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Giving the Environmental Workforce of Tomorrow a Green Light

Release Date: 12/17/2007
Contact Information: Suzanne Ackerman, (202)564-4355 / ackerman.suzanne@epa.gov; En español: Lina Younes, (202) 564-9924 / younes.lina@epa.gov

(Washington, D.C. – December 17, 2007) To ensure a healthy future for all Americans, EPA is off and running in the race to develop a well-trained and diverse environmental workforce. EPA awarded 98 research fellowships in 2007 for students pursuing degrees in environmental studies through the Agency’s Science to Achieve Results (STAR) and Greater Research Opportunities (GRO) programs.

“Successful American businesses now routinely incorporate environmental protection into their work. Builders are designing energy-efficient homes. Automobile manufacturers are developing fuel-efficient cars,” said George Gray, Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Research and Development. “The demand for environmental professionals who can apply their knowledge to practical applications is going way up, and EPA’s fellowship programs help meet that demand.”

For example, a student at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill is developing a computer tool for urban planners. The tool will allow planners to plug in different proposals for land development, and see how each would impact local watersheds and other water resources. Another student at the University of Washington is exploring the use of microbes that react with ammonia to remove pollutants during wastewater treatment.

In 2002, the National Academy of Science (NAS) rated the STAR program outstanding and concluded STAR research makes a positive contribution to EPA policy planning.
This year’s projects continue that tradition of excellence.

More than 1200 students competed for the 2007 STAR and GRO fellowships, which support the nation's most promising environmental undergraduate and graduate degree candidates. GRO fellowships are targeted for universities with limited funding for research and development, particularly minority institutions.

Since the program began in 1995, the EPA has awarded more than 2200 fellowships to students in almost every state and the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. All applications for EPA’s fellowship programs are rigorously peer reviewed.

    2007 STAR fellowship recipients: http://es.epa.gov/ncer/fellow/recipients/star_fellow07.html
    2007 GRO fellowship recipients: http://es.epa.gov/ncer/fellow/recipients/gro_fellow07.html
    More information on both fellowship programs: http://es.epa.gov/ncer/fellow/