Students Awarded EPA Research Grants

Oct. 10, 2008
Kirsten Studer and Todd Massari awarded EPA STAR and GRO fellowships

UMASS/Amherst Student Awarded EPA STAR Fellowhsip
A student at University of Massachusetts in Amherst who is working on ways to improve drinking water quality was chosen as one of four students in New England and 32 nationwide to receive a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) STAR fellowship to complete their masters or doctorate degrees and work on solutions to important environmental challenges.

Kirsten Studer of Ashland, Va., received the funds to support work aimed at detecting and removing endocrine disrupting chemicals from drinking water while at the same time monitoring byproducts formed by these chemical contaminants. Identifying byproducts will help provide quick responses to improve polluted water systems.

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

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

Roger Williams College Student Awarded EPA GRO Fellowship
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 (GRO) 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.

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.

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.

More information on the 2008 Fellowship awardees is available at: More information on STAR and GRO Fellowship programs and application opportunities is available at:

Source: EPA