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News Releases from Region 04

EPA Awards Two Fellowships to Undergraduates at Tennessee Universities Pursuing Environmental Science and Research Degrees

Contact Information: 
Jason McDonald (mcdonald.jason@epa.gov)

ATLANTA – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Darcy Ayers and Elizabeth Morgan undergraduate students at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and East Tennessee State University were awarded Greater Research Opportunities (GRO) Fellowships totaling $87,000.   

“With the help of this funding, undergraduates will be able to explore their passion in environmental science and cultivate their research skills,” said Thomas A. Burke, EPA science advisor and deputy assistant administrator of EPA's Office of Research and Development. “These fellows are the next generation of scientists, who will help lead the way in protecting the environment and public health.”

The fellowship provides a maximum of $50,000 for up to two years to each student and a summer internship at an EPA facility where students can work alongside EPA’s engineers and scientists. These students are pursuing degrees in environmental science and other related fields, including engineering, environmental health, and the physical sciences.

Ayers, an anthropology major, was awarded $47,000 to conduct research on the effect and extent vehicle emitted particulate matter has on local populations surrounding the Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA). Morgan was awarded $40,000 for research in environmental health.  Her research will focus on how the fate and transport of microbes and pollutants affect water quality and ultimately human health. 

Since its inception in 1981, the GRO Fellowship program has awarded more than $13 million in funding to nearly 400 students.  This year, fellowships were awarded to 34 undergraduate students at 28 colleges and universities across the nation.

More about the 2015 GRO Fellows: https://www.epa.gov/research-fellowships/star-graduate-and-gro-undergraduate-fellowship-recipient-list#gro

More information about the GRO Program: https://www.epa.gov/research-fellowships