Honors, Awards and Scholarships

Student receiving honors award.

The Department of Geography encourages qualifying majors to conduct original research and/or apply skills from their formal coursework or internships through an honors course. Graduating majors with a GPA over 3.25 in all Geography courses are recognized with department honors on their transcript.


Honors Course: The Honors Course (GEO 490) is open only to qualified geography majors. To be eligible to enroll in GEO 490 students must have: completed a minimum of six courses in Geography; a QPA of 3.0 over all university courses completed; and a QPA of 3.5 for all Geography courses completed. Students must complete an honors project under the supervision of a Geography faculty member. In addition, each project is to be read and evaluated by a second faculty member in the department who has expertise in the area of the student’s project. Students who wish to enroll in this course must make arrangements with the appropriate faculty member by the end of the semester preceding the semester (or summer session) when the student expects to register for the course. Students who receive a grade of B or higher in the course will be awarded a special honors certificate when they graduate.

Department Honors: The Department offers recognition to graduating students who meet the following requirements: With Distinction (3.20-3.49 QPA in all Geography courses); With High Distinction (3.50-3.74 QPA in all Geography courses); and With Highest Distinction (3.75-4.0 QPA in all Geography courses)

McConnell/MacPherson Award in International Trade

James McConnell, PhD, retired in 2006 after joining the UB Geography Department in 1968, having an academic career of almost 40 years.  He served as the Chair of the Department from 1983-1988 and 1994-1999, founded and directed research at the Canada-United States Trade Center, and played an important role in forging an academic partnership between the Geography Department and the School of Management.  As an industrial geographer, Dr. McConnell’s research interests include spatial patterns of foreign direct investment, regional economic integration, firm-level competitiveness, and Canada-US commercial interactions.  In addition to his contributions in research, administration, and public service, are his contributions to graduate and undergraduate education, which are reflected by the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excelling in Teaching which he received in 1976 and his appointment as SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor in 2000.  Dr. McConnell received a Bachelor’s degree in Geography and Social Studies from Slippery Rock State College, a Master’s degree in Geography from Miami University (Ohio) and a Doctorate in Geography from Ohio State University.

Alan Douglas MacPherson, PhD (9/17/57 – 5/6/09) was a Professor of Geography at the University at Buffalo (1988-2009), Director of CUSTAC (1995-2009), and Chair of the Geography Department (2001-2007).  As an industrial geographer, Dr. MacPherson’s principal research interest was concerned with the relationship between technological innovation and regional economic development.  He also had an active interest in export development and Canada-United States trade.  As an educator and adviser, he taught undergraduate and graduate courses and advised students interested in international business and economic geography.  Dr. MacPherson received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Dundee, a professional (RTPI) diploma in urban planning from Edinburgh College of Art, and Master’s degree and Doctorate degree from the University of Toronto.


Award Eligibility: The “McConnell/MacPherson Award in International Trade” is given annually to an International Trade undergraduate student from the Department of Geography at the University at Buffalo.

Award Recognition: The recipient will have their name and the year engraved on a perpetual plaque that is located in the Department of Geography main office. The winner will be presented the award at the Department of Geography's Graduation reception each year in May.

2010 - Bridget K. Paul

2011 - Breana Limina

2012 - Anthony Hilbert

2013 - Ted A. Sielski

2014 - Jessica Blank

2015 - Rio G. Zhao

2016 - Alexandra Gould & Anna Kozlowski

2017 - Eric Heusinger

2018 - Nadine Kennedy

2019 - Ling Yi Tabitha Chee

Would you like to contribute to this award? If so, you may donate online.


Greg and Susan Aldrich Undergraduate Research Award

The Greg and Susan Aldrich Undergraduate Research Award was established to provide funding to students to overcome barriers that obstruct their ability to perform meaningful research and/or creative activities during their undergraduate enrollment at UB. Award applications will be reviewed by a team of UB Geography faculty who will give consideration to applications that show a need for award support to complete projects, pay for supplies, attend conferences, and/or other intrinsic needs that must be overcome to complete a research project. Please contact Dr. Larsen at larsen@buffalo.edu with any questions.


Application Guidelines

1. Introduction: This fund supports research. Applications are accepted each year in April. The funds must be spent within one year after the award is received. During this period, the student must be enrolled at UB as a Geography or International Trade major.

2. Eligibility: Sophomores or juniors conducting research under the guidance of a faculty member in the Department of Geography are eligible to apply.

2011 - Anthony Hilbert

2012 - Viktor Mashalov

2013 - Iris Savoy-Burke

2014 - Amy Hinchcliffe

2015 - Mario Ayoub

2018 - Nadine Kennedy 


Would you like to contribute to this award? If so, you may donate online.

For full details/application:



Charles H.V. Ebert Scholarship for Physical Geography

Dr. Ebert, born in Hamburg, Germany came to UB in 1954 as a member of the Geology Department. A few years later, at the request of President Furnas, he founded the Geography Department. As the departments' first Chair (1963 to 1970) he built up the Department and selected the first faculty members. He was the Undergraduate Dean from 1970 to 1977.

Dr. Ebert contributed to the larger Buffalo community, frequently lecturing to local organizations. He also acted as a consultant for local environmental problems. He used false color aerial photography of vegetation to demonstrate the impact of the seepage of pollutants in the Love Canal disaster. 

Dr. Ebert is perhaps remembered best for his teaching. Hundreds of students enrolled in his courses every year. He won the University at Buffalo Chancellor's Award for Teaching Excellence in 1975 and 1976; UB's Mr. Faculty Award in 1965 and 1968; and the Distinguished Teaching Award for Excellence in Geography Teaching from the National Council for Geographic Education in 1990.

Award Eligibility:  University at Buffalo undergraduate or graduate students pursuing degrees in Earth Systems Science/Physical Geography.

Award Recognition:  The recipient will have their name and the year engraved on a perpetual plaque that is located in the Department of Geography main office.  The winner will be presended the award at the Department of Geography's Graduation reception each year in May. If you would like to donate to this award fund, please click here.

2013 - Ryan Greer

2014 - Sylvia Choi

2015 - Adam R. Wattles 

2016 - Matthew Snickles, Michael Gallisdorfer, Michael Habberfield, Jonathan Pleban, Xiaonan Tai & David Spiering 

2017 - Jonathan Militelo, Joel Siedman, Qiian Lynn Yap