Marsh-Mosakowski NOAA Fellows to embark on summer research

Five Clark juniors will spend the summer conducting research in some of the nation’s ecologically sensitive regions, thanks to a partnership between two Clark institutes and the federal agency charged with watching over the health of the nation's skies and oceans.

The George Perkins Marsh Institute and the Mosakowski Institute for Public Enterprise announced the first group of students named as Marsh-Mosakowski NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Fellows, during an April 30 reception held at the Mosakowski Institute.

Mosakowski Institute Director Jim Gomes noted that the fellows’ work illustrates the perfect union of research and practice. The partnership, he said, was in part the result of a visit to Clark last year by top NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco, who spoke about strides that have been made, as well as the ongoing challenges, in developing a sustainable future.

Professor Robert Johnston, director of the Marsh Institute, said the NOAA partnership links Clark students with scientists and peer-to-peer researchers from around the country. Johnston noted the program is emblematic of the University’s adoption of Liberal Education and Effective Practice, which deepens students’ education by combining classroom learning with real-world engagement. “This is the sort of thing that LEEP is all about,” he said

Gomes told the group he hopes they will share their experiences with other students in a fall presentation program.

The 2012 Marsh-Mosakowski NOAA Fellows are:

Christina Geller ’13, a geography and economics double major who will work on the project, Understanding the Importance of Marine Resources to Alaskan Fishing Communities at a NOAA research station in Washington state. Her Clark faculty mentor is Professor Jacqueline Geoghegan from the Economics Department.

Karissa Lear ’13, a biology major whose NOAA project will be Monitoring of Eelgrasses in Padilla Bay (WA) National Estuarine Research Reserve. Professor Deb Robertson of the Biology Department will serve as Lear’s faculty mentor.

Audrey Seiz ’13, a biology major who will spend the summer along the New Jersey coast studying Climate Change Effects on Fish Early Life Processes. Her faculty mentor is Professor John Baker of the Biology Department.

Emily Sturdivant ’13, a geography major who will be studying The Importance of Pacific Salmon and Their Marine-Derived Nutrients in Salmon River Basin Streams of Idaho. Professor Karen Frey of the Clark Geography Department will serve as Sturdivant’s faculty mentor. Sturdivant had conducted research in Siberia with Frey as part of the Polaris Project.

Lauren Ziemer ’13, an environmental science major who will conduct Coastal Ecology Research Supporting Ecosystem-Based Management this summer at a NOAA study site along the Maine coast. Professor John Rogan of the Geography Department will be Ziemer’s faculty mentor. Ziemer is also a HERO (Human Environment Research Observatory) Fellow.

For more information about the NOAA Fellows Program, contact Professor Johnston, at or Gomes, at