ORONO — University of Maine student Abigail Muscat of Bass Harbor and Sarah Marcotte of Bangor earned Killam Fellowships to study in Canada during the spring 2021 semester. Muscat, a third-year marine sciences major and international affairs minor, plans to study at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Marcotte, a third-year biology major, plans to study at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Marcotte and Muscat, who both are in the Honors College, will each receive $5,000, plus a grant for an educational field trip. Killam Fellows are slated to take part in an orientation program in Ottawa this fall and a seminar in Washington, D.C., in the spring.
When Muscat started searching for study abroad opportunities, she sought a way for it to be at the University of British Columbia. “In April of 2018, I traveled to B.C. to see the gray whale migration and I fell in love with the natural wonders and species of the area, from the black bears and rhinoceros auklets (seabird) to the orcas and nudibranchs (molluscs),” she says. “During this trip, I briefly visited the UBC campus and afterwards I knew I wanted to find an opportunity to go back, which led me to apply for the Killam Fellowship.” Muscat says UBC has an excellent ocean sciences program and ornithology courses and she’s eager “to gain field experience on the Pacific Northwest Coast and learn more about a unique marine environment that I am passionate about.” She’s also enthused to cultivate her interest in international affairs, including experiencing firsthand another culture’s local and international conservation dialogue. The Bass Harbor resident plans to pursue a Ph.D. and have a career that combines her love of birds and the ocean, and that informs policymaking in these areas.
Marcotte, of Bangor, wants to experience academics at another university and explore another part of the world. “Also, my family is French Canadian, so I wanted to go to Canada to connect with that heritage.” She looks forward to intensifying her study of French and becoming a more confident and fluent speaker.
The Killam Fellowships Program provides exceptional undergraduate students from universities in Canada and the United States with the opportunity to experience a semester (or a full academic year) as an exchange student in the other country.
To learn more about this fellowship, contact Nives Dal Bo-Wheeler at the Office of Major Scholarships, [email protected].