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Environment & Society

Chesapeake Semester Alumni Awarded Scholarships

Date: August 20, 2013
Allison Speight ’14 and Emily Harris ’15, both graduates of the 2012 Chesapeake Semester, were recently awarded the Environmental Science Scholarship from the Friends of Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge.

The Chesapeake Semester is not just a semester long intensive study of the Chesapeake—it is also a semester that keeps on giving. Skills, passions, and contacts forged throughout the semester provide students with opportunities that build upon themselves. Allison Speight and Emily Harris certainly made the most of their Chesapeake Semester experiences. Both earned summer internships and recently saw a familiar face when they arrived at the Friends of Blackwater Scholarship presentation. Both were awarded the Environmental Science Scholarship through the Friends of Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge.


Each year, the Friends of Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge offer three competitive scholarships to Maryland Eastern Shore resident students who show excellence and aspiration in environmental preservation and education and who are pursuing careers in fish and wildlife management, environmental education and science, and related fields.


Allison Speight is an environmental studies major and pursuing a minor in biology and anthropology. Speight reflected on this opportunity: “Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge is a wonderful place to explore Chesapeake wildlife, but also a great environment to explore your inner self. Being awarded this scholarship from Friends of Blackwater, I am one step closer to gaining an excellent education and working to sustain and improve our natural environment. Not only has Chesapeake Semester helped me to feel confident in my knowledge and experiences, but it seems to really impress other organizations. Outside organizations (of all fields) are really excited when they hear that Washington College’s Center for Environment & Society offers such an extensive program revolving around the Chesapeake Bay. Because education is such an important first step to resolving any problem, the Chesapeake Semester has helped me to feel confident in my knowledge, which will hopefully get my foot in the door for a post-college career.”


This past summer, Allison interned at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, supporting the director of education. As education intern, Allison assisted with various educational day trips and summer camps which took place on the museum grounds. She was given the responsibility to teach Chesapeake Bay-related topics to the children attending day camp. She was also given tasks such as researching, updating curriculum documents, and creating quarterly newsletters which both informed readers and promoted museum exhibits and programs.


Emily Harris is also an environmental studies major with a concentration in Chesapeake regional studies, said, “The Chesapeake Semester has been an influential part of my education at Washington College, and it broadened my perspective on local watershed issues. First hand experience gave me a better idea of what role I want to play in the future restoration of the Chesapeake Bay, and the Friends of Blackwater scholarship is a great opportunity that will help me reach my career goals.”


Emily spent her summer interning with the Mid-Shore Riverkeeper Conservancy (MRC), supporting the Wye Miles and Choptank riverkeepers. Emily helped with water quality testing on the Choptank River as well as the Marylanders Grow Oysters program on the Wye and Miles rivers. She helped to prepare for the MRC fall education program which focuses on high school biology and environmental science students, as well as elementary school students. She also focused her research on no discharge zones to help MRC decide whether they are worthwhile in the Miles and Wye river watersheds.


Congratulations Allison and Emily!


For more information about applying to the scholarship visit: www.friendsofblackwater.org/scholarship.html


Last modified on Oct. 16th, 2013 at 9:51am by Brittany Weaver.