Young Geoscientists checking out samples at the Vulcan Materials Knippa Quarry

Young Geoscientists checking out samples at the Vulcan Materials Knippa Quarry

Vulcan Materials made a $25,000 donation this week to the GeoFORCE Texas program reaffirming its commitment to help inspire Southwest Texas high school students to consider the geosciences and related fields of study. Darren Hicks, Vulcan Materials Southwest Division director of human resources and Chuck Bevis, Vulcan’s Uvalde plant supervisor, made the check presentation on Tuesday to representatives of Southwest Texas Junior College and the University of Texas at Austin Jackson School of Geosciences, partners in the GeoFORCE Texas program. Dr. Blaine Bennett, dean of technology and institutional advancement at SWTJC, and Doug Ratcliff, director for outreach programs at the Jackson School of Geosciences, accepted the check. “Vulcan has been a tremendous contributor to the GeoFORCE program since day one,” Ratcliff said. “Each year they allow our students to visit their mine sites where they receive a VIP tour of all operations and are allowed to take samples of the rocks. In addition to providing spectacular visits to the mines, they have made a multi year financial commitment that totals $30,000 to date.”

(l-r) Doug Ratcliff (Geoforce Texas Director), accepts a check from: Chuck Bevis (Uvalde Plant Supervisor), Darren Hicks (Director of Human Resources Southwest Division), (back) Ronald Robles (Knippa Plant Manager), Edward Trevino (Terminal Manager Statewide Transport)

(l-r) Doug Ratcliff (Geoforce Texas Director), accepts a check from: Chuck Bevis (Uvalde Plant Supervisor), Darren Hicks (Director of Human Resources Southwest Division), (back) Ronald Robles (Knippa Plant Manager), Edward Trevino (Terminal Manager Statewide Transport)

Now in its fourth year, GeoFORCE Texas has enriched over 300 area students through its Summer Academy and Young Geoscientists programs. Beginning the summer following their eighth grade year, program participants are exposed to the geosciences through four years of field trips to sites of geological interest across Texas and the United States. Participants in the Young Geoscientists program annually tour Vulcan mine sites in Knippa and west of Uvalde, during a two-day summer field study in Uvalde County. Additional information about the program and application process is available on the GeoFORCE Texas web site. by J.B. Bird For more information about research at the Jackson School, contact J.B. Bird at jbird@jsg.utexas.edu, 512-232-9623.