Award helps grad student study, protect coral reef life

kaneVANCOUVER, Wash. – Graduate student Corinne Kane has received federal funding to study changes in coral fishes and their habitats, from shallow to deep waters. She intends to research the role deep-water coral reefs play in protecting fish and other dwellers of shallow-water reefs.

As one of three recipients of the Nancy Foster Scholarship from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Kane will receive an annual stipend of $30,000 and up to $12,000 annually as an education allowance. Additionally, recipients could see up to $10,000 to support a four- to six-week research collaboration at a NOAA facility.

“This extremely competitive program … nurtures development of the next generation of NOAA scientists,” said Daniel J. Basta, director of NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.

NOAA received more than 200 applications for the scholarship. A panel of scientists scored applicants based on their rankings, financial need, academic excellence, recommendations, research and career goals.

Kane, a doctoral student in environmental and natural resource sciences at Washington State University Vancouver, will conduct her work within the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (see

The scholarship was established by the U.S. Congress in 2000 in memory of Foster, a leader in marine resource conservation and former NOAA and director. The other awardees are Emily Aiken, California State University Monterey Bay, and Jessica Hale, University of Washington.

NOAA’s mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage coastal and marine resources.