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ExxonMobil Awards $25,000 to Keck

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  • Andrew de Wet

     

For more than two decades, the Keck Geology Consortium has provided undergraduate students the opportunity to conduct research in places as remote as Mongolia and the Svalbard Archipelago in the Arctic Ocean.

This week, the Keck Geology Consortium will receive a $25,000 grant from the ExxonMobil Foundation to support undergraduate research.

The grant will supplement funding provided by the 18 consortium member institutions and the National Science Foundation.

“The ExxonMobil Foundation grant represents an important commitment to the education of undergraduate geology students through participation in summer research opportunities in locations ranging from Colorado to Alaska, as well as in Asia and the Arctic,” said Andrew de Wet, Franklin & Marshall College associate professor of Earth & Environment and director of the Keck Geology Consortium.

Of the total grant, $15,000 will fund student research. The remaining $10,000 will help support the Keck Research Symposium slated to be held in Houston in April 2010.

This year the consortium will provide research opportunities for 47 undergraduate geoscience students who are working on seven projects at member institutions. The project findings will be published and presented at next year’s symposium.

Faculty apply for the grants and collaborate with students on the projects. The ExxonMobil grant stipulates that at least two qualified students from underrepresented groups receive research funds.

Founded in 1987, the consortium aims to enrich undergraduate education through the implementation of high-quality research experiences. F&M is one of the 10 founding colleges of the consortium.

Since its founding, almost every geosicences professor at the College, and 40 Franklin & Marshall geology students, have conducted research supported by the consortium.

Through 2010, the consortium will receive $216,000 a year from the National Science Foundation. Member institutions also collectively contribute $198,000 per year to support consortium research.

In addition to Franklin & Marshall, the consortium includes Amherst, Beloit,

Carleton, Colorado, Mount Holyoke, Macalester, Oberlin, Pomona, Smith, Union, Whitman and Williams colleges; the College of Wooster; and Colgate, Trinity, Washington and Lee, and Wesleyan universities.