What's New with the Chesapeake Watershed CESU

CW CESU Student Award Nominations Now Open!

Robert Boyd filming as part of CW CESU project The Chesapeake Watershed (CW) CESU Student Award recognizes students who make outstanding contributions to a CW CESU facilitated research project. The awards are given annually as funding allows. In 2024, we will offer up to 2 awards, with honorariums of $1,000 each. Honorable mention awards without honorariums may also be awarded at the discretion of the selection committee and CW CESU Director.

Nominations for the 2024 award extended to Friday, April 19, 2024. 

Eligibility: Any graduate student (Masters or Ph.D.) of a CW CESU higher education partner institution involved in a CW CESU funded project is eligible for the award. The student must have been enrolled at the institution at the time the CW CESU funded project took place and must be an actively enrolled student at the time of the nomination deadline.

Criteria: Students receiving the CW CESU Student Award are recognized for exemplary efforts beyond a project’s standard outlined expectations. Evidence of outstanding contributions could include, but are not limited to:

  • A significant direct contribution to the management of a natural or cultural resource from a federal manager’s perspective. Please provide details of how the student’s efforts made a direct and significant impact on resource management and conservation efforts.
  • A significant direct contribution to public engagement with a natural or cultural resource.
  • A significant academic product such as a published journal article* or a technical report of exceptional note.  Please provide details of the student’s participation in writing the article or report and of the product’s significance.

* academic publications will be weighted in the committee review of application materials.

Required nomination materials:

  • Nomination form (PDF)
  • Nomination letter from either the research institution or the federal agency detailing the exceptional contributions of the student and explaining why it is an outstanding contribution.
  • Endorsement letter from the alternate project partner (e.g., if a federal agency nominates the student, the student’s home research institution must write an endorsement letter, or vice versa). Nominations without endorsement will not be reviewed.
  • Student’s CV

Recommended additional nomination materials:

While not required, nominators are strongly encouraged to include supporting materials. Examples could include the following:

  • Copies of publications– journal articles, technical reports
  • Media– news articles, television or radio interview recordings
  • Links to recordings of seminars or workshops led by student
  • Photos
  • Graphic, audio/visual, or computer-generated materials created by student as part of project.

Selection Process: A committee of CW CESU partners will review nominations and select recipients. The nomination period will be open for 45 days from mid-February each year to late-March. Selection will take place in April and students will receive awards at the annual CW CESU meeting in July.

Nomination Process: Nominations, including the nomination form and other required and recommended materials, must be emailed to Rhonda Schwinabart (rschwinabart@umces.edu) by Friday, April 19, 2024. 

Contact Rhonda Schwinabart at rschwinabart@umces.edu with any award-related questions.