Scholarships & Awards

The School of the Environment has a number of scholarships offered each year and we strongly encourage all of our students to apply. Keep an eye out for deadlines, but these scholarships are generally open for applications early in Spring Semester with the awards made in the following Fall Semester. All applications are submitted through Academic Works. Please click on the list of department scholarships below to learn more about each award and determine your eligibility. We welcome students to apply for all the scholarships they are eligible for.

The Myrtle Escort White Scholarship recognizes undergraduate and graduate students in the School of the Environment who are committed to community engagement, public service, and youth advocacy.

Majors: All majors in the School of the Environment

Level: All levels of undergraduate and graduate students in upcoming Fall

Enrollment: in a major if the School of the Environment

GPA min: 2.5 at SF State

Please apply through SF State Academic Works: https://sfsu.academicworks.com/opportunities/18512

In Memory of Myrtle Escort White 

Myrtle Escort White (1933-2003) was a pre-med/pre-nursing major at SF State from 1951 to 1953 before completing her nursing degree in 1955 at St. Francis Memorial Hospital at a time when African American registered nurses were extremely rare. She worked in community-based nursing for 25 years and was a lifelong advocate of community service and supporting healthy families. 

Ms. Myrtle, as she was affectionately referred to as an adult, was born in Beaumont, Texas as the oldest of four siblings. She had a particularly close relationship with her paternal grandfather whom she said always encouraged her questions and keen observations including about racial injustice. What her daughters later observed in her work to identify and rectify injustice and unfairness started early in her childhood. 

Her father, having served in the Navy and stationed in Vallejo, California, became part of the Great Migration of Black Americans from the South to other areas of the country and he moved his young family from Beaumont to San Francisco. Settling in the Western Addition and Potrero Hill alongside many other Black families from Texas and Louisiana, her family became longtime members of Jones United Methodist Church and part of its extended family of young Black families who settled in what had become thriving Black communities in San Francisco.  As a young adult, Ms. Myrtle was a member of the Thirteen Charms social club, sponsored by the older women at the church.  

Ms. Myrtle graduated from San Francisco’s Commerce High School in 1951, attended San Francisco State University (then known as San Francisco State College) from 1951-53 as a pre-nursing major, and received her R.N. degree in 1955. She was always a pioneer and a role model for what a smart young Black girl with confidence and assertiveness could accomplish. She spent the majority of her professional career leading programs to uplift the lives of young people, from teen-aged mothers to children in whom the community had underinvested.  

Coming of age in San Francisco, Ms. Myrtle developed a lifelong friendship with the Honorable Willie L. Brown. Ms. Myrtle was so proud of all that her dear friend accomplished in his life and career though always reminded him that she knew him before he became THE Willie Brown. 

Her three daughters were her pride and joy. She was their first role model and the embodiment of the song “I am woman hear me roar.”  She celebrated all of their milestones and told them every day they could achieve anything they desired. Ms. Myrtle loved spending time with her daughters cooking favorite meals, watching sports, going to concerts, traveling, and celebrating every milestone birthday and any other occasion in which the family could be together.  

She was also mom to her daughters’ friends as her home was the place where their group of friends gathered after school and on the weekends. These friends came to call her Moms and part of her circle of chosen children and they sought her advice for any number of challenges. Ms. Myrtle’s received great love and support from these chosen children as she aged. 

Myrtle Escort White’s family has a multi-generational relationship with SF State. She met her former  husband, Dr. Joseph L. White, a renowned psychologist and one of the founders of SF State’s Africana Studies Department, on campus when they were both students. With him, she had three children: Lori Suzanne White, Lynn Nanette White, and Lisa Diane White. Lisa and Lynn pursed bachelor’s degrees at San Francisco State University. Lisa and Lori pursued careers in higher education with Lisa serving 22 years at SF State a professor of Geology, Chair of the Department of Geosciences, Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, and Associate Dean of the College of Science & Engineering. She has continued to serve SF State as a board member of the SFSU Foundation Board.  

This scholarship is endowed by Lisa White. In keeping with the community values Ms. Myrtle embodied during her life, the scholarship received support from many family members and friends after her passing who wanted to honoring Ms. Myrtle in this special way. 

The intent of the Jon S Galehouse Scholarship in Earth Sciences for undergraduates is to support an undergraduate student who is enrolled in BS Earth Science in the School of the Environment and has senior standing in the coming Fall.

Major: BS Earth Science

Level: Undergrad: Junior, Senior, but must be still at SF State in Fall

Enrollment: 6 units undergrad

GPA min: none

Please apply through SF State Academic Works: https://sfsu.academicworks.com/opportunities/18566

Further details: Jon S. Galehouse was a professor of geology at SF State for 30 years from 1967-1996. Professor Galehouse always had a keen interest in academic excellence. He graduated in Geology from the College of Wooster in Ohio in 1962, and received his PhD from Berkeley in 1966. While at Cal, he was a teaching and research assistant, received a university graduate fellowship, and participated in the Free Speech Movement. He was awarded a National Science foundation (NSF) Postdoctoral Fellowship and attended Scripps Institution of Oceanography before starting at SFSU. During his first decade at State, he initiated and taught the Geology Department’s first courses on oceanography, plate tectonics, and the San Andreas fault. He went to sea three times on two month cruises as a sedimentologist on the Glomar Challenger as part of the Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP). He also spent 1972-73 as Project Officer administering the DSDP at NSF in Washington, DC.

In the late 1970s, Dr. Galehouse saw there was a major lack of data on the present-day creep rates on the active faults of the greater San Francisco Bay region. He successfully applied to the US Geological Survey for funding and began SFSU’s “Creep Project” which has been continuously funded for more than 40 years. While he was at State, there was no graduate program in Geology so Dr. Galehouse hired and worked with dozens of geology undergraduate majors as research assistants on the project. This positive experience was a major motivating factor in Dr. Galehouse establishing this endowed scholarship for undergraduates.

The objective of the David E. Johnson Memorial Scholarship is to support undergraduate or graduate students majoring in Geography, Environmental Science or GIScience in the School of the Environment, particularly those interested in social justice in urban spaces and students active in the African-American community.

Majors: BA Geography, BS Environmental Science, MA Geography, MA Geography RMEP, MS GIScience

Level: Sophomores/Juniors/Seniors and graduate students who have completed at least 10 units in one of the listed majors at SFSU.

Enrollment: Enrolled in at least 6 units (undergraduate) or 4 units (graduate) in semester receiving award (Fall)

GPA min: 3.0 at SF State

Please apply through SF State Academic Works: https://sfsu.academicworks.com/opportunities/18562

Further details:  Born in Los Angeles, California, on August 12, 1960, David E. Johnson was the fourth of seven siblings. He attended Manual Arts High School in L.A. and graduated with a B.A. in Geography from San Francisco State University in May, 1986.

Even as a young man, David was fascinated by transportation and movement systems. He developed a love for cartography, studying, and collecting maps, and jokingly referred to himself as a "Map Man." In his professional life, David was an environmental and transportation planner with over 20 years of experience working on highway, rail, and bridge projects in the San Francisco Bay Area. He was always concerned about environmental impact and environmental justice. 

David's family has established the David E. Johnson Memorial Scholarship to help support a baccalaureate or graduate student in Geography at SFSU. Recipients will be chosen annually by Geography Department faculty members in accordance with the criteria and procedures listed below.

The purpose of the Professor Emerita Karen Grove and Jay Ach Fellowship is to provide graduate students majoring in  Geoscience in the School of the Environment with support for academic expenses (tuition, fees, books, etc) while attending SF State. Award is based on academic merit and financial need.

Majors: MS Geoscience

Level: Grad: Masters

Enrollment: 9 units undergrad, 6 units grad

GPA min: 3.0

Please apply through SF State Academic Works: *Not currently being offered*

Further details: The purpose of The Professor Emerita Karen Grove and Jay Ach Fellowship is to support graduate students in the MS Geoscience major in the School of the Environment. Professor Grove was a distinguished faculty member and chair of Earth & Climate Sciences, one of the founding departments of the School. She and her husband, Jay Ach, established the scholarship to support students in her department. Recognizing the financial need of students and wishing to honor academic excellence, Karen and Jay would like to support outstanding students studying the Geosciences at Master’s level in the School of the Environment.

The Steven R. Pease Award is meant to encourage and support the pursuit of a geographic education at SF State. This  award is granted annually to a student actively working towards a degree in Geography, Environmental Science and GIScience. 

Majors: BA Geography, BS Environmental Science, MA Geography, MA Geography RMEP, MS GIScience.

Level: Sophomores/Juniors/Seniors and graduate students who have completed at least 15 units in Geography at SF State.

Enrollment: Enrolled in at least 6 units (undergraduate) or 3 units (graduate; 3 units requirement does not apply for those working on thesis project) in semester receiving award.

GPA min: 3.5 at SF State

Please apply through SF State Academic Works: https://sfsu.academicworks.com/opportunities/18560

Further details:  Steven Pease graduated summa cum laude from the University of California at Los Angeles, with a BA. in Geography. A Woodrow Wilson Fellow, he was invited to join Phi Beta Kappa, and he won a Four-Year Prize Fellowship at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he enrolled in the fall of 1969, as well as a summer internship in 1971 at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. In addition to pursuing graduate studies, he worked as an announcer and manager for radio station WFMR, Milwaukee and as a substitute broadcast meteorologist for three Milwaukee radio stations. He also performed intermittently as a concert pianist.

After earning his Ph.D. in Geography, Steve came to San Francisco State University where taught courses in climatology, geographic techniques and remote sensing. He served as the department’s graduate adviser for five years and supervised numerous M.S. theses. His research focused on the analysis of atmospheric conditions with remote sensing and satellite imagery. After completing a yearlong solar-energy mapping project for the California Energy Commission, he presented the results of that work at the Jet Propulsion Lab at Pasadena, at the Berkeley Lawrence Lab, and in February 1981 at a workshop sponsored by NOAA and the international Solar Energy Society in Washington D.C.

Steve suffered from a fatal allergic reaction to an anti-malaria drug while on sabbatical in southeast Asia in Fall, 1984. His parents and his sister – all geographers themselves -- established the Pease Award to support geographic education at SF State.

The purpose of the Professor Emeritus Dave Dempsey and Rebecca Douglass Scholarship in Earth and Climate Sciences is to provide undergraduate or graduate students majoring in Earth Science or Geoscience in the School of the Environment with support for academic expenses (tuition, fees, books, etc) while attending SF State.

Majors: Earth Science, Geoscience

Level: High School Senior; Undergrad: Any; Grad: Masters

Enrollment: 9 units undergrad, 6 units grad

GPA min: 3.0

Please apply through SF State Academic Works: https://sfsu.academicworks.com/opportunities/18568

Further details: Professor Dempsey was a distinguished professor and chair of Earth & Climate Sciences, one of the founding departments of the School of the Environment. Along with his wife Rebecca, this scholarship honors the compassion and rigor Professor Dempsey's put into training meteorologists over a long and distinguished career. The scholarship recognizes the financial need of students and wishes to honor academic excellence in the MS Geoscience major in the School of the Environment.

The objective of the R. Christopher McGee Scholarship is to encourage and support the pursuit of a geographic and environmental education at SF State. This  award is granted annually to a student actively working towards a degree in Geography, Environmental Science or GIScience. 

Majors: BA Geography, BS Environmental Science, MA Geography, MA Geography RMEP, MS GIScience.

Level: Freshmen/Sophomores/Juniors/Seniors and graduate students in Geography in the upcoming Fall.

Enrollment: Enrolled in at least 12 units (undergraduate) or 8 units (graduate) in semester receiving award.

GPA min: 3.5 at SF State

Please apply through SF State Academic Works: https://sfsu.academicworks.com/opportunities/18521

Chris McGee was born March 27, 1953, in Port Hueneme, CA. When Chris was two, the family moved to Washington State, and the rest of his childhood was spent in Washington and Arizona. After graduation from high school, Chris enrolled in the Arizona State University architecture program but did not finish. He moved to San Francisco and became a bicycle messenger. After two years, he entered the Cal-Berkeley geography program. There he met Professor James Vance and the Vance family, who became in every sense Chris's second family. He finished his master's and continued to study at Cal. Jean Vance, as much a mentor as her husband, helped him get a job as a lecturer in the Geography Department at San Francisco State University. He worked there his entire career, retiring in 2017.

An SF STATE colleague remembers Chris this way: "He always shared his profound knowledge and unique insights that were inspirational to our/my professional and intellectual betterment; he always exhibited genuine kindness and lent timely support to colleagues and students alike; he contributed to the Department in an unassuming but invaluable and sustained fashion for decades through his teaching and advising that converted many impressionable young women and men to geography either as a career path or as a way of thinking, as many of his former students would testify. He was infectious with his humorous and genteel approach to life, and his quiet fortitude toward challenges is truly a model for us all. The void that he left behind after his retirement is hard to fill."

Chris was an extraordinary intellect, who loved studying and reading, gardening and wood-working. He also was an excellent cook, and enjoyed giving unforgettable dinner parties. He was deeply in love with the Bay Area, especially the East Bay. He had many dear friends, including Tiffany Vance and her partner Nazila. He was fortunate to end his life on earth on October 6, 2018, in the place and the Vance family home that he loved.

The family is confident this scholarship will keep his memory alive and celebrate the tremendous impact he had and will continue to have on countless lives by helping to support students who share Chris's passion for geography and the environment.

The objective of the John A. and Anna Monteverdi Atmospheric and Climate Sciences Fellowship is to support a graduate student in MS Geosciences, specializing in atmospheric science, oceanography, or climate science, based on academic merit and financial need.

Majors: Accepted into the M.S. program in Geosciences

Level: masters

Enrollment: 6 units grad

GPA min: 3.0 grad

Not offered this year

Further details: The purpose of The John A. and Anna Monteverdi Atmospheric and Climate Sciences Fellowship Fund Fellowship is to support any student in the MS Geoscience major in the School of the Environment, with preference to those whose research is centered in the atmospheric or climate sciences. John Monteverdi, Jr. is a distinguished faculty member in Earth & Climate Sciences and is establishing the fellowship to support students in his department, as well as to set an example for others to follow. Recognizing the financial need of students and wishing to honor academic excellence, John would like to support outstanding students.

The objective of the George Feliz Memorial Scholarship in Environmental Studies is to support Environmental Studies majors in the School of the Environment. 

Majors: BA Environmental Studies, BS Environmental Studies

Level: Undergraduate: Sophomores/Juniors/Seniors in the upcoming Fall.

Enrollment: Completed at least two courses after entering the major and must be enrolled at least half-time

GPA min: 3.0 at SF State

Please apply through SF State Academic Works: https://sfsu.academicworks.com/opportunities/14180

Further details: George Feliz taught Economics at SF State from 1946 to 1975 and served as the first dean of Graduate Studies on this campus. He established an endowment to award a scholarship to an Environmental Studies major who could demonstrate financial need. In addition to the minimum criteria, students must demonstrate financial need (supplemental question in the Academic Works application form), and preference is given to students who are single parents. Being a single parent is a Feliz Scholarship selection preference, but you do not have to be a single parent to be eligible. Therefore, all students meeting the minimum criteria and having financial need are encouraged to apply. 

Deadline for applications is April 15. All applications must be completed online at SF State Academic Works.

ARCS Scholarships ($10,000)
Awarded to ten graduate students in the Departments of Biology, Chemistry & Biochemistry, Computer Science, Earth & Climate Sciences, Geography & Environment, Mathematics, Physics & Astronomy

Robert William Maxwell Memorial Scholarships ($4,000)
Awarded to three to five graduate students in the Departments of Biology, Chemistry & Biochemistry, Computer Science, Earth & Climate Sciences, Engineering, Geography & Environment, Mathematics, Physics & Astronomy, Psychology

College of Science & Engineering Advisory Board Scholarship ($2,500)
Awarded to one graduate student in the College of Science & Engineering

Bruce A. Rosenblatt CSL Scholarships ($1,250)
Awarded to four undergraduate or graduate students with 100 hours of Community Service

SF Resident (formerly David & Cary Cassa Memorial) Scholarship ($1,000)
Awarded to one College of Science & Engineering undergraduate student who live in San Francisco

WISE ($2000) 
Women in Science & Engineering. Awarded to an outstanding student in the graduate program in CoSE