If I could give a standing ovation online, I would! Sarah Latshaw certainly deserves every bit of celebration for being awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship!
Since 1952, The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded 43,000 Graduate Research Fellowships out of more than 500,000 applicants. That’s only 8.6%! More than 20 Fellows have gone to become Nobel Laureates, and include Google Founder Sergey Brin and Freakonomics co-author Steven Levitt.
Fellows receive a three-year annual stipend of $30,000 along with a $10,500 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees, a one-time $1,000 travel allowance, and the freedom to conduct their own research at any accredited US or foreign institution of graduate education they choose. As one Fellow states, “I don’t have to rely on anyone else’s funding but my own.”
As a student in the Master of Environmental Studies program, Sarah’s research topic is “Restoration of Maritime Habitats on the Barrier Island Using The Painted Bunting (Passerina Ciris) as a Flagship Species”. Her adviser, Paul Nolan, is a College of Charleston adjunct professor, and a professor at The Citadel.
So what has Sarah done other than join the ranks of prestigious NSF Fellows?
I have a strong background in the fields of wildlife biology and environmental education. In 2002, I received a degree in Wildlife Biology from the Warnell School of Forest Resources at the University of Georgia. After graduation, I’ve had the opportunity to develop my teaching skills as an informal educator. After completing my undergraduate degree, I served as an Education Program Specialist for the Newton County (GA) 4-H program, conducting 4-H club meetings focusing on environmental education and healthy lifestyles. Currently, I am working as a Naturalist on Kiawah Island, as well as conducting original research under the supervision of Dr. Paul Nolan. My duties as Naturalist include leading a wide range of ecological tours, caring for the Nature Center wildlife, scheduling school group field trips, and creating a nature-based monthly newsletter for our Nature Program.
Again, we congratulate Sarah for her accomplishment, and wish her well in her research!