Nashville, TN – Megan Hart, a graduate student at Austin Peay State University, is the first recipient of the Robert M. Hatcher Memorial Scholarship.
The $1,000 scholarship is named in honor of Bob Hatcher, who served the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency for 38 years including serving as the Non-Game and Endangered Species Coordinator from 1987 until 2001.
Megan completed her bachelor’s degree in biology in 2015 with a perfect 4.0 grade point average. She is pursuing her master’s degree in biology, focusing on conservation and wildlife biology.She was presented the scholarship award on the campus at Austin Peay with members of the Hatcher family, members of her family, and officials from the TWRA, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation, and the Tennessee Ornithological Society.
A resident of Cumberland City in Montgomery County, her research interests are to examine various habitat-species interactions among mammalian and avian species. Following completion of her M.S. degree, she plans to complete her doctorate degree. Her ultimate goal is to study the anthropogenic effects on at-risk, threatened, and endangered avian species for a state or federal agency.
She has served both as an undergraduate and graduate research assistant, involved in various projects. Megan is an executive officer with the Alpha Lambda Honors Society and a member of other honor organizations. She was honored in the President’s Emerging Leaders Program, exclusive to the top one percent of students at APSU.
Mr. Hatcher initiated the state bald eagle recovery efforts in the early 1980s resulting in the release of 284 eagles over 22 years. He also was responsible for reintroducing osprey, river otters, endangered mussels and other species throughout Tennessee.
The establishment of the scholarship was announced in 2014 at the release of a 13-week old bald eaglet named “Hatcher’s Legacy” in his honor at a ceremony at Bells Bend Park near the Cumberland River, just outside of Nashville. The announcement came shortly before Mr. Hatcher’s death after a battle with cancer.
The Robert M. Hatcher College Memorial Scholarship is administered by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation (TWRF). Donations are welcome and tax deductible and can be sent to TWRF at 5000 Linbar Drive, Nashville, TN 37211.