Joan W. Miller JIRP Scholarship Fund

Joan Walsh Miller – the late wife of long-time JIRP director Dr. Maynard M. Miller – was the behind-the-scenes engine that made JIRP work.  A January 7, 1984 article in the Idahonian/Palouse Empire Daily News on Joan’s work reports her saying:

“Mal is the ‘soul’ of the program, and she’s the ‘workings’ of it”

For over fifty years Joan was devoted to the success of the Icefield program. Each year, for decades, Joan made the trek to Juneau and on to Atlin to take the helm of the logistics and business administration that steers a successful JIRP field expedition.  Joan’s efforts extended beyond the summer program to off season fundraising, proposal writing, reports, reunion organization, newsletter preparation, writing reference letters for students, and more.  

Joan took much pride in her JIRP efforts as they lead to the direct support of more than 1,500 students and some 400 associated faculty and staff during her decades of involvement.  It is beyond doubt that without Joan’s many years of devoted support our JIRP experiences would not have been.

In memory of Joan, her phenomenal dedication to JIRP and particularly to JIRP students, we are excited to announce the Joan W. Miller JIRP Scholarship Fund.  Donations will be used to help cover tuition costs of selected participants so that the JIRP experience can be accessible to all prospective students.        

Please join the members of the FGER (Foundation for Glacier and Environmental Research) board of trustees, and others in giving generously and supporting future JIRP students.  Help make the JIRP experience that we are privileged to have lived an opportunity for others.  Your tax-deductible donation can be made online via PayPal, or directly to FGER via check or credit card:

Online via PayPal:

By sending a check or credit card details to:

Foundation for Glacier and Environmental Research
4616 25th Avenue NE, Suite 302
Seattle, Washington 98105

Please make checks payable to FGER, and note that your donation is for the JWM JIRP Scholarship Fund.

As with the M3 JIRP Legacy Fund we would like to offer you the opportunity to send a personal note to the Miller family along with your donation.  You may include your personal message in the PayPal checkout process or with your donation via the FGER mailing address.

Your contribution to the Joan W. Miller JIRP Scholarship Fund helps to preserve Joan’s phenomenal legacy and to support future JIRP students in her name.  Thank you for your ongoing support of the Juneau Icefield Research Program.

NASA Alaska Space Grant Program and JIRP

By Dr. Cathy Connor, University Alaska Southeast, Environmental Science Program,

Since 1996, five JIRP students each summer have been the beneficiaries of financial support from the National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) Alaska Space Grant Program.

The 2013 NASA Alaska Space Grant awardees are (from left to right) Jamie Bradshaw, Grayson Carlile, Patrick Englehardt, and Jonathan Doty. Not pictured: Sarah Mellies.  Photo by Adam Taylor.


The Alaska Space Grant Program (ASGP) is a consortium of public and private Alaska universities and non-profit organizations that sponsors a broad range of programs to enhance teaching, research, and educational outreach within aerospace and earth science, and other NASA related STEM disciplines throughout Alaska. The ASGP was established at the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 1991 under a Phase II Program Grant from NASA's National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program.

Through ASG’s Higher Education Program, I have applied for and secured summer funds to support students as they experience the glacier and earth science that occurs through JIRP. As UAS Affiliate Space Grant Director as well as a board member of the Foundation for Glacier and Environmental Research (FGER, the nonprofit organization that supports JIRP), I have been able to support over 70 undergraduate students in their JIRP experience, so critical to training the U.S.’s future climate scientists.  JIRP recipients of this award have been able to fulfill the goal of the ASG’s Higher Education Program to contribute to the development of the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce in disciplines needed to achieve NASA's strategic goals.

On the basis of their academic achievements and financial need JIRP students are selected each summer with priority to Alaskan students. The 2013 awardees are:

Jamie Bradshaw, Grayson Carlile, Jonathan Doty, Patrick Englehart, and Sarah Mellies.

Previous NASA-JIRP awardees are now well into their successful professional careers as glaciologists, chemists, hydrologists, geodynamicists, engineers, and climate researchers. They include Dr. Shad O’Neel 1996 (USGS Glaciologist and FGER Board), Dr. Erin Whitney 1996 (Chemist-National Renewable Energy Lab), Dr. Joan Ramage 1997 (Associate Professor of Remote Sensing, Lehigh University), Hiram Henry 1998 (Alaska Department of Transportation), Matt Beedle 1999 (Doctoral Candidate, University of Northern British Columbia, FGER Board), Eleanor Boyce 2001 (UNAVCO), and Seth Campbell 2007 (Doctoral Candidate, University Maine).