2016 Cliff Bennett Nature Bursary award
The Cliff Bennett Nature Bursary Awards Committee of the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists (MVFN) is seeking a young person who wants to make a difference in meeting the environmental challenges of the future. The Cliff Bennett Nature Bursary is awarded annually by MVFN to assist a graduating high school student who will be pursuing post-secondary studies in a field related to the natural environment. One bursary of $1000 will be awarded this year to a deserving student from our area. The Bursary is named for Cliff Bennett, a founding member of MVFN, and was established in 2007 by Cliff’s many friends on the occasion of his 75th birthday, to honour his contributions with a lasting legacy. To date, $8200 has been awarded to fifteen graduates from six high schools in Almonte, Carleton Place, Perth, and Dunrobin who have pursued studies in twelve programs at three colleges and six universities across the country.
To be eligible for the nature bursary, a student must be graduating from a local high school with acceptance to a college or university program related to nature and the environment. As well as academic achievement, the Committee will consider an applicant’s involvement in issues related to the natural environment; previous recipients actively promoted environmental awareness through school projects and volunteering.
Post-secondary studies by bursary winners have included ecosystem management, environmental engineering, and zoology. Other recipients followed their passion in environmental stewardship by studying fish and wildlife management or biotechnology. “I am pleased that the Bursary may encourage a young person today to become an environmental leader tomorrow” says Cliff Bennett. “I consider it an investment in our shared environmental future”.
Bursary application forms will be available from the student service offices at area high schools, or at mvfn.ca . The deadline for applications is Monday, May 2, 2016. For further information, students may contact Mike Macpherson, Chair of the Cliff Bennett Nature Bursary Awards Committee, at 613-256-3043 or
MVFN Cliff Bennett Nature Bursary 2015 student applications
April 1, 2015
The Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists’ Cliff Bennett Nature Bursary committee are looking for a young person with a passion for nature who believe they can make a difference in meeting the environmental challenges of the future. The Cliff Bennett Nature Bursary is offered annually to assist a graduating high school student to pursue post- secondary studies in a field related to the natural environment which may lead to a career in this field. This year, one bursary of $1000 will be awarded to a deserving student from our area. The Cliff Bennett Nature Bursary Fund is named for Cliff Bennett, a founding member of MVFN. The award was established by Cliff’s many friends in 2007, to honour his contributions to the community and nature, with a lasting legacy. To date, over $7000 has been awarded to local students pursuing their studies.
The 2015 bursary will be awarded to a local student who attends a high school in Almonte, Carleton Place, Perth, or West Carleton. To be eligible, a student must be graduating from high school and be undertaking post-secondary studies in an aspect of nature or an environmental field. As well as academic achievement, the bursary selection committee will consider an applicant’s involvement in issues relating to the natural environment. Previous recipients have actively promoted environmental awareness through school projects and volunteering. Interest in protecting our environment has led previous Cliff Bennett Nature Bursary award winners to pursue degrees in marine biology and zoology. Some award winners followed their passion in environmental stewardship by studying fish and wildlife technology or biotechnology.
“I am pleased that this award may encourage a young person today to become an environmental leader tomorrow” says Cliff Bennett. “I consider it an investment in our environmental future”.
Application forms are available from student services departments in area high schools, or from the MVFN website at mvfn.ca. The deadline for applications is Friday, May 1, 2015.
For further details or questions, students may contact Mike Macpherson of the Nature Bursary Committee at 613-256-3043 or send an email to
Three Area Students to Benefit from 2012 Cliff Bennett Nature Bursaries
The Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists (MVFN) are pleased to announce that three winners have been awarded the Cliff Bennett Nature Bursary for students intending to pursue a college or university education in studies related to the environment. The deserving recipients of the $500 bursaries are Sarah Bird of West Carleton Secondary School, Laura Symon of Perth and District Collegiate Institute and Ryley Steele of Almonte and District High School.
L-R: Laura Symon, Cliff Bennett, Ryley Steele and Sarah Bird
Sarah Bird has been accepted at the University of British Columbia’s Okanogan Valley campus and is planning on obtaining a major in zoology. She already has travelled to the Galapagos Islands and the Amazon to gain a better understanding of these two significant ecological areas of the world. After completing her education Sarah hopes to work for an organization like the World Wildlife Fund. Overall she “would like her work to help raise global awareness about some of the harmful impacts our human activity has on the habitats of many species and use that awareness to drive global change.”
Laura Symon will be attending Dalhousie University in the fall and will be enrolled in marine biology. This summer Laura will be working on the Water Monitoring Program for the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority. She has been very active in school and has maintained a part time job during her years at PDCI. For Laura “hearing things about decreasing biodiversity in certain ecosystems, habitats home to amazing wildlife being destroyed, the state of our lakes, rivers, streams and oceans, and the melting of yet another glacier, make me very sure about what I want to focus my life on in the future.”
Ryley Steele will be attending St. Lawrence College in Kingston where he will be enrolled in the Biotechnology Technologist Program. Ryley is a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity and has recently participated in a project in Norfolk Virginia. He is also an active member of the Crohns and Colitis Foundation of Canada(CCFC). His involvement with CCFC has given direction to his choice of post -secondary education “My focus as a graduate is to work on research projects that are undertaken to determine what role the environment has played on the increase of this disease.”
The Cliff Bennett Nature Bursary Award was established in 2007 by MVFN members and friends and family of naturalists and retired educator Cliff Bennett on the occasion of his 75th birthday. The annual bursary program is supported by MVFN and applications and other details may be found on MVFN’s website at www.mvfn.ca .
Congratulations to the three award winners and best wishes for your studies.
Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists
September 16, 2011
Carleton Place student winner of 2011 Cliff Bennett Nature Bursary begins Ecosystem Management Program studies
The Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists are pleased to announce that Carleton Place student Justin Dew is the recipient of the 2011 Cliff Bennett Nature Bursary Award for post-secondary studies. Justin, who was presented with the $500 student bursary in June of this year by MVFN President Joyce Clinton and Cliff Bennett, is now attending the Ecosystem Management Technician (EMT) Program at Sir Sanford Fleming College in Lindsay.
L-R: Cliff Bennett, Justin Drew, Joyce Clinton (MVFN President)
The Cliff Bennett Nature Bursary Award is awarded annually by the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists (MVFN) to a local graduating secondary school student/s going on to post-secondary studies relating to nature or the environment. The Cliff Bennett Nature Bursary Fund was established in 2007 by friends and family of local naturalist, MVFN founding member, and retired educator Cliff Bennett on the occasion of his 75th birthday. The bursary is intended to assist local students who have a love and appreciation of the natural world in pursuing their passion and acquiring the skills and knowledge needed to follow a career path in the natural world, environmental stewardship and conservation.
Mr. Dew is a graduate of Carleton Place High School. The EMT program in which he began his studies this September, explores monitoring and assessment of aquatic and terrestrial habitats as well as how to conduct resource inventories, environmental sampling and create plans for the management of public and private landscapes. Justin, who has worked at Murphy’s Point Provincial Park and who took part in the Carleton Place High School Environmental Studies program, has said that he would like to eventually become a restoration technician to “be part of the solution for keeping our environment healthy and…help maintain and preserve the environment so future generations can enjoy the outdoors as much as I do”.
The annual Cliff Bennett Nature Bursary program is administered by MVFN and application forms and further details may be found on MVFN’s website at www.mvfn.ca.
2010 Cliff Bennett Nature Bursary Awards presented to two local students set to attend environmental programs at Ontario colleges
L-R: Cliff Bennett, award winners Natasha Gray and Jenna Rattray, Joyce Clinton (MVFN President)
MVFN’s Cliff Bennett Nature Bursary Program has awarded $500.00 bursaries to two local high school students set to attend environmental programs at Ontario colleges this fall.
This years’ winners are Natasha Gray from Almonte District High School and Jenna Rattray from Carleton Place High School. Such bursaries have been awarded since 2007 to area graduating secondary school students with a demonstrated appreciation for our natural environment who wish to pursue post-secondary studies in an aspect of nature or an environmental field.
Natasha Gray has been accepted into the Fish and Wildlife Technology program at Sir Sanford Fleming College in Lindsay. Her long term goal is to become a conservation officer “to help protect plants and animals in their habitat”.
Jenna Rattray will be entering Environmental Studies in the Arts and Science program at Algonquin College in Ottawa. She has been actively involved with environment and community groups and hopes to make a difference in our area’s environmental issues by “having a passionate voice to remind everyone of the harm we are doing to our environment and the impact it will have on the world for future generations”.
The Cliff Bennett Nature Bursary Award was established in 2007 by MVFN members and friends and family of naturalist and retired educator Cliff Bennett on the occasion of his 75th birthday. The bursary is awarded annually and application and other details may be found on MVFN’s website at mvfn.ca.
Congratulations to both of this year’s award winners and best wishes for your studies.