Ocean Springs, MS — Melaura Cranford has been selected as the first recipient of the 2000-2001 Nature Conservancy/Chevron Marine Science Scholar Award announced Dr. Barry Costa-Pierce, Director of the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium. Cranford, a graduate student at the University of South Alabama, will receive a full one-year graduate fellowship to support her graduate work at the Grand Bay Savanna located on the Mississippi/Alabama border. As part of the fellowship, Cranford will be studying aquatic insects in seasonally ponded isolated wetlands in the Grand Bay Savanna and surrounding area.
Though the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium offers several other general marine science fellowships, this one was specifically created to benefit the Grand Bay Savanna and its fragile ecosystem. The Nature Conservancy and Chevron joined together with the Consortium to create this opportunity for graduate students. Earlier this year seven other graduate students received Marine Science Scholar Awards from the Consortium for fellowships in the 2000-2001 academic year.
Cranford who hails from Ontario, Canada received her bachelor's degree in biology from Faulkner University and expects to earn her master's degree in biology in the fall of 2001.
She will work under the guidance of David Ruple, Project Manager for The Nature Conservancy, and her faculty advisor Dr. John McCreadie, Professor of Biology at University of South Alabama.