student examines the inside of a mineral

Enable geology majors to conduct vital fieldwork and present their research findings at national professional conferences.

As you might imagine, fieldwork takes on distinct meaning for JMU’s geologists and environmental scientists.

JMU geology professors and their students spend a lot of time outside—on the road in “JMU Geology” vans, tromping through tall grass and woods, in streambeds wet past their ankles, clinging to mountains and rock formations, or on their hands and knees, digging, retrieving specimens and analyzing soil and rock conditions.

Your gift is critical to provide the financial resources necessary for JMU geology students to pursue those real-world field activities. They form an important part of that hallmark Madison undergraduate research experience that occurs under the guidance of JMU’s expert and engaged geology professors. That’s an experience students at most universities don’t get until they are graduate students.

When you give to the geology department, you enable undergraduates to investigate issues like, for instance, the effects of cattle grazing in pasture land streams. Your gift provides the resources for students to analyze volcanic activity and debris flows, conduct groundwater inventories and sediment analysis, monitor landfill leachate and seismic detector networks, and much more.   

Research into areas like these can lead to important developments and innovations with real-world impact for society. Just as importantly, your gift enables these outstanding geology majors to travel to national professional geology research conferences. There they present their research findings in the company of faculty and graduate students from other universities.

That’s a rare opportunity at most universities. But at JMU, your gift will perpetuate our distinct balance of intense science instruction, hands-on research, liberal arts foundation and mentorship by world-class professors. That means students will graduate as skilled scientists with the context to make wise and effective decisions on issues that will help improve society.

The department also counts on your support to provide for geology’s other critical day-to-day academic needs. Your hardworking, go-to dollars …

  • ensure that students receive one-on-one time with expert and engaged professors
  • provide resources to support vital fieldwork
  • ensure that students have hands-on research opportunities
  • send undergraduates to present their findings at national research conferences
  • send faculty mentors to conferences along with undergraduates
  • ensure that students have access to sophisticated instrumentation that students at most universities don't get to use until graduate school
  • maintain and replace vans for field transportation
  • send undergraduates to other sites to use specialty equipment
  • offer undergraduate research stipends for the summer
  • purchase small specialty equipment
  • pay for emergency repairs for lab equipment
  • maintain and replace sophisticated instrumentation
  • bring in speakers and encourage student and alumni networking
  • build out curriculum and programs
  • send faculty mentors to research conferences
  • offer faculty research stipends for the summer

Together, by combining our vision and talents, we can give Geology and Environmental Science students the early start that qualifies them ahead of the research curve to enter graduate school, research labs, the teaching profession, the workforce or anywhere else they seek to go to boost America's culture of innovation and discovery.

That’s how the national model of the Engaged University operates. Your gift makes it possible.

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