Student Opportunities


Requesting a letter of recommendation from one of the geology faculty

Please fill out this form and email or give a hard copy to the professor as early as possible. Professional etiquette suggests that you request a letter 4 weeks ahead of its due date; the minimum lead time is 2 weeks. We spend a lot of time writing these letters to make them as thorough and helpful to your cause as possible.

It is a good idea to ask your recommender to tell you when he/she has sent the letter. Then, ~10 days before the due date, send a friendly reminder to your recommender that the due date is approaching. 


On-campus employment in the Geology Department

Each summer, the Gustavus geology department and faculty hire one or more students to assist with research, develop educational and outreach opportunities, or manage the department’s resources and materials. If you are interested in this type of position, talk to a faculty member and in the spring, watch for announcements of application procedures and deadlines. During the year, the department hires student teaching assistants to help teach and grade in labs, and we are occasionally able to hire student workers to assist with research. Again, talk to a faculty member for more information.

Life after Gustavus

Gustavus geology students and alumni have recently found internships or jobs at the following types of organizations:

  • State of Minnesota (e.g. Department of Natural Resources, Pollution Control Agency, Department of Health, Department of Agriculture)
  • Environmental consulting firms (e.g. Barr Engineering, Braun Intertec, Emmons and Olivier Resources, and many others)
  • Public agencies in other states
  • County offices (e.g. Soil and Water Conservation Districts)
  • Private companies (e.g. mineral resource exploration)

Gustavus geology students have recently attended graduate school at these universities:

Research and employment opportunities

Sigma Xi Undergraduate Research Grant Opportunities 2016-2017

Eligibility: Any undergraduate majoring in one of the natural sciences, mathematics, or psychology.

Fall Deadline: Monday, September 29, 2017

Spring Deadline: Friday, March 2, 2018


Obligations: An oral presentation or a poster of the research accomplished must be given at the spring undergraduate research symposium held on the Gustavus campus.

Grant Size: While the committee will entertain any justified request, the usual maximum is $500.00. These funds are expected to be used for purchasing supplies that are not routinely available in the department.  

To Apply: You (or a research group of students) will prepare a clearly-written document of two to three pages containing:

  • 4-5 sentence summary of the proposed project written for a lay audience
  • Description of the background (with references)
  • Methods and materials used
  • Timeline showing anticipated research progress
  • Detailed budget, including why each item requested is essential for the research project.

Budget items that are not acceptable include stipends, mileage and poster printing. The budget will appear on a separate page. Projects using human or vertebrate animal participants must also provide proof of IRB or IACUC approval before Sigma Xi funds can be used. You will do the actual writing of the proposal but it is quite acceptable for you to seek advice from your faculty mentor in the early drafts and in the final revision.

The online submission form located at, will prompt you for the proposal title, the student(s) applying, and the faculty mentor. The proposal should be a single PDF document. In the main body of the proposal, explain the proposed work and place it into the context of what is presently known. Explain what experiments you plan to do and their anticipated outcomes. Do not assume that the evaluators are familiar with your research area. The committee will give priority to those proposals that state a clear research goal that attempts to answer a question. Proposals seeking funds for repeating the work of others will be funded only if the work is appropriate to longer range research projects. Any proposal that does not follow these guidelines will be returned without review..

Support your grant request with a detailed budget. The budget page will contain a carefully prepared itemization of the costs you believe will be encountered. Justification for each item in the budget is required. Some freedom exists to change budget lines later but you should, in this proposal, defend the use of the materials. Equipment purchases must have a separate justification. Stipends are not allowed. Only in rare instances will funding be approved for paying subjects who participate in a research project.

Submit all proposals via the online submission form located at Incomplete proposals (missing one of the five sections listed above)will not be considered. Paper copies will not be accepted. The committee will respond as quickly as possible, but no later than two weeks after your submission. Please note that some faculty have some independent study funds available to them so it may not be necessary to wait for a response from the committee in order to begin the research project. Occasionally, a proposal will need to be revised and submitted for a second review.

Models of successfully-funded proposals are provided at


Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) opportunities for research at other colleges and universities

Almost every year, one or more Gustavus students participate in REU opportunities at other institutions. These are usually summer-long, paid research opportunities that culminate in presentations at local or regional professional conferences. Check out the National Science Foundation website for this year’s opportunities.

The Keck Geology Consortium

The Keck Geology Consortium has undergraduate research opportunities for approximately 47 geoscience students in a wide variety of geological sub-disciplines and locations.

Funding for this program comes from the NSF-REU program and the 18 member institutions. The Consortium is committed to accepting up to 30% non-Keck Member school students. The students should be juniors when they apply and US citizens or permanent residents.

The program includes 4 weeks of summer research (field and/or lab work depending on the project), continuing research during the academic year (jointly advised by a project faculty member and a sponsor at the students home institution), attendance at the annual Keck Geology Consortium Symposium, and a publication in the annual Keck Geology Consortium Abstract volume.

This year we have an exciting range of projects in many different sub-disciplines (climate, geophysics, petrology, geomorphology, paleontology, geochemistry and more), and in a wide range of locations (Oregon, Wisconsin, Mongolia, Alaska, Savalbard, and Colorado).

Detailed information is available at:

The application process is online.

AmeriCorps Service Opportunity

AmeriCorps Service Opportunity in Environmental Education

Imagine an office that consists of the rivers, mountains, and lakes of the central Idaho Rockies. The Environmental Education and Interpretation Specialist will provide high quality, field-based environmental education and interpretation programs to the youth and citizens of Idaho. One-third of the work will take place at Idaho’s only residential outdoor science school, one-third in various schools around the state, and one-third at public agencies and nonprofit organizations across Idaho. Your 12 months of service with the Mobile Environmental Education Corps (MEEC) will consist of two distinct phases. Phase 1: MOSS Residential and Outreach Program

Phase 2: Summer Placement Program. You will gain teaching experience, study ecology in a field setting, and develop leadership skills all while living in a spectacular natural environment. Participants earn 16 University of Idaho graduate credits and a Graduate Certificate in Environmental Education while completing service. This is a one-year, 1700 hour AmeriCorps position that provides a monthly stipend, basic medical insurance, and an education award upon completion of service. Apply today!

For a full announcement please visit

Priority Recruitment Closing Date: March of application year

The Geological Society of America

GSA for students. How to become a member, look for grants and internships, and easily find grad school information and annual meeting information.

Association for Women Geoscientists

Association for women geoscientists. Exists to promote the professional development of its members, to provide geoscience outreach to girls, and to encourage women to become geoscientists.

Geology Jobs and Geoscience

UniXL Geology Jobs. Information on geology careers for students with links to job boards.