CLEMSON — Clemson University rising junior Riley Garvey is passionate about marine biology, and a major scholarship from the Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will help him further his professional development in this field.

Garvey, of Myrtle Beach, is the recipient of the Ernest F. Hollings scholarship. Not only does the award come with a financial scholarship supporting two years of full-time study, but it also offers students practical work experience. He will have the opportunity to participate in a paid summer internship with the NOAA between his junior and senior years.

Garvey is majoring in biosystems engineering, a program that combines his academic interests into one course of study.

“I chose biosystems engineering because it combines engineering problem-solving with biological concepts that I find extremely interesting. Freshman year I faced a dilemma where I knew I wanted to do something with engineering, but I also wanted to do more scientific research work and I believe my major provides me the ability to do both,” Garvey explained.

Outside of the classroom, Garvey works in the Conservation of Marine Resources research lab run by associate professor Michael Childress. In the lab, they analyze reef fish behavioral patterns in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

Garvey’s experience in Childress’ lab is one step toward his ultimate career aspirations.

“I would like to pursue a career with NOAA doing research into marine reef ecology,” he said.

In addition to gaining experience in his chosen field, Garvey hopes that his participation in the Hollings program will help solidify his post-Clemson plans.

“I hope that this program gives me experience that guides my aspirations for graduate school. I have gone back and forth with whether or not I want to pursue a graduate degree and I am hoping that the research experience that this program provides will help me decide,” said Garvey.

The Hollings Scholarship is given to full-time students like Garvey majoring in fields related to the NOAA’s mission, such as environmental, oceanic, biological and atmospheric sciences; mathematics; engineering; physical sciences; social sciences; or teacher education.

Students interested in applying for the Hollings Scholarship or other awards should contact Clemson University’s Office of Major Fellowships at 864-656-9704 or fellowships@clemson.edu for more information.