Michigan Tech student Melissa Michaelson has been awarded two years of funding to complete her B.S. in anthropology through the EPA Greater Research Opportunities (GRO) Fellowship for Undergraduate Environmental Study. She has the honor of being one of only 34 awards given nationwide in this competition. In addition to funding her education for the final two years of her degree, Melissa will be placed in a paid summer internship at an EPA facility. She is focusing her degree in the area of environmental anthropology with the aim of doing senior thesis research on social and cultural barriers to a plastic free campus and community. Building on her experience designing a display of 600 plastic bottles collected from local trash bins to engage local community members in discussions about consumption patterns, Melissa continues to do community-engaged research in Dr. Richelle Winkler’s Communities and Research class. This year the class, funded by a separate EPA People, Prosperity and Planet grant, is creating a guidebook that former mining communities can use to evaluate the social and technical feasibility of using minewater for geothermal energy. Her sponsor for the EPA GRO Fellowship is Dr. Kari Henquinet.