Congratulations to the 2018 Dr. Nancy Foster Scholars!

July 2018

NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries has selected three graduate students as recipients of the Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship, representing graduate-level areas of study such as marine biology, oceanography, and maritime archaeology. The scholarship recognizes outstanding graduate students and encourages independent research, particularly by female and minority students.

“This highly competitive scholarship program allows the next generation of NOAA scientists to grow intellectually while promoting the work and mission of the National Marine Sanctuary System,” explains John Armor, Office of National Marine Sanctuaries director. “It presents an unmatched opportunity to provide these young scholars with guidance in the very beginning of their careers.”

The three scholarship recipients for 2018 are:

Kathryn Hewett, University of California, Davis

kathryn hewett

Hewett’s doctoral studies will focus on hypoxia (lack of oxygen) in Greater Farallones and Cordell Bank national marine sanctuaries off the California coast. She has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Vermont and a Master of Science from the University of California, Davis, both in civil and environmental engineering. Hewett’s scholarship will be supported by NOAA’s Ocean Acidification Program.

Grace Casselberry, University of Massachusetts Amherst

grace casselberry

Casselberry’s doctoral studies focus on quantifying predator and prey dynamics between two shark species, bull and great hammerhead sharks, and Atlantic tarpon in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. She received her Bachelor of Science in ecology and evolutionary biology, with a minor in marine biology from the University of Connecticut.

Carina Fish, University of California, Davis

carina fish

Fish’s doctoral studies focus on tracking climate change impacts on the deep ocean, using deep-sea corals as records of a changing sea in Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Her work will help inform the management of deep-water habitat in Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Harvard University and has worked at Columbia’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in the Hönisch paleoceanography group.

As recipients of this scholarship, these women become recognized members of the NOAA community, as well as ambassadors for the National Marine Sanctuary System. Scholars are highly encouraged to share their research and results with a broad community, focusing on how their research will impact society.

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 the past director of NOAA’s National Ocean Service. Throughout her NOAA career, Dr. Foster was well respected as a personal supporter of mentoring, a champion of diversity, and an advocate of fair and equal treatment of all people in the workplace. Congress created the scholarship in 2000 as a way to honor her life’s work, her 23 years of service to NOAA, and her contribution to the nation.

This year, the Office of the National Marine Sanctuaries received 133 applications for this prestigious scholarship. Experts in the fields of science, education and policy from across NOAA reviewed and scored the applications based on their financial need, academic excellence, research, recommendations and career goals.

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 receive 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.