The Leal Anne Kerry Mertes Scholarship Award was established to honor Leal Mertes by supporting UCSB students (graduate or undergraduate) who are planning or are engaged in field research. The Leal Mertes Scholarship is awarded to talented and deserving UCSB students enrolled in any UCSB department where scientific fieldwork is conducted. For the purposes of this scholarship, “field work” is defined as any off-campus activity devoted to studying, observing, sampling, investigating, or measuring natural or human phenomena.
Leal Mertes was a Geography faculty member who investigated rivers, wetlands and floodplains globally. Her interests spanned the dynamics of river channel, floodplain, and wetlands interactions; the remote sensing of wetland environments; and the long term evolution of large river systems. She also devoted a great deal of effort to educational issues, including curriculum design and assessment.