GeoFORCE has an annual operation budget of about $225,000, which is raised annually as gifts from sponsors or grants from federal and state agencies (See GeoFORCE Partners – Industry Partners). Our sponsors not only provide financial assistance, they also serve on our advisory committee, attend field trips, mentor GeoFORCE college students, and provide college scholarships.
There must be an identified and worthy return on investment for our sponsors. It is the intent of GeoFORCE Alaska to increase the number and diversity of future geoscientists as well as to provide widespread acknowledgement of all sponsors.
It will take time to determine if we are fulfilling the goal of increasing the numbers of geoscientists, our oldest students are entering college this year, but the momentum of GeoFORCE Alaska and its sponsors is clearly growing from the enthusiastic support from students, parents, teachers, and community leaders.
GeoFORCE has really changed my life. Without your help and support I wouldn't be here today and I wouldn't know what I would want to do with the rest of my life.
I personally enjoyed learning about how the cliffs or nuna gets eroded by the waves because back at home, we could find new ways to prevent our nuna and cliffs from being eroded so that land loss wouldn't be a problem.
The success of GeoFORCE depends on bringing together academic, government, and industry partners who have institutional and personal commitments to improving the lives of the next generation.
The financial support provided by our partners allows the students to experience spectacular geologic venues that are important to increasing and maintaining their attraction to science and math. The personal commitments of individuals from our partners create one-on-one learning experiences, provide an opportunity to discuss careers with professionals, and make GeoFORCE the special experience that it is.
By providing four years of hands-on field Academies that require students to work in teams, employ the scientific method, become active participants in the classroom, and reach beyond their personal and academic comfort zones, GeoFORCE aims to encourage students from Alaska’s rural North Slope and Northwest Arctic Boroughs to pursue scientific interests through high school and college curricula. Our first cohort of 18 GeoFORCE Alaska students from the North Slope Borough completed the GeoFORCE Alaska program in summer 2015. 94% of these students have graduated from high school, at least 72% plan to attend college in fall 2016, and 33% plan to major in geoscience. One student elected to forego college in favor of an internship at ASRC.
A second cohort of 34 students from the North Slope and Northwest Arctic boroughs entered the program and completed the First-Year Academy in summer 2016. Feedback on the exit survey was strongly positive. 100% indicated that they learned a lot, while 97% indicated that they made new friends, increased their interest in science, and/or really look forward to the Second-Year Academy. Additionally, anecdotal evidence, including annual student essays and exit surveys, indicate the GeoFORCE Alaska is having an impact on students’ lives and career paths.
GeoFORCE is neither a subtle nor an inexpensive approach. It is designed to provide lasting experiences for middle and high school students that will capture their interest, motivate them to achieve excellence in math and science courses, and build their awareness of opportunities in high-tech careers, especially the geosciences.
Individuals or companies interested in becoming involved with these fantastic students are encouraged to contact our Program Coordinator:
You can also use the University of Alaska Fairbanks College of Natural Science and Mathematics online giving portal.