Three undergraduates from the College of Charleston have received one of the most prestigious oceanic and atmospheric research awards, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship! Claire White, Connor Cozad, and Emily Dombrowski are winners for the 2021 award cycle.This award program provides undergraduates with a 10-week, full-time paid internship at a NOAA facility during the summer and academic assistance (up to $9,500 per year) for two years of full-time study.
Claire White is a sophomore majoring in Marine Biology with double minors in Spanish and Environment and Sustainability Studies. Her research interests include oceanography, marine invertebrates, ichthyology, marine ecosystems, and marine animal behavior. “In the last year,” Clarie remarks, “I have really enjoyed the independent research that I have been conducting with my oceanography class, and would like to be able to understand what other types of marine research entail at a greaters scale.” She looks forward to conducting her own research with the help of a NOAA mentor.
Upon graduation, Claire will attend a marine biology graduate program and knows that this experience will prepare her for such a career. “I would greatly encourage others to apply,” she says, “because this scholarship offers a multitude of opportunities, such as a paid summer internship at any NOAA facility nationwide working with acclaimed research professionals, as well as a two year academic scholarship, and the rich experience of a lifetime!”
Connor Cozad currently studies Data Science and Meteorology. Presently, he is helping to develop a street flooding app with current CofC professors, such as Dr. Norm Levine and Professor Lancie Affondso, and other students. He looks forward to continuing exploring new ways to combine his interests. “This opportunity is a productive step towards building a career at the intersection of data science and meteorology,” he says.
He looks forward to his internship at a NOAA facility during the summer of 2022, especially the opportunity to do some research in-person. When asked about why he applied, he says, “It is a great opportunity to get early experience in the field you’re interested in before graduate school or employment.” He is excited to network and collaborate with other students and professionals in NOAA.
Emily Dombrowski is a double major in Marine Biology and French. She is currently interested in exploring the connections between conservation, marine organisms, and human health. “For example,” she states, “my current project involves analyzing horseshoe crab blood enzymes that are used to detect bacterial contamination in vaccines.” Her research aims to increase the collection of horseshoe crab blood enzymes while decreasing environmental effects on the crabs themselves.
This program will allow her to explore her passions in marine biology and conservation while also preparing her for graduate school. After completing her undergraduate career, she plans on obtaining her PhD in marine biology. She encourages others to apply for this scholarship, stating, “Not many undergraduates have chances to foster connections and take advantage of research opportunities and working with an organization like NOAA will provide extremely valuable skills and connections for future research.” This program will allow her to collaborate with other students interested in conservation. She is very enthusiastic to be conducting research with an institution that she has admired for years.
By: Bianca Warfield