The J. Larry Landers Student Research Award is a Gopher Tortoise Council competitive grant program for undergraduate and graduate college students. We will award 1-2 grants of up to $3,000 each annually. This is an excellent opportunity for undergraduate and graduate students to access funding for their research on Gopher Tortoise biology/ecology or any other relevant aspect of upland habitat conservation and management within the range of the Gopher Tortoise. The next application deadline is February 5, 2025. 

Please click here for more information on eligibility, reporting requirements, and application guidelines and format.

Please send submissions and questions to:
Betsie Rothermel
Archbold Biological Station
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Year Name Institution Project
2024 Anet Filipova Auburn University Exploring molecular memory: investigating the enduring impact of initial hibernation on fitness-related gene expression in gopher tortoises
2024 Karin Ebey Eckerd College Exploring the connection between gopher tortoise home range size and mating opportunities to elucidate the mating system
2023 Garrett Lawson Virginia Tech Gopher tortoise nest-site selection and the effect of nest environment on hatching success
2023 Krista Ruppert Mississippi State University Assessment of the genetic diversity and relatedness of gopher frogs on the Conecuh National Forest, Covington County, AL
2022 David Tevs Georgia Southern University Influence of unpaved roads on demographic and epigenetic characteristics of the Florida scrub lizard in two imperiled upland habitats.
2022 Michael Brennan Georgia Southern University Effects of forest management practices in the Ocala National Forest on a rare endemic lizard.

The GTC 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 J. Heinrich, an environmental educator, whose life was dedicated to conserving wildlife and their associated habitats. Grant proposals may focus on the conservation of gopher tortoises, other upland species, and their associated habitats.  

Please send submissions and questions to George L. Heinrich at
Grant recipients will be announced at the annual Gopher Tortoise Council meeting.

Please click here for more information on eligibility, reporting requirements, and application guidelines and format.

The deadline for proposals each year is September 30. 



Year Recipient Purpose
2020 Lee Co. FL Parks and Recreation Conservation 20/20 For materials that will help educate students/public on gopher tortoise and upland habitat conservation. 
2020 Loggerhead Marinelife Center For materials that will help educate the public on gopher tortoise habitat, ecology, and conservation. 
2019 Friends of Okeeheelee Nature Center  For educational materials including a gopher tortoise activity book, a gopher tortoise mural, and other materials for use during quarterly “Gopher Tortoise Celebration” days 
2019 University of Florida/IFAS Nassau Co. Extension Establishment of a community-built Gopher Tortoise Garden habitat which will be used to host educational events in concert with sustainable gardening to feed exhibit animals 
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

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.

The GTC Gopher Tortoise Day Grant was established to support educators and organizations that would like to develop a program or need funds to participate in Gopher Tortoise Day, April 10th. The goal of Gopher Tortoise Day is to increase awareness and appreciation for these long-lived, gentle reptiles. To apply, please submit the Gopher Tortoise Day Grant Application. Grant amounts awarded vary from year to year (with a maximum of $1,500 per proposal), depending on the number 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 is extended until March 15th, 2024.

Please send submissions and questions to Rachael Sulkers at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.