Three Clark University students have been named 2015 Marsh-Mosakowski NOAA Fellows and soon will embark on summer internships to conduct ecological research alongside esteemed scientists in Maryland and Hawaii.
The George Perkins Marsh Institute and the Mosakowski Institute for Public Enterprise, in partnership with NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), introduced the students during a luncheon/reception at the Mosakowski Institute, April 28.
Scientists and managers with NOAA are partnering for a fourth year with Clark University to offer qualified undergraduate students paid summer field internships in NOAA labs and offices, working in fields such as applied ocean and atmospheric science, policy, and science communication. Each student is overseen by a NOAA scientist or manager and advised by a Clark faculty mentor.
Professor Robert Johnston, director of the Marsh Institute, noted the interdisciplinary nature of the fellowships and how they embody the Liberal Education and Effective Practice (LEEP) focus at Clark. He outlined the competitive applicant pool and careful matching process for these placements, which involve approximately 10 weeks of study during the summer. He cited the program as a fine example of a partnership between Clark and a federal agency.
NOAA Fellows are called upon to contribute to ongoing and necessary research, Johnston said. "This is work that desperately needs to be done, whether it's helping to do economic analysis at the office of marine sanctuaries, or whether it's helping to do field work in various places — it's all stuff that needs to be done and directly contributes to NOAA's mission." Past fellows have acted as excellent ambassadors for Clark, he added: "Universally, I hear fantastic things. It's not just about going out and having a summer job, it's about going out and doing something that matters. You learn something, you come back to Clark, you link it to your program and everybody wins."
Mosakowski Institute Director Jim Gomes spoke about the fellowship program's quality and the Clark students' impressive work. He expressed how rewarding it is for the Institute "to provide opportunities like this for our students and to help you take advantage of them and watch you flourish in them. We're very proud of you and you do us proud with the work you've done in the past and the work you'll do in the future."
The students will share their research findings with advisers and peers at Clark, during and after their internship experiences.
The 2015 Marsh-Mosakowski NOAA Fellows are:
Saira Khan '17 is a Geography and an International Development and Social Change major who will work in Hawaii on NOAA'S Sentinel Site Program and Habitat Blue Print: From observation to stewardship. Her Clark faculty mentor is Professor Christopher Williams of the Graduate School of Geography. Khan also is a 2015 recipient of the NOAA Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship. (Dale Watt '17, physics and geography major, also received a Hollings scholarship.)
Katherine Landesman '16 is a Global Environmental Studies major, with a Peace Studies concentration, whose NOAA Project will be in Hawaii working to develop bathymetric and benthic habitat data and products derived from WorldView-2 satellite imagery to support fisheries management in Timor-Leste, Hawaii. Professor Deborah Martin of the Graduate School of Geography will serve as faculty mentor.
Daniela Reyes Saade '17 is majoring in Geography and Economics and will spend the summer in Maryland providing socioeconomic support for the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. Her faculty mentor is Professor James McCarthy of Clark's Graduate School of Geography.
Past Marsh-Mosakowski NOAA Fellows Faye Harwell '15, Lucas Earl '14, Silvana "Vanessa" Carrasco '15, Michino Hisabayashi '15 and Julianne Murphy '17 shared their experiences and some useful tips with the new Fellows and guests at the luncheon.
"These are the kind of connections that can really make a difference," Johnston told the new NOAA Fellows cohort. "Talk to people, meet as many people as you can. Don't be afraid to ask questions. … Be open and honest and as helpful as possible."
Founded in 1887 in Worcester, Massachusetts, Clark University is a liberal arts-based research university addressing social and human imperatives on a global scale. Nationally renowned as a college that changes lives, Clark is emerging as a transformative force in higher education today. LEEP (Liberal Education and Effective Practice) is Clark's pioneering model of education that combines a robust liberal arts curriculum with life-changing world and workplace experiences. Clark's faculty and students work across boundaries to develop solutions to complex challenges in the natural sciences, psychology, geography, management, urban education, Holocaust and genocide studies, environmental studies, and international development and social change. The Clark educational experience embodies the University's motto: Challenge convention. Change our world.