Lauren McDowell ’24 has been named a NOAA Hollings scholar, becoming the first UNH student to receive the honor for sophomores since 2019.
McDowell will complete a paid internship with the National Marine Fisheries Service next summer.
The NOAA Hollings Scholarship provides successful undergraduate applicants with awards that include academic assistance (up to $9,500 per year) for two years of full-time study and a 10-week, full-time paid ($700/week) internship at a NOAA facility during the summer.
According to Jeanne Sokolowski, director of the Office of National Fellowships at UNH, the NOAA typically receives more than 500 applications per year and awards roughly 118 scholarships.
“This scholarship is an outstanding opportunity to help me better understand the role of agencies in our natural world and help protect its precious resources against the threat of climate change. It means so much to me that I have been selected and I have the chance to get involved so early in my career,” McDowell says.
McDowell – a dual major in marine, estuarine and freshwater biology and sustainability – says she’s been inspired since beginning pursuit of her degree by the way NOAA uses science-based information to influence policymakers and educators. Her interests are particularly aligned with the research NOAA scientists are doing within habitat conservation and the climate and fisheries initiatives.
“The internship will expand my knowledge of both marine science research and scientific communication,” McDowell says. “It will also allow me to contribute to NOAA in an area that I am most passionate about, sustainability and the ocean.”
The Winchester, Massachusetts, native is in the Honors Program at UNH and has also been recognized as a Changemaker Fellow. She hopes to pursue work at a nongovernmental organization or a government agency like NOAA after she wraps up her UNH degree, and her career goals center around helping to create meaningful and positive changes within the marine ecosystem, she says.
“I have found a passion for communicating science, researching marine life and conservation and management of marine ecosystems,” she says.