By Chris Riotta
The UMD Council on the Environment held a student reception this Thursday for its $10,000 Green Fund Fellowship where students mixed, mingled, and exchanged ideas for proposals on how to improve the environment.
The ConE Green Fund Fellowship for Collaborative Research on the Environment gives graduate students at the University of Maryland an opportunity to meet students in other disciplines with an interest in the environment and pair up in order to create a proposal to be presented to the Council. Students who decide to work together must be from different disciplines of study, allowing the proposals to be transdisciplinary, innovative, and yet realistic.
"We're really looking for interdisciplinary research," said Council member Donald Milton. "What we're trying to do with the award is stimulate innovative ideas and proposals on ways to better the environment."
For Patrick O'Shea, Vice President for Research at the University of Maryland and a former UMD graduate student, having the opportunity to give back to students with the Green Fund Fellowship is a dream come true. "This is really great, I was the first to go to college in my family and that's tough. When I look at the environment, the problems we're facing are critical."
Student submissions of proposals are due by the November 1 deadline, and the Council expects to choose a winning pair of students by the end of the year. For students who didn't have a chance to come out to the event, ConE developed a website to match up with other students interested in partaking in the research project. "It's like match.com but better," said grad student Paul Anderson.
For some students, the award money could really mean a lot to their education. "MEES (Marine Estaurine Environmental Science Department) doesn't receive any funding from the school for student aid so we have to seek all outside funding." Said Tamara Newcomer, a fifth year graduate student. Tamara is planning to propose an idea for stream restoration policy making off the Chesapeake Bay.
The Council on the Environment has received 46 student registrations to participate in the Green Fund Fellowship opportunity. The fellowship team will propose their project at a spring meeting of the Council of the Environment in the spring.
If interesting in participating in the fellowship, contact Cathy Stephens, Director of Programs and Communications for the Council on the Environment, at firstname.lastname@example.org; 301-401-6346.