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Solid as a Rock: A New Geology Scholarship

Generous donors pose for picture.

Dr. Stephen Brand with Wife, Karen Brand

Geology field camp made an impression on Dr. Stephen Brand ’71 that he has never forgotten. He has vivid memories of traveling to the mining town of Park City, Utah, arriving at the quaint dorms in Chateau Apres lodge, and experiencing the heat of summer in the Wasatch and Uinta mountain ranges. He said the most impressive part was, “finally putting my hands on the rock-cut face of a mountain, after years inthe classroom.”

After earning a B.A. in geology at UMD, Stephen received M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in geology from Purdue University. That brought more field camps, sometimes as the trip leader. The days of preparing detailed rock descriptions, geologic maps, and cross sections stayed with Stephen throughout his career with Phillips Petroleum Company and its successor, ConocoPhillips. He even brought his wife, Karen, to see the site of the UMD field camp in Utah.

The Brands wanted to make a difference for UMD students. “Field camp is required, but it comes at a high cost,” Stephen said. “Not only do students have to pay for the trip, they also lose the ability to work a summer job. It’s a double burden.”

The couple created the Stephen and Karen Brand Geological Sciences Field Camp Scholarship in the Swenson College of Science and Engineering. Because they worked with the Fast Start scholarship program, they were able to award the first scholarship within weeks after its establishment.

Now, experiencing the thrilling moments of summer field camp will be less of a hardship for deserving students studying geological sciences at UMD.