Students Selected for 2013 NOAA Scholarships Honoring Dr. Nancy Foster

The scholarships were established in memory of Dr. Nancy Foster, a leader in marine resource conservation, former NOAA assistant administrator for oceanic services and coastal zone management, and director of NOAA’s National Ocean Service. Congress created the scholarship in 2000 as a way to honor her life’s work, 23 years of service to NOAA and her contribution to the nation.

“This rigorously competitive program is an exceptional opportunity to develop the next generation of NOAA scientists at the start of their careers,” said Daniel J. Basta, director, NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. “I am confident that these scholars and their research will provide new knowledge to enhance the work and mission of the National Marine Sanctuary System.”

Each scholarship recipient will receive an annual stipend of $30,000, up to $12,000 annually as an education allowance, and is eligible for up to $10,000 to support a four-to-six week research collaboration at a NOAA facility. Doctoral students are eligible to continue the scholarship program for four years and master’s level students for two years.

The three scholarship recipients are:

§ Michael Fox, Scripps Institution of Oceanography. His dissertation will examine how nutrient pollution affects competitive interactions between reef-building corals and macroalgae. Fox will be working within Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, the Pacific Remote Islands National Marine Monument and the Line Islands.

§ Tammy Silva, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. Her research will involve using passive acoustics to examine the spatial and temporal distribution of toothed whales within Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. By characterizing how these whales use the sanctuary, Silva hopes to increase our understanding of an ecosystem that is critical for both marine species and humans.

§ Lindsay Marks, University of California, Santa Barbara. Her dissertation research explores factors influencing the susceptibility of kelp forest communities to invasion by exotic species and how marine protected areas like Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary may affect this threat. Specifically, she is studying Sargassum horneri, an invasive seaweed recently introduced to southern California and rapidly spreading throughout the region.

This is the 13th year of the scholarship program and NOAA received more than 200 applications to evaluate for the class of 2013. A panel of NOAA scientists reviewed and scored the applications based on their rankings, financial need, academic excellence, recommendations, research, and career goals.

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