Scripps Students Win Environmental Awards


Two graduate students at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, have been selected to receive academic awards established to support efforts to help better understand the environment.

Bonnie Becker, a graduate student in the biological oceanography curricular group at Scripps, was selected for a Switzer Environmental Fellowship by the Switzer Foundation and the San Francisco Foundation. Chosen as one of 10 scholars each receiving a $13,000 award, Becker was selected for her "strong academic record and demonstrated commitment to environmental protection and restoration and leadership qualities."

Becker is interested in scientifically informed coastal zone management and the design of marine reserves. Her research focuses on the dispersal of marine invertebrates settling in a small reserve in southern California.

The goal of the Switzer Foundation is to identify and nurture those individuals who have the "ability, determination, and integrity to become environmental leaders in the 21st century." The fellowships are directed toward improving the quality of our natural environment.

Becker also has been selected to receive the 2001 Bob Davey Memorial Scholarship from the Sierra Club’s North County (San Diego) chapter. The $1,000 award is given to graduate students conducting environmental work in San Diego County. She will formally accept the scholarship in September.

Originally from Roslyn, New York, Becker is a third-year doctoral candidate working with Professors Paul Dayton and Lisa Levin in the Marine Life Research Group at Scripps.

Joel Fodrie, a graduate student also studying in the biological oceanography curricular program, has won a Coastal Environmental Quality Initiative Graduate Research Award from the University of California Marine Council.

Fodrie will receive $10,000 to support his research evaluating the importance of coastal habitat types as productive nursery grounds for the California halibut.

The Coastal Environmental Quality Initiative supports efforts such as Fodrie’s in the hopes they will become part of a systematic and long-term assessment of representative

environmental health indicators to understand how the coastal environment functions and how human activity has affected this zone. Such information, the initiative hopes, will not only increase our scientific understanding of both natural processes and human-induced changes, but also will be useful to legislators, policy makers, and managers of California’s ocean.

Fodrie, from Beaufort, North Carolina, is working with Professor Lisa Levin in the Marine Life Research Group as a first-year student at Scripps.

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