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MSMU/USC NSF-IUSE Geopaths Catalina Scholar Program

In 2017 Mount Saint Mary’s University in partnership with the University of Southern California was awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Improving Undergraduate STEM Education in the Geosciences (IUSE Geopaths) grant (NSF award ID 1700871)

Program Objective

This program provides early-level (first-year and sophomore) students with hands on research exposure to Geosciences and Environmental Sciences at the University of Southern California’s Wrigley Institute for Environmental Science located on Catalina Island.  The program covers all costs (transportation, lodging, lab and course fees) and students will receive a completion award of $800 upon completion of the program. There are NO requirements or commitments after the completion of the program. Students will have additional (purely optional) opportunities upon the completion of the program including: 1) The opportunity to be a paid mentor for future cohorts,  2) Guidance in applying for competitive summer intensive research programs, and 3) The option to take classes in environmental science at USC as part of a cross university partnership.

Specific program goals include

  1. Introduce participants to oceanography and environmental science fields through project-based learning at USC’s marine research station on Catalina Island.
  2. Conduct field/laboratory studies mentored by MSMU and USC faculty and researchers.
  3. Build expertise and confidence for subsequent participation in national programs and advanced USC courses not available at MSMU.
  4. Inform students about geoscience graduate school and workforce opportunities.

Students Getting Lectured in Workshop

Student Recruitment

All majors are welcome to apply, although preference will be given to STEM majors. You do not need a specific background or any specific training. The student commitment includes:

A. Spring Break Week - Monday March 9, 2020 through Friday March 13, 2020

B. Summer Two Weeks - Friday May 22, 2020 through Thursday June 4, 2020.

C. Attending a minimum of 4 of 6 one day or half day workshops/field trips throughout the year. Including some weekend days (Times and Dates TBA)

D. Commitment to present research at MSMU WISH symposium in October 2020

E. Commitment to present research at MSMU Academic Symposium in April 2020

Please contact Dr. Adriane Jones ( or Diane Kim (