Natural Sciences

From Satellites to Cell Function

Dozens of UO Undergraduates Awarded Thousands of Dollars for Research

Got plans for next summer yet?

Laura Queen does. The junior in mathematics and computer science will spend it with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA, the US agency that studies oceans and the atmosphere.

Queen (below right) was one of only 110 students nationwide to win NOAA’s Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship this year. The award provides up to $9,500 per year in tuition support for two years, and a full-time paid summer research internship—$700 per week for 10 weeks—at a NOAA facility.

A student in the Robert D. Clark Honors College, Queen will intern with the arm of NOAA that operates the agency’s satellites—the National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service.

Laura Queen will study hurricanes and other ocean phenomena at NOAA, thanks to her Hollings fellowship.

She is one of dozens of undergraduates who earned tens of thousands of dollars in awards this year for research.

Among the UO’s newest awards is the Peter O’Day Fellowship in Biological Sciences, offered to research teams consisting of an undergraduate and a graduate student mentor. Each student receives a $5,000 stipend for work during the summer; this year’s recipients include biology majors Diana Nguyen, Tabor Whitney, Jardon Weems and Carolyn Brewster, who are studying topics ranging from heart development to cellular function.

There are also $5,000 research stipends available through the Presidential Undergraduate Research Scholars program, which supports students from populations that are underrepresented in research. Winners include seniors Alexander Lygo (physics and chemistry), Dylan Carlini (earth sciences), Evelyn Meador (earth sciences), Jacob Bieker (physics and computer and information science), Maria Dresser (physics and mathematics), Olivia Andersen (earth sciences), Shayan Louie (chemistry and biochemistry) and Taylor Contreras (physics, see p. 20).

The Vice President for Research and Innovation Undergraduate Fellowships also grant $5,000 stipends designed to stimulate promising summer research and scholarly activity under the mentorship of UO faculty. Recipients include Alexander Lygo (physics and chemistry), Adrian Gordon (chemistry), Allison Zhou (biology, p. 4), Anisha Adke (biology), Clara Gorman (history), Geena Littel (earth sciences and applied math, p. 7), Lila Kaye (biology), Peace Kotamnives (physics and mathematics) and Sarah Hovet (English and journalism).

Tens of thousands of dollars in additional undergraduate research funding is also available through:

Center on Teaching and Learning Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program: Full tuition waiver for the academic year. Oregon Undergraduate Researchers in the Summer Program for Undergraduate Research: $5,000 research stipend for undergraduates in child health and human development research. Summer Program for Undergraduate Research: $5,000 research stipend and housing for visiting undergraduates in molecular biology and child health and human development research. Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships: $5,000 living stipend and tuition and fees up to $10,000 for the academic year; $2,500 living stipend and tuition and fees for the summer.  UO R25 Summer Research Program: Approximate $3,800 summer stipend and professional training for undergraduates to conduct research funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Experiencing Science Practices through Research to Inspire Teaching: Four $3,000 grants for summer research by science majors interested in K–12 science teaching careers. Humanities Undergraduate Research Fellowship grants: $2,500 research stipend for as many as eight students during the winter and spring terms. McNair Scholars Program: Tuition support and a $2,800 summer research stipend for low-income and first-generation students or those from a group that is underrepresented in graduate education. Mary G. Alden Scholarship Award: Up to $2,000 in awards to students in biological research. Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program mini-grants: As much as $1,000 in research funds awarded during fall and winter term. Center for Undergraduate Research and Engagement: Eight $500 grants to support undergraduates presenting their research at regional and national conferences. UOWGS Undergraduate Summer Research Award: Offered by the University of Oregon Women in Graduate Science, the award goes to two undergraduates or recent graduates who will work in a lab for the summer. Each recipient receives $500.

—Matt Cooper