TRU Graduate awarded prestigious New Noah scholarship

Stephanie Winton plans to travel to Mauritius to study endangered wildlife as a continuation of her research

Stephanie Winton eagerly awaits for it to be safe to travel for her research to begin. (Submitted)

Stephanie Winton, an alum of TRU’s Environmental Science graduate program, has been awarded the New Noah scholarship by Wildlife Preservation Canada.

Dozens of young biologists from across Canada apply each year, but only one is selected to receive the prestigious scholarship. This year’s New Noah recipient, Winton, will get the opportunity to travel to Mauritius for six months to study the island’s endemic and endangered species and then to the island of Jersey, off the coast of Normandy, France, for another three months to take wildlife management classes.

The scholarship covers travel, training, and living expenses.  

Past recipients of the award have gone on to work with the provincial and federal government and hold leading roles in conservation organizations.

“A lot of people know about [the scholarship],” says Winton, “It definitely opens a lot of opportunities to that biologist.” 

This scholarship comes on the heels of the numerous programs Winton has completed and awards she has earned. Despite only graduating in 2018, Winton has already worked with wildlife in the Eastern African savannah, black-tailed prairie dogs in Saskatchewan’s Grasslands National Park, and northern leopard frogs in Alberta. 

In 2019, she received the Governor General’s Academic Gold Medal for her M.S.C. thesis, which focused on rattlesnake conservation. 

Despite the significant success, Winton enjoyed early in her career, she was turned down the first time she applied for the program, “It’s pretty competitive,” Winton said. “You have to be persistent.” 

Her persistence paid off.

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has delayed Winton’s trip to Mauritius to begin her work there. No timeline for her travels has been established. She remains hopeful, however, that she’ll soon be in the island nation working in the field.

“Fingers crossed I’ll get there later this year,” Winton said.

More information on Wildlife Preservation Canada’s New Noah scholarship as well as their other programs can be found on their website.