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GeologyFieldTrip_083_While most scholarships established with the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Foundation benefit  one or two students per year, the Jones/LaBerge Geology Field Trip Fund supports field trips for several classes full of students every semester.

The Field Trip Fund, established in 2013 by an anonymous donor in honor of faculty members Norris Jones and Gene LaBerge, subsidizes the fees for critical field study outings.

“Field trips are an integral part of nearly every course taught in the geology curriculum,” said Bill Mode, geology department chair. “They provide students with real-world experience observing the environment and the roles played by  minerals, rocks and water. This is a perspective that textbooks can at best only imitate.”

Mode said the donor who established the fund was an alum who understands the value of these trips.

“The donor worked in the oil and gas industry and strongly believes in the phrase, ‘a geologist is only as good as the rocks he/she has seen,'” he said.

The fund was named for two faculty members the donor greatly appreciated. Jones joined the UWO faculty in 1968, served as geology department chair from 1981 to 1984 and from 1996 to 1999 and retired in 2000. He was awarded the James F. Duncan Research Award based primarily on this field geology research. LaBerge joined the faculty in 1965 and developed five new courses in his first year at UWO. He also started a three-day weekend Lake Superior field trip, which continued until his retirement in 1998.

The donor recently issued a challenge that if an additional $10,000 can be raised by June 30, another  $5,000 will be matched. That would bring the balance of the fund to more than $50,000 and have an even greater impact on UWO students. Learn more about giving to the fund.

Watch what happens outside the classroom on a UWO geology field trip: