2015 Scott-McKenna Scholarship Winner

Scholarship Chair Mike Hammond announced that the 2015 Scott-McKenna Memorial Scholarship has been awarded to Andrhea Massey of Mart, Texas. Andrhea sent the following bio, plus an article (see Coyote Studies). Congratulations and thank you, Andrhea.

Andrhea Massey

Andrhea Massey standing in the Colorado River, Colorado Bend State Park, Central Texas © Paula Massey

I was born at home in a small house surrounded by towering pine trees. I was the youngest of six kids. My mother raised us by herself, working two and sometimes three jobs to make ends meet. When my brothers and sisters got older, they also worked to help pay for basic living expenses, but it was never enough. We spent years struggling to get by. Despite this, or maybe because of this, my siblings and I grew up strong. It was the beginning of a beautiful life.

Ever since before I can remember, I have been fascinated with the outdoors and nature. Some of my favorite things to do are hiking, kayaking, writing, and camping. Whenever I needed to cheer up, I went to the woods. I would sit under oak trees and persimmon trees, still and silent, as deer and squirrels foraged underneath them. I spent all my free time learning everything I could about everything around me, sometimes from books and sometimes from what I liked to call “adventures.” One summer, I spent weeks watching a beaver, learning things like the fact that they make slides, stash food underwater, and love apples (especially the red ones). I found out where it liked to sit in the sun and waited until it came, giving me a close-up view of it and a great memory. These days, I like to do research on wildlife, such as coyotes. I learned about coyote bioacoustics and non-lethal depredation techniques. It has been my dream for seven years now to get my college education and create a Nature Research, Rehabilitation, and Education Center where I can teach everyone about wildlife and their habitats using animals that would otherwise be put down. My goal is to provide a home to animals that are either too badly injured to be released back into the wild or too used to humans to be able to fend for themselves. I also want to rescue and rehabilitate wildlife and the ecosystems in which they live, such as abandoned mine land reclamation and restoring forests and prairies. My center will be a mix between a national park, a zoo, and a museum. Just thinking about it makes me grin.

Classes at my dream college, Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana, begin August 23, 2015. I will be there, ready to earn my education and make a difference in the world. My thanks to the Rocky Mountain Outdoor Writers and Photographers Scholarship Committee for tipping the scales in my favor and giving me a chance to give back to the world.