The J. Larry Landers Student Research Award is a Gopher Tortoise Council competitive grant program for undergraduate and graduate college students. Proposals can address research concerning gopher tortoise biology or any other relevant aspect of upland habitat conservation and management. The proposal should be limited to four pages in length and should include a description of the project, a concise budget, and a brief resume of the student. The amount of the award is variable, but has averaged $1,000.00 over the last few years. This is an excellent opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students to access funding for their projects. A project summary for “The Tortoise Burrow” newsletter or either a presentation or poster at the following year’s GTC annual meeting will be required.

The deadline for proposals each year is the 30th of September.

Please send submissions and questions to:

Jeff Goessling
Eckerd College
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Recipients

Year Name Institution Project
2018 Christopher Murphy University of Georgia Refugia selection by vertebrates in the longleaf community
2018 Allison Kelley Marshall University Patterns of survival and movement in eastern diamondback rattlesnakes (Crotalus adamanteus) in coastal South Carolina
2017 Philip Schulte Auburn University Inferring social network dynamics in relocated gopher tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus)
2017 Tim Gemesi University of South Florida Observation of eco-tunnels used by local gopher tortoise population
2016 Meghan Kelley Auburn University Possible effects of upper respiratory tract disease on tortoise olfaction, steroid hormonal cycles, and social behavior
2016 Rebecca McKee University of Georgia Augmenting populations in peril with waif animals: evaluating a new strategy for tortoise conservation
2015 Rhett Rautsaw University of Central Florida Examining corridor use and the feasibility of inland retreat by gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus)

The Environmental Education Grant was established to support educators and organizations committed to developing educational projects about the gopher tortoise and the fascinating world in which it lives. The grant also honors Donna June Heinrich, an environmental educator, whose life was dedicated to conserving wildlife and their associated habitats. To apply, please submit the Environmental Education Grant Application. Grant amounts awarded vary from year to year (with a maximum of $2000 per proposal), depending on the amount of donations received. A project summary for “The Tortoise Burrow” newsletter or either a presentation or poster at the following year’s GTC annual meeting will be required.

The deadline for proposals each year is the 31st of August.

Recipients

Year Recipient Purpose
2018 Flint RiverQuarium To create a gopher tortoise enclosure in concert with sustainable gardening to feed exhibit animals
2018 Manatee County To create a crawl through fabric tortoise burrow and tortoise and commensal puppets
2017 Georgia Department of Natural Resources To create a traveling gopher tortoise habitat exhibit to carry the conservation message to various venues around Georgia
2016 Tree Hill Nature Center To improve an exhibit, provide new signage and develop and print educational brochures
2016 Jonathan Dickinson State Park Purchase of burrow camera to use for children’s and outreach programs
2015 Zoo Miami To create a visitor engagement cart to be manned by Teen Conservation Scientists (high school volunteers) to interact with zoo visitors concerning gopher tortoises and upland conservation

Bob Herrington, a long-time member of the Gopher Tortoise Council, who served as chair of the GTC’s J. Larry Landers Student Research Award Committee for more than 20 years, passed away in April 2016. His leadership and service to the Council will be sorely missed. In recognition of Bob’s contributions to the Council and his dedication to 30 years of teaching and mentoring students at Georgia Southwestern State University, the Executive Committee has voted to rename the Council’s student travel award in his honor.

This award provides financial assistance to students wishing to present their research at the Annual Gopher Tortoise Council meeting and is funded through GTC membership fees. Students must reside greater than 60 miles from the meeting venue to qualify.

To apply, please indicate in your abstract submission email that you would like to be considered for the Bob Herrington Student Travel Grant. Please note your location and university affiliation. Instructions for abstract submission, registration, and meeting details will be available on our Annual Meeting page. Recipients will be selected randomly from among those who submit applications by the deadline for abstract submission. Winners will be notified before the meeting and awards will be presented at the meeting.

Recipients


Year Recipient Institution
2018 Heather Gaya University of Georgia
2018 Caitlyn Jones Florida State University
2017 Thomas Radzio Drexel University
2016 Heather Gaya University of Georgia
2016 David Lucien Florida Atlantic University
2015 Carolyn Reiland-Smith Florida Atlantic University