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Sanford N. Young Scholarship

The Sanford N. Young Scholarship was created by AWRA Florida in 2005 in memory of one of its longest serving members. Sandy Young joined AWRA Florida in 1980 and was a member of the Board of Directors for 20 years until his untimely death in April 2005. Sandy’s professional work with Florida’s water resources spanned four decades. After serving as a Captain in the U.S. Navy, Sandy returned to Florida and spent the remainder of his career working in the water resources arena. With an educational background in both civil engineering and aquatic biology, and a keen philosophical mind, Sandy’s expertise crossed a broad array of disciplines, including interests in scientific investigation, environmental regulation, water quality improvement and aquaculture technology.

AWRA Florida offers a $3,000 scholarship to assist exceptional graduate students with tuition, educational fees and/or research expenses. Applications should include a discussion of the applicant’s educational and professional goals, with as much specificity as possible. If support of a research project or program is being sought, a description of the research should be included. Applicants should also have at least one letter from a faculty member in support of the student’s request. Applications must be received by April 14.

The 2023 Application form is available here.

The Sanford N. Young Scholarship may be given for work in any area of water resources science, technology, or management. However, AWRA Florida's Board of Directors may give preference to applicants seeking to continue their education after U.S. military service, as well as those working in areas that combine biological sciences and engineering or that focus on aquaculture or improving the environmental regulatory process. Scholarship recipients will be invited to attend the AWRA Florida Annual Meeting to receive the award and be acknowledged by the members.

AWRA Florida, as a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, welcomes contributions to the Sanford N. Young Scholarship Program, which are tax deductible.

2022 Recipient

Amanda Chappel – University of Florida

Amanda has eight years of experience in environmental systems and biological research with a focus on coastal water chemistry and wetland soil biogeochemistry. Amanda is a Certified Ecologist and received her Bachelor and Master of Science from the University of South Florida in Environmental Science. Her research background includes quantifying carbon burial and accumulation rates as a proxy for sea-level rise and historic ecosystem dynamics in mangrove forests. Additionally, Amanda has studied nutrient cycling and sequestration in estuarine and coastal habitats and performed extensive mapping and monitoring of both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems as a Scientific Technician with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Research Institute.

Her current research focus with the University of Florida's Environmental Engineering Sciences department is studying the ecosystem effects of coastal eutrophication in estuarine systems with the goal of supporting effective management strategies that will advance solutions to minimize anthropogenic impacts on coastal waters. This research also seeks to better understand the influence anthropogenic nutrients have on habitats that are an ecological and economic necessity like mangrove, marsh, seagrass, and phytoplankton communities.

Past Recipients


Taylor Hancock - University of Florida

Michelle Platz - University of South Florida

Conor MacDonnell - University of Florida

Miles Medina - University of Florida

Carrie Schuman - University of Florida

Ian Hahus - University of Florida
Felicia Nudo - Florida Gulf Coast University

Alice Alonso - University of Florida
Wesley Henson - University of Florida

Natalie Nelson - University of Florida

Drew Liddick - Florida Gulf Coast University

Yogesh Kahare - University of Florida

Hollie Hall - University of Florida

Miguel Morales - University of Florida

No award

Ruben Kertesz - University of Florida

Stuart B. Norton

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