Skip to Top NavigationSkip to Utility NavigationSkip to SearchSkip to Left NavigationSkip to Content
Mobile Menu


Associate Professor's Marine Debris Research Earns Fulbright Scholarship to Teach and Study in India

Our faculty and students impact the world

Associate Professor Katharine Owens has been awarded one of the world’s most prestigious educational honors—a Fulbright foreign scholarship to teach and do research on marine debris found along India’s southwest coast. Owens will model her work after the class Marine Debris: Policy and Action that she taught at UHart in 2016. At that time, she worked with students to collect and catalog more than 1,600 pieces of trash along Connecticut’s beaches, and shared the results with the environmental committee of the Connecticut General Assembly. 

“One of the reasons I applied to do this research in India is to have the ability to do a combination of teaching and research,” says Owens, who is hoping to have some UHart students travel to Kerala, India, in spring 2019 to help with the project.

“In my marine debris class, students learn about marine debris policy, and at the same time, do experiential learning.” As part of the course, students collect and categorize debris, see where it comes from, and then share that information with local leaders who can influence policy.

You can watch Owens discuss her Fulbright scholarship award on Fox 61.

“It is a wonderful honor to have one of our professors selected for one of the most respected academic scholarships in the world,” said Katherine Black, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “Katharine is a leader in studying environmental policy and its impact. We are very proud of her accomplishments and we look forward to welcoming her back to share her new knowledge with students at the University of Hartford.”

 The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program sends American scholars, artists, faculty, and professionals abroad to lecture and/or conduct research for up to a year. It is the flagship international education program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected based on academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields.