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Grants and Scholarships

Tom and Bruce Shinn Fund

Tom and Bruce Shinn
Shinn Grant
Application Form
FORM * (129 KB)
Bruce (l) and Tom (r) standing in front of their pitcher plants at Stone Knife Farm in Leicester, NC. Circa 1979 (click image to enlarge)

The Shinn grants are named in honor of Tom and Bruce Shinn, native plant enthusiasts who developed and maintained a wildflower garden at their home near Asheville. They traveled throughout the Southeast searching for plants and kept careful records about propagation techniques. Tom Shinn’s detailed propagation records became the basis for a native plant propagation handbook, first published by the NCNPS in 1977.

The Tom and Bruce Shinn Fund provides up to $1,000 per grant to support research on North Carolina’s native plants and habitats. Several grants are available each year to undergraduate and graduate students who are U.S. citizens attending a North Carolina college or university. Students must be working with an advisor conducting basic or applied research in botanical or horticultural areas that fulfill the mission of the North Carolina Native Plant Society.

Guidelines for Tom & Bruce Shinn Fund

The Tom & Bruce Shinn Fund supports activities that are in keeping with the NCNPS mission “to promote the enjoyment and conservation of North Carolina’s native plants and their habitats through education, protection, cultivation, and advocacy.” All applications for Tom & Bruce Shinn Fund grants must be received by the last day of February. Notification will be made to applicants by May 1st of each year.

Shinn grant projects may include, but are not limited to:

  • floristic inventories of local greenspace acqusitions or significant natural areas;
  • research to protect and preserve endangered or threatened species at risk within their native habitat;
  • horticultural research of native species not found in the nursery trade;
  • research on species genotype or ecotype range and importance;
  • restoration of native species or their habitats; and
  • research and management of pest plant species.

To apply for a Shinn grant, use the online application form provided [see the link in the box at the top of this page].

Obligations of Grant Recipient Applicants whose project proposals are funded agree to the following obligations as part of their acceptance of funds:

  • The grant recipient will acknowledge the Tom & Bruce Shinn Fund of the NC Native Plant Society, including the website https://www.ncwildflower.org in all publications or reports, as practicable.
  • Upon completion of project, the applicant will submit a brief article, not to exceed 200 words with a relevant photograph, to be published in Native Plant News, the newsletter of the NCNPS. Send the article to the Grants and Scholarship Committee chair. This article should be submitted within one calendar year of the award.
  • The grant recipient is encouraged to offer a field trip or present a program for a local chapter of NCNPS members to the project site, if appropriate. Local Chapters are listed on the NCNPS website

Tom and Bruce Shinn Grant Recipients

2018 Tom and Bruce Shinn Grant Recipients

Katherine Culatta, North Carolina State University

"Taxonomy, population genetics, and status assessment of Nuphar sagittifolia (Nymphaeaceae)." Advisor: Dr. Alexander Krings

Laura Hamon, North Carolina State University

"Pollination ecology of Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula)." Advisor: Dr. Rebecca Irwin

Bryan Piatkowski, Duke University

"Systematics, molecular evolution, and functional trait variation in the Sphagnum magellanicum (Sphagnaceae) species complex." Advisor: Dr. Jon Shaw

Ellen Quinlan, Western Carolina University

"Phylogenetic history and variation in water-use efficiency of mountain and coastal populations of Kalmia buxifolia." Advisor: Dr. Katherine Matthews

Marietta Shattelroe, Appalachian State University

"Genetic diversity of Geum geniculatum." Advisor: Dr. Matt C. Estep

Alexandria Szakacs, North Carolina State University

"Reconstructing the vegetation history of a Piedmont prairie remnant using soil phytoliths." Advisor: Dr. Alexander Krings

2017 Tom and Bruce Shinn Grant Recipients

Ashley M. Dow, East Carolina University

“Native plants as viable pollinator habitat on solar panel farms in eastern North Carolina." Advisor: Dr. Claudia Jolls

2016 Tom and Bruce Shinn Grant Recipients

Andrea Thompson, North Carolina State University

"Solidago spithamaea: Study in Population Viability." Advisor: Dr. Gary B. Blank

Rachel Kelsy Stillwell, Western Carolina University

"Microsatellite marker optimization and gene flow analysis between species of the erectum complex of Trillium." Advisor: Dr. Katherine Matthews

2015 Tom and Bruce Shinn Grant Recipients

Michelle D'Aguillo, Duke University

"Germination ecology of two southern Appalachian natives, Houstonia caerulea and H. serpyllifolia (Rubiaceae)." Advisor: Dr. Kathleen Donohue

Rebecca M. Dalton, Duke University

"Changes to flowering phenology in native wildflower communities in North Carolina." Advisor: Dr. William F. Morris

Gary Perlmutter, North Carolina State University

"Traffic Emissions Effects on Forest Lichen Communities in North Carolina." Advisor: Dr. Gary Blank

2014 Tom and Bruce Shinn Grant Recipients

Reneé Fortner, East Carolina University

"The Reproductive Ecology of the Federally Endangered Cooley's Meadowrue (Thalictrum cooleyi Ahles)." Advisor: Dr. Claudia Jolls

Kipp Callahan, North Carolina State University

"The Vascular Flora of Pondberry Bay (Sampson County, NC)." Advisor: Dr. Alexander Krings

Nathan Howell, North Carolina State University

"The Vascular Flora of the Natural Lake Shoreline Community of Carolina Bays in the Carolina Flatwoods and Mid-Atlantic Floodplains and Low Terraces Ecoregions (Bladen and Columbus Counties, North Carolina)." Advisor: Dr. Alexander Krings

2013 Tom and Bruce Shinn Grant Recipients

Amanda Faucette, North Carolina State University

"The Vascular Flora and Soils of Buxton Woods (Dare County, NC)." Advisor: Dr. Alexander Krings

Kyle Palmquist, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

"The joint effects of drought and reduced fire frequency on native orchids in the Green Swamp Preserve, North Carolina." Advisor: Dr. Alan Weakley