Florida Sea Grant is now accepting applications for the 2022-23 Florida Outdoor Writers Association (FOWA) Scholarship for Outdoor Communicators from Florida university students whose careers goals are to communicate to the public a love and appreciation for the outdoor experience. Applications are due to Florida Sea Grant by 11:59 p.m. EST, on June 20, 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 whose career goals are to communicate to the public a love and appreciation for the outdoor experience, including fishing, hunting and other interests related to the outdoors. FOWA scholarships are intended to support students considering careers in writing, photography or digital media related to the outdoors.

“We’re honored to support the next generation of outdoor communicators, who play an integral part of helping promote and bring awareness to topics from conservation to tourism across Florida,” says Butch Newell, FOWA’s Executive Director since 2018.

Up to three scholarships of $1,000 each will be awarded to winners, in addition to a one-year membership to FOWA, whose statewide network of outdoor communicators reports and reflects upon Florida’s diverse interests in the outdoors in order to educate the public about protecting and conserving its natural heritage.

“A free, one-year membership to FOWA grants scholarship winners access to all the resources the organization has to offer, but it also helps introduce them to other FOWA members who they can collaborate with and share ideas for potential stories,” says Newell.

For over 20 years, FOWA and the Florida Sea Grant College Program have been partnering to offer the FOWA Scholarship for Outdoor Communicators. The scholarship program has provided $34,000 in financial support to 34 students at 10 different Florida universities.

In 2021, two students were selected from two Florida universities. Their work ranged from journalistic writing and digital media communications on the role that fish populations play in nutrient cycling throughout the Florida Everglades to using social media platforms to publish digestible science communications educating on the phenomena observed in Florida’s diverse ecosystems.

A complete application packet consists of the student’s resume, a personal essay that expresses the applicant’s appreciation for the outdoor experience, and one letter of recommendation or endorsement from a faculty advisor or current FOWA member. Preference is given to journalism and communications majors. 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.

Awardees will be presented their awards at the annual FOWA Conference E.I.C. Banquet, which takes place September 7-10, 2022, at the Plantation on Crystal River.

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 Cassie Sexson at students@flseagrant.org.

A one-page fact sheet is available at https://bit.ly/3PvLsGg.

We’re honored to support the next generation of outdoor communicators, who play an integral part of helping promote and bring awareness to topics from conservation to tourism across Florida.

Butch Newell

About the Florida Outdoor Writers Association

The Florida Outdoor Writers Association (FOWA) is a statewide network of the outdoor industry’s top communicators, conservationists, and industry-related companies. Chartered in 1946, the Florida nonprofit organization reports and reflects upon Florida’s diverse interests in the outdoors in order to educate the public about protecting and conserving its natural heritage. FOWA also enhances the economic well-being of its members through a bi-monthly Market Edge newsletter, organized events, and education and general craft improvement in all areas. Each year, FOWA awards scholarships to students pursuing careers in outdoor communication or studies involving the science of conservation. For more information, visit www.fowa.org.

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