College Scholarships

To promote the preservation, awareness, and appreciation of our environment, the Friends of Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) offer scholarships to students who are pursuing careers in fish and wildlife management, environmental education and science, and related fields.

Three annual scholarships, one each of $3000, $2000, and $1000 may be awarded to qualified applicants to be paid directly to their chosen college. The scholarships are to be used for tuition, college fees, books, supplies, and equipment, if required of all other students in the registered courses.

Scholarships are available to students whose home residences are in Maryland and will be entering their junior or senior year or a graduate program at the end of their present college term. Students receiving full scholarships from another source or combination of sources are not eligible.

If you're a student who is interested in applying, please see the fact sheet and application (.docx, .doc, or PDF) available below. The application and required attachments must be postmarked on or before the annual deadline of March 15:

For additional information, please email

2016 Environmental Sciences Academic Scholarship Winners

The Friends of Blackwater NWR (FOB) are pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 Environmental Sciences Academic Scholarships. This year the FOB awarded scholarships to four outstanding Maryland university students majoring in environmental studies fields.

Erika Koontz of Woodbine Maryland, and Suzanne Sullivan of Cambridge, Maryland, each received $3,000 scholarships to further their studies at Washington College and Salisbury University respectively. Miss Koontz, majoring in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Chesapeake Bay Regional Studies, is looking forward to accomplishing her goals by working with a local non-profit organization or an environmental consulting agency. Miss Sullivan, working with the Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy as Education and Volunteer Coordinator, is pursuing a Masters in Teaching degree from Salisbury University and plans to put her skills to use as an environmental educator to promote better teaching practices in science.

Olivia Gulledge of Crofton, Maryland, and Kathryn Hutcheson of Catonsville, Maryland, won scholarships of $2,000 and $1,000 respectively. Now a graduate student at Wesley College, Ms. Gulledge is looking forward to a future career in the field of environmental remediation, analyzing methods to mitigate human destruction of the environment, focusing on rising sea levels and the loss of coastal forests. Working on a degree in Environmental Science and Policy at the University of Maryland at College Park, Kathryn Hutcheson, following a service trip to Honduras, plans to enter the Peace Corps after graduation, eventually earning a law degree and working alongside IGOs and NGOs that are working to find global solutions through international cooperation.

Olivia Gulledge, Erika Koontz, FOB President Rick Abend, Suzanne Sullivan, Kathryn Hutcheson
Olivia Gulledge, Erika Koontz, FOB President Rick Abend, Suzanne Sullivan, Kathryn Hutcheson.