Environmental studies student named conservation scholar

November 20, 2013

Olivia Sanderfoot, a UW-Madison junior majoring in biology, environmental studies and Spanish, has received the Conservation Scholars award from the Madison Audubon Society. The organization presented Sanderfoot with the award at a program Nov. 19.

The Conservation Scholars program recognizes young people and educators who are making a difference in habitat protection and bird-related conservation. The award comes with a $100 grant.

This summer, Sanderfoot studied Willow Creek, a small creek on the UW-Madison campus that plays an integral role in the Lakeshore Nature Preserve and the ecological dynamics of Lake Mendota.

Wanting to find a way to raise visibility and awareness for the urban stream, she launched the Willow Creek Community Project to support future research and conservation. The community-wide program engages students of all ages in caring for, monitoring and protecting Willow Creek. To ensure the project’s sustainability, Sanderfoot also founded Students for the Preserve – a student group to oversee and continue the Willow Creek Community Project.

Sanderfoot’s long-term goal is to spread awareness of the creek’s history and inspire students to get involved in its protection. The Conservation Scholars award will help support her efforts.

View an album of photos from the awards program on the Madison Audubon Society Facebook page.