Professor Emeritus Margaret G. Ottum Environmental Scholarship Endowment

Professor Emeritus Margaret G. Ottum established this endowment in 2005, and left additional funds by bequest; donations in her memory have come to the endowment as well.  Professor Ottum taught at Johnson State College from 1982 to 2003, pioneering the environmental science-natural resources major and designing and teaching twelve different courses during her 20 years at the College. She was responsible for JSC’s receiving a National Science Foundation Grant of $273,000 for Project GEO: Earth Science in the Middle Grades (1988 to 1991), to work with fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students and teachers across northern Vermont. Over the years, she has received many JSC awards and honors, including the Alumni Association's 2001 Distinguished Faculty Award, the 1998 Excellence in Advising Award, and the 2001 Outstanding Advisor Award. In 1996, she was selected as a Fulbright scholar and spent the fall semester in Iceland teaching at the university and doing research on geothermal energy.


She obtained her B.A. from Mankato State College, her M.A. from Bowling Green University, and her Ph.D. in resource geography from Oregon State University. She was named Professor Emeritus by the Vermont State College Board on September 12, 2003. Professor Ottum passed away January 26, 2006. 


The Professor Emeritus Margaret G. Ottum Environmental Scholarship goes to an upper class student (junior or senior) majoring in natural resources, environmental science, or environmental education, who has at least one full semester remaining before graduating. The student must be in good academic standing (B average or above); demonstrate a commitment to the college and/or community service; and display leadership potential. Professor Ottum wishes the scholarship to go to “a person who will make a difference in the world.” The recipient is selected by a committee of faculty members in the environmental area and one or more alumni of the JSC environmental program.


Recent Recipients


  • Ryan Joy, Biology major with a minor in mathematics, Class of 2012, North Montpelier, VT
  • Brian Raulinaitis, Outdoor Education major with a concentration in environmental education, Class of 2012, Whitman, MA


Saul Blocher, Biology – Field Naturalist major, Class of 2010, Brattleboro, VT



  • Edward Robbins, majoring in environmental science/natural resources, Class of 2010, Stowe, VT.



  • Jennifer Perron, majoring in environmental science, Class of 2009, Stowe, VT


  • Edward Robbins, majoring in environmental science/natural resources, Class of 2010, Stowe, VT.



  • Kyoko Yokoyama, Class of 2009, majoring in environmental science, Saitama, Japan. (First Recipient)