May 09, 2019

Funding will support scholarships, research

Susquehanna University has been awarded a $950,000 grant from the Richard King Mellon Foundation in support of the Freshwater Research Institute.

The two-year grant will allow Susquehanna to:

  • Support expanded collaborative aquatic research and conservation in Pennsylvania watersheds
  • Complete the renovation of a former dairy barn to expand facilities dedicated to freshwater research and synergistic collaborations
  • Provide summer research grants for student-faculty collaborations on freshwater research projects
  • Award scholarships to high-achieving, high-need students interested in studying freshwater ecology
  • Expand research with partner institutions within the watershed
  • Complete a stream restoration project on campus at the Center for Environmental Education and Research

“Universities play a pivotal role in raising environmental consciousness. We are educating students to become the next generation of leaders in an increasingly interdependent and complex world,” said University President Jonathan D. Green. “This grant allows us to build upon our previous successes as we work to ensure the good health of the Susquehanna River and its tributaries.”

The Freshwater Research Institute at Susquehanna University was founded in 2014 through a generous gift from the Richard King Mellon Foundation. The institute’s mission is to monitor, restore and protect the ecological health of Pennsylvania’s waters.

“The Richard King Mellon Foundation has been integral to the success of the Freshwater Research Institute,” said Jonathan Niles, director of the Freshwater Research Institute. “This research facility brings together faculty, students and collaborators to conduct meaningful, data-driven, aquatic research that seeks solutions to the ecological problems facing the Susquehanna River.”

Providing over half of the fresh water to the Chesapeake Bay, the Susquehanna River watershed plays a critical role in the health of the bay. Susquehanna’s research and monitoring takes students and faculty from the headwaters to the main stem of the Susquehanna—collecting data on fish, macroinvertebrates, water chemistry and sediment.

The Freshwater Research Institute collaborates with more than 30 organizations—nonprofit groups, government agencies and other academic institutions—providing a web of connections across the watershed and into the Chesapeake Bay to benefit the environment and aquatic life.