Stone-Hollberg Scholarship For Structural Geology Research

The Stone-Hollberg Scholarship is awarded to a graduate student at any accredited college or university who is conducting structural geology or geophysics research in the Rocky Mountain region.  It was established with generous contributions by Donald Stone and John Hollberg, two Rocky Mountain structural geologists.  Don Stone spent sixty years in the oil and gas business, specializing in structural geology and seismic interpretation of the Rocky Mountain foreland province.  He is recognized for his detailed structural cross section restorations, especially when he teamed up with his colleague, John Hollberg, to digitize the Wyoming Transect. The Transect is a detailed structured cross section across the state of Wyoming, originally drawn at a scale of 1:24,000 (1 inch=2000 feet). Don donated a lifetime of career files to the Denver Earth Science Library which are available to the public.

The 2024 Stone-Hollberg Scholarship was awarded to:

Emma Tombaugh, M.S. student, Geosciences, Utah State University

Emma Tombaugh, M.S. student, Geosciences, Utah State University

Emma’s thesis topic is “Testing Models of Yellowstone Landscape Evolution Through Chronostratigraphy of Shoshone River Terraces.” Her advisor is Dr. Joel Pederson. She is investigating terraces along the Shoshone River, which are hypothesized to converge downstream due to hotspot uplift in the headwaters along the Yellowstone Crescent of High Terrain. She will use luminescence dating of terrace deposits and field correlations to document incision patterns and calculate incision rates, which will provide quantitative constraints of tectonic deformation. She plans to determine to what degree Shoshone River incision has been driven by late Cenozoic hotspot uplift versus late Cenozoic climate change.

Emma has a B.S in Geological Sciences from Tufts University.

Recent winners of the Stone/Hollberg Scholarship:


Luke Basler, M.S. student, Geology, University of Idaho

Luke Basler, M.S. student, Geology, University of Idaho

Luke’s thesis topic is “Testing models of orogenic collapse in the northern Rocky Mountains using stable isotope paleoaltimetry.” Luke’s work is under the direction of Dr. Elizabeth Cassel. He is analyzing stable isotopes from hydrated volcanic glass to reconstruct Oligocene and early Miocene paleotopography of the Cascades and Rocky Mountains. He has collected numerous samples of Oligocene and Eocene tuffs throughout the Rocky Mountain region. He will also work to improve the interpretation of paleoprecipitation stable isotopes by analyzing isotopic values of modern streamwater.

Luke has a B.A. in Earth and Oceanographic Science from Bowdoin College.


Moones Alamooti, PhD candidate, University of North Dakota
“The Application of New Optimization Algorithm in Mapping of Fracture Networks in the Red River Formation of McKenzie County, North Dakota”