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Geography Scholarships & Financial Aid

Undergraduate Scholarships & Awards

Graduate Student Financial Aid

Undergraduate Scholarships Awarded by the Geography Department

The Geography Department is pleased to provide a number of merit-based scholarships each year to undergraduate Geography majors. Students must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and a minimum of 30 semester hours attempted to be eligible, although some awards have greater requirements. Hours attempted means hours earned for a letter grade at Ohio University. No award is based on financial need. The Awards Committee determines the eligible candidates for the scholarships every spring semester, and awards are usually presented at the annual "Geofest" dinner in April. Only the "Margaret Boyd Research Scholarship" (for applied geographic research) requires an application.

In addition to the awards described below the Geography Department makes a monetary award to a few graduating seniors with exemplary academic records. Approximately five students receive the "Outstanding Senior" Award. The funds come from alumni and other benefactors to the department.

Bloemer Geography Scholarship

The Bloemer Geography Scholarship was established with money donated by the late Emeritus professor, Dr. Hubert "Hugh" Bloemer. He joined the faculty of the Department of Geography in 1971; he retired in 2009. During his tenure at Ohio University, he served as director of the University Cartographic Center. He was chair of the department from 1993-98 and chair of the Faculty Senate from 2001-04. In 1985 he was named a University Professor for excellence in teaching. He established this scholarship to provide a significant portion of each recipient's tuition.

The recipient of this scholarship must have a minimum GPA of 3.5 and have at least 30 attempted hours. The recipient may be a sophomore, junior, or senior. GPA is a significant criterion for this award, but the recipient must demonstrate "outstanding interest and aptitude in the study of Geography, as well as potential for future achievement in the field." To help the Awards Committee determine the recipient, the committee may solicit a written statement and/or conduct an interview with eligible students. More than one recipient may be chosen, but the scholarship should provide at least 40 percent of each recipient's education expenses, including tuition, room and board, and required textbooks.

The Regina L. Bloemer Scholarship in Geography

The Regina L. Bloemer scholarship was established by the late Emeritus Professor H. L. (Hugh) Bloemer in honor of his mother (1907-1988) – "a true geographer without formal geographic training." When Regina Bloemer passed away, Bloemer and his siblings contributed money to endow a scholarship in her name.

The recipient (or recipients) must have a minimum GPA of 3.3. The scholarship is typically awarded to a high-achieving student in the geo-techniques.

The Olive Emler Ross Scholarship in Geography

The Olive Emler Ross Scholarship was established by alumnus Carl Ross, in honor of his native-Ohioan mother (1886-1970). Although not a professional geographer, she was always interested in geographic and meteorological information and was fond of her travels throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. Furthering one's education was paramount to her, and so this scholarship is designed to assist students with their financial needs.

The department commonly makes four or five "Ross" Scholarships per year. Students must have completed their second or third year. GPA is very important, but the committee may award the scholarships to high-achieving students in various Geography majors.

The Hubert and Constance Wilhelm Geography Scholarship

The Hubert and Constance Wilhelm Scholarship was endowed by their son, David Wilhelm, as well as a number of other benefactors. Hugh Wilhelm was the first chair of the Department of Geography when it separated from Geology in the late 1960s. Wilhelm was a cultural geographer who studied cultural landscapes and settlement landscapes in particular. He was a leading specialist in the settlement of the rural Midwest. He inspired students at Ohio University for over 30 years, and he won the prestigious "University Professor" award twice. His wife, Connie, was an instrumental factor in Hugh's success.

Students must have a minimum GPA of 3.35 and have a minimum of 30 hours attempted. The scholarship is typically awarded to a student specializing in cultural geography.

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 Sept. 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, Ferguson and a colleague were taking high school students from Washington, D.C., on the NGS-sponsored trip.

In the department, Joe 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 Elizabeth Llewellyn Robe Memorial Scholarship

The Elizabeth Llewellyn Robe Scholarship was established by Dr. T. Richard and Eleanora Robe in honor of the Elizabeth Llewellyn Robe family. The scholarship is awarded in alternate years to an Appalachian student of merit majoring in Geography and Geological Sciences. In even years (2016-17, 2018-10, etc.), the scholarship is awarded to Geography majors on the Athens campus.

The Elizabeth Llewellyn Robe Memorial scholars will be selected principally on the basis of academic performance or potential and have a GPA of 3.5 or higher but may be awarded to an incoming freshman with a high school rank in the upper 10 percent. The recipient must have graduated from a high school in one of the federally designated Appalachian counties of Ohio (Adams, Ashtabula, Athens, Belmont, Brown, Carroll, Clermont, Columbiana, Coshocton, Gallia, Guernsey, Harrison, Highland, Hocking, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Lawrence, Mahoning, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Pike, Ross, Scioto, Trumbull, Tuscarawas, Vinton, Washington). At the discretion of the Awards Committee, the scholarship may be awarded to an individual more than once provided the recipient meets eligibility requirements and makes satisfactory progress toward a degree.

The David Keirns Public Service Award­ in Meteorology

The David Keirns Public Service Award in Meteorology was named in honor of David Keirns, a meteorology major who unfortunately passed away during his sophomore year at Ohio University. Recognizing Keirns ' contribution to the meteorology program and Scalia Laboratory for Atmospheric Analysis at Ohio University, this award is given annually to an undergraduate student of junior or senior rank who has continually gone above and beyond the call of duty for Scalia Laboratory and the meteorology program.

Recipients of this award typically are involved with community outreach and education, routinely disseminating forecasts during situations of inclement or threatening weather outside of their scheduled times, and filling in for absences or missed weather forecasts. The primary deciding factor is a student's service contributions to the Scalia Laboratory and meteorology program as a whole, but academic merit also may be considered in deciding the award. Both the director and associate director of Scalia Laboratory make the award decision.

The Outstanding Undergraduate Scalia Scholar

The Outstanding Undergraduate Scalia Scholar award is given annually to a graduating senior on the basis of academic performance and research and other scholarly contributions to the Scalia Laboratory. Although the award is typically given to a Geography-Meteorology major, any student who has taken coursework in the meteorology major and/or has performed research or scholarly activity on behalf of the Scalia Laboratory for Atmospheric Analysis is eligible for the award. No set minimum GPA is required, however students typically have a cumulative GPA above a 3.0 and a major (or in the meteorology curriculum, for non-Geography/meteorology majors) GPA of 3.5 or higher. Both the director and Associate Director of Scalia Laboratory make the award decision.

Scholarships Awarded by Gamma Theta Upsilon

Scholarships ($1,000 each) are awarded annually by Gamma Theta Upsilon, the international geographic honor society. Scholarship recipients must be GTU members. Application materials and information on scholarships and memberships may be found on the GTU web site.

  • The Buzzard Undergraduate Scholarship is awarded to a college senior for use toward graduate school expenses.
  • The Maxfield Scholarship is awarded to a junior or senior with either career or graduate school aspirations.
  • The Richason Scholarship is awarded to a junior or senior with either career or graduate school aspirations.
  • The Rechlin Scholarship is awarded to a junior or senior.

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