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The Schwarm Scholarship

The Schwarm Memorial Scholarship was established in memory of Edward Schwarm, a former IPA Director and Officer.  Winners are selected on the basis of their academic achievements, extra-urricular activities, and community service.  Each recipient receives their award at the annual meeting in July.


We thank the generous donors who have contributed to the scholarship fund. Recipients in recent years have received a $1,000 award, but the Board of Directors this year increased the award to $1,500.

Who was Edward Schwarm?

Edward Schwarm, a retired electrical engineer who piloted B-24 bombers in World War II, maintained an avid interest in flying. His passion for aviation led him to support the Town of Barnstable’s purchase of the Danforth property in 2003, and to help oversee the reactivation of the Cape Cod Airfield in 2004. The little grass airfield and its 88 acres of daisy-filled meadows are an amazing testimony to his community service. .

As an IPA board member, he was instrumental in protecting the lakes by ardently opposing lowering Middle Pond herring run in 2001. Not only did Mr. Schwarm initiate a successful campaign, he also assisted in developing a management plan for the operation of the herring run. He
took it one step further by securing a grant and donations to help rebuild the herring run. The concrete structure that was erected in 2004 remains today and is visited by herring counters and enthusiasts each spring.
Not only did Mr. Schwarm serve on the Board, but he also held positions as clerk and treasurer during his stint, writing articles for the IPA newsletter and serving as IPA liaison to the Marstons Mills River Committee. This placed him in a position to work with stakeholders to protect our lakes and ponds, as well as the alewife. After his passing in 2005, the IPA Board formed the memorial scholarship in Edward Schwarm’s name so his environmental legacy could be honored and remembered. This scholarship continues to remind new generations that
problems, no matter how difficult and daunting, can be solved in a cooperative, meaningful way. May the recipients of this award have lives as impactful as that of Edward Schwarm.

The 2023 Winner is:

Ryan Christensen. The Indian Ponds Association is pleased to announce our Edward Schwarm Memorial Scholarship winner for 2023. Ryan Christensen, a graduating senior from Barnstable High
School’s Environmental Science & Technology Program. A high-honors
student with a passion for the e
nvironment, Ryan understands IPA’s
mission, and his future goals will be beneficial to the ecology of Cape Cod and beyond.

As a steward of the environment, Ryan has been interning with the Barnstable Clean Water Coalition for the past two summers performing water quality sampling, surveying invasives, monitoring wildlife, and managing database findings. He also volunteers with the Cape Cod Sea Level Rise Art Installation Project as a project collaborator to spread awareness of the impacts of climate change.

During his years at BHS, Ryan was involved in a multitude of activities. He participated in many programs such as Treeplenish, which helped to greatly reduce paper use at BHS; the BHS Community Serviced Agriculture Project, focusing on local, sustainable food practices; the Peer
Leader Program, tutoring classmates; the BHS Model UN Team; and the Cape Cod Climate Coalition. As senior class president, Ryan sought to beautify the school by introducing a very popular Paint the Parking Lot fundraising event. He also helped to launch an extremely successful
Spring Jam event for the entire school, which helped to combat the post-Covid doldrums. While on the BHS varsity golf team, Ryan was able to participate in the Massachusetts State Tournament.

Including his induction into the Nation Honors Society, Ryan also achieved memberships in the National Math Honors Society, the National Chinese Honors Society, and the BHS Tri-M Music Honors Society. His classical guitar skills landed him lead guitar roles in the BHS Jazz Band
and in the BHS Drama Club Orchestra Pit. Ryan’s accolades include the JCI Senate Award and the MIT Professor Jae S. Lim Foundation Award as well as the Bausch & Lomb Honorary Science Award and the Daughter of the American Revolution Good Citizens Award.


Ryan will be attending Northeastern University this fall. After college, he would like to continue his environmental stewardship as an environmental engineer and eventually a consulting EPA field

nina barrette.jpg

The 2022 winner was:

Nina Barrette.The Indian Ponds Association is pleased to announce our Edward Schwarm Memorial Scholarship winner for 2022. Nina Barrette is the daughter of Steven and Kathleen Barrette and graduated last year from Cape Cod Regional Technical School‘s Environmental Technology program with a joint major in general psychology. She was a top honors student and a member of the National Honor Society. In addition, she was a member of SkillsUSA, a nonprofit organization working with students for the nation’s future skilled workforce; her team advanced to the national level where they won a gold medal.

Nina also played softball, served on the Barnstable Youth Commission, and was a member of the student council. She has interned in the Town of Sandwich Department of Natural Resources, volunteered with AmeriCorps, and worked at Envirtech Labs. Nina states that she has a love of the natural environment and has always been drawn towards conservation.

Nina currently attends the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and
plans a career in the field of environmental science and conservation. We wish her all the best in her future endeavors.

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