Introducing Savannah Thomas – 2022 Damon Anderson Memorial Scholarship Winner

Posted By: Carmen Novak Awards & Recognition,

Introducing Savannah R. Thomas, an accomplished student attending University of Wisconsin - Whitewater. Savannah is working toward a bachelor's degree with a major in Environmental Science and a minor in Resource Management. She is also pursuing a GIS certificate.

Savannah is another deserving winner of the Damon Anderson Memorial Scholarship! She was recognized by her references as having strong academic and extra-curricular accomplishments. Savannah complelted an undergraduate research project to support a water quality project with the Lake Geneva Conservancy. The project has been testing water runoff and nutrient composition in the Lake Geneva watershed; and an important new component of the project will be modeling first-order streams, their watersheds, and characteristics of land cover. Her GIS skills will be key to this environmental research and helping this local nonprofit protect land and water resources.

Additionally, Savannah took a leadership role in reviving a department club, GeoEnvi, becoming the club's Event Coordinator and Treasurer.

Savannah Thomas, 2022 Damon Anderson Memorial Scholarship Recipient
Savannah Thomas, 2022 Damon Anderson Memorial Scholarship Recipient

When asked how the last semester went, Savannah replied:

My last semester was great. I took on a lot of extra things that helped me explore different aspects of environmental science. I was able to be an event coordinator for a student organization, and I learned a lot about leadership and coordinating events to help my fellow students. I also got a job with the Geneva Lake Conservancy as their Land Protection Specialist. Even though I won’t graduate until December of this year, I am able to work part time for them and learn new skills as far as land management and promoting events and volunteer opportunities. My student research landed me that job. We sampled streams around Geneva Lake using various water testing instruments and I was able to put the data together to create a map for the report. Along with those additional activities, I was able to continue being a TA for a GIS class. I held office hours to tutor students with data interpretation and map design. I did all of that while raising my 5-year-old son, so it’s safe to say that I love being busy! 

Furthermore, we asked Savannah for some favorite things about Wisconsin:

My favorite thing about Wisconsin is the landscape. I love that as you go further north, the prettier it gets. The variety in different ecosystems is beautiful and I love learning more about it as I get through my schooling. I love that Wisconsin is dedicated to protecting wildlife and conservation areas. I’m originally from Illinois, and I moved to Wisconsin in 2015. When I moved here, I slowly started discovering the different parks and natural areas and fell in love with the environmental science portion. This has driven me to study Environmental Science. 

Some of Savannah's plans for the future include a career related to environmental policy and regulations. Another goal would be to work up to be an Environmental or GIS Specialist using her certificate and undergraduate research.

Congratulations to Savannah Thomas on receiving the 2022 Damon Anderson Memorial Scholarship!