Earth Sciences students receive scholarship and recognition


Article by Linda Relyea

ashley how stands next to david abbott in the ryan geology museum

Ashley How and David M. Abbott, Jr.

Adams State University earth science student Ashley How received a prestigious scholarship and check from the American Institute of Professional Geologists, presented by David M. Abbott Jr. in the Ryan Geology Museum, located on the first floor of Porter Hall.

How, an Alamosa High School graduate, Alamosa, CO; will graduate in 2019 with a major in geology and a minor in physical geography. The AIPG Scholarship will provide many benefits to her academic goals, including financial assistance without the stress of repaying. "This scholarship also allows me be more selective in my free time including participating in the ASU Geo Club and writing research papers, rather than having to work."

The AIPG Scholarship will also look good on a resume. "Being selected for such a prestigious award makes me a more competitive and attractive candidate for employees and grad schools and helps me network with other geoscience professionals, not only through AIPG, but also throughout the career field," How added.

Dr. Robert Benson, professor of earth science, said How has an extraordinary work ethic and caring attitude toward her classmates and coworkers. "I expect that Ashley will achieve great accomplishments through graduate school and future work as a geologist, be it in the private sector or academia."

The earth science program has been supportive of How. "Although the program is small, Dr. Benson (professor of earth science) and Dr. Beeton have contributed tremendously to my academic performance and my overall learning experience." She appreciates the many opportunities through the program including research initiatives; hands-on and real-life field experience both in, and out, of the classroom; contacts for professionals in the professional field, and the attending earth science conferences including the American Association of Geographers (AAG) Annual Conference and the Geological Society of America (GSA) Annual Conference where How presented her research and attended lectures on current geological issues.

After receiving her undergraduate degree, How has her sights set on being a volcanologist. "My main area of interest is in explosive volcanism and mitigation research and would ultimately love to work for the USGS or a similar scientific agency. I have already started looking at potential grad schools to start at in fall 2019, one of which is in Hawaii."

earth science students standing and sitting at tabl laughing also dr jared beeton and david abbott stand smiling in background two large windows

Abbott, a certified professional geologist by AIPG and editor of the Colorado Section's quarterly, The Colorado Professional Geologist, said the January issue of The Professional Geologist is the student issue and carries a number of student-authored articles on the research and other work they've been doing. "We encourage student participation in local activities, which provides students with opportunities to meet practicing geologists involved with the various fields of geoscience practice that includes areas like mining, oil and gas, hydrology, environmental geology, and engineering geology."

Abbott addressed gathered earth science students about the AIPG National Undergraduate Scholarship and provided many helpful suggestions about achieving success in the field prior to and after graduation. "Geology is one of those fields in which you get paid to take hikes to look at the countryside and the rocks that form it. It is a field that most professionals are passionate about. My career has required travel to every continent except Antarctica."

Dr. Jared Beeton stands between Clifton Simmons and Jamie Chow in the ryan geology museum

After the scholarship presentation, Dr. Jared Beeton, professor earth sciences, recognized Clifton Simmons and Jamie Chong as outstanding students for the 2017/2018 academic year. The Geo Club also presented token gifts to graduating seniors.