New Scholarship Funds Student Study of Sea Turtles

Three students with big ambitions to curb the dwindling sea turtle population will benefit from a new scholarship started by the National Save the Sea Turtle Foundation.

The foundation chose to partner with UCF in recognition of the work conducted by Kate Mansfield, Ph.D., who leads the Marine Turtle Research Group (MTRG). Mansfield is a marine scientist and sea turtle biologist on the forefront of using satellite technology to track the movement of baby turtles.

“UCF’s sea turtle program combines experience with innovation, resulting in a world-class lab”  said Larry Wood, Ph.D., research coordinator for the Foundation. “I’m glad that we are able to give back to such an amazing academic community through this scholarship.”

The National Save The Sea Turtle Foundation Scholarship awards three senior-year undergraduate students $10,000 each in support of tuition, books and academic fees. It is meant to alleviate financial stress so  students can focus on their research and post-graduation plans.

In addition, the scholarship provides funding for general use in support of the MRTG’s ongoing research.

“We are very glad to help those that have a bit more difficulty getting their projects off the ground,” said Wood. “The sea turtles are fascinating animals that provide great research opportunities. We hope that our commitment to the turtles and contribution to academic institutions will inspire others to build upon that same foundation.”

The first two recipients of this inaugural fellowship are Monica Reusche and Jennifer Rote; both undergraduates are interns with the UCF Marine Turtle Research Group, Reusche starting in 2018, and Rote in 2019.

Reusche is a senior conducting an Honors in the Major thesis examining the genetic diversity of green turtles in the Indian River Lagoon and other Central Florida habitats. Rote is also in the last years of her degree and is working with Erin Seney, Ph.D., on a sea turtle diet study. The scholarships will be awarded for the Spring 2020 semester.

Applications for the third scholarship will be accepted in the Spring semester of 2020 and will be awarded for Fall 2020. Click here for more information.


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