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GCA Scholarships Recipients

 

2021 Sarah Ellen Grimes

The Clara Carter Higgins Summer Environmental Studies Scholarship
School: Undergraduate, Biology and Psychology, Hope College

House Sparrow Propagation Study

This summer Grimes will participate in the Hope College summer research program, exploring how house-sparrow song is impacted by habitat and urbanization. She will study how birdsong travels differently in urban and rural settings, utilizing both field and laboratory techniques. The results of this study will help understand how anthropogenic disruptions are altering the propagation of birdsong.

 


2021 Olivia Jakabosky

The Clara Carter Higgins Summer Environmental Studies Scholarship
School: Undergraduate, Conservation Biology & Ecology, Montana State University

Tropical Ecology Research Station Paraguay - Primates:  An Interdisciplinary Study on the Effects of Anthropogenic Structures on Urban Howler Monkey Populations of Pilar, Paraguay Through Local Ecological Knowledge and Naturalistic Observation.

Jakabosky will be participating in Para La Tierra's Tropical Ecology Research program with a concentration on primatology. She will evaluate the effects of anthropogenic structures on black-and-gold howler monkey behavior, locate areas of concern, and evaluate local perceptions of the issue.



2020 Nyika Campbell

The Clara Carter Higgins Summer Environmental Studies Scholarship

Independent Research at University of Colorado Mountain Research Station on Niwot Ridge
 Second-year Higgins Scholar

Nyika Campbell is an undergraduate at the University of Colorado Boulder majoring in ecology and evolutionary biology. Her interests are plant biology and population ecology. This summer she is continuing work on a manipulative field study in Colorado’s Front Range, examining how changing climate conditions affect alpine plants. Her work specifically examines the seedling germination rate of the alpine flower (Geum rossi) in response to warmer weather and early snowmelt across community types. This work will provide an improved ability to predict how plant populations will be affected by climate change across complex landscapes.



2020 Bubba Pfeffer

The Clara Carter Higgins Summer Environmental Studies Scholarship

Lichen Communities of Bluff Mountain


Bubba Pfeffer is an undergraduate biology major at Appalachian State University whose research focuses on the reproductive habits and systematics of fungi. Forests depend on fungi far more than is assumed. This summer, Pfeffer will conduct a survey of lichen communities on a high elevation forest in Bluff Mountain, Tennessee. Including community, descriptions allow for 
a more functional understanding of lichen ecology than species lists alone. Lichens are important air quality and old-growth indicators and should be included when assessing land conservation status.

 



2019 Nyika Campbell

The Clara Carter Higgins Summer Environmental Studies Scholarship

Nyika Campbell is an undergraduate at the University of Colorado, Boulder majoring in ecology and evolutionary biology. Her interests are plant biology and population ecology. This summer she is undertaking a manipulative field study in Colorado’s Front Range to examine how changing climate conditions affect alpine plants. Her work speci cally examines the seedling germination rate of the alpine  ower (Geum rossii) in response to warmer weather and early snowmelt across community types. This work will provide an improved ability to predict how plant populations will be affected by climate change across complex landscapes.



2019 Kristen Rabbitt

The Clara Carter Higgins Summer Environmental Studies Scholarship

Kristen Rabbitt is an undergraduate at Rice University in Houston majoring in ecology and evolutionary biology. For the past year, she has been part of a team working to establish protocols for the analysis of symbiotic algae in the stomach contents of fish. This summer, she will be working in Mo’orea, French Polynesia, to research the potential for coral-eating  sh to disperse an important coral-associated algae. Her research will help contribute to our understanding of coral reef  sh and the role they play in coral reef resilience.



2018 Gauri Kambhatla

The Clara Carter Higgins Summer Environmental Studies Scholarship

Gauri Kambhatla is a sophomore studying computer science and cognitive science at the University of Michigan. She is passionate about interweaving artificial intelligence with sustainability to create solutions to the major issues of climate change: how AI and machine learning can be used to combat or prevent damage to ecosystems worldwide. She will be studying in Denmark and modeling glaciers to learn about their formation, preservation, and destruction; their part in our global climate system; and the effects of climate change on them. She will be doing fieldwork in the glaciers of Iceland, creating models for glacier behavior and learning on-site.



2018 Jordan Sims

The Clara Carter Higgins Summer Environmental Studies Scholarship

Jordan Sims is a rising junior majoring in ecology and evolutionary biology and minoring in biochemistry and cell biology at Rice University in Houston, Texas. She has spent a semester developing an effective method for isolating viruses from coral mucus, which is secreted by stressed corals. To continue this project, she will travel to Mo'orea in French Polynesia to explore how viral abundance in coral mucus changes during coral bleaching. This research aims to answer big picture questions about the health of coral reef ecosystems in rapidly changing environments.



2018 Christian J. Moore

The Clara Carter Higgins Summer Environmental Studies Scholarship

Christian J. Moore is currently a fourth-year undergraduate landscape architecture student at The Ohio State University. His project, “People of the Grassland: A Comparative Study of Volga German Communities and Ecologies in Saratov Oblast, Russia,” explores the relationship between cultural identity and grassland landscape typologies.  This work is part of a larger investigation into landscape architecture’s role in the design and development of agricultural communities.  Through this research, Moore intends to gain a better understanding of the common environmental challenges facing these communities across international borders.



2018 Alison Moss

The Clara Carter Higgins Summer Environmental Studies Scholarship
Alison Moss is a junior studying microbial ecology at Towson University in Maryland.  is summer she will investigate the metabolic activity of bacteria found in the dung beetle gut. Like humans, dung beetles host symbiotic bacteria that assist in digestion and provide essential nutrients. Commonly found on dairy farms, dung beetles can minimize the environmental impact of raising cattle by consuming and redistributing animal waste. Identifying the abilities of other members of their microbiome will increase our understanding of how microbes regulate agricultural waste, helping us to predict how disturbances—like antibiotic use
or climate change—may alter this important dynamic.

Funded by Green Spring Valley Garden Club, Zone VI


 

Scholarship Opportunities Abound

The Garden Club of America offers 28 merit-based scholarships and fellowships in 12 areas related to conservation, ecology, horticulture, and pollinator research. In 2021, over $300,000 were awarded to 61 scholars. Follow GCA Scholarships on Twitter for the latest news about pollinators, coastal wetlands, native bird habitats, and much more. Connect to a larger world of horticulture and conservation through the Garden Club of America scholars. Learn more about the GCA Scholarships. Browse the scholarship offerings.