College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences

Clemson sophomore from Summerville garners major NOAA scholarship


CLEMSON — Conserving natural resources is both a passion and a potential career path for Caleb Todd, and a major award from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is helping the Clemson University sophomore develop in both aspects.

Caleb Todd poses in front of Sikes Hall.
Clemson University sophomore Caleb Todd was recently named a 2019 Ernest F. Hollings Scholar, a major award from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that includes a full-time summer internship at an NOAA facility.

A Presidential Scholar in the Honors College, Todd was recently named a 2019 Ernest F. Hollings Scholar, a $15,000 award that includes a 10-week, full-time summer internship at an NOAA facility.

The Summerville native is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in environmental and natural resources with a concentration in economic policy and plans to pursue a Master’s degree in applied economics and then a law degree.

“I see very few issues that are as pressing as the depletion and degradation of our natural resources,” Todd said. “We need to have policy that effectively combats this by protecting our resources so that our generation and future generations have them available for use. Making small sacrifices today allows for greater success in the future, and that is something that we need to keep in our minds and that needs to be reflected in our national and local policy.”

Todd has been an active volunteer at Clemson University’s Recycling Center and Clemson Orientation ambassador, where his duties consist of introducing incoming students to the campus and explaining Clemson’s core values and academic policies.

Todd’s ultimate career goal, according to his academic adviser, agricultural sciences professor David Willis, is to contribute to the evolution of sustainable environmental and natural resource policy.

“Caleb has a genuine interest in sustainable environmental and natural resource policy as documented by his volunteer work with the Clemson recycling center,” Willis said. “Moreover, his strong academic performance reflects both his passion and innate intellectual ability to meaningfully contribute to sustainable environmental and natural resource policy.”

While Todd’s academic prowess speaks for itself, Willis said his student is also a friendly and positive individual who excels at teamwork and building relationships.

“Caleb is a hard-working young man with a clearly defined career focus that works well with others,” Willis said. “His career aspirations dovetail with the objective of Hollings undergraduate scholarship, which ‘provides the scholars with hands-on, practical experience in NOAA-related science, research, technology, policy, management, and education activities.’ Having grown up on the South Carolina coast, Caleb is very interested in the sustainable management of coastal ecosystems.”

The Hollings Scholarship is intended for students majoring in oceanic, environmental, biological and atmospheric sciences, mathematics, engineering, remote sensing technology, physical and social sciences including geography, physics, hydrology, geomatics or teacher education that support NOAA’s programs and mission.

The NOAA is a scientific agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce that focuses on the conditions of the oceans, major waterways and the atmosphere.

“I plan on going to law school after I finish my time at Clemson and hope to possibly get a job in a federal agency such as NOAA, so having significant assistance in getting to those points is something that is amazing to me,” Todd said. “This, along with the experience that the internship will allow me to gain, gives a sort of stepping stones to get to those eventual goals.”

Students interested in applying for the Hollings Scholarship, as well as other nationally competitive awards, should contact the Office of Major Fellowships at 864-656-9704 or

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