The Geosciences Department at the University of Arizona is distinguished not only by its excellent research and graduate programs but also by our strong and exceptionally accessible undergraduate program. Our undergraduate majors take a broad and challenging range of supporting and core Earth science courses from outstanding faculty who recognize that there is no substitute for one-on-one learning from experts at the forefront of their fields. While we are proud of our students' rigorous classroom and lab training, we know that real understanding in Earth science, as well as much greater chances of postgraduate success, requires something more: active engagement in research. Participating in real research alongside faculty and graduate students in the field or lab can spark the thrill of discovery and build practical and collaborative skills that can transform students' careers. We want all of our students to get out of the classroom routine, and into the field and lab to map, analyze, measure, and discover. This research experience is one of the most valuable opportunities we can offer our students.
Unfortunately, at present we can only provide a fraction of our undergraduate majors with access to real research experiences. Last year only about a quarter of them were able to work with faculty on research projects, a detriment to not only to our students' experience, but also to the projects that could benefit from their involvement. We want to transform the undergraduate experience of many more of our majors by establishing an endowment of $250,000 to support their engagement in research projects. With this endowment we can provide $10,000 per year to be shared among 10-20 of the most deserving majors in their projects. These funds will make a world of difference for students who want to engage in research by participating in fieldwork, analyzing samples in a lab, using a high-performance computing cluster, or presenting results at a meeting.
To fulfill this potential, UA Geosciences has launched the George H. Davis Undergraduate Research Fund. While providing critical support for deserving Geosciences majors, the fund honors the legacy of Regents Professor Emeritus, Provost Emeritus, and Honors College Professor George Davis, who has dedicated much of his career to personal mentoring and enriching student experience in and out of the classroom. George is a living legend of UA Geosciences who has inspired generations of geologists through his commitment to students, rigorous field observations, regional perspectives, and leadership of our profession at many levels. George's lasting impacts are many and diverse, but with this initiative we seek to particularly recognize his legendary commitment to undergraduate student experience and his tireless efforts to challenge and engage all students with real mentoring and research.
We are proud to ask you, our UA Geosciences alumni and friends, to share with us your appreciation for George Davis' legacy and your recognition of the importance of the undergraduate research experience. Please help us reach our goal of a $250,000 endowment to help so many more deserving Geosciences majors enhance their education by engaging in research projects, working alongside our world-leading faculty and graduate students in our projects around the world.