Today@Sam Article

Building A Rock-Solid Foundation For The Future

Feb. 17, 2022
SHSU Media Contact: Emily Binetti

SHSU geo students and instructorChuck Caughey examines rocks whenever possible for the stories that they tell. In his own story, an entry-level college course combined with a summer job exploring for gold and silver quickly had him hooked on geology at a young age. He ended up turning that passion into a successful career.

While employed as a geologist, exploring and developing oil and gas fields in the U.S. and abroad, Caughey saw the impact of petroleum geoscience (and related fields like ground water hydrology and environmental geology) in bettering people’s lives.

“There is something for everyone with an interest in the earth around us, responsibly developing earth resources, and avoiding or mitigating geological hazards,” he said. “All of my geological friends and associates are firmly committed to preserving the environment around us for generations to follow.”

Understanding the importance of preparing more geoscientists to support the future, Caughey made a generous commitment to Sam Houston State University. After meeting with faculty in the Department of Environmental and Geosciences and seeing the broad range of equipment available for students, he was confident his support would successfully make an impact.

Chuck Caughey“Sam Houston offers students classwork plus hands-on laboratory and field experiences. It also presents students with opportunities working with faculty on research, something usually reserved for graduate students,” he said. “The emphasis on ‘learning by doing’ distinguishes the program and prepares students for jobs in the real world.”

Through the Chuck Caughey Geoscience Scholarship Endowment, Caughey will provide geology students with scholarship funding to complete their degree and begin satisfying careers in the field.

Pat Harris, Chair of the Department of Environmental and Geosciences, hopes this scholarship will expose more students to geology as a career option.

“Chuck is a tremendous ambassador for geology,” Harris said.  “There is a projected shortfall of geoscientists over the next decade, due to retirements and universities dropping geology programs, however jobs in the industry are expected to grow.”

With expert faculty, outstanding educational resources and small classroom settings—fostering better interaction with professors, Caughey believes his gift to SHSU will offer students access to a college education that can truly expand their horizons.

“In my informal talks with SHSU geology students, I found they know where they are in their education and where they want to go with it,” Caughey said. “This shows a strong commitment in the geology department to preparing students for their future.”

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