Scholarships are a great source for funding higher education. Students are often unaware of the wide variety of scholarships available to them. We encourage all our students to take full advantage of any opportunities they may qualify for. UW-La Crosse now offers students a searchable database of available scholarships with the ability to apply for them online. Be sure to also search for any keywords that may describe your situation, such as your specific college or year. The scholarships listed below are targeted primarily towards Geography and Earth Science students.

Recent Scholarship Recipients

Chelsey Sloan with Wayne Jacobson of the Wayne Jacobson Scholarship Fund in Geography
Ethan Lucas Recognized as a Maroon Tycoon for earning over $10,000 in scholarships.
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Emily Healy and Jenna DeShaney with Wayne Jacobson.
Jackson Bryant and scholarship donor, Wayne Jacobson.
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Ethan Lucas, along with Georges Cravins, Hank Poehling, and Gargi Chaudhuri.
Josie Talbert with Georges Cravins, Hank Poehling, and Daniel Sambu.

Scholarship Opportunities in Geography and Earth Science

The Department of Geography and Earth Science offers over $8,500 in scholarships each year to Geography and Earth Science majors. Specific UWL Department of Geography and Earth Science scholarship awards and requirements are listed below. Apply for all but the Ryan Poehling and Prairie Springs Unpaid Internship Scholarships through UWL Foundation. Visit the College of Science and Health page for other funding opportunities and to see undergraduate research grant opportunities. Additionally, you are encouraged to look at the national geography and earth science scholarship opportunities listed below.

NOTE: The deadline for scholarships through the UWL Foundation has been pushed back from Feb. 1 to Feb. 15, 2021. 

Ryan Poehling Memorial Scholarship ($2,000; Deadline: First Friday in November) expanding section

Ryan Poehling Scholarship

The UW-La Crosse Geography and Earth Science Department is proud to offer the Ryan Michael Poehling Memorial Scholarship Fund.  This fund was established by the Hank and Sandra Poehling family of La Crosse in honor of their son, Ryan, a 1995 honors graduate of UW-La Crosse who majored in Geography. Upon graduation from UW-La Crosse, Ryan continued to pursue his academic passions at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Nearing completion of his Ph.D., Ryan passed away on December 17, 2000. More on Ryan and his graduate work can be found here.

To be eligible for this award students must:

  • Have at least junior standing
  • Be a Geography Major
  • Have a GPA of 3.0 or higher

Student applications will be evaluated based on overall GPA and in-major GPA, extracurricular involvement (geography-related or otherwise), responsibility in course work and research, potential as a future geography scholar, and student essays which are included in the application process and describe the student's future plans.  Recipients of the scholarship must personify the virtues of optimism and appreciation of life which characterized Ryan Poehling.  Students must have a demonstrated interest in attending graduate school in geography.  Applicants must complete a UW-La Crosse Scholarship Application along with an essay describing future professional plans including plans for graduate study in geography.  The application deadline for the Poehling Scholarship is 5:00 pm on the first Friday in November with forms and further details available in the Geography Department office located in 2004 Cowley Hall, or is available online by clicking the link. The award amount may vary from year to year but typically runs about $2,000.

Past Recipients
2020 Rachel Engebretson 2010 Benjamin Uphoff
2019 Ethan Lucas 2009 Brett Mittelstaedt
2018 Josie Talbert 2008 Martin Elmer
2017 Jackson Radenz 2007 Jameson Loesch
2016 Sofia Kozidis 2006 John Lauermann
2015 Justine Bula  2005 Nathan Koster   
2014 Jonas Rugtvedt 2004 Amber Minard 
2013 Steve Oxley 2003 Margaret Hollenhorst 
2012 Cody Mertens 2002 Jennifer Hauser 
2011 Alexander Wegner 2001 Scott Leis
Ethan Lucas was the 2019 Recipient of the Ryan Poehling Memorial Scholarship.
Josie Talbert along with Georges Cravins, Hank Poehling, and Daniel Sambu.
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Georges Cravins, Sofia Kozidis, and Hank Poehling

In preparation for your application for the Poehling Memorial Scholarship, listed below are the questions included in the application. Each question has a limit of 250 words, so please be thoughtful and concise.

  • Describe your involvement in extracurricular or community activities since coming to UW-La Crosse. If you have no substantial involvement in extracurricular or voluntary activities, please explain why. For example, you may have only recently come or transferred to UWL, or you may have financial needs that require you to work. Geography and Earth Science faculty will consider each circumstance and evaluate the applicants objectively.
  • Describe your future plans, including any plans you might have for graduate study and life as a professional in some branch of Geography and Earth Science.
B.J. Young Scholarship (Amount Varies; Deadline: Feb. 15, 2021) expanding section

To be eligible for this award students must:

  • Be a first- or second-year senior to be enrolled full time
  • In even-numbered years (2020-21)
    • recipient will be either 1) an elementary major with an additional certifiable major or 2) two minors
  • In odd-numbered years (2021-22)
    • recipient will be either 1) a double (secondary) major, with one major being Geography or 2) a Broadfield social studies major with a Geography minor
  • Have at least a 3.0 GPA
  • Financial need should be considered
  • Be highly successful in pre-student teaching clinical experiences
  • Show evidence of an understanding of child or adolescent development and ability to develop a positive working relationship with students
  • Show evidence of basic understanding of sound principles of teaching and learning

The application deadline for the B.J. Young Scholarship is February 15, 2021 (for continuing students) and the amount of the scholarship varies. 

For more information on the UWL Foundation website, please follow the link.

2020-21 Recipient: Michele Hansen, Education (New Hope, MN)

Dr. Gregory and Sabrina Chu Geography Scholarship ($1,000; Deadline: Feb. 15, 2021) expanding section

To be eligible for this award students must:

  • Be enrolled full-time at UW-La Crosse with a major in Geography
  • Be enrolled as a junior or senior and have at least one semester remaining at UWL
  • Have completed, in good standing, two courses in the "mapping sciences" both of which at the 200 level and above
    • Examples may include but are not limited to cartography, GIS, remote sensing, web mapping, and field mapping
  • Be in good academic standing with a GPA of at least 3.00
  • Financial need may be considered

Supplemental Question:

  1. Which courses in the "mapping sciences" have you taken at UWL?

The application deadline for the Dr. Gregory and Sabrina Chu Geography Scholarship is February 15, 2021, and the amount of the scholarship is $1,000.

For more information on the UWL Foundation website, please follow the link.

2020-21 Recipient: Marcos Alfaro

Historical Winners:

Academic Year Recipient
2021-22 Marcos Alfaro
2020-21 Ethan Fenelon
2019-20 Matthew Peck
Dr. Merton V. Campbell Endowment Fund (Amount Varies; Deadline: Feb. 15, 2021) expanding section

To be eligible for this award students must:

  • Be a sophomore, junior, or senior to be enrolled full time with a major or minor in history, social science (economics, geography, political science, secondary broadfield social studies, or sociology), mathematics, chemistry, or physics
  • Have at least a 3.0 GPA
  • Financial need considered only as a tiebreaker
  • Demonstrate involvement in campus and/or community activities and services

The application deadline for the Dr. Merton V. Campbell Endowment Fund is February 15, 2021, and the amount of the scholarship varies.

For more information on the UWL Foundation website, please follow the link.

2020-21 Recipient: Gabriel Eagon, History (Milwaukee, WI)

George N. Huppert Memorial Scholarship in Geography ($500; Deadline: Feb. 15, 2021) expanding section

To be eligible for this award students must:

  • Be enrolled full-time at UW-La Crosse with a major in Geography
  • Be in good academic standing with an above-average grade point average
  • Be a sophomore, junior, or senior
  • Financial need should be considered

The application deadline for the George N. Huppert Memorial Scholarship in Geography is February 15, 2021, and the amount of the scholarship is $500.

For more information on the UWL Foundation website, please follow the link.

2020-21 Recipient: Jacob Kampf

Historical Winners:

Academic Year Recipient
2021-22 Jacob Kampf
2020-21 Michael Boerboon
2019-20 Paul Lee
2018-19 Nancy Yang
Harold A. Classen Scholarship in the Department of Geography ($1,350: Deadline: Feb. 15, 2021) expanding section

To be eligible for this award students must:

  • Be a junior or senior to be enrolled full-time with a Geography major
  • Have at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA with at least a 3.35 GPA in Geography

Supplemental Questions:

  1. What is your (CSH) major?
  2. What is your cumulative GPA in your major?

The application deadline for the Harold A. Classen Scholarship is February 15, 2021, and the amount of the scholarship varies.

2020-21 Recipient: Abigail Stank

Historical Winners:

Academic Year Recipient
2021-22 Abigail Stank
2020-21 Mitch Mittag
2019-20 Ariel Thomas
2018-19 Kyle Zerbian
2017-18 Emily Healy
2016-17 Sofia Kozidis
2015-16 Taylor Blumenstein
2014-15 Caitlin Cullimore
2013-14 Steven Oxley
2012-13 Melissa Goldade
2011-12 Abigail Robers
Jerry Culver Scholarship Endowment Fund in Geography ($750; Deadline: Feb. 15, 2021) expanding section

To be eligible for this award students must:

  • Be a sophomore, junior, or senior to be enrolled full-time with a major in Geography
  • Have at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA and at least a 3.25 GPA in Geography/Earth Science

Supplemental Questions:

  1. Please provide information about your Geography major as follows:
    1. Are you a Geography and Earth Science major?
    2. Do you have a GPA of 3.25 in your major?
    3. Have you earned at least 12 credits in Geography?

The application deadline for the Jerry Culver Scholarship Endowment Fund in Geography is February 15, 2021, and the amount of the scholarship varies.

For more information the UWL Foundation website, please follow the link.

2020-21 Recipient: Mabel Kirst

Historical Winners:

Academic Year Recipient
2021-22 Mabel Kirst
2020-21 Jacob Kampf
2019-20 Gabrielle Geller
2018-19 Jackson Radenz
2017-18 Sofia Kozidis
2016-17 Joshua Rostek
2015-16 Sofia Kozidis
2014-15 Chase O'Brien
2013-14 Janelle Nelson
2012-13 Sara Erickson
Kirk Louis McIlraith Scholarship in Geography ($325; Deadline: Feb. 15, 2021) expanding section

To be eligible for this award students must:

  • Be a sophomore, junior, or senior to be enrolled full-time with a major in Geography
  • Have at least a 3.0 GPA

Supplemental Questions:

  1. What is your major?

The application deadline for the Kirk Louis McIlraith Scholarship in Geography is February 15, 2021, and the amount of the scholarship varies. 

For more information on the UWL Foundation website, please follow the link.

2020-21 Recipient: Mabel Kirst

Historical Winners:

Academic Year Recipient(s)
2021-22 Mabel Kirst
2020-21 Braden Sanders
2019-20 Sydney Graff
2018-19 Chelsey Sloan
2017-18 Annie McIntyre
2016-17 Charlotte Peters
2015-16 Samantha Haugen
2014-15 Margaret Obear and Tim Wilda
2013-14 James Marker and Anders Gehrt
2012-13 Matthew Ernst
Margaret Chew Scholarships for Geography Majors ($500; Deadline: Feb. 15, 2021) expanding section

To be eligible for this award students must:

  • Declare Geography as a major at the time of admission
  • Have a minimum ACT score of 25 out of 36 (or its SAT equivalent)
  • Be a sophomore to be enrolled full-time with at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA and at least a 3.5 GPA in Geography and Earth Science
  • Submit a 200-250 word typed statement explaining why the applicant has chosen Geography as a major
  • Show service work and involvement in organization

Supplemental Questions:

  1. What is your (CSH) major?
  2. Submit a 200-250 word typed statement explaining why you have chosen Geography as a major.

The application deadline for the Margaret Chew Scholarships for Geography Majors is February 15, 2021, and the amount of the scholarship varies. 

For more information on the UWL Foundation website, please follow the link.

2020-21 Recipient(s): Marcos Alfaro

Historical Winners:

Academic Year Recipient(s)
2021-22 Marcos Alfaro
2020-21 Braden Sanders and Mabel Kirst
2019-20 Josephine  Talbert, Ethan Lucas, Austin Halley, and Megan Hickinbotham
2018-19 Matthew Peck, Paul Lee, Megan Hickinbotham, Gabrielle Geller, Benjamin Finley, and Jackson Bryant
Oliver A. Stoffer Scholarship (Amount Varies; Deadline: Feb. 15, 2021) expanding section

To be eligible for this award students must:

  • Be a junior or senior to be enrolled full-time with a major in biology, chemistry, geography, mathematics, or physics
  • Have at least a 3.5 GPA
  • Financial need should be considered

The application deadline for the Oliver A. Stoffer Scholarship is February 15, 2021,  and the amount of the scholarship varies. 

For more information on the UWL Foundation website, please follow the link.

2020-21 Recipient(s): Hannah Zenkovich, Biology (Birnamwood, WI); Trey Hensler, Biology (Marshall, WI); Jenelle Higgins, Biology (Stevens Point, WI); Ahnna Stelter, Biology (Owatonna, MN); Haley Castle, Biology (Chetek, WI)

Prairie Springs Unpaid Internship Grant ($1,500; Deadline: Feb. 15, 2021): expanding section

The Prairie Springs Fund will provide grants for unpaid internships. To be eligible for this grant, the unpaid internship must be related to environmental studies or wildlife habitat protection and conservation. In addition to the general scholarship application, there are supplemental questions.

Supplemental Questions: 

  1. Are you registered for academic credit for an unpaid internship that will take place in Fall 2021?
  2. Through what course number are you registered to get credit for this internship?
  3. Is your internship unpaid?
  4. Internship title
  5. Employer name and location (city, state)
  6. UWL faculty intern advisor name
  7. Beginning and end date of your internship (ex. Oct. 1, 2020 to Dec. 23, 2020)
  8. How many hours per week will you work at your internship? (average per week)
  9. Did you transfer to UWL from another college or university?
  10. Describe your duties/responsibilities/projects in the internship and the skills and knowledge that you will gain.
  11. Describe how this internship will contribute to your career goals?
  12. Describe your financial need and the impact this grant could have.
  13. Describe how this internship is relevant to environmental studies or wildlife habitat protection and conservation.

For more information on the UWL Foundation website, please follow the link.

Wayne A. Jacobson Fund in Education ($500; Deadline: Feb. 15, 2021) expanding section

To be eligible for this award students must:

  • Be enrolled full-time at UW-La Crosse and have been admitted to the School of Education with one of the following majors and stipulations:
    • Geography major with 6-12 certification OR
    • Broadfield social studies major with 6-12 certification with a major/minor in history and a geography minor

Supplemental Question:

  1. Which of the following applies to your major in the School of Education?

The application deadline for the Wayne A. Jacobson Fund in Education is February 15, 2021, and the amount of the scholarship is $500. 

For more information on the UWL Foundation website, please follow the link.

2020-21 Recipient(s): Michael Horkey, Accountancy (Pine Island, MN)

Wayne Jacobson Scholarship Fund in Geography ($500; Deadline: Feb. 15, 2021) expanding section

To be eligible for this award students must:

  • Be a full-time student with a major in Geography
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 3.25 with a 3.5 GPA in Geography
  • Have earned at least 12 credits in Geography with a total number of credits between 45 and 90
  • Financial need may be considered

Supplemental Questions:

  1. Please provide information about your Geography major as follows:
    1. Are you a Geography/Earth Science major?
    2. Do you have a GPA of 3.25 in your major?
    3. Have you earned at least 12 credits in Geography?

The application deadline for the Wayne Jacobson Scholarship Fund in Geography is February 15, 2021, and the amount of the scholarship is $500. 

For more information on the UWL Foundation website, please follow the link.

2020-21 Recipient(s): Jacob Kampf

Historical Winners:

Academic Year Recipient
2021-22 Jacob Kampf
2020-21 Ethan Fenelon
2019-20 Chelsey Sloan
2018-19 Jackson Bryant
2017-18 Annie McIntyre, Joshua Rostek, and Ava Lombardino
2016-17 Emily Healy and Jenna DeShaney
2015-16 Augustus Johnson and Shelby Jacobson
2014-15 Augustus Johnson
2013-14 Chase O'Brien

Additional Scholarship Opportunities through UWL Foundation

Additional UWL and non-UWL scholarship opportunities can be found through the UWL Scholarship Resource Center. Visit this link for information on scholarship sources, application deadlines, and eligibility.

National Geography and Earth Science Scholarship Opportunities

Harriet Evelyn Wallace Scholarship for Female Graduate Geoscience Students expanding section

This scholarship is offered through the American Geosciences Institute.

The Harriet Evelyn Wallace Scholarship is available for female students pursuing a Master's or Doctoral degree at an accredited institution of higher education in a recognized geoscience program. The scholarship is a merit-based award, which is $5,000 per year. Successful applicants who become Wallace Scholars are eligible to apply a second time for an additional $5,000 as long as they continue to be full-time graduate students in their geoscience degree programs. The second application will be considered competitively among all applicants for that year. 

Current Status:  The application process for the 2021-2022 closes on February 7st, 2021. To read about applying for the Harriet Evelyn Wallace Scholarship, please visit our applications page

David S. Miller Young Scientist Scholarship expanding section

The David S. Miller Young Scientist Scholarship is funded by the American Geophysical Union. The goal is to motivate students to make the world a better place. Therefore, the AGU awards $1,500 to students in an environmental studies-related program.

To apply for this scholarship, students must:

  1. Be an undergrad or grad student.
    1. Undergrads must have completed at least four full semesters of study.
  2. Have at least a 3.4 GPA and show financial need.
  3. Show a recorded interest in a geo-environmental engineering or the geo-environmental sciences career.

For more information on the David S. Miller Young Scientist Scholarship, please visit their website.

The Father James. B. Macelwane Annual Award in Meteorology expanding section

The Father James B. Macelwane Annual Award was established by the American Meteorological Society to honor the late Rev. James B. Macelwane, S.J., a world-renowned authority of seismology, who was a geophysicist and Dean of the Institute of Technology, Saint Louis University, until his death in 1956.  The recipient of the Father James B. Macelwane award will receive a stipend of $1000 supported by member donations to the AMS Giving Program.

The purpose of this award is to stimulate interest in meteorology among college students through the submission of original student papers concerned with some phase of the atmospheric sciences.  The student must be enrolled as an undergraduate at the time the paper is written, and no more than two students from any one institution may enter papers in any one contest.

The Society encourages applications from women, minorities, and students with disabilities, traditionally underrepresented in the atmospheric and related oceanic and hydrologic sciences.

For more information on this scholarship opportunity, please visit their website.

AAGS Joseph F. Dracup Scholarship Award expanding section

This prestigious award is given out by the American Association for Geodetic Surveying (AAGS). If you are interested in geomatics, surveying engineering or geodetic surveying as a future career, then the Joseph F. Dracup Scholarship Award is a great way to help fund your education. In addition to a letter of recommendation and transcripts, students must also submit an essay about why they deserve this $2,000 scholarship in order to apply.

CaGIS Masters Scholarship Award expanding section

The Cartography and Geographic Information Society (CaGIS) honors graduate students pursuing their master’s degree in cartography or geographic information science by giving out two $750 CaGIS Masters Scholarship Awards each year. Undergraduates can also apply if they intend to complete master’s level research in geographic information sciences. The criteria for judging applications include academic records, the applicant’s statement, and letters of recommendation and professional activities.

Application deadline: February 15

NSPS Fellows Scholarship expanding section

Geography can lead to exciting career options like surveying and mapping, geodesy or geographic information sciences. Students who are interested in one of these fields should apply for the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) Fellows Scholarship. This $2,000 award is available to undergraduate students in their junior or senior year of school. Students must be a member of NSPS to apply.

Application deadline: March 15

Weigel, Frank Memorial Academic Scholarship expanding section

This scholarship is offered through the Wisconsin Dells Educational Foundation.

Established in memory of Frank Weigel, a former Wisconsin Dells teacher who taught agriculture and physics for the Wisconsin Dells School District 41 years of his 45-year teaching career, the scholarship is given to students who intend to pursue their college education in either vocational agriculture, agri-business, teaching vocational agriculture, or in other related areas such as earth science, forestry, veterinary medicine, physics, chemistry, biology, or botany.

To apply for this scholarship, students must:

  1. Financial need is required
  2. Must be pursuing a degree from a 2-year or 4-year accredited college
  3. Provide a transcript
  4. Provide a resume/activity list
  5. Write a Financial Need Statement (no more than 500 words); Write your Career Plan (no more than 500 words)
  6. Two Letters of Recommendation, one from school (i.e., teacher, coach, club advisor), and one from the community (i.e, employer, pastor, youth leader, neighbor, etc).

The amount of the award is $1,200 and the deadline for applications is March 2021. For more information, please visit their website.

Darrel Hess Community College Geography Scholarship expanding section

This scholarship is offered through the Association of American Geographers (AAG). 

The Darrel Hess Community College Geography Scholarship is a $1,500 fund given to students who are pursuing geography as a major. The scholarship was established by Darrel Hess, author of McKnight's Physical Geography: A Landscape Appreciation to support any educational expenses in pursuing post-secondary education.

To apply for this scholarship, applicants must:

  1. Be an undergraduate student
  2. Financial need is required
  3. Be currently enrolled at a US community college, junior college, city college, or a similar two-year educational institution at the time you submit your application. The applicant may also be planning to transfer to a four-year institution.
  4. Selection will be based o the overall quality of the application, scholastic excellence, and academic promise. 
  5. Provide a transcript
  6. Present a personal statement outlining your academic and personal background, educational goals, and interest in pursuing geography as a major at a baccalaureate institution.
  7. Applicants should arrange for the submission of two Letters of Recommendation from college instructors sent as an email attached from the instructor's own email address to grantsawards@aag.org and mailed to the address listed below.

AAG Hess Scholarship, American Association of Geographers, 1710 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009.

For more information, please visit their website.

Margaret Chew Travel Fund Request

The Department of Geography and Earth Science has a limited amount of funding available from the Margaret Chew Fund to support Geography and Earth Science students presenting at a conference, traveling for research with a faculty member from the UWL Geography Department, or traveling as part of a UWL-sanctioned learning experience (e.g. study aboard). Funds will be prioritized for Geography majors.  Recipients receiving funding in support of research-related travel will be required to present their findings at either the fall (Viterbo) or spring (UWL) research symposium held in La Crosse. Complete this application to request financial support.