Jun 06, 2017
HSU alumna Nicolette Nelson (’16, Wildlife) was recently awarded a National Science Foundation Fellowship that will allow her to continue amphibian research and pursue her Ph.D. at Washington State University Vancouver. Nelson was among 2,000 winners selected from 13,000 applicants from a variety of science and engineering fields.
Nelson plans to use environmental DNA to determine how a disease-causing bacteria is distributed across the habitats of Cascades frogs. Her research is a continuation of her undergraduate studies at Humboldt State University, which included designing and implementing her own research project (the results of which she recently shared at the March for Science symposium), spatial ecology tactics, wildlife management, and a continuing interest in amphibians. Nelson said supportive professors and their classes helped guide her on a path to success.
Since graduating, Nelson has worked at the Redwood Sciences Lab studying the Cascades frog, and she will continue to work with the lab as she pursues her Ph.D. Nelson is excited about her NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program award. “I will have much more time and flexibility with my research than I would have otherwise,” she says.
About the Fellowship:
The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) helps ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science and engineering in the United States and reinforces its diversity. The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions.
As the oldest graduate fellowship of its kind, the GRFP has a long history of selecting recipients who achieve high levels of success in their future academic and professional careers. The reputation of the GRFP follows recipients and often helps them become life-long leaders that contribute significantly to both scientific innovation and teaching. Past fellows include numerous Nobel Prize winners, U.S. Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, Google founder, Sergey Brin and Freakonomics co-author, Steven Levitt.
Fellows share in the prestige and opportunities that become available when they are selected. Fellows benefit from a three-year annual stipend of $34,000 along with a $12,000 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees (paid to the institution), opportunities for international research and professional development, and the freedom to conduct their own research at any accredited U.S. institution of graduate education they choose.
NSF Fellows are anticipated to become knowledge experts who can contribute significantly to research, teaching, and innovations in science and engineering. These individuals are crucial to maintaining and advancing the nation’s technological infrastructure and national security as well as contributing to the economic well-being of society at large.
So that the nation can build fully upon the strength and creativity of a diverse society, the Foundation welcomes applications from all qualified individuals. Women, under-represented minorities and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply.