University of Texas at Austin Student Wins EPA Grant for Water Quality Study

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A University of Texas-Austin student has been awarded a Science to Achieve Results (STAR) Graduate Fellowship from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Arley F. Muth is one of 52 graduate students across the nation to receive the grants that helps students further education while conducting research in environmental fields of study.

“As one of the nation’s premier research universities, UT-Austin can be proud of the work of its students and for fostering the next generation of leaders in environmental science,” says EPA Regional Administration Ron Curry. “Congratulations to the future Dr. Muth and to all of this year’s STAR fellows.”

Muth is pursuing a Ph.D. and researching water quality in estuaries and along coasts. The STAR grant of $132,000 was awarded for Muth’s project on ocean acidification, “Algal and Invertebrate Assemblages in Varying Oceanographic Conditions: Effects of Ocean Acidification on Recruitment, Early Succession, and Grazing along the Pacific Coast of the U.S. and Chile.”

This class of STAR Graduate Fellows was selected from a large number of applications in a highly competitive review process and is as impressive as it is diverse. The graduate students are studying and conducting research at 37 U.S. universities in disciplines such as atmospheric chemistry, green energy, hydrogeology and predictive toxicology. Master’s students are awarded a maximum funding of $88,000 over two years and doctoral students are awarded up to $132,000 for three years to support their graduate research and studies.

Since the program began more than 20 years ago, graduate students from the STAR Fellowship Program have engaged in innovative research opportunities leading some to become prominent leaders in environmental science. The program has awarded nearly 2,000 students more than $65 million in funding since 1995. This year’s STAR Fellows are poised to become the next generation of environmental professionals who can make significant impacts in environmental science and beyond.

As part of a federal-wide reorganization of programs supporting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), the funding for EPA’s STAR and Greater Research Opportunities (GRO) fellowship programs has been consolidated this year with the National Science Foundation fellowship programs. This reorganization strategically increases federal resources for STEM undergraduate and graduate education into one agency allowing more students fellowship opportunities. EPA is also a partner with the NSF through the Graduate Research Internship Program, which has a number of federal agencies as partners. This program expands opportunities for NSF Graduate Research Fellows to enhance their professional development through an internship at EPA where they can participate in research experience and receive mentoring from scientists, all while focusing on the protection of human health and the environment.


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