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Past Scholarship Winners

Kayla Miller Receives 2010 Edie Scholarship

Kayla Miller, 2010 Edie Scholarship winner

Kayla Miller, 2010 Edie Scholarship winner

SDRC is happy to grant this year’s Esther Edie Environmental Scholarship to Kayla Miller, a microbiology major at SDSU.

Kayla is an outstanding student in a challenging major with strong potential to obtain a PhD. In addition, Kayla finds time to be president of the SDSU Sierra Club chapter, and has led their campaign to begin to replace the polluting campus coal plant with a cleaner source of energy (see separate article). She has also led their campaign to begin composting the 750 pounds of food waste generated daily on campus. She has worked with Dakota Rural Action on their project to make locally grown foods more easily available to South Dakotans. She has gained grant writing experience applying for a grant with the Clinton Global Initiative to begin financing the campus composting project.

We try to find a student with potential to become an environmental activist, but this year we were fortunate to find a student who already IS an environmental activist.

Kayla grew up in Sioux Falls, and later, Worthing, where her family moved so that Kayla could have a horse. Kayla owns a Thorobred-Percheron cross and has enjoyed competing in dressage. In addition to horseback riding, she is an avid kayaker.

Kayla says her interest in protecting the environment was sparked by her advanced placement environmental science course in high school taught by Chris Skinner. She began her college education at Northland College in Wisconsin as an environmental science major. She transferred to SDSU to be closer to family, and save money. Kayla chose microbiology as her major at SDSU to get the best in depth scientific background to pursue her environmental interest.

This summer, Kayla is working at the Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve of the University of Minnesota. She is working as an intern on long term experiments that study the effects of drought, increased carbon dioxide and nitrogen levels on biodiversity and plants. She will also work on an independent project to study changes in soil bacteria, when exposed to higher temperatures, a situation that could occur with climate change.

Kayla plans to go to graduate school in an area that will enable her to work with environmental issues. She hopes to either work for a governmental agency or stay in academia and do research and teach. ”

Amy Sanborn Receives 2009 Esther Edie Scholarship

by Lois Haertel

Amy Sanborn, 2009

Amy Sanborn, 2009 Edie Scholarship Winner

The first recipient of the Esther Edie Environmental Scholarship is Amy Sanborn of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Amy is a biology major at South Dakota State University and has lived all her life in South Dakota. Her family spends a lot of their vacation time camping in the state, particularly at Lewis and Clark State Park and in the Black Hills, so her interest in the environment and its protection comes naturally. Amy is particularly interested in aquatic environments, an interest further sparked by family trips to Lake Superior and the Gulf of Mexico.

The scholarship committee was influenced to select Amy, out of the many fine applicants, by her excellent academic performance and also by her outside activities. This last year, Amy participated as a unpaid intern in a project directed by her adviser, Dr. Nels Troelstrup of SDSU, to study the wetland in the Flandreau City Park. Amy’s part of the project was to collect and identify aquatic invertebrates by family. She then learned microphotography, and took their pictures. She will develop a slideshow that will be made into plaques and placed in the wetland for public education. Amy is also researching the ecology of the family groups, and that information will be placed on the plaques. This summer, Amy is continuing her sampling of the wetland, and will be working up that data during the coming year, this time for pay.

Besides her love of the environment, Amy has other traits in common with Esther Edie, the founder of the South Dakota Resources Coalition, and the person for whom the scholarship is named. Amy is athletic. She played varsity tennis in high school and is also on the SDSU tennis team. This summer she is teaching tennis for the Sioux Falls Tennis Association. In addition, Amy is interested in languages. She has traveled in Germany with her high school group, and may add German as a minor.

We wish Amy success in reaching her fine goals.

article by Lois Haertel, EcoForum, June/July 2009

<a href=””><img class=”size-full wp-image-147″ title=”AmySanborn2009″ src=”; alt=”Amy Sanborn, 2009″ width=”155″ height=”209″ /></a>

Amy Sanborn, 2009 Edie Scholarship Winner

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