Erin Smith, a VWC junior earth and environmental science major and marine science minor, has been accepted into The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Greater Research Opportunities (GRO) Fellowship program. The GRO Fellowship, created in 1982, has funded more than 395 undergraduates’ education over the past 30 years as they pursue degrees related to the environmental science and public health fields. Smith is the fifth VWC student to receive this fellowship which includes tuition support for two years along with a paid summer research internship. "Erin is very passionate about the marine environment," said Dr. Elizabeth Malcolm, Associate Professor of Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences and Smith's advisor. "She is always attending seminars off campus and beach cleanups on the Chesapeake Bay." Smith is currently assisting Dr. Malcolm in researching the mercury concentration in tissues from East Coast dolphins. “I hope to have a career in marine mammal conservation and rehabilitation after I graduate,” said Smith. “I believe the individual attention and support I receive from all of the [VWC] EES staff has led to my recent success.” The EPA announced that it has recently awarded more than $1.65 million in research fellowships to 33 students pursuing degrees in environmental science and related fields through its Greater Research Opportunities (GRO) Fellowship program. This year marks the 30th anniversary of EPA’s undergraduate grant program. Find out more about EPA research grants and scholarships.