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We are no longer taking applicants for 2022.

GeoPEERS REU - Geosciences Program in Energy and Environmental Resource Sustainability 

Are you wondering how you can use your skills to make the world a better place? The geosciences fields are at a turning point, where the jobs of the next 50 years are likely to be quite different from the jobs of the last 50 years. Even as the world’s dependence on energy to sustain health, innovation, and quality of life increases, it is becoming increasingly clear that the ways in which those energy needs must be met are changing. Looking to the future, we can no longer think about energy and environmental science as two separate disciplines. The GeoPEERS REU Program at Penn State provides participants with the skills to study natural resource (conventional, unconventional, and renewable) exploration and development, environmental science, environmental justice, climate change, and sustainable development as one integrated system. 

Program Details 

Participants will spend 8 summer weeks at Penn State University Park campus. Each participant will have their own individual research project and mentor, and will participate in weekly group discussions, readings, and activities. Participants will be provided with on-campus housing, a meal plan, and stipend of $600 / week, as well as travel to and from University Park, PA. The Summer 2022 program will run June 6 – July 29. By the end of the 8 weeks you will have gained experience conducting independent research, produced a research poster presentation and abstract, interacted with other students and researchers, and learned about how geoscience research helps meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals ( 

Potential Research Topics 

  • Critical Mineral Resources in Pennsylvania 
  • Hydrocarbon Resource Extraction and Impacts on Water Resources in PA 
  • Heavy Metals and VOCs in Urban and Suburban Environments 
  • Fault Mapping in the Appalachian Basin Using Seismic Reflection Data 
  • Sedimentological Controls on Subsurface Fluid Flow 
  • Geomorphic Change in Sedimentary Basins in Africa 
  • Remediation of Phosphate Pollution in Carbonate Aquifers 

Is the GeoPEERS REU for me? 

If you are an undergraduate student at a US college or university in geosciences or any STEM field, and you are considering a future career in geosciences or related energy / environmental science fields, this REU is for you. We are here to support students from a wide variety of backgrounds, lifestyles, and perspectives, which means there is no one “ideal” candidate. We want everyone to feel comfortable bringing their whole selves to GeoPEERS. If you have special needs or circumstances, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We will make every effort to accommodate your needs. 

What we expect from you: We expect you to be fully present and engaged, to participate in research and complementary activities (accommodations will be made as needed), to treat your fellow participants and mentoring team with respect, and to communicate your needs and concerns. 

What you can expect from us: You can expect us to support you academically and personally, to treat all participants fairly and equitably, to foster a safe and inclusive work environment, to accommodate your needs and respond to your concerns. 

How to Apply 

Applicants will submit an application form, answers to a few short essay questions, and contact information for two references (typically an academic advisor and/or professor who knows you by name; use your judgement if you think there is someone else who could represent you better). We will begin reviewing applications February 1, 2023 and continue until 8 participant opportunities have been filled. First-round accepted participants will have until March 15 to accept or decline the offer. It is normal for a few applicants have more than one offer, which means additional spots may open up after March 15. Complete this form if you would like to be notified when applications become available for next year.

  • The short answer questions you will be prompted to answer (in 150 words or less) are as follows: 
  • What motivates you to pursue a degree / career in geosciences (or related energy / environmental fields)? 
  • What do you hope to get out of participating in a Research Experience for Undergraduates? 
  • What do you do when you are not in class or doing schoolwork? 
  • What has made your life experience uniquely yours? 

Contact Information

Maureen Feineman
Department of Geosciences
Associate Head for Undergraduate Programs
Associate Research Professor
Phone: 814-863-7400