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Geography Graduate Student Financial Aid

Graduate Assistantships (GA)

Typically there are three types of funding opportunities available for Geography graduate students.

Teaching Assistants (TAs) and Research Assistants (RAs) receive a scholarship to cover tuition, plus a stipend (paid bi-monthly). TAs and RAs are expected to work 15 to 20 hours on their assignments.

Students awarded a Graduate Recruitment Scholarship (GRS) receive a scholarship and stipend (paid bi-monthly), which combined cover most of the cost of tuition. Students receiving a GRS are expected to work five hours per week on their assignments. Regardless of the nature of the funding, all graduate students are representatives of the department and need to accord their assignments top priority.

Departmental Scholarships Available for Geography Graduate Students

The Joe Ferguson Memorial Scholarship

The scholarship commemorates the contribution of Joe Ferguson to Geography at Ohio University and to the National Geographic Society (NGS) as an educator and administrator. Ferguson was killed on 9/11/2001 in the plane that terrorists crashed into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. Bound for California to do environmental work on the Channel Islands, he and a colleague were taking high school students from Washington, D.C., on the NGS-sponsored trip.

In the department, Ferguson participated fully in the intellectual life, gave tirelessly as a cartography teaching associate, and worked to create cohesion among his contemporary graduate students. One of the first to be awarded the National Geographic Internship, he moved into the ranks of NGS administrator after its completion. While at NGS he remained in contact with and was supportive of the department whether hosting tours of cartographic field trips or providing materials for distribution at the department's annual Geofest event. In the larger arena of the institution, he participated in dorm and other social events to the fullest.

While at NGS, Ferguson accomplished many things especially advancing geographic education. One substantial effort was promoting the state level membership in the NGS-sponsored Geography Alliance. His work was effective because he had the requisite background and the personality to bring together the disparate elements from the affiliated state departments.

His spirit and contributions are remembered by this scholarship.

Recipients of the Joe Ferguson Scholarship must be Geography majors, and either a full-time undergraduate student with junior or senior rank, or a graduate student enrolled in or accepted for admission to the university. Preference will be given to a student exemplifying intellectual accomplishment combined with service and good humor.

The Isaac Sindiga Memorial Fund for Geography

Established in honor of the late Dr. Isaac Sindiga, who received his master's degree from the department in 1981, this award is given annually to one or more graduate students to support direct costs of conducting thesis research. The award is administered by the Graduate Committee; selection criteria include academic performance and research potential. Eligibility requirements include 30 semester hours of graduate coursework in the Geography Department, and approval of the project by the thesis committee. The research must include some element of travel or fieldwork as well as research expenses that would otherwise be out-of-pocket.

Applicants should provide to the Graduate Committee Chair a brief (maximum three-page, double-spaced) synopsis of their projects indicating the purpose of the research (what and where), the rationale for the research (why), and the plan for accomplishing the research (how and when). Use an additional page if necessary to provide a budget detailing estimated expenses for conducting the research and information on any other funding received or applied for to help cover those out-of-pocket expenses. In addition, an applicant's thesis adviser must submit a letter of recommendation to the Graduate Chair via email by the application due date in early June. Students may not receive support from the Isaac Sindiga Memorial Fund for Geography more than once.

The Outstanding Graduate Scalia Scholar

Established by the former Scalia Laboratory for Atmospheric Analysis Director Dr. Ronald Isaac, the Outstanding Graduate Scalia Scholar is given annually to a full-time graduate student on the basis of academic performance, research and scholarly activity on behalf of the Scalia Laboratory, and/or community outreach, service, and education on behalf of the Scalia Laboratory. The award decision is made by the director of the Scalia Laboratory in consultation with the Geography Department graduate committee.

Research and Travel Grants

To help defray travel expenses, the department will award Geography graduate students a maximum of $250 per academic year to attend a professional conference, or $500 to present at the conference. Presentations (posters, PowerPoint, etc.) should acknowledge your affiliation with Ohio University Geography Department.

To apply for funding, students should ask for a letter of recommendation from their adviser, who will submit the request to the Department Chair along with a Travel Authorization Request Form for that student. Students will need to provide Patti Malloy original receipts totaling the requested amount after travel. Graduate students are also encouraged to apply for Graduate Student Senate Travel Grants.

Other Sources of Funding

Students also are encouraged to pursue other funding opportunities at Ohio University, including Student Enhancement Awards, CRSCA Discretionary Fund, Graduate Student Senate?s Grant for Original Work, and GSS's Travel Program. See Ohio University internal funding opportunities.