Skip to main content
Graduate student policy award

Graduate students pursuing ecological research win national policy award

By Life at OSU

Two students from Oregon State University are among the 22 receiving a Katherine S. McCarter Graduate Student Policy Award, presented annually by the Ecological Society of America.

Sara Hamilton and Zechariah Meunier, each pursuing a Ph.D. in integrative biology in the College of Science, are the OSU honorees. Hamilton’s research focuses on the applied ecology of kelp forests in the Pacific Northwest, while Meunier’s investigates community assembly processes in rocky intertidal ecosystems of Oregon, California and Nova Scotia.

Sara Hamilton Zechariah Meunier

Sara Hamilton and Zechariah Meunier

The McCarter award provides graduate students with the opportunity to receive policy and communication training valuable for working with lawmakers.

Students will meet virtually this month to learn about the federal legislative process and science funding, to hear from ecologists working in federal agencies and to meet with their elected representatives on Capitol Hill. This Congressional Visit Day, organized and sponsored by ESA, offers GSPA recipients the chance to interact with policymakers and discuss the importance of federal funding for science.

“Early career scientists who are passionate about understanding and contributing to the world of policy are needed now more than ever,” said ESA President Kathleen Weathers. “ESA is delighted to offer this opportunity for graduate students to engage with policy and policymakers.”