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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

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Shannon Clark, junior, political science Shannon Clark, junior, political science

Student Earns Environment Scholarship

Honors student and sustainability advocate Shannon Clark is one of five in California funded by the Udall Foundation.
By Gina Jacobs

SDSU junior Shannon Clark is one of 80 students nationwide to receive a scholarship from the Morris K. Udall and Stuart L. Udall Foundation.

The Udall Scholarship is awarded to students who have demonstrated significant commitment to environmental or Native American issues. The SDSU University Honors Program student was among nearly 600 applicants nation-wide and is the first SDSU student to ever be selected.

“I have been planning to apply for this scholarship since my sophomore year so this is really exciting for me and incredibly rewarding,” Clark said. “It is an honor for me to represent SDSU in this way.”

The scholarship provides up to $5,000 for the Scholar’s junior or senior year. Clark is set to graduate in 2013 with a degree in political science and a minor in environmental studies.

“Shannon is an enthusiastic and incredibly accomplished young woman, whose dedication to making her world more sustainable has benefited to our campus and students,” said Mariah Hudson, with SDSU’s Center for Regional Sustainability. “I am pleased but not surprised the Udall committee chose to honor Shannon and I know that she will use her training to create a healthier, more sustainable world.”

Greening the campus
Clark currently serves as the Green Campus project coordinator for the Division of Undergraduate Studies where she works with the university and its auxiliaries to identify ways to help make the campus more sustainable.

As a Green Campus intern, Clark successfully worked with SDSU Dining Services to establish composting services in East Commons, one of SDSU’s busiest dining areas. She also helped Dining Services save energy by doing a lighting retrofit and installing night covers for appliances which help keep refrigerated cases cooler and reduce the energy needed to maintain the cold temperatures.

“This implementation on all units adds up to a savings of over $1,500 a year and the equivalent of about 8,000 pounds of CO2 saved a year,” she said.

Sustainable research

Clark also conducted research with the Tijunana River Estuary, tracking waste dumped in sites in Tijuana, in particular the dumping of used tires. She helped install tracking devices on tires in Tijuana and followed them as they entered the Estuary in San Diego.

“It was really interesting because I was able to see first-hand international policy barriers to environmental progress,” Clark said. “One day, I hope I can make a difference in helping to write policy that will help create a more sustainable world.”

Last year, Clark was chosen for the Panetta Congressional Internship Program and worked alongside Congresswoman Karen Bass, helping research and make vote recommendations on environmental bills that were coming to the house floor.

As part of the Udall Scholarship, Clark will travel to Tuscon, Arizona for a week-long orientation alongside other Udall Scholars, alumni and officials from the U.S. Department of State, AmeriCorps, Peace Corps and more.

About the Morris K. and Stuart L. Udall Foundation

The Udall Foundation is an independent federal agency that was established by Congress in 1992 to provide federally funded scholarships for college students intending to pursue careers related to the environment, as well as to American Indian students pursuing tribal public policy or health care careers.

In 1998, the Foundation grew to include the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution, created by Congress as the federal government’s only program focused entirely on resolving federal environmental disputes.

The Foundation also operates the Parks in Focus program, connecting underserved youth to nature through photography.