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Student Recognition

The David R. Hill Environmental Science Award


2014 Recipient:  Katelyn Keast

  • 2013 Recipient:  Sarah Gilmore
  • 2012 Recipient:  Erin Pitts
  • 2011 Recipient:  Ariel Ouellette
  • 2010 Recipient:  Lindsay Walker
  • 2009 Recipient:  Allison Berwald
  • 2008 Recipient:  Claire Beck
  • 2007 Recipient:  Katie Dillon

Students Grant Earns $6,000 for Genesis Learning Centers

A local nonprofit organization has earned a $6,000 grant, thanks to the work of two Belmont students. As part of the Fall 2013 Social Entrepreneurship 4150 Grant Writing course, Environmental Science majors Ashley Allen and Erin Pitts wrote a grant for Genesis Learning Centers. The Memorial Foundation and the Christy-Houston Foundation funded the grant, Genesis Learning Center Autistic Sensory Room Project. Genesis Executive Director Terry Adams also has used some of the information from the grant in a contract application to Metro-Nashville Schools and a grant application to the HCA Foundation.

Erin Pitts subject of article in Friends of Warner Parks newsletter

erin pittsErin Pitts, a senior at Belmont University majoring in Environmental Science, was recently spotlighted in an article in the Friends of Warner Parks newsletter. Erin was a seasonal naturalist at the Warner Park Nature Center from June to August of 2012. During her tenure she taught interpretive programs and interacted with Nature Center's visitors.

Throughout summer and fall in 2012, she could be found conducting bird research at the Richland Creek Greenway, Shelby Bottoms, or at the constructed wetland adjacent to the Nissan North America headquarters in Cool Springs. Erin presented the findings of two bird research projects at the Tennessee Academy of Science annual conference this past November. The Richland Creek project, conducted with Nashville State Community College and the help of some Warner Park Nature Center staff as volunteers, examined the effects of habitat fragmentation on avian populations in urban areas. Findings showed that the areas with the most continuous tree canopy coverage had the highest overall species counts.

The other research project, conducted with Belmont University, compared avian populations within a constructed wetland (Nissan in Cool Springs) and a natural wetland (Shelby Bottoms). In addition to taking bird counts, Erin utilized diversity indexes to reveal which wetland hosted a higher diversity of species. She will continue to share her enthusiasm for the outdoors by leading interpretive programs at Beaman Park and the Warner Parks this winter and spring.