Story posted April 10, 2006
Bowdoin College seniors Andrew Fulton and Rebecca Selden have been awarded 2006-07 Thomas J. Watson Fellowships to pursue independent research projects outside the United States for one year following graduation.
Fulton and Selden are among 50 college seniors nationally who have been chosen to receive this prestigious fellowship. Each will receive $25,000 for their year of travel and study.
Fulton's project, titled "Of Emus and Fairywrens: Photographing Australia's Endemic Birds," will find the Orlando, Florida, native traversing the Australian continent to capture images of the more than 330 bird species found nowhere else on earth. His work will also involve interacting with local birders, naturalists, scientists and photographers. "I hope to use birding and photography as a window into Australian culture," he said.
Many in the community know of Fulton's talent with a camera. Earlier this year he exhibited more than 100 images taken during a six-month sojourn in Everglades National Park. His self-designed major combines his interests in environmental studies, biology and photography. (Read Drew Fulton's profile.)
Selden's project is titled "Sea Turtle Ecotourism: Impacting Human and Turtle Populations." She will travel through the Cayman Islands, Brazil, Australia and Sri Lanka, exploring how community education programs and economic incentives by conservation groups have impacted turtle populations. Her work will involve interviews with scientists and local conservationists. "Through the eyes of the people I meet, I will gain a new viewpoint about conservation efforts within and beyond the realm of science," she said.
A native of Hibbing, Minnesota, Selden is a biology major with a minor in Spanish. She has also studied sea urchin metabolism and growth at Bowdoin's Coastal Studies Center on Orr's Island. (Read Becca Selden's profile.)
The Thomas J. Watson Fellowship Program was begun in 1968 by the children of Thomas J. Watson Sr., the founder of IBM Corporation, and his wife, Jeannette K. Watson, to honor their parents' long-standing interest in education and world affairs. The Watson Foundation regards its investment in people as an effective contribution to the global community.