Society News Archive

28 September 2004

Senator Mike CrapoEnvironmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael O. Leavitt recently informed Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) that the EPA has made changes to its Science to Achieve Results (STAR) Fellowship Program to now explicitly include health physics students in competing for fellowships. Administrator Leavitt's letter was in response to a letter from Senator Crapo in which the Senator expressed a concern about a looming shortage of health physicists and urged Administrator Leavitt to have the EPA assume a leadership role in ensuring the education of future generations of health physicists.

Senator Crapo is a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee with responsibilities for oversight of the EPA. His concern for the decline of the health physics university programs and the aging health physics workforce has made him a champion of efforts to help address this situation that, in his words, "will put the quality of our environment, the health of the American people, and the safety of our workers in jeopardy." Accordingly, he asked Administrator Leavitt to support the inclusion of health physics under the EPA's existing university grants programs for environmental research.

The EPA's STAR Graduate Fellowship program offers up to three years of support to the best of America's students who are pursuing graduate degrees in environmentally relevant disciplines. Last year the National Academy of Sciences released a report that said, "The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's competitive research grants program has yielded significant new findings and knowledge critical for EPA's decision-making process." The STAR program identifies specific graduate study areas eligible for consideration under the fellowship program. Thanks to the efforts of Senator Crapo and leadership of Administrator Leavitt, health physics has been included as one of the specific graduate study areas for the Fall 2005 Fellowships now open for application. More information on the STAR Fellowship Program and application procedures are available on the EPA?s STAR Program website.