MAGIP Grants and Scholarships

Each year MAGIP awards the MAGIP Van Shelhamer Memorial K-12 Education Grants for K-12 education and the MAGIP Higher Education Scholarship(s) to undergraduate students attending Montana Colleges or Universities 

Additionally, MAGIP contributed to scholarships available at the University of Montana (UM Zuuring/MAGIP Scholarship) and Montana State University (MSU Earth Sciences Graduate Scholarship)

MAGIP Higher Education
GIS Scholarship Application

One $2,000 scholarship to a student studying GIS at a Montana college or university

Application Period is Closed

RedCastle Resources, inc. / MAGIP
GIS Scholarship Application

RedCastle Resources, inc. and MAGIP will jointly award up to $2,000 in scholarship money to a student working on a natural resources-based project, thesis, or dissertation using GIS/remote sensing at a Montana college or university

Application Period is Closed

MAGIP will award two(2) $1,000 grants to assist K-12 educators to support GIS-related curriculum in Montana

Application Deadline Extended!

Applications are due: 

April 21, 2017 by 5pm

Email the Education Committee Chair for more information


Two (2) $1,000 grants to assist K-12 educators to support GIS-related curriculum

    • Hans Bodenhammer, Bigfork Schools GIS and Science Program, Bigfork, MT
    • Wayne Stein, White Clay Immersion School, Fort Belknap, MT  

Both Hans Bodenhamer and Wayne Stein intend to use some of the grant funds to invest in tablet devices that their students will use to develop web and storymap applications. Students in Bigfork will initially focus on noxious weedmapping, and eventually branch out to include, projects related to fish, birds, mammals, and fire safety. At Fort Belknap, the White Clay School is a private A’annnih (Gros Ventre) Language School Affiliated with the A’annnih Nakoda College. The school teaches K-12 curriculum and an emphasis on incorporating their native language. The students will use grant funds to purchase tablets and develop a Cultural Story Map Project

    One (1) $2,000 scholarship to undergraduate or first-year graduate students studying GIS at a Montana college or university
    • Sierra Curtis, The University of Montana 

    Sierra is currently a senior at Bigfork High School and will attend The University of Montana this fall. She is already an experienced geospatial technology user and recently presented some of her work at the 2016 MAGIP Conference. She will use the scholarship funds to support the development of a comprehensive story map chronicling the state of human trafficking around the world. 

      $2,000 in scholarship money through the RedCastle Resources, Inc /MAGIP Higher Education Scholarship
      • Philip Williams, The University of Montana   Philip Williams will be a first year graduate student in The National Center for Landscape Fire Analysis, at the University of Montana. At the Center, he will be working with a team of scientists that are learning to apply autonomous aerial systems to forestry and wildland fire situations. In that work, they will be merging GIS-enabled data models with cloud-based radiometric processing algorithms to ensure timely delivery of fuel models from airborne sensors.

      • Chris Bilbrey, Montana State University  Chris Bilbrey is a graduate student working on a Master of Science degree at Montana State University, in the Department of Earth Science. Chris will be using a suite of geospatial tools to develop new field measurement techniques for quantifying the spatial variability of snowpack and how that relates to snowpack stability. 

      • Jeremiah SunderRaj, The University of Montana  Jeremiah SunderRaj is an undergraduate student at The University of Montana, were he is a dedicated and passionate young spatial ecologist. Jeremiah and one of his professors just completed a preliminary analysis of wolf watching spatial data this semester, and it was so productive and such an interesting avenue, that he will be working with Yellowstone National Park next year as a full-year independent study to further refine a system for managing wildlife viewing and vehicle traffic.

      • Michael Frothingham, Montana State University  Michael Frothingham is also a first year graduate student in the Department of Earth Sciences at Montana State University. He will be developing a modeling routines that all the integration of field data and digital spatial data to better understand the relationships between geologic units. Along with that, he is also proposing digital cartographic methods to streamline geologic map production. 


        Two (2) $1,000 grants to assist K-12 educators to support GIS-related curriculum.
        • Bill Jimmerson, Your Education Source, Bozeman, MT
        • Melissa Reynolds-Hogland, Bear Trust International, in Missoula, MT  

        Both of the applicants have outlined clear and impactful ideas that will help teach teachers to bring geospatial awareness and concepts of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to classrooms across Montana. Bill Jimmerson will utilize the Education Grant to provide a multi-day teaching training program in precision agriculture in the Great Falls area. Agriculture is an important component of the Montana culture and economy, and the linkage between this industry and geospatial concepts is a great way to enhance learning opportunities our classrooms.

        Melissa Reynolds-Hogland at Bear Trust International and their partners proposed not only to become volunteer GeoMentors for the Frenchtown Schools, they are also collaborating with three key educators at Frenchtown Elementary and Middle Schools to create GIS-based lesson plans. As a first step in the partnership between Bear Trust and the Frenchtown Schools they will build a GIS curriculum for the Talented and Gifted program at the Elementary and Middle Schools. Results of the pilot project will be freely available to educators, students, and the public by providing them online. A long term goal is to expand the program to include workshops that not only provide GIS skills but also continuing education credits to participants.

          One (1) $2,000 scholarship to undergraduate or first-year graduate students studying GIS at a Montana college or university
          • Holt Hancock , Montana State University 

          Holt Hancock is a first year graduate student in the earth science department at Montana State University and is the 2015 recipient of the MAGIP Higher Education scholarship. In his project, titled “Snow Drift and Avalanche Hazard in the High-Arctic Maritime Snow Climate of Svalbard, Norway” Holt will have the opportunity to work a team of international, world-class arctic scientists and develop a time-series GIS model of snow redistribution by wind. The goal of producing this model is to initiate a plan for passive snow mitigation strategies for a transportation corridor in Norway. Results of his work will be highly applicable to Montana and our relationship with snow related transportation hazards.

            $2,000 in scholarship money through the RedCastle Resources, Inc /MAGIP Higher Education Scholarship
            • Nathaniel Robinson, University of Montana  Nathanial is a PhD student in the College of Forestry and Conservation at the University of Montana, and he will receive a scholarship of $1,000 towards his project titled “An Analysis of Changing Rangeland Dynamics in Kenya”. Nathaniel will be working closely with Kenyan community-wildlife conservancies in the Masai and Samuru regions and with the Nature Conservancy to address pressing wildlife conservation needs that incorporate historic land use practices of nomadic pastoralists who contributed to creating and maintaining productive habitat for centuries. His work will not only help develop new applications for GIS and remote sensing in conservation and resource management, but also be immediately used by Kenyans to conserve wildlife populations, maintain habitat quality, and retain seasonal migration routes, while addressing the livelihood needs and interests of resident pastoralists.

            • Sarah Benjaram, Montana State University Sarah is a first year graduate student in the earth science department at Montana State University and she will receive $500 towards her project titled “Morphologic and Climatic Controls on Soil Weathering in a Glaciated and Unglaciated Landscpe”. Soils are a critical resource for proper ecosystem functioning, and in her work she will try to quantify the impact of physical and chemical factors that control soil formation in glaciated and unglaciated mountain ranges. The Bitterroot and Sapphire mountain ranges of western Montana share a similar lithology but have been shaped by very different processes. She will take advantage of raster processing and remote sensing to quantify various elements of her study area, and ultimately make inferences about soil formation and fertility. Her work has direct implications for resource managers because upland soil erosion and its effects on streams may impair water quality in mountainous systems and are specifically recognized as environmental threats in her study area. Sarah will share her findings with the public by working with geology classes at Bitterroot College in Hamilton, MT and also lead an erosion dynamics workshop for girls in 6th through 8th grade through a Montana State Extended University program.

            • Garin Wally, University of Montana Garin is a graduate geography student at the University of Montana and will receive $250 towards a project he calls “Open River Map: Mapping Water Hazards with Twitter”. In this project Garin is proposing to take advantage of social media and associated “big data” to facilitate citizen science and in real-time track river hazards in an infrastructure independent manner.  He plans to build an application that collects tweets from volunteer fishermen who record the locations and types of hazards with their twitter accounts. His application will collect the tweet information and convert it into spatial data and produce a simple map of the reported hazards. The script within the application will be run once daily and appended to the running log of hazard locations. While this may be a simple concept we are excited about the interaction between social media and geospatial processing in this project.

            • Jon McFarland, Montana State University  Jon is a freshman at Montana State University with a passion for watershed and fisheries management. Although Jon has barely completed his first year of college he has already lined up a volunteer-based internship with the Raincoast Conservation Foundation in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. As part of his work with Raincoast, Jon will be working on two distinct projects related to salmon and historic impacts to their habitat and abundance. Both projects are designed to inform and guide current salmon initiatives in habitat restoration of the Fraser River estuary and salmon rebuilding objectives. Both require GIS skills and product development. On the historic abundance reconstruction, the maps he will help develop will visually illustrate and describe the spatial and temporal issues involved in historic run reconstruction. In the second project, and primary initiative, GIS is the principle tool of the project. To assist Jon he will receive $250 towards his internship. 


            One (1) $1,000 Grant to assist a K-12 educator to support GIS-related curriculum.
              • Gail Shatkus, Career and Technology Educator at Chester-Joplin-Inverness Schools 
            One (1) $2,000 Scholarship to an undergraduate or first-year graduate student studying GIS at a Montana college or university
              • Loga Fixico, Salish Kootenai College


            Two (2) $1,000 grants to assist K-12 educators to support GIS-related curriculum.
              • Jo Stevens, West Yellowstone K-12 Schools 
              • Scott Edge, C.S. Porter Middle School, Missoula, MT
              One (1) $2,000 scholarship to an undergraduate or first-year graduate student studying GIS at a Montana college or university
              • Dominique David, Montana State University


              One (1) $1,000 grant to assist K-12 educators to support GIS-related curriculum
              • Gail Shatkus, Chester-Joplin-Inverness School District - to support the use of centimeter-grade GPS by the high school architecture design class to lay out building and land designs
              One (1) $2,000 Scholarship to an undergraduate or first-year graduate student studying GIS at a Montana college or university
              • Mitchel Lee Fyock, University of Montana - He will utilize and assess two geomorphological mapping systems developed in Europe for use in high mountain environments in the United States

              University Scholarships

              The University of Montana and Montana State University offer scholarships based on endowment funds that MAGIP contributed to:

              © Montana Association of Geographic Information Professionals

              MAGIP is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization in Montana

              P.O. Box 1868, Helena, MT 59624


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