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NOAA Scholars wrap up a summer of research and education

August 16, 2017

A total of 127 Ernest F. Hollings Scholars and 13 Educational Partnership Program with Minority Serving Institutions (EPP/MSI) Undergraduate Scholars completed 10-week internships this summer at NOAA facilities from Maine to Hawaii. During the first week of August, NOAA Scholars presented their research and education-focused projects to an audience of NOAA scientists and their peers during the annual Science & Education Symposium in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Hollings Scholar Amber Liggett filming an Owlie Skywarn video during her education and outreach internship with the National Weather Service.
NOAA Scholars conducted internships throughout the country and across all of NOAA’s mission areas, including weather, oceans, climate, satellites, coasts and more. Scholars are paired with mentors and work alongside NOAA scientists, bringing energy and new ideas to the agency every summer. Many past Scholars have published peer reviewed articles based on their summer projects. NOAA undergraduate scholars also have funding available to present their work at up to two scientific conferences.
 

NOAA Fisheries

NOAA Fisheries provides science-based conservation and management for sustainable fisheries and habitats. Forty-five Scholars interned with NOAA Fisheries at Fisheries Science Centers throughout the country. Melissa Drown designed and tested a High Frequency CO2 System for ocean acidification research at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center in Highlands, New Jersey. At the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, Kenneth Erickson used models to estimate life history parameters for data-limited fish stocks such as sharks and grouper.

National Ocean Service

Blair Morrison holding an American eel during her internship with Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve in Maine.
Blair Morrison holding an American eel during her internship with Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve in Maine. (Michelle Furbeck)

The National Ocean Service provides data, tools, and services that support coastal economies. Forty National Ocean Service interns spent the summer at National Estuarine Research Reserves, National Marine Sanctuaries, the Beaufort Lab in North Carolina, the Hollings Marine Lab in Charleston, South Carolina, and NOAA headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland. Blair Morrison (pictured) studied the early life history of invasive European green crabs in the estuaries of Southern Maine at Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve. Kammie-Dominique Tavares investigated potential beach sanctuaries on Oahu for the coastal biota of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument during her internship with National Marine Sanctuaries in Hawaii.

NOAA Research

NOAA Research provides the research foundation for understanding the earth system. Twenty-seven NOAA Scholars conducted their internships with NOAA Research, including seven students who interned with Sea Grant Programs. NOAA Research internships varied from modeling ocean acidification in the Bering Sea to studying the submarine volcanoes of the Axial Seamount.

National Weather Service

Drew Koeritzer inside a radar dome at the Cleveland Airport during his internship with the Cleveland Weather Forecast Office.
Drew Koeritzer inside a radar dome at the Cleveland Airport during his internship with the Cleveland Weather Forecast Office. (Drew Koeritzer)

Scholars also helped NOAA work toward the goal of a weather-ready nation. Twenty-two Scholars interned with the National Weather Service at local Weather Forecast Offices, NOAA headquarters and the National Hurricane Center. Drew Koeritzer (pictured) conducted a study on better forecasting the start times of lake effect snow storms using archived model data at the Cleveland Weather Forecast Office. Natalie Panasiak interned with the Flagstaff Weather Forecast Office, translating NWS materials into Navajo to improve weather communications and public safety for the Navajo Nation, as well as provide culturally relevant science education resources. Amber Liggett (pictured above) interned at NWS headquarters in Silver Spring, MD, conducting education and outreach to support the Weather Ready Nation goal.

NOAA Satellites

NOAA Satellites hosted five scholars this summer in Boulder, Colorado and Asheville, North Carolina. Students worked on projects such as using satellite observations to estimate tropical cyclone rainfall and paleoclimate modeling.

Marine & Aviation Operations

Finally, one Scholar interned with the Office of Marine and Aviation Operations in Alaska working on hydrography, mariner skills and process improvement for the NOAA Ship Fairweather.

Hollings Scholar Danielle Naiman studied ocean acidification in the Bering Sea during her summer internship with the Pacific Marine Environmental Lab in Seattle, WA.
Danielle Naiman studied ocean acidification in the Bering Sea during her summer internship with the Pacific Marine Environmental Lab in Seattle, WA. (Dr. Jessica Cross)

The Science & Education Symposium included two days of oral presentations and a poster presentation session. Closing out the week, Acting Assistant Secretary for Conservation and Management Dr. Paul Doremus discussed the importance of student research to achieving NOAA’s mission. Fourteen undergraduate scholars received recognition for exceptional presentations. See list of award winners  ❯

NOAA Scholars during the poster session of the annual Science & Education Symposium.
NOAA Scholars (left to right) Maria Cogliando, Akofa Kekeh, Max Garvue and McKenna Lewis during the poster session of the annual Science & Education Symposium. (Kristen Jabanoski)

The 2018 NOAA Undergraduate Scholarship application will open on September 1st. For more information and to apply for NOAA’s undergraduate scholarship programs, please visit our website. Also, be sure to follow NOAA Education on social media: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You can explore the adventures of our scholars by searching for #NOAAScholars.