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UW Haub School Awards Plummer Scholarships

May 14, 2014
Five students
These students were awarded Plummer Interdisciplinary Excellence Scholarships recognizing exemplary interdisciplinary achievements relevant to environment and natural resources. From left are Manasseh Franklin, Pleasant Valley, Pa.; Kelly Hatton, Geneseo, N.Y.; Sofi Thanhauser, West Tisbury, Mass.; Joshua Taboga, Laramie; and Brian Annes, Park Ridge, Ill.

The University of Wyoming Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) awarded Plummer Interdisciplinary Excellence Scholarships to five outstanding UW graduate students.

Brian Annes, Park Ridge, Ill.; Manasseh Franklin, Pleasant Valley, Pa.; Kelly Hatton, Geneseo, N.Y.; Joshua Taboga, Laramie; and Sofia Thanhauser, West Tisbury, Mass., have each been awarded the Plummer Scholarship. The award recognizes their interdisciplinary achievements related to environment and natural resources, and supports their continuing graduate studies that bridge academic disciplines.

"Our Plummer Excellence Scholars are outstanding achievers in and outside the classroom," says Courtney Carlson, Haub School academic programs associate director. "The Haub School has long been committed to supporting exceptional students to succeed in environmental and natural resource fields. The diverse and talented group of artists, writers and researchers chosen as this year's scholarship winners embodies the goals of interdisciplinary education."

Annes is earning a joint law/master of arts in law and environment and natural resources degree. His studies focus on water resources, specifically water law and the economics of water. His thesis will focus on water banking in the Upper Colorado Green River Basin.

“It will be necessary to have people positioned to guide policymakers in a direction that is profitable and sustainable,” Annes says. “I aspire to be one of those people, and the joint degree J.D./M.A. program is helping me to achieve that dream.”

Franklin, seeking a master of fine arts in creative nonfiction writing and environment and natural resources, will use the funds to tour glaciers throughout North America while she develops her creative thesis. She will begin in Alaska with stops in Alberta and Montana before she spends a week in the Wind River Mountains writing about the glaciers there.

“The Wind Rivers are often overlooked, yet of all the glaciers I’m visiting, they are the ones that may be gone the soonest,” Franklin wrote in her application. “I feel an intense need to visit, and write about, these glaciers before they are no longer there to write about. This trip also will be informed by glaciology studies that have been conducted throughout the region.”

Hatton, another candidate for an M.F.A. in creative writing and environment and natural resources, also will use her award to travel.

“This summer, I'll be traveling to India to interview organic cotton farmers. The trip is the culmination of a research project I've been working about different models of cotton production in India,” Hatton says. “After the trip, I plan to share the stories of these farmers in a series of articles for publication. The funds from the Plummer Award will help fund my trip.”

Seeking his master of arts degree in global and area studies and environment and natural resources, Taboga will conduct interdisciplinary thesis research in Germany this June. He will apply his experiences and training in political science, anthropology and sociology to explore the impacts of European Union law on renewable energy production.

Thanhauser, also an M.F.A. candidate, will combine her creative writing and environment and natural resources studies to research and write stories about the decline of sheep farming in Wyoming. She says the topic extends from her fascination with the textile industry.

“The story of sheep farming in Wyoming is bound up in a rich complex of historical and contemporary issues,” Thanhauser says. “There are the legendary cattle/sheep wars, the story of the Basque migration, and the contemporary conflict that centers around the spread of pneumonia between wild and domesticated sheep.”

Each year, the Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources makes awards available to UW students through a private endowment from Evelyn S. and Chiles P. Plummer. Selection criteria include academic performance, extracurricular merit and demonstrated financial need.

Through its academic programs and institutes, the Haub School provides tools to build lasting solutions to environment and natural resource challenges. This includes skills in critical thinking, interdisciplinary approaches, collaborative decision making, and application of sound science.

For more information, contact Fred Schmechel, marketing coordinator, Haub School of ENR, email or phone (307) 766-5354.

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