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From: “uaf-distribution” <uaf-distribution>
Date: April 20, 2015 at 21:55:10 EDT
Subject: [UAFNews-L] UAF grad students receive prestigious NSF fellowships
Meghan Murphy, 907-474-7541, mmmurphy3
UAF grad students receive prestigious NSF fellowships
The National Science Foundation awarded two University of Alaska Fairbanks graduate students and a UAF alumnus with its prestigious 2015 Graduate Research Fellowships. Douglas Brinkerhoff, Wendel Raymond and Jonathan Nations, respectively, were selected to receive the merit-based scholarships.
UAF graduate student Catherine Rubin received an honorable mention.
The fellowships, which this year went to 2,000 of the 16,500 applicants nationally, provide three years of support to master’s and doctoral students who have made significant contributions to science or engineering. The fellows will receive a $34,000 annual stipend and a $12,000 cost-of-education allowance.
NSF established the fellowship program in 1952 as a way to help graduate students who are early in their career and show great potential. The program aims to ensure the vitality and diversity of the scientific and engineering workforce of the United States.
Brinkerhoff is a doctoral geophysics student with the College of Natural Science and Mathematics and a member of the Glaciers Group at UAF’s Geophysical Institute. His research focuses on the physics of fast-moving glaciers and how to use Bayesian statistics to improve glacier forecasts based on those physics. His studies involve the instrumentation and modeling of Taku Glacier in Southeast Alaska to better understand interactions between the ocean, sub-glacial sediment and the ice itself, as well as to place the natural dynamism exhibited by glaciers in the larger context of a changing global climate. Postdoctoral fellow Andy Aschwanden and professor Martin Truffer are co-advising him.
Raymond is a doctoral fisheries student with the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. Raymond, based at the Lena Point facility in Juneau, is advised by professor Ginny Eckert. He is interested in investigating species interactions and how they contribute to community and ecosystem change. Raymond’s doctoral studies will also explore how sea otters are affecting nearshore communities, especially in association with eelgrass ecosystems. UAF Alaska Sea Grant funds his current research.
Nations is a College of Natural Science and Mathematics alumnus who studied biological sciences as an undergraduate. He is the senior technician in the mammal collection at the University of Alaska Museum of the North. His research at the museum used both field work and museum specimens to examine the previously undocumented climbing behavior of the northern red-backed vole in Alaska. This fall, Nations will enter the doctoral program at Louisiana State University’s Museum of Natural Science, where he will research the role of climbing and other behaviors in the diversification of small mammal communities in the archipelagos of Southeast Asia.
Rubin, recognized by NSF with an honorable mention, is a master’s wildlife biology and conservation student with the College of Natural Science and Mathematics. She works as a curatorial assistant in the mammalogy department at the University of Alaska Museum of the North. Her research at the museum focuses on the hibernation timing of hoary marmots and understanding how the alpine mammals respond to shifts in seasonal timing resulting from climate change. Associate professor Link Olson is her advisor.
ADDITIONAL CONTACTS: Sharice Walker, School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, skwalker, 907-474-7208; Theresa Bakker, UA Museum of the North, tabakker, 907-474-6941; Sue Mitchell, Geophysical Institute, sue.mitchell, 907-474-5823.
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