Cordilleran Section - 97th Annual Meeting, and Pacific Section, American Association of Petroleum Geologists (April 9-11, 2001)

Paper No. 0
Presentation Time: 2:30 PM


REYNOLDS, J. H., Environmental Studies, Mathematics, and Natural Sciences, Brevard College, Brevard, NC 28712,

"Money is not the major problem for funding research on a good idea. There is plenty of money around. Time is the real problem. Finding time to find money is more difficult." My mentor spoke these words to a college senior. I continue to appreciate their truth and wisdom.

"Big" science requires big funding. Few investigators at smaller institutions have time for such endeavors. Proposal preparation is usually accompanied by weeks of stress, library visits to other institutions, at least one rejection, and the need to revise, rewrite, and restart the project one or more times. Accordingly, most of my projects fall in the small to medium category.

As a small college faculty member, I usually seek alternative sources to build enough money to fund projects. In 1989, I proposed a Fulbright project in Argentina. I taught a magnetostratigraphy course at six Argentine universities. A component of each course was to establish a new magnetostratigraphic section. The host institutions provided logistical support. I established invaluable contacts with faculty, students, and industry. Building on this base, I received support from my home institution to begin laboratory analysis of the samples. The positive results led to Petroleum Research Fund and industrial backing, as well as continued logistical support from some Argentine universities.

Because travel expenses are usually the largest component of my field budget, I continue to piggyback projects, justifying support from several entities. On a recent educational project, funds from a GSA GeoVentures Project, Brevard College’s Admissions Office, and a small industrial contract provided funding for a reconnaissance trip to the study area.

Scaling the time spent seeking funding to the size of the project and then finding money from alternative sources continues to be a successful approach. Proposals in these endeavors tend to be short and concise; turnaround time on the success/failure of the proposal is usually quick; and the success rate has been gratifyingly high.