News Inaugural Small Research Grants awarded

Researchers awarded inaugural Scott Melvin Memorial Fund Small Research Grants
  • Division of Fisheries and Wildlife
  • MassWildlife's Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program
Scott Melvin

Scott Melvin was a former senior zoologist working within MassWildlife’s Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program. He was an internationally known leader in coastal waterbird conservation. Scott had an unwavering commitment to conservation, leading efforts to protect piping plovers for over 30 years. His good humor, pragmatism, and expertise won the respect of everyone, even those with opposing views. Scott also mentored many biologists entering the field. He recognized that working with beach-nesting birds provided an important real-world learning opportunity to train the next generation of natural resource managers.

Scott passed away prematurely in 2014. However, his legacy lives on. In partnership with the Massachusetts Outdoor Heritage Foundation, the Scott Melvin Memorial Fund was created to honor Scott’s memory and his enduring contributions to wildlife conservation. Thanks to the generosity of donors, the Scott Melvin Fund supports small research grants and a fellowship. This year, the first researchers have been awarded grants from the Scott Melvin Memorial Fund. Each awarded grant is aimed at supporting graduate student research on piping plovers or terns. The 2018 grant recipients are:

  • Michelle Stantial—Using miniaturized GPS tags to study breeding season habitat use and migration in threatened piping plovers (Charadrius melodus)
  • Brynna McGlathery—Analysis of the construction, maintenance, and site characteristics of artificial habitats for nesting piping plover (Charadrius melodus) on Duxbury Beach to determine preference and success
  • Katie Walker—Assessing piping plover post fledging survival and migratory stopover locations using nanotags

In addition to the research grants, the Scott Melvin Memorial Fellowship was awarded to Jasmine Weber-Pierson. This summer, Jasmine will work with Mass Audubon and MassWildlife on piping plover and tern conservation.

Congratulations to all of this year’s recipients!

Learn how you can support the Scott Melvin Memorial Fund.

The Massachusetts Outdoor Heritage Foundation was created as a private-sector partner to MassWildlife, focusing on fundraising, accepting project-restricted donations, and providing funding in support of MassWildlife’s mission. The MOHF has a simple, singular goal—to guarantee that the vital connection and the personal renewal experienced in the Commonwealth’s great remaining wildlife lands and natural areas will endure, and continue to delight and sustain both residents and visitors forever.

Division of Fisheries and Wildlife 

MassWildlife is responsible for the conservation of freshwater fish and wildlife in the Commonwealth, including endangered plants and animals. MassWildlife restores, protects, and manages land for wildlife to thrive and for people to enjoy.

MassWildlife's Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program 

The Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program is responsible for the conservation and protection of hundreds of species that are not hunted, fished, trapped, or commercially harvested in the state, as well as the protection of the natural communities that make up their habitats.