We are pleased to announce that Lauren Diaz is the recipient of the 18th annual scholarship for undergraduate studies, administered by the Florida Chapter of The Wildlife Society. Lauren is a 4th year student in the University of Florida’s department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, with a minor in Sustainability Studies and an interest in the field of herpetology.
Lauren has served as Secretary of the University of Florida student chapter of The Wildlife Society, and as the liaison to the Florida Chapter. She has served in volunteer and intern positions with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission working on gopher frogs, spotted turtles, upland snakes, striped newts, snail kite banding and DNA extraction, and data entry, as well as an internship with the Dumond Conservancy for Primates. She has previously received a UF Jennings Scholarship and a Florida Wildlife Federation Undergrad Scholarship. Following graduation from UF, Lauren plans to continue with a master’s degree, and to use her career to research and conserve imperiled reptiles and amphibians in the southeast.
The FLTWS Undergraduate Student Scholarship was established in 1998 to recognize and financially assist undergraduate students pursuing a career in wildlife biology at a 4-year school in Florida, during their Junior or Senior year. In 2008, the scholarship was renamed the Greater Everglades Student Memorial Scholarship in honor of the 3 FAU students so tragically lost during a wading bird survey. Applicants for the scholarship are judged based on extracurricular activities, demonstrated leadership, professional potential, financial need, personal goals, contribution to Florida wildlife and a letter of reference from a wildlife professional. The Florida Wildlife Federation and the National Wild Turkey Federation co-sponsor the scholarship. As this year’s recipient, Lauren will receive a check for $2,000 at the FLTWS Spring Meeting, 13-15 April 2016 in Gainesville, FL.