March 1, 2019

Great Opportunities for the Upcoming Summer.

This week we would like to emphasize to students the importance of maximizing opportunities during summer break. I know what you are thinking, spring break is not even here and we are already talking about summer. Well, the reality is that not having a plan for the summer, is like planning for an unproductive summer. Summer is a great time to add experience to your CV, regardless of the stage of your college or graduate career. The market is competitive and employers are looking for experience nowadays, so you really want to have something to show by the time you start applying for jobs. Here are some of the great opportunities that you can take advantage of:

Undergraduate Creative Discovery and Undergraduate Research Scholar Awards

The Marshall University Research Corporation has funding available to promote undergraduate research and creative discovery. The award provides a $4,000 stipend for the student and up to $1,000 for travel and materials for the summer. In addition, $1,000 is provided for the participating faculty mentor.

Eligibility requirements include the following:

-Applicants must be juniors or seniors with a minimum GPA of 3.0;

-Applicants must be enrolled at Marshall University for at least 12 hours during the semester prior to the summer in which the project is funded;

-Applicants must have a letter of support and sponsorship from a full-time faculty member who is willing to serve as mentor for the project.

The student’s proposed project can involve research, design, development, field study, creative work or performance. The project should require a total commitment of 150 hours of the student’s time (i.e., 10 hours per week) over the summer. The project must be structured so the student can produce creative or scholarly output (e.g. a presentation, publication, exhibit or performance) at the end of the award period. Applications must be received by 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 13, 2019. Contact a geography faculty who is doing work, or that can supervise your project, in your area of interest.

Paid Undergraduate Summer Research Internship

Program Description: The goal is to introduce young scientists to a highly interdisciplinary
research environment with fundamental and applied research in hyperspectral imaging (HI). The
HI is widely used in various disciplines such as Physics, Geology, Environmental Science, Biology,
Chemistry, Computer Science, Forestry, Geographic Information Science (GIS), and more.
Eligibility: Enrolled fulltime in a college/university and must be a U.S. citizen or permanent

Stipends: $4000 for eight weeks. In addition, the program will cover the cost of transportation to
and from the REU site, housing, a meal plan, lab supplies, and up to $750 for follow up activities.
Application: Available online at
Selection Process: Interns will be selected by a committee using the following criteria: (1) relevant
experience in STEM areas, (2) academic record and achievement, (3) how project will fit into
student academic plan, (4) demonstrated research experience and motivation, (5) two reference
letters, and (6) compatibility of student and faculty mentor areas of interest.

Timeline: Program Dates: May 20-July 12, 2019.

Application Deadline: March 22, 2019.

Notifications of acceptance begins Apr 9, 2019; Declined applicants notified by Apr 23, 2019.

NSF REU Site: Spatial Models and Electoral Districting

The Spatial Models and Electoral Districting Research Experience for Undergraduates
(REU) site is seeking applications for its 2019 Summer program. Funded by the National
Science Foundation (NSF), the REU is an 8-week summer research program located in
Tacoma, Washington and will take place from June 24, 2019 through August 16, 2019.
The Spatial Models and Electoral Districting REU offers the opportunity for a diverse set of
students to work collaboratively on a topic of immense societal and political importance —
electoral districting in the United States. With the coming 2020 census, new electoral and
representational districts will be drawn across the country and this program offers
undergraduate students the opportunity to engage directly at the forefront of complex
research questions and public communication of results. The directors of the program
would like to strongly encourage students currently enrolled at community colleges and
smaller colleges with limited research opportunities to apply. The program intends to build
a community of publicly engaged researchers and professionals that includes students
from the same underrepresented groups that are often most affected by electoral

The primary aims of the REU site for participants are: (1) training in cutting-edge
computational and mathematical techniques; (2) a unique interdisciplinary approach that
blends advanced techniques in mathematics and computer science with social theoretical
knowledge from the social sciences; (3) a deep, nuanced understanding of the complexities
of districting within the United States at exactly the time when redistricting is occurring; and
(4) training in the clear and persuasive communication of research and policy papers on the
complexities of electoral districting within the United States.

The Spatial Models and Electoral Districting REU is particularly looking for applicants with
experience in Geography, GIScience, Data Science, Computer Science, and Mathematics,
but is open to participation from any undergraduate interested in the topics. The REU also
strongly encourages students from diverse race, ethnicity, and gender identities to apply as
well as those from traditionally economically and politically disenfranchised groups.
Housing will be provided for students on the campus of the University of Puget Sound and
participants will be provided $575 a week stipend in addition to a $13 a day meal allowance.
After the REU, students will have opportunities for funded travel to conferences in order to
present the results of their research. Students are expected to attend the full eight weeks of
the program and must be US citizens or permanent residents. Review of applications will begin March 15th, 2019.

NSF REU Belize 2019

We are pleased to host a 2019 NSF REU Site in Orlando and Belize focused on drones and spatial storytelling! The priority application deadline is Friday, March 15, 2019 @ 5 pm EST. U.S. undergraduates join us for a paid summer research experience that will change your entire perspective on what it means to be an international community scholar! The University of Central Florida’s Community GIS and Citizen Science Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site is funded by National Science Foundation Award #1560015. Our international REU Site is part of the UCF Department of Sociology and the UCF GIS Cluster Initiative at the second largest university in the United States. We are looking forward to hosting a group of at least 4-6 outstanding undergraduate students from across the country in summer 2019 in Belize and in Orlando, Florida. We emphasize engaged, community-based research while also preparing students for future academic and non-academic careers in GIS, geospatial technologies, geography, sociology, geosciences, education, community development, public health, and land use planning. Please note that this year’s program will be smaller and will only focus on the drones and spatial storytelling track.

Application Instructions A complete 2019 application includes: 1) an application form through our Google Form application, 2) submission of a personal statement (limited to 3 double-spaced pages) and unofficial transcripts as attachments to, and 3) submission of 1 reference letter from a faculty, employer, or mentor to The reference letter should be sent directly by the writer of the letter, not the REU student applicant. Applications materials should be addressed to Dr. Timothy L. Hawthorne (REU Principal Investigator). Incomplete applications will not be accepted. Potential candidates may be contacted for a follow-up Skype interview within one month of the priority application deadline.

Job Opportunities

Here are the most recent job opportunities for our recent and soon to be graduates:

Environmental Resources Program Manager, DNR, Kanawha County, WV

GIS Specialist, Global Employment Solutions, Gahanna, OH

GIS Analyst, Duke Energy, Cincinnati, OH

GIS Intern, Western Land Services, Canonsburg, PA

GIS Specialist, ERT, Silver Spring, MD

GIS Intern, Blue Raster, Arlington, VA

GIS Intern, Apex Clean Energy, Charlottesville, VA

GIS Technician, System One, Richmond, VA

Should you have any questions about any of these opportunities, do not hesitate to get in contact.


The Geography Department​