US EPA - Environmental Protection Agency

EPA awards $672,000 to Southern California graduate students through research fellowships

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LOS ANGELES -- Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced $672,000 in fellowship grants to eight students at Southern California Universities conducting research and studying in environmental disciplines. These students selected will work on a variety of projects covering topics including climate change, public health, chemical safety, and sustainability. The fellows were selected from the University of California, Los Angeles, the University of California, Irvine, the University of California, Riverside, the University of California, Santa Barbara, the University of California, San Diego and Scripps College in Claremont. More than $8.6 million in fellowship grants were announced to 105 graduate students across the nation.

“These fellowships support our next generation scientists and engineers as they earn advanced degrees in environmental sciences and do cutting-edge research,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “EPA’s goal is to ensure that our nation continues to have the scientific knowledge to meet environmental challenges such as climate change.”

The Science to Achieve Results (STAR) fellowship program will support scientists and engineers who are investigating environmental challenges such as the effects of climate change on waterborne human pathogens and antibiotic resistant bacteria, the interaction between pollutants and infectious disease, classifying and restoring Pacific Northwest streams to improve water quality and fish habitat, mitigating the impacts of climate change on plant communities by transforming the way we restore wetlands, and improving our understanding of where and why harmful algal blooms occur by examining the way nutrients move through river systems.

The following STAR fellows were selected from Universities in Southern California. Each fellow will receive $84,000 funding for two years of research.

University of California - Los Angeles

Project title: “Modeling exposure risk and determining effects of cholinesterase inhibiting insecticides on bats in Central California agricultural ecosystems.”

Project title: “Institutional Innovations in Environmental Regulation: The Rise of Market-oriented Approaches to Wetland Conservation in the United States.”

University of California – Irvine

Project title: “Decreasing precipitation in tropical montane cloud forests: belowground responses and their effect on global climate change.”

University of California – Riverside

Project title: “The influence of nitrogen deposition on trace gas emissions of NOx, N2O and CO2 in arid and semiarid ecosystems.”

University of California - San Diego

Project title: “Mechanisms of biological invasions on coral reefs: synergistic effects of biotic and chemical pollutants.”

University of California - Santa Barbara

Project title: “What drives pesticide use, and how will quantity and distribution of pesticide use be modified by climate change?”

Project title: “Fusion of imaging spectroscopy and lidar for spatially explicit urban forest inventory.”

Scripps College, Claremont, CA

Project title: “Mechanistic Investigations of Copper-catalyzed Azide/Alkyne Cycloadditions.”

The graduate students from the STAR fellowship program have been involved in critical and cutting edge environmental science and research opportunities for almost two decades. Since the inception of the STAR fellowship program in 1995, EPA has been committed to supporting students interested in the environmental science fields. 2015 will mark 20 years of funding STAR fellowship students who have made cross cutting impact in the environmental science field. Since its inception, STAR has awarded fellowships to 1,884 students, totaling approximately $65 million in funding.

Many STAR fellows continue on to find success in the public and private sector focusing their efforts on environmental and public health issues. Jeff Hobson, a 1996 STAR fellow from the University of California, Berkeley, is now the Deputy Director of Transform, California’s leading transportation advocate and an award-winning nonprofit organization working in the San Francisco Bay Area and California. TransForm's campaigns have helped raise over $8 billion for sustainable and socially-just transportation and led to ground-breaking policies linking transportation and land use planning.

Full listing of the 2013 STAR Fellows: http://www.epa.gov/ncer/13fellows

For more information about the STAR Fellowship Program: http://epa.gov/ncer/fellow/

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