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Garden Club Scholarship: Azure Bevington

Azure E. Bevington
Biological Sciences Dept.
Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William & Mary
P.O. Box 1346, Gloucester Point, VA 23062
Office Phone: (804) 684-7866
Email: azure@vims.edu

Azure in marsh
Azure examining Typha in a marsh

I grew up in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and was able to experience a wide variety of outdoor recreational activities, such as hiking, camping, and boating, this instilled in me a love of nature and an interest in learning as much as I could about how natural systems work. Family trips to the ocean fueled my interest in marine systems, and led me to an undergraduate career studying marine science and biology at Coastal Carolina University (CCU), in Conway, South Carolina. I loved the experience of living close to the coast and was able to work extensively in the salt marsh and nearshore ecosystems of South Carolina. It was this invaluable experience, assisting faculty both in the field and in the lab, which reinforced my interest in wetlands and estuarine ecology, and led me to pursue a master’s degree in wetlands ecology. After graduation from CCU, I chose to attend the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) where I was able to continue my research in wetland ecosystems. For my master’s thesis, I am working in created mitigation wetlands looking at the environmental factors that may influence the likelihood that these sites will achieve structural and functional equivalency to the natural systems they were designed to replace. I am currently in my second year at VIMS and hope to have my master’s thesis completed by January 2008. Following completion of my master’s degree, I would like to work at a governmental agency or an environmental advocacy organization working in scientific outreach. I think it is very important to develop strong citizen support and understanding of the role of wetlands in our daily life, not only as providers of services such as water purification, but also as areas of amazing and diverse natural beauty that have an intrinsic right to be protected for future generations.

Typha or cattail in a marsh