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.




Audrey Dunham

2020 M. Lee Allison Scholarship

Audrey Dunham received a B. S. in Geoscience with a minor in Geophysics from Penn State University in August 2017.   She is currently a fourth year Ph.D. candidate working toward a degree in Geosciences at the University of Arizona.

As an undergraduate at Penn State, Audrey received numerous awards for academic achievements in geology, including the Shell Oil Technical Scholarship, Marathon Oil Honors Scholarship, and Mathew J. Wilson Honors Scholarship, which are presented for academic excellence.  More recently, Audrey was recognized as one of the “change-making” scientists of our future, when she received the University Of Arizona College of Science Galileo Circle Scholarship in April 2019.

Audrey has also had numerous community outreach and leadership roles, including spearheading an effort to start an Association for Women Geoscientists (AWG), Southern Arizona Chapter in March 2018.  She recently began working as a program coordinator for the University of Arizona Women in Science and Engineering (WISE), who helped coordinate virtual programs for high school students in the Tucson Community.  In her spare time, she works as a volunteer at PAWSitively Cats, where she helps to clean and maintain a local cat shelter.   Audrey is also a member of the Seismological Society of America (SSA), American Geophysical Union (AGU), and Geological Society of America (GSA).

Audrey’s current research at the University of Arizona involves a diverse set of projects that highlight her passion for studying potential and unknown seismic hazards.  Two of these projects (Cascadia Subduction Zone and Teton Fault) involve analyzing data from dense arrays of nodal seismometers.  These instruments are small portable seismometers, which can be easily deployed in very dense networks in rugged, inaccessible terrains.  Capable of detecting much smaller magnitude earthquakes, these dense arrays are used to gain a higher resolution understanding of the subsurface.   Audrey’s third project employs modeling techniques to simulate the ground motion from the M7.8 Gorkha Earthquake, which occurred on April 25, 2015 in Nepal.  Its goal is to gain a better understanding of seismic hazards by studying the relationships between seismic shaking, topography and landslides in mountainous regions.




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