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Ohio EPA Selects Environmental Scholarship Winners

Next Application Deadline is April 15, 2020

Sixteen environmental science and engineering students have been awarded scholarships to study at Ohio colleges and universities through Ohio EPA’s Environmental Education Fund.

“Congratulations to the recipients of these scholarships,” said Governor Mike DeWine. “I look forward to the contributions these students will make in the environmental science field.”

 “We are investing in today’s environmental scholars with Ohio colleges and universities to foster stewardship well into the future,” said Ohio EPA Director Laurie A. Stevenson.  

Students (listed with their colleges, hometowns and majors) receiving a $2,500 scholarship for the 2019-2020 academic year are: 

Ashland University: Maria Kern – Eaton (biology and chemistry); 

Bowling Green University: Eric Huber – Lancaster (biology); 

Cedarville University: Naomi Kohler - Waxhaw, N.C. (biology); 

Cleveland State University: Rebecca Woods - Cleveland Heights (environmental science); 

Marietta College: Legacy Skout Barger - Beverly, W. Va. (environmental science and geology);

Oberlin College: Madeleine Gefke - Bethesda, Md. (biology and environmental studies); Olivia Vasquez - Seattle, Wash. (environmental studies and computer science); 

Ohio State University: Taylor Hrabak – Medina (forestry, fisheries and wildlife); Amanda Killian – Dublin (environmental engineering); Nathaniel Steffensmeier – Columbus (forestry, fisheries and wildlife); 

Ohio University: Garrett Dildine - New Albany (civil engineering and environmental studies);

Otterbein University: Julie Platz – Cincinnati (environmental science and biology); <

University of Cincinnati: Emma Lancaster – Cincinnati (environmental studies and biology); Adam Sanders - Cincinnati (majoring in environmental studies and economics); 

University of Mount Union: Emily Keller – Aurora (environmental science); and 

Wittenberg University: Madison Nadler – Jackson (biology and environmental studies)

Among the research or environmental work experience projects this year’s student recipients focused on are: methane leak detection from natural gas production, the effects of turbidity and Harmful Algal Blooms on fish ability to detect predators, West Nile Virus transmission between mosquito vectors and avian hosts, microbial growth in ultraviolet light and chlorine disinfection systems and the effects of culverting on stream ecosystems. 

A total of $40,000 was awarded this year. Since the scholarship program began in 2000, $909,950 has been awarded statewide to 369 students at 51 Ohio colleges and universities. Funding comes from civil penalties collected by Ohio EPA for violations of air and water pollution control laws. The scholarship program is administered by the Ohio Academy of Science. 

The next application deadline for scholarships is April 15, 2020. Additional information about the scholarship is available by calling Ohio EPA’s Office of Environmental Education at (614) 644-2873 or visiting www.epa.ohio.gov/oee. To learn more about the Ohio Academy of Science, call (614) 488-2228 or visit www.OHIOSCI.org.10.


The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. Since then, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling.

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