The ADVANCE PAID grant, Enhancing and Advancing the Scholarship of STEM Women Faculty at UNH, was the first of three NSF ADVANCE grants awarded to UNH. The ADVANCE PAID grant took place from September 2009 – August 2013. The pages that follow are a historical record of initiatives during that grant period.


  1. Facilitate women STEM faculty’s ability to advance successfully through their careers as leaders in research and teaching. 
  2. Increase women STEM faculty’s capacity to influence policy and decisions at the institutional and national levels. 
  3. Increase women STEM faculty satisfaction with resources and research support and to minimize feelings of isolation among women STEM faculty. 
  4. Increase women STEM faculty satisfaction with faculty colleagues, deans, and department chair who mentor them.

Karen Von Damm Leadership Award

Provided funds to support STEM women faculty in their pursuit of leadership opportunities. The grant was named in honor of the late Dr. Karen Von Damm, UNH professor and internationally renowned leader and chemical oceanographer.

Grant Recipients

Jo Sias
Jo Sias

Associate Professor
Civil Engineering

This award will support her teaching while she takes on leadership positions as Civil Engineering Graduate Program Coordinator, and as Chair of the Scientific Committee for an international professional conference.

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Julie Bryce
Julie Bryce

Associate Professor
Earth Sciences

This award will allow her to continue her scholarly work while serving as Department Chair in Earth Sciences. Ultimately, this will enhance her leadership role at the university and within the geosciences community.

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Jennifer Jacobs
Jennifer Jacobs

Civil Engineering

This award will support research and teaching projects while she serves as a faculty lead in creating the School of Earth and Environment School— a leadership opportunity within the university and in Earth and environmental sciences.

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Alynna Lyon
Alynna Lyon

Associate Professor
Political Science

This grant will support her teaching while she is completing a book examining "United States Relations with the United Nations in an Era of Globalization." Her research makes bridges between hard science and social sciences.

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Serita Frey
Serita Frey

Professor of Natural Resources and the Environment, COLSA;
Faculty Chair of Natural Resources and Earth System Science PhD program
This funding will provide summer salary to support her leadership roles both professionally and within UNH.

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Lynn Kistler
Lynn Kistler

Space Science Center, EOS, and Physics

This award will enhance her leadership roles at the university and in her scientific community. It will allow her to pursue a NASA "Mission of Opportunity," which provides a chance to fly a US instrument on an international mission.

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Jessica Bolker
Jessica Bolker

Associate Professor of Zoology;
Associate Director of Shoals Marine Lab

The award will further her work on UNH's role and partnerships at the Shoals Marine Laboratory. Her new undergraduate course "Marine Immersion," designed for UNH freshmen, utilizes the facilities at Shoals Marine Laboratory.

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Collaborative Scholarship Awards

Provided funds to support and enhance collaborations between research and tenure track faculty in the STEM disciplines.

Award Recipients

Serita Frey, Professor, Natural Resources and the Environment
Alexandra Contosta, Research Assistant Professor, EOS Earth Systems Research Center.

Drs. Frey and Contosta received this award to study the tradeoffs in urban ecosystem services by examining the benefits provided by these ecosystems such as carbon storage and wildlife habitat verses the downsides, including the presence of lead and other heavy metals surrounding older urban areas. The urban soils research will be incorporated into the Studio Soils course taught by Dr. Frey.


Meghan Howey, Professor, Anthropology
Elizabeth Burakowski, Research Assistant Professor, EOS Earth Systems Research Center

Drs. Howey and Burakowski received this award to study the long-term eco-climatic and social impacts of deforestation during the early colonial period (ca. 1620 to 1750 AD) in New England. The project aims to provide an interdisciplinary approach to both classroom learning experiences and research grants by crossing the social and natural sciences. 


Daniel Howard, Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences
Jennifer Dijkstra, Research Assistant Professor, School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering

Drs. Howard and Dijkstra received this award to study how biological invasions in the Gulf of Maine, such as kelp forests being replaced by red seaweeds, influence native species. Drs. Dijkstra and Howard will use passive acoustic monitoring to determine changes in feeding rates of wrasse fish when invasive biological variants are introduced. This study will be integrated into Dr. Howard’s Research Methods in Animal Behavior course with Dr. Dijkstra as a co-teacher.

Serita Frey, Professor, Natural Resources and the Environment
Alexandra Contosta, Post Doctoral Researcher, EOS Earth Sys. Research Ctr.
received an award to develop a research-teaching collaboration that will integrate new, sensor-based research on soil processes with a new curriculum focused on environmental sensors in soil ecology, to be incorporated into the Soil Ecology course taught by Dr. Frey.

Meghan Howey, Assistant Professor, Anthropology
Adrienne Kovach, Research Assistant Professor, Natural Resources
received an award for an interdisciplinary study using ancient DNA to inform contemporary cod fishery management. This collaborative project will provide the conceptual basis and the data to develop new teaching models and to pursue new cross-disciplinary funding opportunities.

Feixia Chu, Assistant Professor, Molecular, Cellular & Biomedical Sciences
Kevin Culligan, Research Assistant, Professor, Molecular, Cellular & Biomedical Sciences
received an award to study how eukaryotic cells respond to DNA damage and replication blocks. They use Arabidopsis thaliana as a model to understanding molecular pathways involved in sensing DNA damage, using both genetic and biochemical approaches.

Linda Kalnejais, Assistant Professor, Earth Sciences
Joe Salisbury, Research Assistant Professor, EOS-OPAL
received an award to develop a research collaboration coupling marine chemistry observational data with sediment geochemistry. They will study reactions occurring in sediment near a Stellwagen Bank mooring, the site of an instrument array measuring carbonate-system parameters. This collaboration will provide a new understanding of carbon chemistry in the bottom waters of this region, and will provide an assessment of the impact of ocean acidification on the calcifying organisms in the Southern Gulf of Maine.

Rosemarie Came, Assistant Professor, Earth Sciences
Tom Lippmann, Research Associate Professor, Earth Sciences
received an award to collaboratively study the link between Milankovitch forcing and changes in the intensity of the Indian monsoon over the past 100,000 years—a geochemical time series approach.

Rosemarie Came and Tom Lippman, team teaching for ADVANCE-funded project.

Mary Stampone, Assistant Professor, Geography
Cameron Wake, Research Associate Professor, Earth Sciences and EOS
received an award to enhance scholarly collaboration on New England climate change. They will establish a research, teaching, and engagement program on New England climate change.

Jo Sias, Associate Professor, Civil Engineering
Paul Kirshen, Research Professor, Civil Engineering and EOS
received an award to study climate change adaptation for coastal roads. They will look at the benefits and costs of various adaptation methods for coastal roads, with an emphasis on the roles of pavement materials and pavement thickness.

Student Rob Chase tests aggregate samples under varied climate conditions as part of an ADVANCE-funded project.

Ruth Varner, Research Associate Professor, Earth Sciences and EOS
Joel Johnson, Associate Professor, Earth Sciences
received an award to document an in situ sediment source of methane in the Great Bay Estuary, NH: "Assessing the role of estuaries in the global methane cycle." Along with their research collaboration, they will develop a teaching module for training students in field sampling tools and tecniques, sampling protocols, and sample storage.

Professors Ruth Varner (left), Joel Johnson (right), and UNH undergraduate student Samantha Sinclair (middle photo), sample sediment in the Great Bay Estuary — a 2012 ADVANCE-funded award.

Adrienne Kovach, Research Assoc. Prof., Natural Resources and the Environment, COLSA 
Eleanne Solorzano, Assoc. Professor, Decision Sciences, WSBE
William Kelley Thomas, Professor, Molecular and Cellular Biology, COLSA
received an award to integrate genomic and statistical tools for enhancement of research and teaching using the population genomics of the saltmarsh sparrow.

Elizabeth Fairchild, Research Asst. Professor, Biological Sciences
Linda Kalnejais, Asst. Professor, Earth Sciences and EOS
received an award to study the effects of ocean acidification on fish development: preliminary testing of a carbon dioxide-injected seawater system on winter flounder embryonic development.

Heidi AsbjornsenAsst. Professor, Natural Resources and the Environment
Michael Palace, Research Asst. Professor, EOS Earth Systems Research Center
received an award to understand tropical ecosystem responses to climate change from leaves to landscapes.

Li-Jen Chen, Research Asst. Professor, EOS Space Science Center and Dept. of Physics
Roy Torbert, Professor, EOS Space Science Center and Dept. of Physics
received an award to conduct a joint study on magnetopause reconnection. The new research results and activities will form the core materials of a new course "Magnetic explosions in space", which will be open to all CEPS graduate and advanced undergraduate students.

Professional Development Award

Michele Dillon, Professor and Chair, Dept. of Sociology, COLA
The funds will be used to support her leadership position as the President of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion (SSR), a professional association of scholars from different disciplines (including sociology, psychology, economics, and history) who are dedicated to the scientific study of religion. Dr. Dillon will be the eighth woman to assume this important leadership role in the Society's 60-year history.

Julie Bryce, Associate Professor, Earth Sciences
Erik Hobbie, Research Associate Professor, Natural Resources and the Environment and EOS
The award funded proposed work incorporating samples from innovative biogeochemical experiments into a framework of project-based learning in a jointly taught graduate/undergraduate interdisciplinary Earth Science course.

Alison Watts, Assistant Professor, Civil Engineering
Jennifer Jacobs, Associate Professor, Civil Engineering
received an award to develop a collaborative research program exploring the impact of stormwater runoff on stream temperature.

Installing Temperature Sensors

Dr. Jacobs and colleagues install temperature sensors in Hodgson Brook.