Four University of Maryland students have been awarded the 2017 Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Rising juniors Logan Kline, Anna Lowien, Cara Schiksnis and Emma Thrift will each receive up to $9,500 per year for the last two years of their undergraduate career and participate in a 10-week, full-time paid summer internship at NOAA facility to gain hands-on educational training experience in NOAA-related science, research, technology, policy, management and education.
Awarded annually, the Hollings Scholarship program recruits and prepares students for public service careers with NOAA and other natural resource and science agencies, or careers as teachers and educators in oceanic and atmospheric science. This year, NOAA awarded 110 Hollings scholarships to students from 64 universities in 33 states.
UMD awardees include:
Kline, president of the Environmental Science and Policy Student Association (ENSPire), is an environmental science and policy major with a concentration in Marine and Coastal Management. As ENSPire president, she works to unite ENSP majors by organizing career panels, social events, open forums with esteemed faculty members and fundraisers on behalf of the program. She conducted research in the Wetland Ecology lab under UMD professor Dr. Andrew Baldwin, examining carbon sequestration in restored versus natural wetlands. She also served as a Sustainability Advisor in the Office of Sustainability. This summer, Kline is working as an Interpretation and Environmental Education Intern for Fish and Wildlife at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia.
An environmental science and policy (ENSP) major with a concentration in environmental geosciences and restoration, Lowien is a member of the College Park Scholars Science and Global Change program. She conducts research in the laboratory of Michael Evans, an associate professor of geology at UMD. This summer, Lowien is analyzing cellulose from tropical trees in locations that experience changes in rainfall when El Niño and La Niña events occur. Her results will contribute to the study of whether and how human-caused changes in atmospheric composition have impacted El Niño.
Schiksnis, an environmental science and technology major with a concentration in environmental health, works in the Aquatic Toxicology Lab on campus. A member of the Gemstone Honors Program, she and her Gemstone team, Oyster, are working to increase populations of oysters in the Chesapeake Bay by designing structures to which developing oysters can attach and grow — thereby improving the water quality in the bay and supporting a diverse and dynamic bay ecosystem. This summer, Schiksnis is interning at Johnson & Johnson in New Jersey, working with product stewardship to increase the company’s sustainability and minimize the environmental impacts of their products. This fall, Schiksnis will take sustainability classes while studying abroad in Florence, Italy.
Thrift, a biological sciences major and intern in the Plant Ecology Laboratory at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, studies mycorrhizal fungi that live in plant root systems and are necessary for orchid seeds to germinate. Thrift’s work focuses on how mycorrhizal fungi affect orchid populations, and she hopes to apply the results toward conserving orchids and orchid biodiversity in the wild. Thrift is also a CMNS student and a member of the College Park Scholars Science and Global Change program.