Aug. 15, 2017

Vernon Smith,, 240-533-0662
Claire Fackler,, 805-893-6429

Students selected for 2017 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 graduate-level areas of study such as marine biology, oceanography and maritime archaeology. The scholarship recognizes outstanding scholarship and encourages independent graduate level research, particularly by female and minority students.

To date, 13 percent of alumni are minorities, with the majority (90 percent) of them women. Sixty-six percent of the alumni work as professionals in a field related to NOAA mission critical sciences.

"This highly competitive scholarship program allows the next generation of NOAA scientists to grow intellectually and expand their knowledge while promoting the work and mission of the National Marine Sanctuary System," said John Armor, NOAA 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."

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 4-6 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 2017 are:

Samara Haver

Samara Haver, Oregon State University. Her Ph.D. studies in marine soundscape ecology will compare long-term changes in underwater ambient sound by using a network of hydrophones. Analyzing acoustic time-series data collected across twelve sites, including four national marine sanctuaries (Olympic Coast, Cordell Bank, Channel Islands and Stellwagen Bank), Ms. Haver will document baseline levels and multi-year trends in ocean ambient sound in U.S. waters. She earned her undergraduate degree at Colorado College, during which she spent a semester conducting field-based marine science research. Inspired by her time at sea, Ms. Haver returned to Woods Hole after graduation to join the Passive Acoustics Lab at the NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center. Following that, Samara joined the Wildlife Science department at Oregon State University, where she completed her Master's degree in 2017.

Nissa Kreidler

Nissa Kreidler, Humboldt State University. Ms. Kreidler is pursuing a Masters of Science in Natural Resources and Fisheries focused on the deep-sea coral habitats in Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. She received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Santa Cruz, where she worked in island conservation in California and the Philippines. She studied climate change impacts on the rainforests of China before being drawn to salt marsh restoration in the San Francisco Bay. Her academic and career path has been driven by her love of the natural world and her passion for the communication and application of scientific research.

Anna Robuck

Anna Robuck, University of Rhode Island. Her Ph.D. studies in oceanography will explore the transport and fate of legacy and emerging persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in coastal and pelagic (deep sea) ecosystems and its impacts on the Great Shearwater seabird. Ms. Robuck strives to increase awareness about POPs and seabird health through diverse science communication and outreach strategies that leverage her exciting research. She obtained her Bachelors degree and Masters degree in Aquatic Ecology Lab from the University of North Carolina, Wilmington.

As recipients of the Dr. Nancy Foster 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 Nancy Foster, Ph.D., 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. 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, 23 years of service to NOAA and her contribution to the nation.

This year, the Office of the National Marine Sanctuaries received more than 180 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.

The Office of National Marine Sanctuaries serves as the trustee for a network of underwater parks encompassing more than 620,000 square miles of marine and Great Lakes waters from Washington state to the Florida Keys, and from Lake Huron to American Samoa. The network includes a system of 15 national marine sanctuaries and Papahānaumokuākea and Rose Atoll marine national monuments.

NOAA's mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and our other social media channels.