Kevin Flanagan Student Travel Award


The Kevin Flanagan Student Travel Award provides up to $800 to undergraduate and/or graduate students interested in diving science to attend AAUS scientific meetings. The award is competitive and merit-based. As many as three students may be funded annually.

Proposal deadline is December 31. 
Scholarship winners are announced January 15.

**This application/award cycle is being moved to the fall in 2021 due to a change in the timing of the AAUS symposium.  Please contact the AAUS office for more information or watch this page and social media for more information.

The Kevin Flanagan Travel Award was established in collaboration with Kevin's family as a legacy to his commitment to AAUS and scientific diving. Kevin served as AAUS board member (2009-2011)  and diving safety officer at the University of Hawaii and East Carolina University prior to his death in May 2012. Kevin's big personality and passion for his students endeared him to many in the AAUS community.  The support we received from our community  has enabled the Flanagan Travel Award to be the first fully endowed award of the AAUS  Foundation, permanently funded through interest earned on the raised capital.



Current Awardees

Maggie Jenkins
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

I am originally from Minnesota, but transitioned to the west coast to attend UC Santa Barbara as an undergrad. While at UCSB, I developed an interest in conservation biology and restoration ecology, and went on to intern with the Sea Otter Research and Conservation group at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I am now working towards my Master’s in Biology at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo under Dr. Lisa Needles and Dr. Dean Wendt. For my Master’s thesis, I am studying how sea otter predation on crabs effects the abundance of an invasive bryozoan within the Morro Bay fouling community. I am an active scientific diver and have heavily utilized scientific diving to conduct a subtidal caging experiment as a part of my thesis work. I completed my AAUS Scientific Diver certification in 2015 just before starting graduate school; I feel incredibly lucky to incorporate scientific diving into my research project. I have also led scientific dives for a project assessing the top-down effects of sea stars and sea otters in the fouling community, and for eelgrass research and restoration.

I am passionate about communicating marine science to both the scientific community and the general public. I enjoy combining art and science to facilitate learning about the marine environment, and have partnered with The Art Room to teach children about the subtidal fouling community. I am looking forward to presenting my findings at the AAUS Diving for Science Symposium and meeting more members of the scientific diving community. Funding from the Flanagan Travel Award will support the travel and lodging costs associated with the AAUS conference and will allow me to disseminate my thesis research to the scientific diving community.

 Shane Farrell
Lawrence University

Shane Farrell, 21, from Minneapolis, MN, is the 2018 Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society Dr. Lee H. Somers American Academy of Underwater sciences intern. Shane is currently a senior at Lawrence University in Appleton, WI, where he is pursuing a double major in government and biology.

Shane began diving recreationally with his mom when he was in middle school. After obtaining his Open Water Certification in 2010, his passion for diving and the world underwater was ignited. Since then, Shane has received certifications in a variety of dive specialties including ice diving, deep diving, dry suit diving, search and recovery, and emergency oxygen provider. While taking classes, and working as a research assistant at Lawrence, Shane is completing his Dive Master certification and helping with classes at a dive shop in Wisconsin.

Shane has pursued his passion for science while at Lawrence, where he has primarily focused on microbiology and molecular cloning. He began working as a research assistant in the biology department as a freshman, and has co-authored a paper based on cloning and characterizing ciliated genes in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.

Shane merged his passion for underwater discovery and research while in college on Lawrence’s Marine Term program where he traveled to the Caymans to conduct dive research.

Shane spent the summer in East Boothbay, Maine, earning his AAUS scientific diver certification with Chris Rigaud at the University of Maine. Simultaneously, he got hands-on diving experience with Dr. Doug Rasher at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences studying the return of kelp forest to the Gulf of Maine.