Greater Everglades Student Memorial Scholarship


We are pleased to announce that Samantha Baraoidan is the recipient of the 16th annual scholarship for undergraduate studies, administered by the Florida Chapter of The Wildlife Society.  As a senior at the University of Florida, Sam is working on a B.S. in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation with a focus on Human Dimensions and minors in both Latin American Studies as well as International Development and Humanitarian Assistance.  Sam has not only been a part of the UF student chapter of The Wildlife Society since she enrolled there; she was already serving as Vice President during her sophomore year and as President during her junior year.  She has earned a multitude of honors during her time at UF, including an award for ‘Outstanding Departmental Service’ from the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation which was conferred in acknowledgement of her many contributions to the department.  Some examples of the leadership Sam has provided include coordination of a campus career showcase for students with an interest in natural resources, coordination of a field trip to Payne’s Prairie State Park and a mentoring workshop during the FLTWS fall conference in 2013, and serving on the Board of Directors of the Florida Wildlife Federation as their Youth Conservation Director.  She regularly takes advantage of opportunities to enhance her professional development, through such programs as the Honors Professional Development Program at UF, and by serving as Special Events Intern for the UF Honors Program.  In the field, Sam has gained valuable experience through two independent studies where she investigated manatees in Crystal River and small mammals in Africa.  Following graduation from UF, Sam plans to present results of her independent research at several conferences and will begin a graduate degree in August.  Her professional aspirations involve a career in conservation planning. 


The FLTWS Student Scholarship was established in 1998 to recognize and financially assist undergraduate students pursuing a career in wildlife biology at a 4-year school in Florida, during their Junior or Senior year.  In 2008, the scholarship was renamed the Greater Everglades Student Memorial Scholarship in honor of the 3 FAU students so tragically lost during a wading bird survey that March, and increased to $2,000 annually.  Applicants for the scholarship are judged on the basis of their extracurricular activities, demonstrated leadership, professional potential, financial need, and personal goals.  The Florida Wildlife Federation co-sponsors the scholarship.  As this year’s recipient, Sam will receive a check for $2,000 at the FLTWS Spring Conference held in April in Safety Harbor, FL.


Holly Ober

Chair, Student Scholarship Committee