumni Endowed Award

We are excited to announce a grassroots effort being led by alumni like yourself who have a passion for geoscience education, research experience, and ensuring the success of our alma mater. In November 2016, a group of Houston-based alumni collaborated with the College of Charleston Foundation to establish the Geology Alumni Endowed Award. This endowment is a first for the School of Sciences & Mathematics - no other group of alumni in the history of the school has initiated such an award!


According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for geoscientists is projected to grow by 10% through 2024. However, the American Geoscience Institute forecasts a supply gap of 135,000 geoscientists over this same time period. AGI also shows through surveys of geoscience students that participating in research experiences is an important component of professional development. As you know, our world faces enormous challenges in the context of climate change, energ y supply, and water resources. Given this outlook, the career opportunities for our field have never looked brighter.

We want alumni to partner with the College of Charleston Geology Department in meeting this demand by equipping our fellow Cougars with the necessary skills and opportunities to secure careers that are impactful, fulfilling, and lucrative.

Our goal is to raise $500,000 by 2020 in order to fund the following activities in perpetuity:

1. Undergraduate Research

2. Field Studies Scholarships

3. Expenses for Professional Conferences

Great strides have already been made (see figure below), but despite this strong start, we still need YOUR help in reaching our goal.

GAEA Summary

Link to the full report is here: 2017 Annual Report

Why give?

Whether we reminisce about Hawaiian shirts, Dr. Bob’s sage-­like wisdom, the stories that never leave Field Studies, or many other memories, we can all agree that the CofC Geology Department is unparalleled in fostering a strong sense of community. We truly believe that our “students helping students” mentality honors this culture.

From porewater sampling at Dixie Plantation to monitoring greenhouse gas emissions in Francis Marion Forest, CofC Geology Department is where I received my first real taste of independent research. I am sincerely grateful for the opportunities made possible by summer research grants and travel awards to present my research at conferences. No matter whether you stay in geology or venture into other areas, getting to test‑drive being a scientist outside the classroom is an invaluable experience to receive as an undergraduate. Looking forward to ensuring we carry on that tradition through this endowment! -­‐Emily Sekula (Class of 2005) Geologist at ExxonMobil

Thanks to funding for my summer research, I was able to do research on the geochemical fate and transport of pharmaceutical chemicals with Dr. Vulava. With more pharmaceuticals being prescribed now than ever, we need to look at the pollutants in the soil and ground water. I appreciate the experience this undergraduate research opportunity gave me; it will make me more competitive for future opportunities, and I hope it will also lead to advances in geoscience research! -­‐Drew Barnum (Class of 2017)

How to Contribute


If you would prefer to provide support by writing a check, please add fund code E667 on the memo line.

Don’t forget to check if your company supports matching gifts at

Your generosity, whether it is $25 or $25,000, will join others and collectively make a significant impact on today’s geology students and those yet to come. Additionally, your gift will include you in one of our many CofC giving societies:‑recognition.

For more information or questions please contact Lauren Van Buskirk, Senior Development Officer for the School of Science and Mathematics at or by phone at 843.953.5532.

Contact Us

If you have any questions regarding the Geology Alumni Endowed Award, please contact Lauren Van Buskirk or Dr. Tim Callahan at:

Office: School of Science and Mathematics Building, 202 Calhoun Street, Suite 224, Charleston, SC 29401

Mailing Address: Dept of Geology, College of Charleston, 66 George Street, Charleston, SC 29424

Lauren: 843.953.5532,

Tim: 843.953.8278,

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