Students Selected for 2009 NOAA Scholarships Honoring Dr. Nancy Foster

September 2, 2009

Greg Zychowski, Catherine Benson, Andrea Quattrini, Pamela Elaine Michael, Rebecca Asch, Lauren Garske, Stacey Trevathan.

Greg Zychowski, Catherine Benson, Andrea Quattrini, Pamela Elaine Michael, Rebecca Asch, Lauren Garske, Stacey Trevathan.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has selected seven outstanding graduate students from around the nation to embark on a new and exciting phase of their academic career as participants in NOAA’s Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship program. These scholars, studying in the fields of marine biology, coastal resource management, and maritime archeology, will work with NOAA scientists as they continue their advanced degree efforts.

The scholarships were established in memory of Dr. Foster’s 23-year tenure at NOAA. Her early understanding of marine ecosystems and their conservation, and the need to consider the interdependent roles of organisms in marine ecosystems, set her apart as a pioneer and visionary. This perspective laid the foundation for her work with NOAA, and brought a quality and strength to the agency that is still present today. Congress created the scholarship in 2000 as a means of honoring her life's work and contribution to the nation.

“In addition to being an exemplary scientist, Dr. Foster was a tireless supporter of mentoring, a champion of diversity, and an advocate of fair and equal treatment of all people in the workplace. These scholarships are a living testament to her work and beliefs,” said Louisa Koch, NOAA’s director of Education. “I am confident these students will enjoy a rewarding experience working side by side with NOAA scientists and then use that knowledge as they launch their careers.”

The seven scholarship recipients are:

Each scholarship recipient will receive an annual stipend of $20,000 and up to $12,000 annually for tuition. Doctoral students are eligible to continue the scholarship program for four years and master’s level students for two years.

Dr. Rebecca Holyoke, a Foster Scholar from 2004-2008, has fond memories of her experience. “The Nancy Foster scholarship was a wonderful opportunity for me. It allowed me to dedicate myself whole-heartedly to my graduate research while becoming familiar with the mission and vision of NOAA,” said Holyoke, a policy analyst in NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.

This is the ninth year of the scholarship program. NOAA received over 170 applications to evaluate. A panel of NOAA scientists reviewed and ranked the applications and finalists were selected based on their ranking scores, financial need, academic excellence, recommendations, and research and career goals.

NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.