Arizona Geological Society

M. Lee Allison Scholarship

Lee Allison began his career in the oil industry but soon transitioned to a career in public service. Before his life was tragically cut short in August 2016, Lee served with distinction as State Geologist in Utah, Kansas, and Arizona, successively. A dynamic and visionary leader and a gifted mentor, Lee combined innovative scholarship and consummate people skills with enthusiasm and optimism to drive his passion for making geologic information available to the public and for rendering it understandable. He was an articulate spokesman on scientific issues of societal importance and was dedicated to communicating their significance and impact in ways that resonated locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally. As a measure of his far-reaching public service efforts, Lee was honored by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, the Association of Women Geologists, and the American Institute of Petroleum Geologists.

In recognition of his many contributions, the Arizona Geological Society Geosciences Scholarship was renamed in Lee’s honor following his death. Fittingly, the M. Lee Allison Scholarship is awarded to students who demonstrate exceptional achievement in pursuit of degrees in the earth sciences and who show balanced records exhibiting academic excellence, a passion for research, outstanding professional and general community involvement, and leadership in all of these areas.

For more details about this scholarship visit our Student Outreach Page.

Anna Katharina Schuh

2016 M. Lee Allison Scholarship Recipient


Anna is a senior in the University of Arizona Honors College, where she is pursuing concurrently a Bachelor of Science in Geosciences, a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management Information Systems, and a Minor in German Language. To broaden her geologic experience and to expand her cultural awareness, Anna spent a semester abroad at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand and participated in their geologic field camp. While there she conducted research on correlation of Oligocene tephra deposits and their relation to a super-eruption from the Taupo Volcanic Zone. She refined methodology for separation of volcanic glass, then ran XRF, XRD, and grain-size analyses to help distinguish three separate phases of the super-eruption. Anna plans on continuing this research this year as part of her senior thesis. She also is as a research assistant in the UA’s Environmental Isotope Lab. Anna anticipates combining her interests in geology, business, and language in an international career in Environmental Geo-Hazards. She is a member of AGS and AIPG, Vice President of the Society of Earth Science Students, and participates in the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show and the Tucson Festival of Books (Science City). She is also a member of the Delta Sigma Pi Professional Business Fraternity and the Management Information Systems Association. Anna tutors through the U of A German Students Society, is a leader with the UA Wishmakers-On-Campus student organization, and volunteers with Ben’s Bells.

Philip K. McFarland

2016 M. Lee Allison Scholarship Recipient

Phillip (Phil) graduated from the University of Arizona in 2013, receiving his B.S. in Applied Mathematics with a Minor in Geosciences. He is now pursuing his Ph.D. in Geosciences at the University of Arizona. His dissertation research focuses on using space geodesy (GPS and InSAR) to measure active deformation in the Puna Plateau region of the Central Andes, where active subduction of the Nazca Plate is accompanied by shortening of the South American crust. Innovatively, he has been able to partition components of the shortening rate that result in permanent deformation (30%) vs. elastic strain (70%) that eventually will be released in mega-thrust seismic events. Following completion of his Ph.D., Phil plans to pursue a career in using geodesy to investigate active tectonics, beginning with postdoctoral research, perhaps at one of the USGS Volcano Observatories. Ultimately, he anticipates a career with the USGS or at a research university where he will continue working on geoscience problems that allow him to make use of his background and considerable skills in Applied Mathematics. Phil has earned scholarships from U of A, ARCS Foundation, Conoco Phillips, NASA, and NSF. He has served as President of the Associated Graduate Council for the U of A College of Science, as GeoDaze co-chair, co-chair of the College of Science teaching assistant training workshop, and Dept of Geosciences Graduate Student Rep to the faculty. Phil has tutored math and science at the Las Artes Arts and Education Center, mentored a young science writer at Bear Essentials Young Reporters, guest-lectured on the mathematical derivation of the seismic wave equation in the Introduction to Seismology course. Fluent in Spanish, he has tutored at a school in an underperforming, primarily Hispanic school district. He is a member of AGS and AGU.

Copyright © 2013 Arizona Geological Society
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software