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Opportunities for Giving Back to the Department


A fundamental goal of the Department of Geography is to inspire and educate its students to become engaged members of a democratic society.  As alumni, we count on your support in meeting this mission.  There are many ways you can “give back” to the Department: offering internship or job opportunities to our majors, speaking to our majors about your career path and experiences (in person, or via Skype) – there are many opportunities that do not involve a financial contribution.  If you would like to discuss the possibilities, please contact the Departmental Chair.

Of course, the Department of Geography appreciates the financial support of its alumni as well.  Alumni contributions support our annual Geofest celebration, bringing in speakers to discuss their research, class field trips, study abroad support for our majors, research grants for undergraduate and graduate projects, or a particular project with special meaning to you – there are many worthy causes that enrich the Department.  Alumni may choose to make contributions to the Department’s General Fund, Scalia Laboratory for Atmospheric Analysis, or contribute to one of the scholarships described below (several are named in honor of people connected to the Department).  To make a contribution, please visit



Study abroad awards help defray the costs of this valuable experience for our majors.  If you wish your contribution to the Geography Department to be "earmarked" for this purpose, please notify us (e-mail is fine), and we will make sure the funds help realize this great opportunity for our Geography majors.

Named Scholarships:


  • Bloemer Geography Scholarship
    The Bloemer Geography Scholarship was established with money donated by the late Emeritus professor, Dr. Hubert "Hugh" Bloemer. Dr. Bloemer joined the faculty of the Department of Geography in 1971; he retired in 2009. During his tenure at Ohio University, Hugh served as Director of the University Cartographic Center, was Chair of the Department from 1993-1998, and Chair of the Faculty Senate from 2001-2004. In 1985 he was named a University Professor for excellence in teaching. Hugh 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% 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 Hubert and his siblings contributed money to endow a scholarship in her name. The recipient (or recipients) must have a minimum GPA of 3.3. In honor of Hubert, who was a Cartographer and instructed Ohio University students for nearly 30 years, 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 fond of her travels throughout the US, 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 tracks of the Geography major.


  • 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. Dr. 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 is the only Ohio University professor to have 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. In honor of Hubert, 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. Joe 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, Joe 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, Joe 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 Mrs. 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 (2014-15, 2016-17, 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%. 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 Isaac Sindiga Memorial Fund
    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 & where), the rationale for the research (why), and the plan for accomplishing the research (how & 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 advisor 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..



Scholarships which have not reached endowed status; funds will be awarded once endowed:

  • The Hugh Bloemer Memorial Scholarship Fund
    Funds will be awarded to Geography students majoring in geographic techniques (cartography, GIS, remote sensing)