Local students awarded Cliff Bennett Nature Bursaries

The Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists (MVFN) are pleased to announce that four local graduating high school students were recently awarded 2019 MVFN Cliff Bennett Nature Bursaries.

Left to right; Michael Macpherson, chair of the bursary committee; Cliff Bennett, MVFN; Natalika Culhane; Hazel Cobus; Jasper Nault. Absent was Kea McKay.

The deserving recipients of the $1000 bursaries are Hazel Cobus, who is graduating from St. John Catholic High School in Perth and will be pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science at the University of Ottawa; Natalika Culhane, a graduating student at Carleton Place High School and will be working toward a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Geography at Carleton University; Kea McKay who is graduating from Notre Dame High School in Carleton Place and will be studying for a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, with the intention of specializing in the field of Marine Biology at the University of Victoria; and Jasper Nault from Perth and District Collegiate Institute who will be attending Algonquin College in Pembroke in a program to become an Outdoor Adventure Naturalist.

The Cliff Bennett Nature Bursary was established in 2007 by MVFN members, friends, and the family of retired educator Cliff Bennett on the occasion of his 75th birthday. Since 2007, more than $16,700 has been awarded to twenty-one students from Almonte and District High School; Carleton Place High School; Notre Dame Catholic High School; Perth and District Collegiate Institute; St. John Catholic High School in Perth and West Carleton Secondary School.

Application information for the bursary awards is available on MVFN’s website, at www.mvfn.ca, or through Trish Larkin, Chair of MVFN’s Cliff Bennett Nature Bursary Committee, at 613-256-5301.

To be eligible, a student must be graduating from a high school in Lanark County or West Carleton (or must confirm individual or family MVFN membership) and be accepted into a college or university program related to nature and the environment. As well as academic achievement, the Committee will consider an applicant’s involvement in issues related to the natural environment. Previous recipients have demonstrated and actively promoted environmental awareness through school projects and volunteering in their communities.

Past winners of the Cliff Bennett Nature Bursary Award have pursued post-secondary studies in ecosystem and resource management, environmental sciences and engineering, marine biology and zoology. Others have followed their passion in environmental stewardship by studying fish and wildlife management or bio-technology. Recipients are announced at MVFN’s Annual General Meeting in late May.