Kyle Martin, a senior student at Eastern Michigan University majoring in environmental science with a minor in zoology and biology, has recently received the John A. Muter Memorial Scholarship from the Muter Outdoor Fund. Martin is one out of four college students to be awarded the scholarship.
The John A. Muter Memorial Scholarship was established to honor the late John Muter. Muter passed away after a long fight with cancer in 2016. He loved his outdoor experiences with friends and family, often taking curious learners under his wing to spread his knowledge on the Great Lakes State.
“The Muter Outdoor Fund is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization established to provide scholarships, grants, and programs that promote outdoor recreation and celebrate Michigan's natural resources and rich outdoor heritage,” Bret Muter, president of the Muter Outer Fund said. “Funding to support the John A. Muter Memorial Scholarship comes from generous donors and supporters of the Muter Outdoor Fund.
The scholarship is awarded to undergraduate college sophomores and juniors who demonstrate a commitment to engaging new generations and audiences with Michigan’s natural resources and rich outdoor heritage.
“When the organization first launched, most of those donors were friends, family members, and others who knew John and wanted to honor his passion for the outdoors,” Bret Muter said. “Today, however, many of our supporters are individuals or organizations who did not know John, but have come to appreciate and support the Muter Outdoor Fund's mission of engaging new audiences and new generations with the outdoors in Michigan.”
Three to six scholarships are awarded each year, with four being awarded in 2023. The Muter Outdoor Fund has awarded $22,500 in scholarships to 24 Michigan students since 2018.
Winners are selected based on their passion for Michigan and its outdoor opportunities as well as their demonstrated commitment to introducing others to those opportunities.
Martin developed the EMU Chapter of the Sierra Club with five other undergraduates. The club takes on environmental issues on campus, advocates for local sustainability initiatives, and hosts events to encourage appreciation for the outdoors. Martin is currently investigating the breeding ecology of wood frogs and several species of salamanders for his honors thesis. In addition, he’s completed internships with the Huron River Watershed Council and Michigan Sea Grant. Kyle intends to attend graduate school to continue his studies in ecology, evolution and organismal biology.
“He [Kyle] is not only clearly committed to pursuing a career in a natural resources-related field, but is actively working to enhance environmental understanding and appreciation within the EMU community and beyond,” Muter said. “It's clear to us that Kyle is and will continue to be a leader and advocate on behalf of Michigan's natural resources and outdoor recreational opportunities.”
Martin couldn’t have been more honored to be one of the John A. Muter Memorial Scholarship’s recipients.
“I'm beyond honored to be a recipient of the 2023 John A. Muter Memorial Scholarship, and the news meant a lot to the rest of my family and me,” Martin said. “The competition among students is high for this prestigious scholarship, so it is an honor to have been selected and become the first Eastern Michigan University student to win it.”
The Muter Outdoor Fund expects to award several $1,000 scholarships in 2024. The application deadline is Tuesday, April 30 at 5 p.m.
“There is a disproportionate number of young black and brown people in outdoor recreation,” Martin said. “So I firmly believe that organizations such as the Muter Outdoor Fund and support from people like Mr. Bret A. Muter can be the first step to eliminating the stigma surrounding students of color in nature and creating further access for everyone in Michigan's great outdoors.”