Tipton’s research will focus on identifying sources of land-based pollution coming into Jobos Bay and determining how it affects the ecosystem in order to plan restoration activities in the watershed to decrease pollution entering the bay. via Clemson University

PR - Distance From Campus No Obstacle for Clemson Ph.D. Student to Earning NOAA Fellowship

JOBOS BAY, Puerto Rico — While her time spent on the university’s campus has been brief, the way Jessica Tipton has used connections within the Clemson family to achieve her educational goals are a shining example of the opportunities that abound for Clemson students beyond the northwest corner of South Carolina.

Tipton was recently awarded an inaugural Margaret A. Davidson Graduate Fellowship through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Estuarine Research Reserve program, a two-year fellowship program for one graduate student at each of the 29 reserves in the U.S.

In Tipton’s case, that means continuing her studies in picturesque Jobos Bay, Puerto Rico — the latest stop on an educational journey that has taken her from the Carolina Lowcountry to a set of reef-fringed mangrove islands extending westward from the southern tip of the mouth of Jobos Bay, though rarely to Clemson’s physical campus.

“I’m not your traditional student in that sense, where I spend a lot of time on campus,” she said, “so I’ve taken some online classes through the Master of Wildlife and Fisheries Resources program and then some classes at Baruch. I just love being at Baruch. It’s beautiful and such a fun atmosphere.”

The Baruch Institute of Coastal Ecology and Forest Science is a Clemson research outpost on the 16,000-acre Hobcaw Barony in Georgetown, S.C., where Tipton’s Clemson experience began under co-advisers Dan Hitchcock and Stefanie Whitmire. The Baruch Institute is one of six Clemson Research and Education Centers strategically located throughout the state and tasked with tackling problems related to agriculture and natural resources.

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