MOUNT VERNON — Twenty-one environmental science and engineering students have been awarded scholarships to study at Ohio colleges and universities through Ohio EPA’s Environmental Education Fund.

“Together with Ohio colleges and universities, we are investing in today’s environmental scholars to foster stewardship well into the future,” said Ohio EPA Director Craig W. Butler.

Students in four-year programs receiving a $2,500 scholarship for the 2018-19 academic year include: Alexandra Nelson of Warsaw, majoring in environmental science at University of Mount Union; Emily Nicholls of Mount Vernon, majoring in biology at Ashland University; Hayley Nininger of Centerburg, majoring in biology and toxicology at Ashland University; Amber Pitsenberger of Howard, majoring in zoo and conservation science and biology at Otterbein University.

This year’s student recipients have completed research or environmental work experience with projects focusing on: landfill liner placement, seaming and water drop analysis to prevent erosion; effects of algae and sedimentary turbidity on the visual sensitivity of Lake Erie game fish; cost-effective techniques to extract hydrophobic insecticides from sediments; effects of saline de-icing agents on freshwater aquatic invertebrates; developing a climate resiliency plan for the City of Alliance; wetland biodiversity assessments; light inventory to prepare Yellowstone National Park application for Dark Sky designation; analysis of lead contamination in the feathers of wild birds; field tests of passageways beneath the Nelsonville Bypass for amphibians and reptiles; red algae as a bioindicator of high quality freshwater habitats; environmental risk assessments of industrial chemicals before coming to the market; effects of biochar amendments to green roof substrate for nutrient retention.

A total of $52,500 was awarded this year. Since the scholarship program began in 2000, $869,950 has been awarded statewide to 353 students at 51 Ohio colleges and universities. The scholarship program is administered by the Ohio Academy of Science.

The next application deadline for scholarships is April 15, 2019. Additional information about the scholarship is available by calling Ohio EPA’s Office of Environmental Education at (614) 644-2873 or visiting To learn more about the Ohio Academy of Science, call (614) 488-2228 or visit



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