2019 Tibor T. Polgar Fellowship
Research Proposals

Proposal deadline: Monday, February 11, 2019


The Tibor T. Polgar Fellowship program is a student research program conducted through the Hudson River Foundation in cooperation with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Named in honor of the late Dr. Tibor T. Polgar, a major contributor to the early development of the Foundation, this program provides a summertime grant ($5,000 for each fellowship) and research funds (up to $1,000) for eight college students to conduct research on the Hudson River. The objectives of the program are to gather important information on all aspects of the River and to train students in conducting scientific studies and public policy research.

To be eligible, applicants must be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program, or accepted into a graduate program for the following fall. Both undergraduate and early career graduate students may apply. Projects must be designed to be completed during one summer season.

Since 1985, the Polgar Fellowship program has produced a large body of research relevant to the Hudson River watershed, with a concentration on the four marshes of the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve (Stockport Flats, the Tivoli Bays, Iona Island Marsh, and Piermont Marsh), compiled in the annual Polgar Fellowship reports published by the Foundation. Anyone interested in obtaining this material in order to plan projects building on the work of previous Polgar fellowships or in discussing potential research topics should contact the Foundation.

Because of the training and educational aspects of this program, each potential fellow must be sponsored by a primary advisor. The advisor must be willing to commit sufficient time for supervision of the research, to review fellow's final written report, and to attend the orientation and final report meetings with their students. Advisors will receive a stipend of $500.

Application Procedures:

Applications for a Polgar Fellowship should include:

  • A letter of interest in the program;
  • A short description (4-6 pages) of the research project, including a statement of its significance;
  • A timetable for completion of the research (maximum of one summer season);
  • An estimate of the cost of supplies, travel, etc. (up to $1,000);
  • A letter of support from the student's advisor (indicating not only the qualification of the student, but also the time and resources that the advisor is willing to commit to their project); and
  • The applicant's curriculum vitae.

Applications, in electronic PDF format, for Polgar Fellowships must be received by the Foundation by 5:00 pm, Monday, February 11, 2019. The electronic copy of the application should be sent in one PDF file to info@hudsonriver.org. with the subject heading "Polgar Proposal Submittal." One original copy, postmarked no later than Monday, February 11, 2019, must be sent to:

Polgar Fellowship Committee
Hudson River Foundation
17 Battery Place, Suite 915
New York, NY 10004.

Letters of support may be submitted separately.

If you have questions, or if you wish to discuss research ideas or to acquire copies of previous Polgar Fellowship Program annual reports, contact Helena Andreyko at 212-483-7667.

Successful applicants will be notified of their fellowship awards by late April 2019.

2018 Tibor T. Polgar Fellowships

The Hudson River Foundation and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation awarded eight Polgar Fellowships in 2018.

  • Detecting Cyanobacteria in the Hudson River Using Fluorescent Sensors Suitable for Real-time Deployment - Corey Rundquist, Millbrook School
  • Role of Marshes and Tributaries in the Benthic Accumulation and Water Column Transportation of Microplastics in the Hudson Valley Watershed - Jason Randall, Marist College
  • Effects of Four Polymer Plastics on Crassostrea virginica Filtration and Retention - Erika Bernal, Montclair State University
  • The Effect of Salinity on Eastern Oyster Reproduction in the Hudson River Estuary - Kaili Gregory, Cornell University
  • Bugs on Drugs: The Influence of Redox Environments on the Microbial Degradation of Pharmaceuticals in the Hudson River Watershed - Michelle Zeliph, Rutgers University
  • Sexual Reproduction in Vallisneria americana Beds in the Hudson River - Carrie Perkins, University of Maryland
  • Painted Turtle Study in a Freshwater Tidal Marsh: Concluding Survey - Virginia Caponera, Drexel University
  • The Ground Underneath Our Feet: Investigating the Paleohistory of Ramshorn-Livingston Marsh - Elizabeth Thompson, Columbia University

Past Tibor T. Polgar Fellowships

Recent past reports of the Tibor T. Polgar Fellowship program are listed below, while older reports are found here. Download the entire report or particular sections as PDF files.

    Final Reports of the Tibor T. Polgar Fellowship Program, 2014 - Sarah Fernald, David Yozzo, and Helena Andreyko, editors
  1. Factors for Loss and Restoration of Vallisneria americana in the Hudson River - Herbivory and Depth in Sediment - L. Jonas Hamberg, Karin Limburg and Stuart Findlay
  2. The Conservation Status of Goldenclub (Orontium aquaticum) in the Freshwater Tidal Wetlands of the Hudson River - Julia C. Les and Erik Kiviat
  3. Subtidal Survey for the Presence of Oyster Reefs in Portions of Raritan Bay, Arthur Kill, and the Hackensack River of the Hudson River Estuary - Erik Bugenhagen and Tiffany Medley
  4. Prey density effects on predator foraging: a comparison of prey loss and implications towards a natural insect community - Katherine Guild, Jeffrey Levinton
  5. Impact of aquatic toxins on heart development in Atlantic and shortnose sturgeon larvae - Corinna Singleman and Nathalia Holtzman
  6. Tidal Community Exchange Between the Hudson River and a Tributary - Alec Schmidt, Karin Limburg and Alison Robbins
  7. Interactions between the Alien Oriental Weatherfish (Misgurnus anguillicaudatus) and Native Fishes in the Klyne Esopus Kill, a Hudson River Tributary - Anastasia Frank, Robert E. Schmidt, Suparna Bhalla and Chris H. Bowser
  8. The Effects of Dams on Densities and Sizes of American Eels in the Bronx River - Richard DeMarte, John Waldman and Michael S. Bednarski
    Final Reports of the Tibor T. Polgar Fellowship Program, 2013 - David Yozzo, Sarah Fernald,and Helena Andreyko, editors
  1. Reconstructing Hudson River Sedimentary Signals - Kyle M. Monahan and Dallas Abbott
  2. Sea Level Rise and Sediment: Recent Salt Marsh Accretion in the Hudson River Estuary - Troy D. Hill and Shimon C. Anisfeld
  3. Nutrient Pollution in Hudson River Marshes: Effects on Greenhouse Gas Production - Angel Montero, Brian Brigham and Gregory D. O'Mullan
  4. Microbial Agents of Concern in Water and Air at the Hudson River Estuary Waterfront - Sherif Kamal and M. Elias Dueker
  5. Occurrence and Ecological Effects of Amphetamine Type Stimulants in Wastewater Effluent - Alexis M. Paspalof, Daniel Snow and Emma Rosi-Marshall
  6. The Distribution of Invasive Celastrus orbiculatus in an Anthropogenically Disturbed Riparian Ecosystem - Shabana Hoosein and George Robinson
  7. Hypoxia Tolerance of the Invertebrates Associated with Water-chestnut Beds (Trapa natans L.) in the Hudson River - Mariana Carolina Teixeira and David L. Strayer
  8. The Distribution and Feeding Ecology of Larval Sea Lampreys in the Hudson River Basin - Thomas M. Evans and Karin E. Limburg
    Final Reports of the Tibor T. Polgar Fellowship Program, 2012 - Sarah Fernald, David Yozzo, and Helena Andreyko, editors
  1. Recruitment of Oysters within the Hudson River Estuary - Ryan Carthan and Jeffrey S. Levinton
  2. The Impacts of the Zebra Mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) on the Feeding Ecology of Early Life Stage Striped Bass (Morone saxatilis) - Grace A. Casselberry and Eric T. Schultz
  3. Field and Laboratory Investigations on the Effects of Salinity on Decomposition Dynamics among the Hudson River's Freshwater Tidal Wetlands - Craig T. Connolly, Stuart E.G. Findlay, and William V. Sobczak
  4. Temperature as a Driver of a Size-Structure Shift in Zebra Mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) in the Hudson River - Jessica A. Gephart, Michael Pace, and David Strayer
  5. Who Controls Whom? Linking Predator-Prey Dynamics Between Mud Crabs and Juvenile Oysters to Restoration Efforts in the New York Metropolitan Region - Rebecca E. Kulp and Bradley J. Peterson
  6. Fish Parasites in the Hudson River Estuary's Littoral Habitats: A Prelude to Restoration - Emily C. Ogburn, Karin E. Limburg, and Christopher M. Whipps
  7. Investigation of Estuarine Sediment as a Reservoir for Sewage Associated Bacteria - Erin Schneider and Gregory D. O'Mullan
  8. Developing a Nonlethal Field Method for Determining Lipid Content of American Eels (Anguilla rostrata) - Sean O. I. Swift, Robert E. Schmidt, and David R. Myers
    View older reports