Applications for Patricia Sellers Scholarship in Environmental Justice are Due April 5th

The late Dr. Patricia Sellers
The late Dr. Patricia Sellers

Students who wish to apply for the Patricia Sellers Scholarship in Environmental Justice must complete the application form (see downloadable form below).  The completed application must include an abstract (250 words maximum) that describes how your environmental research addresses environmental justice.  The completed application should be emailed to Dr. Lisa Kelly at by 11:59 PM on Monday, 5 April 2021.  Any student awarded the scholarship will be notified by 19 April 2021.

About the Scholarship

Patricia (“Trish”) Sellers was a professor in the UNCP Department of Biology (2005-2017), where she taught courses and mentored undergraduate researchers.  A native of Canada, Trish joined a research team in Ontario that monitored mercury levels in the Wabigoon-English River.  She worked closely with the Grassy Narrows and Wabaseemoong First Nations people, who have suffered from mercury poisoning for decades, becoming their scientific advisor in 2004.  Months before her passing in 2017, the Canadian government announced that it would earmark $85 million to clean up mercury contamination in the river.  This funding resulted directly from the efforts of Trish and her research team. The struggle of the First Nations people for environmental justice continues to this day. 

Trish touched many lives and left an indelible mark on the Department of Biology.  This memorial scholarship is intended to recognize and financially support exceptional undergraduate student research and proposals for environmental research tied to environmental justice.  This research may serve to discover, highlight, or mitigate environmental conditions that either harm or threaten human communities.  Alternatively, this research may provide the scientific evidence that empowers communities to seek or to secure solutions to environmental threats stemming from social inequalities.

The scholarship carries a cash prize and plaque and may be awarded annually to a UNCP sophomore, junior, or senior student majoring in Biology or Environmental Science.  Preference will be given to research that integrates community engagement.  Students who are graduating in spring or summer 2021 are not eligible for the 2021 scholarship.