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The Marble-Boyle Undergraduate Achievement Awards in Geographic Science

Deadline: October 15, annually

The Association of American Geographer’s Marble Fund for Geographic Science is pleased to announce the new Marble-Boyle Undergraduate Achievement Awards. These awards aim to recognize excellence in academic performance by undergraduate students from the United States and Canada who are putting forth a strong effort to bridge geographic science and computer science as well as to encourage other students to embark upon similar programs. These awards, together with the William L. Garrison Award for Best Dissertation in Computational Geography, are activities of the Marble Fund and are supported by donations to the Fund. In the case of the current awards, the support of Mr. Jack Dangermond is gratefully acknowledged.

The Awards

Each of the Marble-Boyle Undergraduate Achievement Awards consists of a cash prize of $1,000, a $200 credit for books published by the ESRI Press and a certificate of recognition. ESRI has also agreed to provide priority consideration to any of the awardees who may be interested in participating in their Summer Intern Program.

All Marble-Boyle awardees will be eligible to compete for an additional research fellowship award that is being offered every two years by the MicroGIS Foundation for Spatial Analysis (MFSA). In addition to access to research facilities, the MFSA fellowship will cover all transportation and housing costs for up to four months of work with MFSA in Lausanne, Switzerland. Depending upon the time of year, there will also be an opportunity to audit courses at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) or, in summer, to receive specific training available from MFSA. For full details on the supplemental MFSA research fellowship award.

Initially, up to three awards will be made available each year. Formal presentation of the awards will be made at the annual AAG awards luncheon. Awardees are encouraged, but not required, to attend.

Applications will be reviewed by the Marble Fund’s Undergraduate Achievement Award Committee. After review, the Committee will recommend up to three applications to the Marble Fund Trustees as winners. Final awards will be made by the Trustees.


  • Applicants must be enrolled in a full–time program of undergraduate study at an accredited United States or Canadian college or university.
  • At the time of the application, the applicant must be no more than twelve months from graduation.
  • Applicants must demonstrate a reasonable intent to embark upon a career or further education that will make use of their joint geographic science and computer science knowledge.
  • There is no limit with respect to the number of students who can apply from a single institution. There will be, however, only one student per year from a single institution who may receive an award.
  • Applicants do not need to be members of the Association of American Geographers, but they are strongly encouraged to consider membership.


At any time during the stated application period applicants may submit an application using our online application form. This form will ask applicants to provide:

  • Personal information (name, address, email, phone number, etc.) together with a statement of their intention to apply for the award.
  • An essay of no more than 800 words, formatted in 12 pt Times New Roman, double-spaced with 1” margins, identifying the individual’s areas of interest within geographic science and computer science, a description of his or her career goals, and a statement as to  how his or her  joint background in geographic science and computer science will help to meet these goals.
  • A letter of recommendation from the student’s faculty advisor, department chair or program director. The letter should clearly address both the applicant’s academic performance as well as their potential for a career or further education that utilizes their geographic science and computer science background. Recommendation letters must be signed and written on institutional letterhead. They must be sent in PDF form directly by the referee to the Chair of the Review Committee to grantsawards [at] aag [dot] org .
  • An official or unofficial copy of the applicant’s transcript(s) with all relevant courses in geographic science and computer science, and grades received in these courses, highlighted.
  • For each highlighted course, the applicant must  provide a one or two sentence description of the course content, the text book(s) used (if applicable), and the name(s) of the instructor(s).

All elements of the application must be received at grantsawards [at] aag [dot] org no later than the close of  business in Washington, D.C. on October 15.

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