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The Instars Program : A new Mentoring Opportunity for Undergraduate Students

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Academic Level:
Undergraduate Students

Instars, a mentoring program sponsored by the Society for Freshwater Science, is a new opportunity for undergraduate students from under-represented groups who are interested in the study of freshwaters. The program also provides opportunities for networking among graduate students, faculty and professionals hoping to encourage diversity in our discipline. Instars was launched at the annual meeting in Providence, RI with 6 Instars Fellows. The next installment of the program will take place in Louisville, Kentucky. The theme of the meeting is “Freshwater Stewardship: Challenges and Solutions”.

The Instars program plans to support annual meeting expenses for at least 10 new Instars Fellows for the 2012 meeting in Louisville, KY. For details on the application process and selection of fellows please contact Checo Colón-Gaud or Judy Li. To maximize the number of students we can serve, programs or institutions are also encouraged to sponsor undergraduates by providing registration fees, travel and/or other costs associated with attendance at the conference. The Society will sponsor the Instars workshop and associated activities, and there will be no expenses for the Instars program itself. If there are extraordinary circumstances requiring financial assistance, faculty sponsors are encouraged to contact Checo Colón-Gaud ( or Judy Li (

Workshop & Activities:

We hope to inspire and excite students about our science by offering activities with other undergraduates, graduate student mentors, and professional SFS members that will include:

•A half-day, pre-meeting orientation workshop

•Networking activities with peers and mentors during the meeting

•Attendance at plenary sessions and a full range of special, technical, and poster sessions chosen by students

•Opportunities for undergraduates to present their own research in general sessions with friendly review from SFS members

•Post-meeting networking and linking to research and educational opportunities in aquatic science

Instars Mentors:

The program will sponsor Instars Graduate Mentors by providing a modest stipend for the annual meeting. Student membership in the society is a priority for funding Instars Graduate Mentors; potential for presentation by the graduate mentor during the conference, and the student’s number of years as a member of SFS will also be considered but would not preclude funding. More info.

How to Apply:

Instars fellows and mentors can apply through the SFS website and observe the following program deadlines:

•Instars fellows with program funding - 3 Feb 2012. Apply now!

•Instars fellows without program funding - 1 April 2012. Apply now!

•Instars mentors - 1 March 2012. Application coming soon.

Funding decisions will be made by mid-March

Participating Institution(s):
(Click an institution to see all programs it hosts)
Georgia Southern University (Lead)

Program Materials:
 • Program Website 

This Program can be Described by:
Academic Disciplines:
Environmental Sciences
Natural Resources

Freshwater Biology

Questions about this program?
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Page last updated 10/30/2016
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