2016-2017 Fellowship Award Announcement
Congratulations to Karen Merritt, W-98! She is the 2016-2017 recipient of the Armin E. Elsaesser Fellowship.
With support from this award, Karen plans to investigate and document the “invisible history” of 16th and 17th century mercury and silver mining in Spain and Mexico, which she describes as one of the “longest continuous maritime transport endeavors in history.” Examining the cultural history and environmental legacy of mercury and silver mining and transportation during Spain’s “Silver Age,” the project represents a convergence of Karen’s interests: health, science, engineering and photography.
Karen will travel to a former mine in Almadén, Spain where an estimated 6,500 metric tons of mercury were extracted and brought to Mexico for use in silver mining between approximately 1550 and 1700. She will also explore the site of silver mines in Zacatecas, Mexico. Karen is interested in the long-term environmental and societal consequences of the Spanish silver era and, through photos and text, will research and document conditions in Almadén and Zacatecas through the lens of the mining history of those locations.
To learn more about Karen and her project, please visit the Currents blog.
About the Fellowship
The Fellowship program, established in 1987, is in memory of Armin E. Elsaesser III - sailor, educator, and adventurer - who sailed on several Westward cruises and taught Maritime Studies on shore. With his strong curiosity and sense of adventure, Armin inspired SEA students and staff alike.
Purpose: The goal of the Armin E. Elsaesser Fellowship is to help one or more individuals each year to follow a dream that has been elusive because of the demands of work or study. The successful project will involve active investigation into an area of personal interest (excluding work or study subjects) and should reflect a creative and independent approach to the pursuit of knowledge.
Eligibility: SEA Semester alumni, faculty, staff, and past employees are eligible for the Fellowship. Awards range from $3,000 to $7,000 for projects that are at least one month in duration and involve any marine or maritime field that is not directly related to the applicant's current professional or academic activities. Winners will be chosen by a competitive selection.
To Apply: If you missed this year's deadline. No worries! Preliminary proposals for the 2017-2018 fellowship will be accepted on a rolling basis until June 30, 2017. Preliminary proposals should be no more than two pages and should outline the project and preliminary budget. Applicants should also include a short biographical sketch. Documents should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed to Elsaesser Committee, SEA, PO Box 6, Woods Hole, MA 02543.