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Embree wins Udall scholarship

By Sally Harris

Spectrum Volume 20 Issue 08 - October 16, 1997

Envisioning a world in which wilderness areas are protected and the environment is clean--and already putting a foundation under her dreams with hard work--Elizabeth Embree has won a 1997 Morris K. Udall Scholarship.
The scholarship, established by Congress in 1992 to honor Congressman Morris Udall and his legacy of public service, provides up to $5,000 per year to cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board. Udall scholars are chosen from among sophomores and juniors in 39 states for their excellent academic records and demonstrated interest in and potential for careers in the fields of environmental public policy, health care, and tribal public policy.
Embree is a senior majoring in biology. Having become concerned that policy decisions about national parks were sometimes made by people with their own interests, not those of the parks, in mind, she plans to be an exotic animal veterinarian with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. "I want to use the knowledge gained from studying animals to develop guidelines for the conservation of threatened and endangered species and their habitat," she said.
To accomplish that, she plans to earn a joint degree of doctor of veterinary medicine and doctor in conservation ecology. This past summer, Embree worked with Jeff Walters, the Bailey professor of biology, doing field research on the cockaded woodpecker, an endangered species. At Camp Lejune, N.C., Embree studied helper females in the flocks of woodpeckers. She completed six weeks of behavior observation at Camp Lejune and now is looking at the past 11 years' data on the subject before writing up her findings.
As part of the scholarship, Embree was flown to Arizona to meet some of the Udall family. The group of 60 scholars also visited Biosphere Two, the experiment in environmental living. The best part of the trip, she said, was meeting the other Udall Scholars.