Bolyard Family Scholarship

The Bolyard Family Scholarship has no restrictions or requirements. The RMAG Foundation welcomes applications in any field of geoscience, and rewards academic excellence and scientific achievement. The scholarship may be awarded to graduate students or to a rising senior at any four-year university or college that offers a degree in geology except for students attending the Colorado School of Mines or Colorado College which have their own dedicated scholarships. This scholarship was established by the Bolyards, longtime supporters of the RMAG Foundation and the geologic community. Dudley recently passed away and will be greatly missed. He served in major leadership positions with the Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists and the RMAG Foundation. He is remembered for his passionate success in all his geologic endeavors and unbridled enthusiasm for geologic events.Marion has been a longtime leader in the Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists Auxiliary, an organization which provides support for technical conferences, conventions, and various social events for the geologic community.

The 2024 Bolyard Family Scholarship was awarded to:

Natali Kragh, Ph.D. candidate, Geoscience, Montana State University

Natali Kragh, Ph.D. candidate, Geoscience, Montana State University

Natali’s dissertation topic is “Utilizing volcaniclastic rocks to constrain the timing and volume of Late Cretaceous volcanism, Southwest Montana.” Natali’s work is under the direction of Dr. Madison Myers. Natali will use detrital zircon U-Pb geochronology and Pb isotope analysis of detrital plagioclase crystals in order to quantify the depositional timing and mineral geochemistry of Cretaceous volcaniclastic formations. This data will help confirm whether the Elkhorn Mountain Volcanics are the primary sediment source rather than other volcanic units in southwest Montana. This will constrain the timing and volume of Elkhorn Mountain Volcanics volcanism, with implications for the tectonic setting of southwest Montana during Late Cretaceous time. She plans to evaluate four volcaniclastic units that have not had previous geochemical analyses. She will also analyze samples from the Elkhorn Mountain Volcanics using the same techniques to facilitate comparison of age and geochemical signature. This will help to constrain models of the structural evolution of southwest Montana.

Natali has a M.S. in Geoscience from Montana State University and a B.S. in Geology, also from Montana State University.

Recent winners of the Bolyard Family Scholarship:


Shayla Triantafillou, M.S. student, Geosciences, Colorado State University

Shayla’s thesis topic is “Geomorphic factors influencing magnitude of post-wildfire disturbance response.” Shayla’s work is under the direction of Dr. Ellen Wohl. She intends to investigate the factors that contribute to differing post-fire resilience, these include channel gradients and floodplain vegetation. She will describe watershed-scale characteristics using LIDAR-derived topographic parameters, various measures of burn severity, and characterizing mainstem-scale heterogeneity of streams. Pre- and post-burn topography changes will be evaluated at the reach scale. Insights from this research can be used to manage streams in ways to increase resilience to wildfire and associated disturbances.

Shayla has a B.S., Environmental Sciences and a B.A., Geography from the University of Vermont.


Nicholas Ferry, PhD candidate, University of Kansas
“Source-to-Sink Sediment Dispersal of the Upper Triassic Chinle Formation, Southeastern Utah”