Remembering UW Geography Alum Gerald Halmo

Submitted by Nell Gross on
Gerald W. Halmo Photo Credit to

The Department of Geography is proud to offer the brand-new Gerald W. Halmo Geography Scholars Program, named for a UW Geography alum whose commitment to equity inspired others. This scholarship provides financial support to undergraduate geography majors’ research, internships, volunteering and other projects that benefit communities near and far. Internships and independent research are vital to students’ professional development and success after graduation, yet are often impossible for students working long hours to support their education and families. The Halmo Geography Scholars Program addresses this systematic disadvantage.

Gerald W. Halmo was born in 1935 in North Dakota.  His family moved to the Pacific Northwest and after serving in the U.S. Army, Halmo attended the University of Washington, receiving a  B.A. in Geography (with minor in Cartography) in 1960.  Studying at UW in the early days of ‘automated cartography’ (an antecedent to contemporary geographic information systems, or “GIS”), Gerald was part of the Department of Geography’s longstanding commitment to spatial thinking aimed at urgent societal concerns, and credited UW with giving him the training for his future life’s work.  He worked as a cartographer with the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Geographic Names, specializing in Latin America, and later with the Washington Department of Transportation, where he prepared and maintained the Official State Highway Map for many years.

Gerald enjoyed reading, traveling, drawing and collecting books, and he cared deeply about social justice.  We are honored that his family created the Gerald W. Halmo Geography Scholars program to benefit our undergraduate students. Consider joining us to honor Gerald W. Halmo’s legacy by making a donation to the Department of Geography to support our college to career programming. An investment in our undergraduate program ensures that our remarkable students can realize their intellectual curiosity to the fullest.