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Students Awarded Prestigious Marine Scholarship

Karina Krul

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Three students at UNH have been awarded the Hollings Scholarship from the National

Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an exclusive grant that has only been around

for 11 years. Jessica Norstog was the first UNH student to receive the scholarship,

followed by Kyla Kelly and Nathan Lanning, who are both current juniors. Awarded to

around 100 students around the country every year, it is a very competitive, prestigious

scholarship.

NOAA is an environmental protection administration that places emphasis on marine

life and coastal protection. They award various scholarships to undergraduate students

in supporting fields to encourage future conservation efforts.

The Hollings Scholarship is one award given through NOAA. The award is only eligible

to students who apply as sophomores with a 3.0 GPA and a declared major in line with

NOAA’s mission. The scholarship awards $9500 a year for junior and senior year, as

well as the guarantee of a paid internship anywhere in the country through any of

NOAA’s labs.

“The great thing about the NOAA Hollings Program is that you can be interested in

almost anything related to science,” says previous winner, Rachael Somerville.

The scholarship is named in honor of Senator Ernest F. Hollings. He served in the

Senate for 38 years, emphasizing “practical conservationism” and spear heading many

important environmental protection laws including the Marine Mammal Protection Act

and the Oceans Dumping Act. He was pivotal in the formation of NOAA and adamantly

fought to increase, not only legal protection, but awareness of ocean and coastal

conservation and research. The scholarship was founded in 2005 to honor his work and

efforts.

The benefits of the scholarship are undeniable, and both Kelly and Lanning are already

starting to see the vast opportunities they have been allotted.

“I think this benefits me because I don’t know exactly what field I want to go into after

graduation,” Kelly said. “Now I have the opportunity to try more options and explore

certain fields more.”

Lanning had similar thoughts, “It offered me an internship in a professional NOAA lab

and is quite a prestigious scholarship that looks very good on a graduate application.”

He continues saying, “Being able to choose my internship and not needing to apply and

wait is something that’s really helpful.”

Kelly will be spending her summer in Seattle, Washington working with harmful algal

blooms while Lanning will be in Miami, Florida working with the Atlantic Oceanic and

Meteorological Lab studying how climate change effects the phosphorus cycle.

While this scholarship has offered both Kelly and Lanning amazing opportunities, it also

posed a problem when it came to paying tuition. The scholarship comes in four

installations throughout the two year period that do not line up with the tuition

deadlines. The bursars’ office, rather than working with them, treated it as if they were

not paying tuition and froze their accounts. Kelly and her family decided to front the

money for tuition, allowing the scholarship installments to reimburse them. However,

that was not an option for Lanning. He continues to need to fight to register for classes

with a frozen account.

Regardless of everything, both students feel the scholarship was a fantastic opportunity

that will benefit them far longer than senior year. They would recommend it to anyone

interested in NOAA and their mission.

Karina Krul, Editor-in-chief

Karina Krul is a senior marine biology major with a triple minor in psychology, political science and marine affairs. This is her fourth year with The...

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Students Awarded Prestigious Marine Scholarship