Where Are They Now? Four Alumni Nancy Foster Scholarship Recipients

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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship program allows graduate students to pursue higher education in marine science and undertake applied research that benefits the management of National Marine Sanctuaries.  

Four HPU MS in Marine Science alumni are past Nancy Foster Scholarship recipients. 

  • Jessie Lopez-Bohlander:  Since earning her master's degree from HPU, she returned to her position at NOAA's Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center in Honolulu, a Field Research Supervisor for the Hawaiian monk seal research program. HPU faculty thesis advisor: David Hyrenbach, Ph.D.
  • Andrea Kealoha, Ph.D.: Kealoha receive her Ph.D. from Texas A&M and is now faculty at the University of Hawaii-Maui College teaching oceanography and heading up the water quality lab.  HPU faculty thesis advisor: Emeritus professor Chris Winn, Ph.D. 
  • Pam Michael, Ph.D.:  Michael completed a Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship in D.C., then earned a Ph.D. in Marine Science at the University of Tasmania, and is now working as a post-doctoral researcher with the U.S.G.S. Coop-Unit at Clemson University, in South Carolina. HPU faculty thesis advisor: David Hyrenbach, Ph.D.
  • Shannon Lyday Ruseborn:  After graduating with her master's in marine science, Ruseborn worked for the Hawaii Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary in Honolulu and now works for the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service Habitat Conservation Division.  As the Habitat Blueprint Assistant Coordinator, she conducts Essential Fish Habitat consultations, focusing on West Hawaii. HPU faculty thesis advisor David Hyrenbach, Ph.D. 

"This program is a win-win, giving students real-world science experiences, and promoting collaborations with NOAA Sanctuary managers," Professor of Oceanography David Hyrenbach said. "Every Nancy Foster scholar I have mentored at HPU has expanded my lab's research and become a colleague."      

This year, current MS in Marine Science student Sarah Hutchinson was named one of three 2020 Nancy Foster Scholarship recipient. Hutchinson's research focuses on using wedge-tailed shearwaters as indicators of ecologically important areas and processes in the waters within and surrounding Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. Her research goals include mapping ecologically or biologically significant areas, areas of high wildlife overlap with fishing vessel use, and potential zones of marine debris aggregation around the main Hawaiian Islands. Hyrenbach is Hutchinson's faculty thesis advisor.