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William V. Storch Student Award

AWRA Florida offers William V. Storch Student Awards in the amount of $1,500 to undergraduate and graduate Florida college or university students. The selection criteria for an undergraduate student is based on academic performance including the cumulative grade point average, relevance of the student’s curriculum to water resources and leadership in extracurricular activities related to water resources. The criteria for a graduate student is based on academic and/or research performance. The measures of academic performance are identical to those described for the undergraduate criteria with the addition of the quality of the student’s research and its relevance to water resources. Applicants should prepare a title page and two-page summary of their academic interests and achievements, extracurricular interests and career goals as they relate to the above selection criteria. The application must also include a letter of reference, preferably from a professor or advisor, a transcript of all college courses and the applicant’s full name, permanent mailing address, email address, and phone number. Applications must be received by April 14.

2023 Application forms for undergraduate and graduate applicants are now available.

William V. Storch Graduate Student Awards

Osamah Tarabih – University of South Florida

Osama Tarabih is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of South Florida (USF) where he is interested in hydrology, ecology, and the ecological responses of altered hydrology. With the objective of mitigating environmental impacts on South Florida ecosystem, Osama is conducting his doctoral research optimizing Lake Okeechobee’s outflow regimes to the St. Lucie Canal, the Caloosahatchee River and the Everglades for the benefit of societal water needs (water supply and flood control) and water quality (nutrient pollution). Osama obtained his master’s degree from Cairo University studying the impacts of upstream dams on the Nile flows and hydropower in Egypt. Osama is an active student member of the Florida Section of AWRA, as well as the Vice President and one of the founders of the AWRA student chapter at USF. Osama wishes to pursue an academic career upon graduating with his Ph.D. degree in water resources engineering.

 Estenia Ortiz – University of South Florida

Estenia is a PhD Candidate in Environmental Engineering at the University of South Florida with research interests in water quality improvement, nature-based solutions, and healthy sustainable and equitable infrastructure. She completed a BS in Environmental Engineering from the University of Florida in the spring of 2018 and a Master’s in Environmental Engineering from the University of South Florida in the summer of 2020. Estenia is a Community Science Fellow with AGU’s Thriving Earth Exchange program and is working with the lead community organization in San Ysidro, California- Casa Familiar- to design public green spaces for carbon sequestration and environmental justice. She is also a National Research Traineeship STRONG Coasts Fellow, U.S. Department of Education Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) Redesigning Resilient Transportation and Water Critical Infrastructures Fellow, WEF INFLOW participant and Alfred P. Sloan Scholar. Estenia has interned with the NASA DEVELOP program gaining skillsets with NASA Earth Observations for monitoring water quality along Florida’s coast. She has also interned with the Surface Water Improvement and Management (SWIM) program at the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) acquiring knowledge on local water quality improvement and habitat restoration projects. Through her dissertation work, Estenia seeks to understand the synergies and tradeoffs to the colocation of stormwater ponds and community gardens in order to promote food security, economic opportunity, and clean and resilient watersheds. Overall, Estenia wants to co-create with communities, especially those underrepresented in Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and environmental decision-making, equitable and sustainable solutions to challenges at the Food Energy Water Systems nexus.

Alex Orfinger – Florida A&M University / University of Florida