Newswise — The Geosciences Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) has selected David Gibson, professor of geology at the University of Maine Farmington, as its 2019 Undergraduate Research Mentor Awardee. Each year, the award recognizes an individual who serves as a role model for productive and transformative student-faculty mentoring relationships and for maintaining a sustained and innovative approach to the enterprise of undergraduate research. The award will be presented at the Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, which will be held in Phoenix, AZ, on September 22–25.

Gibson, the ninth awardee, earned his bachelor of science and PhD degrees at Queen’s University Belfast. An igneous petrologist/geochemist whose research focuses on the petrogenesis of central Maine magmatism, he embodies longstanding excellence in and commitment to teaching through research by embedding research in the liberal arts curriculum. Committed to offering opportunities for his students, Gibson has provided research experiences to students in the classroom and at professional meetings. He works to build programs from the group up, involving his students in research across many levels and courses. In particular, he is devoted to equipping students for their future careers through participation in regional professional meetings, nurturing the professional identity and skills of his students as scientists and communicators. His students have commented on his talent for “building confidence in themselves academically and professionally.” In addition, Gibson has developed a strong regional network of geoscience professionals through undergraduate research—collaborations that serve as models for programs across the nation. 


The Council on Undergraduate Research supports faculty development for high-quality undergraduate student-faculty collaborative research and scholarship. More than 700 institutions and more than 13,000 individuals belong to CUR. CUR believes that the best way to capture student interest and create enthusiasm for a discipline is through research in close collaboration with faculty members.

The University of Maine Farmington, established in 1864 as Maine's first public institution of higher education, enrolls approximately 1,600 full-time students and offers quality programs in teacher education, human services, and arts and sciences.