Inwater Research Group Leads in Environmental Education Through Innovative Programming

Three students with big ambitions to curb the dwindling sea turtle population will benefit from a new scholarship at the University of Central Florida started by the National Save The Sea Turtle Foundation.

Dr. Michael Johnson, Dean of the College of Sciences , Dr. Kate Mansfield,
Dr. Larry Wood, and Dr. Graham Worthy attend UCF’s Scholarship Luncheon

The Foundation chose to partner with UCF in recognition of the work conducted by Kate Mansfield, Ph.D., who leads the Marine Turtle Research Group (MTRG). Mansfield is a marine scientist and sea turtle biologist on the forefront of using satellite technology to track the movement of baby turtles.

“UCF’s sea turtle program combines experience with innovation, resulting in a world-class lab” said Larry Wood, Ph.D., Research Coordinator for the Foundation. “I’m glad that we are able to give back to such an amazing academic community through this scholarship.”

The National Save the Sea Turtle Foundation Scholarship awards three senior-year undergraduate students $10,000 each in support of tuition, books, and academic fees. It is meant to alleviate financial stress so that these students can focus on their research and post-graduation plans.

In addition, the Scholarship provides funding for general use in support of the MRTG’s ongoing research.“We are very glad to help those that have a bit more difficulty getting their projects off the ground,” said Wood. “The sea turtles are fascinating animals that provide great research opportunities. We hope that our commitment to the turtles and contribution to academic institutions will inspire others to build upon that same foundation,” said Wood.

The first two recipients of this inaugural fellowship are Monica Reusche and Jennifer Rote. Both undergraduates were interns with the UCF Marine Turtle Research Group, Monica starting in 2018, and Jennifer in 2019. Monica is a senior conducting an Honors in the Major thesis examining the genetic diversity of green turtles in the Indian River Lagoon and other Central Florida habitats. Jennifer is also in the last years of her degree and is working with Dr. Erin Seney on a sea turtle diet study. The scholarships will be awarded for the Spring 2020 semester. Applications for the third scholarship will be accepted in the Spring semester of 2020  UCF-National Save the Sea Turtle Foundation Scholarship Fund and will be awarded for Fall 2020.

National Save The Sea Turtle Foundation

4419 West Tradewinds Avenue, Ft. Lauderdale Florida 33308

(954) 351-9333 – Toll Free (877) Turtle 3


State of Florida Registration Number CH-2841. Internal Revenue Code 501 (c) (3)

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