Hawaii Spring Break Field Trip - March 15-23, 2018

Geology faculty often attend one or more geology professional meetings a year, to present papers and posters, participate in workshops and discussions, learn what’s new in geoscience, make contacts for present and future research projects and re-connect with geology department alums.

Undergraduate students also benefit from attending and presenting research results at professional meetings, such as those of the Geological Society of America (GSA) and the American Geophysical Union (AGU). Occasionally the Geology Department makes a special trip to one of these meetings and subsidizes all of the student fees. In most years, subject to other uses of its funds, the department tries to help subsidize the costs of students attending professional meetings to present their work.

Who gets funded

Unless the department is traveling as a group to the professional meeting, only authors of abstracts accepted for presentation will be funded in normal circumstances. If the paper has many student authors, the department may only be able to support the attendance of one or two. It will be up to the faculty member who supervised the research to select which student gets funding. In most circumstances, the geology department will not fund expenses for anyone who has graduated.

Funding 101: what will you need


  • Air, bus, car or train transportation
  • Ground transportation to/from airport and to/from the meeting site from your hotel.


  • In some cases, societies have less expensive lodging options; check their web site.


Pre-Registration fee

  • In most cases, societies discount registration fees during a “pre-registration” period. The department will only pay toward the cost of pre-registration. You should register within 2 weeks of your abstract acceptance (check the societies website for exact dates).
  • Abstract fee

Where to go for money

In this order, and start early!

  1. Project Grant – If the research is part of an externally funded project such as an REU or Keck project, the project grant should be able to pay all or part of the costs.
  2. Professional Society – Check the website of the professional society that has accepted your abstract. In some cases, societies have travel grants, less expensive lodging options, discounted registration fees during a “pre-registration” period and students may also volunteer at the meeting to lower costs.
  3. Office of the Provost – If the research comes from a Carleton class or a Carleton related summer research, write a funding proposal to the Office of the Provost, who should be able to provide some of the money. The Dean’s office is likeliest to have funding in fall term.
  4. Faculty Advisor – Some faculty members may be able to contribute to your expenses.
  5. Geology Department – Write a proposal to the geology department for support from departmental student/faculty research funds. This proposal should indicate the meeting and its dates, specify where else you have sought and acquired funds and include a Budget Worksheet.

    In general, the department will reimburse travel for the cheapest possible travel option and for an inexpensive hotel room (students can volunteer at the meeting to lower costs; check meeting website). We do consider travel times and student safety in working out what form of transportation and lodging to require. The department will only pay toward the cost of pre-registration which you should do 2 weeks within your abstract acceptance.