Category Archives: Education

Virginia Sea Grant Fellowship Opportunities – Application Deadlines in November and December 2017

Virginia Sea Grant is offering or facilitating the following fellowship opportunities for students or post-graduates.  The main Web site for the opportunities is; or contact Virginia Sea Grant at Virginia Institute of Marine Science, 363 Greate Road, Gloucester Point, VA 23062; (804) 684-7269.  Specific online sites are listed below for each opportunity.

1) Commonwealth Coastal & Marine Policy Fellowship.  Deadline to apply is December 8, 2017.  Fellowship begins in summer 2018.  For graduate students close to completing their degree (Masters, Ph.D., or J.D.) in a coastal- or marine-related or relevant field at a Virginia university or college, and for graduates who recently completed their degree at a Virginia university or college (graduating in the spring semester 2017 or after).  More information is available online at;

2) 2019 Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship.  Deadline to apply is November 28, 2017.  The one-year fellowship period is expected to begin February 1, 2019.  This nationwide fellowship is for graduate students with an interest in marine, coastal, or Great Lakes resources and in related national policy.  An eligible applicant is any student, regardless of citizenship, who, on February 21, 2018, is enrolled towards a degree in a graduate program with an interest in ocean, coastal and Great Lakes resources and in the national policy decisions affecting those resources.  More information is online at

3) Clark Nexsen Coastal Resilience Research Fellowship.  Deadline to apply not yet determined (as of 9/21/17).  This is a paid summer fellowship focused on coastal resiliency, open to full-time undergraduate or graduate students who have research experience or training in areas including, but not limited to engineering, architecture, landscape architecture, resilient design, urban planning, and/or coastal flooding adaptation strategies.  More information is online (as a PDF) at

4) Graduate Research Fellowship.  Deadline to apply is November 16, 2017.  Anticipated start date is September 1, 2018.  The fellowship provides up to $40,000 per year, requiring a 50-percent match, to students enrolled in a full-time graduate or professional degree program at a Virginia academic institution prior to the award of the fellowship, no later than Fall 2018.  Students may be working toward a degree in any discipline as long as they are engaged in research that is coastal- or marine-related and relevant to the mission and strategic plan of Virginia Sea Grant.  More information is online at

In October 2017, Virginia Sea Grant will hold on-campus information sessions about these opportunities, as follows:
George Mason University – October 18;
James Madison University – October 11;
Old Dominion University – October 16;
University of Virginia – October 13;
Virginia Commonwealth University – October 9;
Virginia Institute of Marine Science – October 6;
Virginia Tech – October 10.

Water Monitoring Kits Available in Fall 2017 from Va. DEQ for Schools and Other Organizations

The following information was provided on August 31, 2017, by the Virginia Water Monitoring Council (VWMC).  Please feel free to forward this information.  When forwarding, please acknowledge the VWMC.  For more information about the VWMC, please visit

Water Monitoring Test Kits Available

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is distributing a limited number of water monitoring kits that can be used to test for dissolved oxygen, pH, turbidity, and temperature.  Each kit can perform multiple tests.  These kits are available for free to schools and organizations that do not have water monitoring equipment.  DEQ requests that participants use these kits as part of the EarthEcho Water Challenge (formerly known as World Water Monitoring Challenge; to learn more about that challenge, see; groups with their own monitoring equipment are also invited to participate in that event).

If you are a teacher or work with a large number of students, you can request a free kit.  Contact Stuart Torbeck by e-mail at, and provide the following information:
(1) your complete mailing address;
(2) the number of locations you plan to monitor:
(3) the expected number of participants at any one time; and
(4) the total number of participants from your organization or school that you expect to participate in the EarthEcho Water Challenge.
This information will be used to determine how many kits you will likely need.

The Virginia Water Monitoring Council provided the kits for this effort.

Virginia Water Educators Directory Published in August 2017 by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center

In August 2017, the Virginia Water Resources Research Center (Water Center) announced the publication of the Virginia Water Educators Directory, available online at  The Water Center and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality worked together to publish this directory of trained water educators in the state, intended to establish and reinvigorate the network of water educators in Virginia.

The  Water Center aims for the directory to facilitate connections between the network of highly-trained non-formal water educators and classroom teachers conducting successful Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences at the elementary, middle, and high school levels.

Please feel free to share the Virginia Water Educators Directory with any appropriate groups.  People can join the directory’s Google Group at

For more information, contact Liz Sharp via e-mail to

Chesapeake Bay Expertise Database Started in June 2017 by Chesapeake Research Consortium

In June 2017, the Chesapeake Research Consortium announced the start of the Chesapeake Bay Expertise Database (CBED).  The database is available online at online at, and experts from all areas of science (social, natural, and engineering) related to management of the Bay are encouraged to register.  According to that Web site, “The purpose of CBED is to help connect faculty and staff scientists working on Chesapeake related issues with each other, with other scientists in the region, and with managers and other experts and research funders throughout the partnership.”  The Chesapeake Research Consortium, online at, is a non-profit association of seven research and education institutions in the Bay region: Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, Md.), Old Dominion University (Norfolk, Va.), Pennsylvania State University (State College, Penn.), Smithsonian Institute (Washington, D.C.), the University System of Maryland (headquartered in Baltimore), Virginia Institute of Marine Science (Gloucester Point, Va.), and Virginia Tech (Blacksburg, Va.).

Virginia Water Resources Research Center’s Student Grant and Fellowship Award Winners for 2017-18

Between February and June 2017, the Virginia Water Resources Research Center (which publishes this blog) conducted its two annual competitions for recognizing and supporting students studying water resources at colleges or universities in Virginia.  Here are the recipients for 2017-18.

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, 2017 to May 31, 2018, were awarded to following students and projects:

Stephanie Houston, Ph.D. student, Department of Biological Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech; project title: “A renewable filtration system for the removal and reuse of pollutants from retention ponds.”

Mary Lofton, Ph.D. student, Department of Biological Sciences, Virginia Tech; project title: “Simulating storms to predict phytoplankton community responses to future climate change: a whole-ecosystem mixing experiment.”

Brendan Player, M.S. student, Department of Environmental Science, Christopher Newport University; project title: “Nutrient uptake in degraded and restored sections of urban streams across project age gradients.”

The application period for competitive grants typically runs from February to March or April.  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 2017-18 is Jacob Diamond, Ph.D. student, Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, Virginia Tech.

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

Return of a Virginia Environmental Education Resource in May 2017

In May 2017, the Virginia Naturally newsletter returned after a hiatus since September 2016.  Formerly published by the Virginia Office of Environmental Education, the newsletter is now under the direction of the Virginia Association for Environmental Education (VAEE), a non-profit organization.  Information about VAEE and a place to sign up for Virginia Naturally are available online at

Sections of the May 2017 Virginia Naturally are the following:
Virginia Naturally School Recognition Program;
VAEE Announces Dates for 2017 Environmental Education Conference/Call for Proposals (Note: the conference is October 10-12 in Front Royal);
North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) 2017 Conference (Oct. 18-21 in Puerto Rico);
Grants & Awards Opportunities;
Summer Professional Development Opportunities.

Two Fall Conference Opportunities for Virginia Environmental Educators and Science Teachers

Oct. 10-12, 2017, Northern Virginia 4-H Education Center, Front Royal: 2017 Virginia Environmental Education Conference.  Organized by the Virginia Association for Environmental Education.  More information:

Nov. 16-18, 2017, Roanoke: Virginia Association of Science Teachers Annual Professional Development Institute.  This year’s theme is “Celebrating Science.”  More information:; phone: (757) 897-3104; e-mail: