The Howard and Ruth Roepke Undergraduate Scholarships

Professor Howard Roepke was a Geography faculty member from 1955-1985, and his estate provided a generous gift to the University of Illinois Foundation to support Geography and GIScience undergraduate majors. The deadline for Fall 2017 Roepke Scholarships is Friday, September 15th.

Four different financial awards are available to our undergraduate majors:

Roepke Study Abroad Scholarship

GGIS undergraduate majors who intend to apply for either Study Abroad or Courses Abroad may also apply for a Roepke Study Abroad Scholarship. Opportunities also exist for supplemental funding for unpaid internships; please contact your undergraduate advisor for more information.
Application [fillable PDF]

Freshman and Sophomore GGIS Majors: Roepke Academic Scholarship

Freshmen and sophomore GGIS majors can apply for an academic scholarship of up to $2,000.
Application [fillable PDF]

Junior and Senior GGIS Majors: Roepke Research Opportunity

Junior and Senior GGIS majors can apply for a scholarship of up to $3,000, to aid in conducting research with a GGIS faculty member, based on their research interests.
Application [fillable PDF]

GGIS undergraduate majors have the unique opportunity to work as part of a faculty member's research team, where they can learn to identify significant research questions, develop hypotheses, collect primary data, perform appropriate data analysis though the use of statistical and mathematical methods, and use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology when needed. As part of a research team, GGIS juniors and seniors awarded the Roepke Research Opportunity will aid in the collection and analysis of data, and assist faculty with the writing of papers and manuscripts.

Research Opportunities may be planned for one or two semesters or for 2-3 months during the summer. The number of hours a student works will depend on the student's course load, the nature of the research project, and the type of work to be performed. Research Opportunities during the academic year will not exceed 10 hours per week.

Please feel free to explore our faculty's research interests, and then speak directly a faculty member about their research. Then, collaborate with the faculty member to write a one page letter to the Undergraduate Committee describing how your research aligns with the designated faculty member's research, and outlining the your specific research duties and goals. This letter should be included in your application.

Research Opportunities do not carry academic credit; however, credit can be earned if you enroll in GEOG 390/391in a subsequent term, and carry out your own research project based on the Roepke Scholarship experience. In such cases, a Plan of Study agreement outlining the nature of the work to be performed, the anticipated end result or product, and the amount of independent study credit to be earned should be developed and signed by the faculty member and student. The extent to which the Plan of Study is fulfilled will serve as the basis for assigning a grade for GEOG 390/391.

GEOG 390 - Plan of Study agreement
GEOG 391 - Plan of Study Agreement

Criteria for Selection

Students must have declared Geography and Geographic Information Science as their major. Undergraduate Scholarships will be awarded on a competitive basis. The GGIS Undergraduate Committee, composed of three GGIS faculty members, will select recipients for these awards. Criteria for selection will be based on academic performance and relevance of the required essay. Also, Research Opportunities requiring specific analytical or technical skills may also limit selection to qualified students. Financial awards will be deposited directly into students' accounts.

Examples of Successful Student Research

  • Dr. Howard Roepke, and recipients of his scholarship have been profiled in our recent alumni newsletters.
  • Recent Roepke Study Abroad Scholarship recipients have studied in Austria, Kenya, and New Zealand.
  • An Earth, Society and Environment student worked with Professor Tom Bassett to investigate and map hunger throughout the world, which contributed to publication of the Atlas of World Hunger (University of Chicago Press, 2010). A Physical Geography student worked with Professor Bruce Rhoads on the analysis of stream flow characteristics of streams in Illinois and their influence on flood regimes.

For further information, contact Prof. Julie Cidell at ggis-advisor@illinois.edu, or geography@illinois.edu.

General Scholarships Available to Geography Majors

Organization | Scholarship


Amount

Deadline

American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing

Ta Liang Memorial Award (travel) $1,500 Dec. 1
Kenneth J. Osborn Memorial Scholarship $2,000 Dec. 1
Abraham Anson Memorial Scholarship $1,000 Dec. 1
John O. Behrens ILI Memorial Scholarship $1,000 Dec. 1
Francis H. Moffitt Memorial Scholarship $3,000 Dec. 1
American Water Resources Association Richard A. Herbert Memorial Scholarship $2,000 Apr. 22
Annie’s Sustainable Agriculture Scholarships $2,500-$10K late fall
Cartography and Geographic Information Society Annual Map Design Competition $500 late Jan.
Garden Club of America Mary T. Carothers Summer Environmental Studies Scholarship $2,000 Feb. 10
Evolving Earth Student Grant Program $3,000 Winter
Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation Truman Scholars up to $15,000 Feb. 2
Illinois Lakes Management Association Robert Esser Student Advancement Scholarship $500/$1,000 Dec. 31
Morris and Stewart Udall Foundation $5,000 Mar. 2
National Environmental Health Association $1,000 Feb. 1
Safari Club International Foundation Two-year and four-year scholarships $4,400/$4,800 Apr. 15
U of I YMCA Fred S. Bailey Scholarship $5,000 Apr. 16
Windstar Foundation Windstar Environmental Studies Scholarship $500 June 1