Virginia Water Resources Research Center’s Student Grant and Fellowship Award Winners for 2016-17

From February to June 2016, the Virginia Water Resources Research Water Center conducted its two annual competitions for recognizing and supporting students studying water resources in Virginia.  Here are the recipients for 2016-17.

Competitive Grants

Under the Competitive Grants Program, the Water Center awards grants of up to $5000 to support research by students at Virginia colleges or universities. This year’s grants, which are for the period June 1, 2016, to May 31, 2017, were awarded to the following students and projects:

Joanna Adadevoh, Ph.D. student, Department of Chemical Engineering University of Virginia: “Exploiting Bacterial Chemotaxis to Enhance Degradation of NAPL [non-aqueous phase liquid] Sources in Contaminated Groundwater Systems.”

Carrie Jensen, Ph.D. student, Geospatial and Environmental Analysis Program, Virginia Tech: “Headwater stream length dynamics during storm events in the Valley and Ridge Province.”

Amanda Laverty, Ph.D. student, Department of Ocean, Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, Old Dominion University: “Microplastics as vectors for bacteria and human pathogens in coastal environments.”

The application period for competitive grants typically runs from January or February to March. More information about this grant program is available online at

William R. Walker Graduate Research Fellow Award

Established to honor the late William Walker, the founding director of the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, this award has been given since 1999 to recognize and support graduate students in water resources who are pursuing work in a field different from their undergraduate study, or who have returned to school following a period of professional work.

The Walker Award winner for 2016-17 is Travis Spangler.  Travis is pursuing a master’s degree in Biological Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech.  Prior to enrolling in graduate school he completed his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Tech and worked in industry for several years.  He is currently investigating floating treatment wetlands as potential nutrient removal technologies for stormwater runoff.

The application period for the Walker Award typically runs from March to May.  More information about this program is available online at

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