In February 2020, the San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance (SMGA) will award up to two student research grants valued at $2000 each. Any Texas State University student in good standing (undergraduate or graduate) is eligible to apply. The research activities for this award must directly involve the natural areas maintained by SMGA or support the mission of SMGA. Examples of research priorities are listed below and more information on SMGA can be found at http://smgreenbelt.org/. Each awardee will become a SMGA Fellow and will submit a final research report to SMGA by December 1, 2020 documenting the research findings and summarizing the broader impacts of the study. SMGA Fellows’ research will be featured on the SMGA web site and be distributed accordingly. SMGA Fellows are required to present their research at the SMGA annual meeting in February and at least one of the following University conferences in the academic year of 2020-21: Texas State Graduate Research Conference, Texas State Undergraduate Research Conference, Honors Thesis Forum, or Geography Student Research Symposium. The appointment as a SMGA Fellow is for one calendar year and includes membership in SMGA for two years.
- Prepare a 2-3 page (single-spaced) proposal stating the project’s purpose, study area or scope, methodology, expected project outcomes/products, timeline, and involvement of/impact on SMGA. Include a paragraph on your educational/professional goals and how this project will help you accomplish these goals. Also include a detailed budget as an appendix (not part of the 2-3 page allowable text) that describes how the $2000 will be spent. Allowable expenses include summer student salary, equipment, supplies, and research travel. All expenses must be incurred May 1 – August 30, 2020.
- Request two physically-signed reference letters that speak to your character and ability to successfully complete the proposed project. At least one reference letter must be from a Texas State University faculty member. This faculty member, in their letter, must agree to be your supervisor for the project and also confirm that you are a current student in good standing.
- Include a copy of your Texas State University transcript and cumulative GPA. Unofficial transcript will be accepted, but an applicant must be prepared to submit an official transcript if requested.
- The student will submit the entire application package including all items above as one PDF to [email protected] by January 10, 2020. The subject line of the email needs to read SMGA Student Research Grant Application for [YOUR NAME]. Applicants will receive a confirmation that the application was received. The SMGA Fellows Committee will review and rank applications. Awarded Fellows will be announced at the SMGA Annual Meeting in February.
Examples of SMGA Research Priorities
- Natural areas management, including (but not limited to) land management plans, trail stewardship, and control of invasive/exotic species
- Enhancing awareness and education about the importance of protecting and connecting greenspace
- Inventorying flora and fauna of the natural areas
- Assessing the benefits and values of our natural areas, including but not limited to ecological, mental/physical health, and cultural benefits and values
Research Funds Account Management
The grants will be managed and distributed by the Department of Geography at Texas State University. Any items/supplies/equipment must be purchased through the Department of Geography, with the Department Chair serving as account manager. The SMGA Student Fellow’s timesheets will need to be approved by the faculty supervisor. Note that funding is available to any Texas State University student in good standing (not just Geography students) and the faculty supervisor does not have to be from Geography. Enrollment during a summer semester is not a requirement to receive funds. Any funds not used will be returned to the Geography Department.