Public Release: 

2016 Harriet Evelyn Wallace Scholarship winners announced

American Geosciences Institute

Alexandria, VA - The American Geosciences Institute would like to congratulate Master's candidate Elaine Young and Ph.D. candidate Andrea Stevens, as the 2016 recipients of the Harriet Evelyn Wallace Scholarship. The scholarship, which is awarded to women pursuing graduate degrees in geoscience, is a $5,000 award for one academic year, with the opportunity to renew for an additional year of support, if qualified.

Elaine Young is working towards a master's degree at the University of California Davis. She is investigating Holocene changes in the rate of plate motion, or slip history, along the San Andreas Fault in the Mojave Desert. She combines fieldwork, measuring landforms offset by the fault, and collecting samples for radiocarbon dating and Monte Carlo modeling to find changes in the slip rate. This has important implications for how scientists think about fault behavior and earthquake predictability, which is directly related to earthquake hazard assessment for the LA Basin.

University of Arizona Ph.D. candidate Andrea Stevens is investigating some of the easternmost mountains in the Andean region - the Sierras Pampeanas in Argentina. Their location (literally translated as "mountains in the plains") poses a puzzle to geologists. These mountains are as far as 500km away from the nearest tectonic plate boundary and there are large swaths of flat plains separating peaks. Stevens is utilizing low temperature thermochronology and sedimentology to constrain the timing and style of deformation and exhumation of the Sierras Pampeanas mountains.

The scholarship is in its fourth year supporting women during their graduate studies. The original bequest was given from Harriet Evelyn Wallace, who was one of the founding members of the Geoscience Information Society (GSIS), a national organization and AGI Member Society that facilitates the exchange of information in the geosciences. The scholarship is awarded to the top 1-2% of applicants who most exemplify strong likelihoods of successful transitions from graduate school into the geoscience workforce.

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The American Geosciences Institute is a nonprofit federation of geoscientific and professional associations that represents more than 250,000 geologists, geophysicists and other earth scientists. Founded in 1948, AGI provides information services to geoscientists, serves as a voice of shared interests in the profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in society's use of resources, resiliency to natural hazards, and interaction with the environment.

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