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Chuck and Cathy Williamson Science Communication Fellowship

The Williamson Fellowship is aimed at increasing geoscience communications and encouraging diversity in the geosciences. The Williamson Fellows will develop relationships with 7-12 public school programs, engage youth in geoscience, increase public science literacy, and provide opportunities for U of U geoscience students to gain outreach and science communication experience. 

Meet Riley and Peter! 

2019-2020 Williamson Fellows 


Riley Finnegan

Riley Finnegan is a third-year PhD student in the Department of Geology and Geophysics, studying the effects various human activities have on natural rock arches and other landforms. She enjoys being able to spend time in Utah’s beautiful outdoors while doing exciting research relevant to conservation efforts around the state. Riley received her bachelor’s degree in Physics from Westminster College, where she enjoyed the college’s emphasis on teaching using an experiential approach. Riley participates in ongoing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics outreach activities where she hopes applying a similar educational approach will inspire young people to take ownership of their educations and become invested in the sciences. In addition to her studies, Riley volunteers with the Junior Youth Spiritual Empowerment Program, an international non-profit organization that seeks to empower middle school-aged youth to develop capabilities for meaningful service to their communities.


Peter Maxeiner

Peter Maxeiner is currently pursuing a Master's degree at the College of Mines and Earth Sciences. His research is focused around paleoecology, specifically how marine ecosystems have responded to times of stress in the distant past. Before coming to Utah, Peter lived in New Hampshire where he worked in outdoor education. Peter is excited to help share this University's resources and provide opportunities for others to explore Earth Science.






For more information on activities or visits, contact

Riley Finnegan 

Peter Maxeiner 

Field trip
classroom activity
Last Updated: 10/29/19