Wrenn has completed her studies in Oxford and has spent the last few months in Greece collecting data for her dissertation. Her plans for August are to complete her analysis and her written dissertation. Nevada City Rotary is looking forward to greeting Wrenn on August 8 and hearing first hand about her adventures and studies!

Wrenn’s Oxford Matriculation

My first term at Oxford, or Michaelmas Term, has concluded and I've completed courses in Water and Health, Economics Law and Governance of Water, Climate and Catchment Processes, and one elective - Climate Change and the Media.
While most of my time is spent reading for classes, I've managed to take a few small trips including to nearby Blenheim Palace, the Cotswolds, and into London. I attended a holiday meal with my host club of Abingdon, where I got to pull my first Christmas cracker, and I have had several opportunities to meet with Rotarians of clubs in Oxfordshire. Colleges at Oxford facilitate a social community with dinners and get-togethers. My college, Kellogg College, hosted a Thanksgiving Dinner that I attended and they managed to get almost all the meal staples, except for the interesting and daring twist of a cranberry pie in place of pumpkin. As far as communication challenges there haven't been so many except for a slight difference in vocabulary. Although we did have a guest lecture by an Irish professor once and most of the time his accent was completely unintelligible to me - luckily they gave out class notes! I also officially matriculated and wore our required Oxford subfusc attire.

Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper

I've attached a few photos. I attended my host Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper's holiday meal where I met the president and presented to her the Nevada City club banner, which she was very excited to receive.
For the holidays I will be in Greece with my partner Damien. Coming home was a little too far for me, so I am fortunate to have a home away from home I can go to. I will be back in Oxford after the first week of January and will start a new term with new classes. My exams will all be in May and after that I will start my dissertation. I'm still formulating my dissertation plan but once I get it nailed down I'll be sure to let you know.

Wrenn on a field trip with her class at Oxford. A diverse group of 25 students from 21 different countries.
Only one other student is on a Rotary Scholarship, and she is from Tokyo, Japan. 

Wrenn Cleary has been selected as a Rotary Global Scholar for 2023-2024.  DG Stacy Graham presented Wrenn with her scholarship grant of $30,000 at our Nevada City Rotary Club's Social on Thursday July 6. District 5190, Nevada City Rotary, and 49er Breakfast Rotary are proud to co-sponsor Wrenn as she pursues a Master of Science with a focus in Water Science, Policy and Management at Oxford University starting in September.  The Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, UK, will serve as her in-country host Club.
Wrenn’s degree in Water Science, Policy and Management aligns with two main Rotary causes: Protecting the Environment and Providing clean water, sanitation, and hygiene. Through her scholarship, Wrenn's objective is to strengthen her effectiveness in working for non-profits to mitigate climate change’s imperilment of our finite freshwater resources.

About Wrenn Cleary

Wrenn’s scholarship activities will support her goal of protecting and restoring land, coastal, marine, and freshwater resources. During her studies at Oxford, she intends to examine water conservation, water quality, sanitation, watershed management and transitions to sustainable infrastructure.
Wrenn is most passionate about aquatic ecology and sustainable water management. An avid environmental water scientist, Wrenn Cleary currently serves as a Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership (SNAP) member working with South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) as the River Monitoring Coordinator.
As an environmental science student at the University of Lynchburg, Wrenn has been quoted as saying “Conserving our environment allows for my generation and future generations to appreciate the beauty of the natural world and the influence we can have in preserving this world.”
Her thesis for Lynchburg University’s Honors College examined the role of a man-made lake in the surrounding watershed and the ecological effects from the lake’s dam failure and subsequent draining.  After her sophomore year, she had an internship studying water quality in Costa Rica. To obtain a GIS Professional Certification, Wrenn collected data on desalination plants across the islands in the southern Aegean Sea of Greece and translated raw data into visually engaging cartography. After graduation, Wrenn served as a GIS Technician for the Environmental Department of the National Guard in Arkansas.
Wrenn constantly seeks opportunities to disseminate scientific knowledge and advance sustainable water practices.

The Rotary Foundation Global Grant Scholarships

The Rotary Foundation has scholarships available for graduate degree programs abroad. Rotary considers candidates who have been accepted in an international university program in one of the following seven areas of focus:

  • Peace and conflict prevention
  • Disease prevention and treatment
  • Water, sanitation and hygiene
  • Maternal and child health
  • Basic education and literacy
  • Community and economic development
  • Environment
Wrenn’s focus on water science is aligned with Rotary’s newest focus area Supporting the Environment as well as Water, Sanitation and Hygiene.