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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

SU Student Earns American Association of Petroleum Geologists Scholarship

Cody GarciaSALISBURY, MD---A Salisbury University student has received a scholarship from an international geological organization. 

Junior Cody Garcia, a veteran of the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, received $2,000 from the U.S. Military Veterans Scholarship Program of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) Foundation. He is one of only 10 recipients nationwide for 2016.  At SU, Garcia is majoring in earth science and minoring in geographic information science.  

“Since I was old enough to remember, I have been drawn to the picturesque landscapes unique to America,” he said. “Amongst all the chaos in this world, nothing can take away the peace and harmony that solitude in nature can bring to an individual.”

Last summer, while hiking the John Muir trail in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Garcia reflected on what he had learned in chemistry about pollution and what he had observed stateside and in Operation Iraqi Freedom that made him appreciate clean air and water. It was then, he said, that he chose to pursue an earth science degree. 

“Issues such as global warming, climate change, the world’s population crisis, droughts and failing ecosystems became a motivation for my education,” he said. He believes it is a worthy endeavor of petroleum companies to diversify their interests in energy production by considering such alternatives as wind, solar and hydroelectric.

“The world’s natural resources are in the hands of our generation,” he said.

The AAPG Foundation supports educational and research programs that aid the geosciences and the public. This scholarship promotes educational and career opportunities to veterans, helps veterans transition to technical professions, and advances geoscience programs in higher education. It is available to active service members or veterans (re)entering the field of geoscience at four-year colleges or universities.

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A native of Chino Hills, CA, Garcia followed his wife to her native Eastern Shore and they reside in Salisbury.  He credits faculty in the Geography and Geosciences Department for his success at SU.    

“This is my third college and it by far has the best faculty support,” he said, adding that his professors, especially Dr. Thomas Cawthern, have looked out for his best interests. “They push you to your full potential, challenge you and prepare you for your career. I really feel like a ‘somebody’ at Salisbury. Everyone in the department is approachable and willing to help. If it weren’t for their guidance and knowledge, I would not be in this position today.”

After earning his bachelor’s in December 2017, Garcia hopes to pursue a master’s in either forestry/watershed science or geographic information systems.  “I’m interested in environmental hazards and pollution,” he said. “A lot of these issues can be solved with maps that allow people to see the bigger picture.”

For more information call 410-543-6030 or visit the SU website at

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