Sanctuary Nomination Process

The Pacific Islands Region Hosts Nine Hollings Scholars

The Office of National Marine Sanctuaries Pacific Islands Region (PIR) and each of the region's sites are hosting nine Hollings Scholars this summer, and the scholars are working on four Hawaiian Islands and in American Samoa. Each of the scholars will complete a 10-week internship and work on specific projects under the tutelage of a NOAA mentor, and in some cases, a non-NOAA co-mentor. At the end of the summer, all the scholars will fly to Washington DC to present the results of their summer work.

The Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Program awards outstanding students a scholarship to help support one academic school year, and a paid summer internship in NOAA-related work. The scholarship is renewable for one additional year. For more information on the Hollings Scholarship, visit

Our Hollings Scholars come from all over the United States, but all have a passionate interest in the marine field. Meet the PIR's Hollings Scholars for 2010:


andrea leshakAndrea Leshak is researching the "Affected Environment" section of the Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary's (HIHWNMS) Management Plan Review with her NOAA mentor Malia Chow. She plans to focus on the biological and cultural resources that will be affected by the Management Plan. In the fall, she will be a senior in the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State University majoring in environmental resource management and philosophy. Andrea plans to attend law school and to specialize in environmental law.

charlotte schouCharlotte Schou is a senior at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. pursuing two majors in geography and international affairs concentrating in international environmental resources with minor in GIS. Charlotte is creating a cross comparison of all of the national marine sanctuaries' management plans, and will prepare a plan describing what analogous strategies the HIHWNMS could consider to include in the upcoming management plan review. Charlotte's NOAA mentor is HIHW's Management Plan Coordinator Joe Paulin.

emily reumanEmily Reuman, a senior at Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, is a Political Science major concentrating in environmental studies interning for the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument under the mentorship of Dan Dennison, Constituency Outreach and Partnerships Coordinator. Emily will be helping Dan to edit and finish several videos currently under production as well as assisting with press releases and media events. She will then produce new videos to be compiled for a final project portfolio. Potential film project topics include Navigating Change-Forest Restoration, a feature on Hawaii Ocean Observing System, Monument and Coast Guard Patrol Flights, HIMB Climate Change, the Battle of Midway. She will also assist with World Heritage media inquiries and activities as the announcement date nears in July.

harrison zimmerHarrison Zimmer, a New Yorker majoring in ocean engineering and anthropology, will be working at the Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory (HURL) on Oahu. The University of Rhode Island senior is being mentored by the PIR's Maritime Heritage Coordinator Dr. Hans Van Tilburg, and co-mentored by Terry Kerby of HURL. Harrison will be engineering equipment for HURL's submarines and developing web pages on surveys that HURL has conducted on historic shipwreck sites.


Kerri AllenKerri Allen, a senior at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, is majoring in geosciences with minors in environmental studies and geospatial technologies. This summer she is working on a Climate Change Monitoring Program at the HIHW office on Maui, and her mentor is Patty Miller. During her internship, she will be developing curriculums to analyze and track changes in the coastal environment. Kerri plans to get her master's degree in marine geology and hopefully work for NOAA or a non-profit coastal conservation group.

kaitlyn GrigsbyKaitlyn Grigsby is a student at St. Mary's College of Maryland, where she studies the environment, biology, and public policy. This summer she is helping 'Ao 'ao O Na loko l'a O Maui catalogue the species living in the Ko'ie'ie Fishpond adjacent to our Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary (HIHW) Kihei office, writing lesson plans for use in their education programs, assisting with these programs, and conducting an online fundraiser auction for the organization. Kaitlyn's mentor is Allen Tom, and she works with Joylyn Paman of the 'Ao 'ao O Na loko l'a O Maui.


Ashton CullumAshton Cullum is a senior mathematics education major at Arkansas State University. She is from Jonesboro, AR. This is her first research experience and she is working on the island of Kauai with the HIHW. Ashton is analyzing the Sanctuary Ocean Count data for the last 5 years, and compiling a summary of the data for the last 10 years. Ashton's mentor is Allen Tom, Pacific Islands Regional Director; her supervisor is Jean Souza, Kauai Programs Coordinator.

Big Island

Abigail DyerAbigail Dyer hails from Illinois, and will be a senior at the University of Missouri-Columbia majoring in atmospheric science with an emphasis on meteorology. This summer Abby will be working on completing a project on VOG at the 'Imiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo, on the Big Island. She is collaborating with the Mauna Loa Observatory and using their data to write a program for Science on a Sphere. When finished, 'Imiloa will have a dataset for VOG that explains what it is and how it affects the Hawaiian Islands. Her NOAA mentor is PIR regional director Allen Tom.

American Samoa

carolyn dohertyCarolyn Doherty is a senior at the University of Richmond majoring in geography and environmental studies. As a Hollings Scholar, Carolyn chose to intern at the Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary office in American Samoa. Carolyn will write a chapter of the Climate Change Story for American Samoa, focusing on climate change impacts on, society and economic stability, working with her mentor Emily Gaskin. The Climate Change Story for American Samoa is an integral step in the Climate Smart Sanctuaries certification Fagatele Bay National Marine Sanctuary hopes to achieve.

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