NOAA 2004-079
Contact: Glenda Powell

NOAA News Releases 2004
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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has awarded the prestigious Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship to four outstanding graduate-level scholars in the fields of marine biology, marine ecology, biological oceanography, and marine-estuarine environmental science.

The annual scholarships were established in memory of Dr. Foster, former NOAA assistant administrator of the National Ocean Service, a leader in marine resource conservation, and a supporter of women and minorities in the marine science field.

“Dr. Nancy Foster dedicated her life’s work to conserving our coastal and marine environments. This year’s recipients are outstanding examples of her devotion to preserving these precious resources,” said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. “This program continues Dr. Foster’s commitment to providing equal opportunities to help students achieve their career goals.”

Congress created the scholarship as a means of honoring Dr. Foster’s work and contribution to the nation. She died in June 2000.

The scholarship funding is drawn from the National Marine Sanctuaries Act, administered by NOAA’s National Ocean Service. NOAA awarded four scholarships in 2004. 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.

The four 2004 scholarship recipients are:

  • Jessica M. Dutton, Goleta, Calif. - Ms. Dutton is currently pursuing her doctorate in marine biology from the University of California. Ms. Dutton is dedicated to pursuing a scientific career studying the resistance and resilience of organisms to environmental perturbations.
  • Rebecca R. Holyoke, Cambridge, Md. - Ms Holyoke is currently pursuing her doctorate in marine-estuarine environmental science (sediment biogeochemistry) at the University of Maryland, College Park. Upon completion of her doctorate, she wishes to pursue a career in environmental policy where she can offer insights into anthropogenic nutrient inputs and environmental degradation.
  • Abigail J. Knee, Fremont, N.H. - Ms. Knee is currently pursuing her doctorate in biological oceanography from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program. Ms. Knee wants to forge international relations with the mid-ocean ridge scientific community at integrated study sites and use her training in ecology and evolutionary biology to direct research endeavors across marine disciplines.
  • Sarah E. Lester, Santa Barbara, Calif. - Ms. Lester is currently pursuing her doctorate in marine ecology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Upon graduation, she would like to pursue teaching undergraduates and working in coastal resource management and conservation.

This is the fourth year of the program, and NOAA received 93 applications, representing all the coastal regions of the United States, including several from Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. The applications were ranked by a panel of NOAA scientists; and finalists were selected based on their ranked scores, financial need, academic excellence, recommendations, and research and career goals.

Applications for the 2005-2006 academic year will be accepted from February 11, 2005 - April 15, 2005.

NOAA’s National Ocean Service balances environmental protection with economic prosperity in fulfilling its mission of promoting safe navigation, supporting coastal communities, sustaining coastal habitats and mitigating coastal hazards.

NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and providing environmental stewardship of our nation’s coastal and marine resources.

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