The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Program recognizes outstanding scholarship and encourages independent graduate level research -- particularly by female and minority students -- in NOAA mission-related sciences of oceanography, marine biology and maritime archaeology, including all science, engineering and resource management of ocean and coastal areas. Scholarship selections are based on academic excellence, letters of recommendations, research and career goals and financial need.

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The application period for the 2016 Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship is now closed. The 2016 Dr. Nancy Foster Scholars will be announced on May 27, 2016. Applications for the 2017 Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship will be open in October 2016.

Class of 2015

Alexandra M. Avila

Alexandra M. Avila

Fisheries Ph.D. candidate at Oregon State University’s Department of Fisheries and Wildlife.

Joshua Stewart

Joshua Stewart

Pursuing a Ph.D. in Marine Biology from Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Richard Colemen

Richard Coleman

Pursing his doctorate in Zoology in the laboratory of Dr. Brian Bowen at the Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology at the University of Hawaiʻi, Mānoa.

Sarah Kienle

Sarah Kienle

Pursuing a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Meet the Scholars

Dr. Nancy Foster

Dr. Nancy FosterDr. Foster was a marine biologist known for her science-based conservation of coastal aquatic life. Dr. D. James Baker, the former Administrator of NOAA, asked Dr. Foster to be the new head of National Ocean Service (NOS) in 1997. During her short stay at the National Ocean Service, she increased the agency's strength and stature, and positioned NOS to lead the nation in coastal stewardship. The reinvention and invigoration of NOS, completed in 1999, was conceptualized and developed under her guidance.

Dr. Nancy Foster's Legacy

NOAA Ship Nancy Foster

The NOAA Ship Nancy Foster (R 352) commissioned May 10, 2004.

Dr. Nancy Foster Scholars can expect support by NOAA throughout their scholarship experience, as well as help to create a pathway to a future career. NOAA staff will mentor and foster collaborative experiences for each scholar. Through hands-on research, policy and education, the National Marine Sanctuary System provides a classroom away from universities and colleges to allow for students to experience real world science in some of the United State's most special underwater treasures and to become ambassadors for NOAA and the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.

Julia Barrows

Dr. Nancy Foster Scholarship Program applicants are encouraged to document how their research activities support NOAA's mission, particularly the mission of the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, and the science priorities and specific needs assessment of the National Marine Sanctuary System.