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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 30, 2014

Contact:
Vernon Smith,NOAA 301-713-7248

Students Selected for 2014 NOAA Scholarship
Honoring Dr. Nancy Foster

NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries has selected three graduate students as recipients of the Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship, representing such graduate-level areas of study as marine biology, oceanography, and maritime archaeology.

“This extremely competitive program is a wonderful opportunity to nurture the development of the next generation of NOAA scientists as they begin their careers,” said Daniel J. Basta, director, NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. “These scholars and their research will enhance the work and mission of the National Marine Sanctuary System as they expand their own knowledge through their chosen graduate school path.”

Subject to appropriations, each scholarship recipient will receive an annual stipend of $30,000 and up to $12,000 annually as an education allowance. Additionally, recipients could see up to $10,000 to support a four-to-six week research collaboration at a NOAA facility. Masters students may be supported for up to two years, and doctoral students for up to four years.

The three scholarship recipients for 2014 are:

Emily AikenEmily Aiken, California State University, Monterey Bay. Her master’s studies will use remotely operated vehicles to examine the relative distribution of bottom-feeding fish among deep-water corals. Aiken will be working with Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary in California and hopes that her use of advanced technology will bring the wonders of the deep sea to the public.

Jessica HaleJessica Hale, University of Washington. Her master’s research will explore the rapid population and range expansion of the northern sea otter, an important reintroduced predator. Hale hopes her studies in the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary will contribute to the re-establishment of the otter in its historical habitat throughout Washington.

Corinne KaneCorinne Kane, Washington State University. Her Ph.D. dissertation research will study changes in coral fishes and their habitats, from shallow to deep waters, within the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. Kane hopes that her work will reveal the role deep-water reefs play in protecting dwellers of shallow-water reefs.

The scholarships were established in memory of Dr. Nancy Foster, a leader in marine resource conservation, a former assistant NOAA administrator for oceanic services and coastal zone management, and past 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 year marks the 14th anniversary of the scholarship program. NOAA’s Office of the National Marine Sanctuaries received more than 200 applications for this scholarship. A panel of scientists from across NOAA reviewed and scored the applications based on their rankings, financial need, academic excellence, recommendations, research and career goals. Additionally, the Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Program website has been updated and is now accessible via smartphone and tablet.

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