The Friends of the Mendocino College Coastal Field Station and Natural Sciences, an affiliate of the Mendocino College Foundation, is pleased to announce the awarding of three scholarships to worthy Mendocino College natural science students. The Mary Lou Koeninger Memorial Scholarship in Earth Science will be awarded to Ana Delgado Mendoza this year. Two scholarships sponsored by the Mendocino Coast Audubon Society will also be awarded: Missael Barosa has been nominated for the 2021 Brandon Pill Memorial Scholarship, and Erin Orth will receive the Greg Grantham Memorial Scholarship.

Inspired by her parents’ educational path, Ana Delgado Mendoza originally was planning a psychology major until she learned she had an aptitude for, and interest in, mathematics. After taking a physics class, her focus on applied science was cemented. Ana is now planning on transferring to a four-year school to continue her education in earth science with an emphasis in either geology, physics, environmental science or oceanography. “Because of my broad interests, regardless of which university I transfer to, I believe I will likely be double majoring or minoring in a related subject simply because there is so much I want to learn,” she says. Ana has so far been accepted to all CSUs she applied to, and is awaiting the decision from both UC Santa Cruz and UC Davis. “I know that I want to have a career that benefits the Earth, its environment, and its life,” she explains. “I also know that I want to become a teacher or professor at some point in my life to pass on my knowledge and inspire others.” Funding for the Mary Lou Koeninger Memorial Scholarship is made possible through a generous donation to the Mendocino College Foundation by Wade Koeninger.

Missael Barosa was raised in the small town of Philo. “Since I was small I have always loved wildlife and enjoyed being outside,” he says. He has done field work in the local agriculture industry, including testing grape vines for harmful pests. Although the COVID-19 mitigation over the last year slowed his academic progress, Missa plans to graduate from Mendocino College with a degree in Natural Resources by next year. He hopes to transfer to Sonoma State University or Chico State University to complete his Bachelor of Science in Education. “I [have always] spent a great deal of time walking around exploring the outside nature, instead of being inside.” Missa’s goal is to ultimately become a ranger or a lab assistant/scientist that spends a lot of the time outside the lab. The Brandon Pill Memorial Scholarship is an annual award presented by the Mendocino Coast Audubon Society.

Having taken quite a few business classes, Erin Orth did not originally plan on a career in science. Now her goal is to become a conservation scientist and study environmental science at the graduate level. “When I realized that my passion lied in Environmental Science, I knew that I was home,” she says. Erin has participated in many farming projects with an emphasis on organic agriculture, soil fertility and biological diversity preservation. Since beginning her environmental degree at Mendocino College, she has been involved in many more research projects including tracking animal migration, capturing data through native plant plots and collecting data for native bird and insect identification. “I believe that sustainable use of our forests and soil is imperative to the preservation of our future generations,” Erin says. The Greg Grantham Memorial Scholarship is made possible through an accumulation of special donations from many county residents over the past year.

For more information about the Friends of the Mendocino College Coastal Field Station and Natural Sciences, please contact earth science professor Steve Cardimona at (707) 468-3219.

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