by Kristen Egan, Development Manager

We are thrilled to welcome another young scientist eager to work on coastal research and conservation projects and help build on classroom-based knowledge. Chris Dolan is working as a Research Assistant this summer and gaining valuable field experience in avian ecology, as well as exposure to Diamondback Terrapin and Horseshoe Crab research and conservation programs. His position was made possible through the generous gift to our endowment campaign from Jeannie and Jim Morris to establish the Jeannie Morris Graduate Fellowship program. Jeannie and Jim hold strong beliefs in the importance of early carrier training opportunities as foundational experiences for young scientists.

“I feel like this program was made for someone like me,” Chris said. “I studied environmental issues in college, but upon graduating, I didn’t go directly into the field. After 18 months teaching English abroad and exploring avian biodiversity more in Colombia, I knew I really wanted to work in the environmental field. This fellowship is an amazing opportunity for me to get varied experience in ecology.”

Banding American Oystercatchers within his first few weeks on the job was easily the coolest experience for him. “Knowing that this opportunity was made possible by others’ generosity makes me feel very grateful.”

Having vacationed frequently in Cape May and Ocean City, we’re thrilled Chris returned to his roots and is supporting the Institute’s coastal research and conservation work.