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.


Jessie K. Pearl

2017 M. Lee Allison Scholarship


Jessie Pearl received a B. S. in Geology and Environmental Science from Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts in 2013 and attended graduate school at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution during 2014-2015.    Since 2015, Jessie has been working on  a Ph.D in Geosciences at the University of Arizona, where her research interests are focused on paleoclimate, paleotempestology, dendrochronology, and global change.  This research helps interpret the Earth's past landscapes and climate by analyzing coastal sediments and tree ring archives.   She is particularly interested in the past 2,000 years of coastal landscapes, climate and storms that may help characterize future climate scenarios.  This work will help prepare coastal communities for increased frequency and intensity of natural disasters and climate stresses. Her advisor is Kevin Anchukaitis.

Jessie has received numerous awards, fellowships and scholarships based on her academic and research achievements.  She is a creative, intelligent and exceptional promising scientist, scholar and communicator, who is always willing to step forward to support her cohorts, peers and collaborators at a moment's notice.   She communicates easily  and precisely across a way range of professional and public forums.

Jessie established a network of volunteers who live along Cape Cod's shore that monitor and report on storm-related changes at or near their residences.  She currently serves as an instructor in the University of Arizona Sky School, an outreach group that introduces K-12 students in the Tucson metro area through day trips to explore the geology and ecology of the Sky Islands.  Jessie is also a recipient of the University of Arizona's prestigious Carson Fellowship, which helps train graduate students improve their scientific communication skills and perform effective public outreach. 



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