Diversity in Environmental Professions Scholarship Program
The Northwest Association of Environmental Professionals is proud to offer a scholarship program aimed at supporting diversity in the environmental professions. The program is intended to promote the professional development of students who are underrepresented in the environmental field, with a focus on BIPOC students.
The scholarship award, up to $2,000, is used to support the student's education and/or give them opportunities to participate in the environmental professionals community, covering such things as NWAEP membership fees (if the applicant isn't already a member), tuition for attendance at the NAEP annual conference (registration, travel, and room and board), and/or books and supplies.
2022 DEI Scholarship Recipients
In 2022 — our DEI scholarship's inaugural year — NWAEP's Scholarship Committee looked for a student who was inspiring in their pursuit of experience in the environmental field and found not one but two worthy candidates. Our heartfelt congratulations to our two scholarship recipients: Janelle Layton and Daria Singer!
Janelle Layton is a masters student in Fisheries Science at Oregon State University. Her research is concentrated on the impacts of climate change on early life history stages of the critically endangered Nassau Grouper by understanding differences in both development and heat shock protein gene expression. Janelle is very intrigued by conservation of marine fishes. She thoroughly enjoys the research she is currently involved in but is constantly aiming to expand her knowledge and skill sets. Janelle completed her BS at Hampton University studying Marine and Environmental Science.
After attending the NWAEP conference in May, 2022, Janelle had this to say:
"I had a very interesting experience attending NAEP meeting this year. As a full time graduate student in fisheries science, I have spent most of my professional life in school and around professional academics. Everyone I knew was a scientist and in a space where a university was attached, so spending time at this conference was an enlightening and eye-opening opportunity. I was able to network with environmentalist from a variety of different backgrounds and hear about different topics that I am normally not exposed to in class (i.e., environmental justice). While diversity in ethnicity and race may still be a challenge like a variety of other disciplines, diversity in knowledge and background was not absent at this meeting. I met lawyers, scientists, consultants, engineers, and so many more people of different employment and educational backgrounds. Overall, being invited to attend this meeting was extremely beneficial for me and I likely would have never gotten the chance to experience this without the 2022 DEI Scholarship provided by the NWAEP."
My name is Daria Singer. I’m a transfer student currently studying at Oregon State University, majoring in Biology with the ecology option. I didn’t think I was going to be in the sciences when I graduated high school five years ago. I wanted to be a high school math teacher. After a few years at Chemeketa Community College and a round of education courses, I came to the conclusion that teaching was not the path for me. After a term of a single course in Spanish and uncertainty, I decided to turn to my first passion: nature.
I grew up watching Steve Irwin on Animal Planet on my weekends and Studio Ghibli movies, both of which carry messages about the wonder and beauty of the natural world, and emphasize stewardship of nature rather than control. In my last few years of high school I went through a few but very important science classes with a curriculum built on hands-on field experience. Once I’d realized this, it was a wonder I hadn’t turned to the biological sciences sooner.
I have a year or so left of classes at Oregon State University until I can earn my Bachelor’s of Science. As I continue to learn the more technical aspects of biology I hope to also gain more experiential knowledge so that I can someday fulfill that stewardship role with the same compassion that I saw as a child.
In support of her education, Daria chose to use her NWAEP scholarship to beef up her book budget. Happy reading, Daria!