Florida Sea Grant is now accepting applications for the 2022-23 Aylesworth Scholarship Award from Florida university students conducting research in the marine sciences. Applications are due to Florida Sea Grant by 11:59 p.m. EST, on June 1, 2022.

The competition is open to any undergraduate or graduate student who is enrolled full-time at one of Florida’s institutions of higher education, and pursuing any academic discipline having direct application in ocean science, ranging from biology, engineering and economics to food science, journalism and education. Aylesworth Scholarship recipients study many subjects that impact the fishing, seafood and marine industries.

Established in 1984 through a joint partnership between the Aylesworth Foundation for the Advancement of Marine Science, the Southeastern Fisheries Association and the Florida Sea Grant College Program, Aylesworth scholarship awards have provided $726,324 in financial support to 128 students in 14 different Florida universities.

“My parents, Ralph and Kitty Aylesworth, were long-time members of the Florida fishing industry, and saw the formation of the foundation and scholarship award as a long-term investment in our industry and state which has been so good to us,” Bobby Aylesworth said. “We end up supporting the best students training in coastal and ocean topics which has an impact on not only the immediate future, but for futures down the road.”

In 2021, three students were selected from three Florida universities. Their research projects ranged from investigating environmental DNA to improve knowledge about marine mammals to the impact of freshwater inputs on estuarine fish and invertebrate communities.

“It is very exciting to help facilitate the Aylesworth Foundation’s sustained support of the best and brightest students studying marine science topics,” notes Dr. Sherry Larkin, Director of Florida Sea Grant.

A complete application packet consists of the student’s resume, personal and family information, a statement of interest, a statement of career goals, a statement of financial need and completed financial information form, a photocopy of their college transcripts and two letters of recommendation. Florida Sea Grant only accepts applications from students enrolled in a Florida academic institution. Those applicants must file their applications through the eSeaGrant online portal at eflseagrant.ifas.ufl.edu.

Under the leadership of the National Sea Grant College Program, Florida Sea Grant champions diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) by recruiting, retaining and preparing a diverse workforce, and proactively engaging and serving the diverse populations of coastal communities. Sea Grant is committed to building inclusive research, extension, communication and education programs that serve people with unique backgrounds, circumstances, needs, perspectives and ways of thinking. We encourage applicants of all ages, races, ethnicities, national origins, gender identities, sexual orientations, disabilities, cultures, religions, citizenship types, marital statuses, education levels, job classifications, veteran status types, income, and socioeconomic status types, to apply for this opportunity.

For more information, contact Florida Sea Grant Student Programs Coordinator Cassandra Sexson at students@flseagrant.org.

A one-page fact sheet is available at www.flseagrant.org/publication/aylesworth-scholarship.

We end up supporting the best students training in coastal and ocean topics which has an impact on not only the immediate future, but for futures down the road.”

About the Aylesworth Foundation for the Advancement of Marine Science

Since 1984, the Aylesworth Foundation for the Advancement of Marine Science has supported university students in academic disciplines related to the marine environment. The Aylesworths believed that scientific knowledge in marine-related areas, coupled with decisions based on environmental and conservation factors, would prove to be the only way to develop, use and manage our renewable marine resources on a long-term basis. The Aylesworth Scholarship program remains the cornerstone of the foundation’s activities, but the foundation’s goals have been expanded to include the funding of research and other educational activities that benefit Florida’s marine environment. To learn more about the foundation’s legacy, watch this video https://bit.ly/3ODGzKV.

About Aylesworth’s Fish & Bait, Inc.

Aylesworth’s Fish & Bait is a full-service fishing bait distributor founded in the mid 1940s by Ralph and Kitty Aylesworth. Today, Aylesworth’s Fish & Bait, located in St. Petersburg, Florida serves recreational and commercial fishing communities throughout the US, Caribbean, Central and South American with a full line of freshwater and saltwater baits and related products under their BAITMASTERS brand. For more information, visit https://fishandbait.com/.