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Roger Williams College Student Awarded EPA Research Grant

Release Date: 10/08/2008
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – Oct. 8, 2008) – A student from Connecticut attending the Roger Williams College in Bristol, R.I., was chosen as one of two students in New England and 22 nationwide to receive a Greater Research Opportunities fellowship to complete either their undergraduate or graduate degrees.

Todd Massari of Hamden, Conn., received the funding to complete a Bachelor of Science degree in natural and life sciences. Todd has been helping the Rhode Island Oyster Gardening for Restoration and Enhancement Program in growing juvenile oysters and releasing them onto reconstructed oyster reefs for restoration in Narragansett Bay. By using restored oyster reef habitats as a study site, Massari is looking to study their effects on both the changes in the water quality and their use by juvenile fish species as nursery habitat.

Another four students in New England and 32 nationwide received an EPA STAR fellowship to complete their masters or doctorate degrees and work on solutions to important environmental challenges.

"These remarkable young people are doing research that will help create a cleaner, healthier environment," said Robert Varney, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. "We are proud to help these fellows pursue the kind of studies that can make an environmental difference."

EPA supports several fellowship programs as a way to address our country's environmental workforce needs. EPA's STAR graduate fellowship program supports some of the nation's most promising masters and doctoral candidates. A total of 879 applicants competed this year for 32 fellowships.

EPA's Greater Research Opportunities fellowship program helps build environmental studies programs at universities with limited funding for research and development. A total of 156 applicants competed this year for 22 fellowships. Several former fellows from this program now work for EPA, including a chemist in the Office of Pesticide Programs, and a marine biologist in the Office of Research and Development.

Since the fellowship program began in 1995, EPA has awarded more than 2,200 fellowships. All applications for EPA's fellowship programs are peer reviewed. Graduate fellows receive up to $37,000 a year to complete their degrees. The undergraduate program pays tuition and a stipend for the junior and senior years of study and includes a summer internship at an EPA facility. The undergrad fellowship provides up to $17,000 per year of academic support and up to $7,500 of internship support for summer.

EPA is now accepting applications from students for GRO undergraduate fellowships. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or be lawfully admitted to the U.S. for permanent residence.

More information:

2008 Fellowship Awardees (

- STAR & GRO Fellowship programs and application opportunities (

Todd Massari’s research (