Grady Welsh ’24, a biology major and education studies minor from Yarmouth, Maine, has been named a 2023 Goldwater Scholar by the Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation.

The highly selective scholarship is awarded to sophomores and juniors planning research-focused careers in natural sciences, engineering, or mathematics who were nominated by their home institutions. Welsh is one of 413 students to receive the award from a pool of 1,267 candidates.

“The Goldwater Scholarship is a particularly prestigious and competitive award that acknowledges his potential as a scholar,” said Eric Moody, assistant professor of biology and Welsh’s advisor. “It will support him in his goal of understanding how to sustain human uses of and services provided by coastal ecosystems into the future in his graduate studies after he graduates from Middlebury.”

Welsh, who plans to earn his PhD and continue his career in teaching and research, is  interested in plants and the role that wetlands play in nutrient cycling–especially how these ecosystems interact with a changing climate. Last fall, he conducted an independent research project on the impacts of drought on salt marsh grass physiology while studying at the Marine Biological Laboratory. He is working with fellow undergraduate Ross Brown at the University of Virginia to publish the findings of their research.

Student in green house with scientific measurement tools.
Grady Welsh with equipment he used to take photosynthesis measurements during his research at the Marine Biological Laboratory greenhouse in East Falmouth, Massachusetts.

This summer Welsh will study carbon sequestration in salt marshes through an NOAA Hollings research internship at the Winyah Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in South Carolina.

“I hope to develop connections to scientists in wetland ecology and narrow down graduate programs that align with my interest in salt marshes,” said Welsh.

For more information about the Goldwater Scholarship and other fellowship opportunities, visit the Middlebury Fellowships Office.