Megan Haserodt, a Hope College sophomore from North Olmsted, Ohio, has received a highly competitive, two-year Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

NOAA is presenting the awards to approximately 100 college undergraduates to further academic studies related to NOAA science, research, technology, policy, management and education activities.  Haserodt is double-majoring in geology and chemistry with a minor in environmental science, and as a career is interested in hydrogeology or some sort of water quality work.

"Meg is certainly deserving of this honor, given her performance in the geological and environmental sciences department and the natural and applied sciences division," said Dr. Jon Peterson, professor of geology and environmental science, with whom Haserodt has been conducting research during the spring 2009 semester.  "It is particularly exciting for us because this is the first NOAA scholarship of this type awarded to a Hope student."

"This selection underscores Meg's potential to become a prominent earth scientist, and is consistent with her broad interdisciplinary interests and abilities," he said.  "Meg certainly will be exposed to some unique, career-shaping opportunities through this scholarship program."

The awards total up to $29,050, and include up to $8,000 of academic assistance per year for full-time study during the recipients' junior and senior years; a paid, 10-week internship position during the summer at a NOAA facility; a housing subsidy for scholars who do not reside at home during the summer internship; and travel expenses to attend and participate in a mandatory orientation and conference.

Haserodt will be attending the orientation and conference in Maryland in May.  Her internship has not yet been determined, but will take place during the summer of 2010, with the planning to be finalized during the 2009-10 school year.

She has pursued a variety of research experiences during her time at Hope.  Her work with Peterson has focused on antibiotic contamination in groundwater.  Last summer, she was an environmental intern at the Mohonk Preserve in New York, where her activities included exploring how a recent forest fire affected nesting-bird biodiversity; a peregrine falcon monitoring project; taking daily water samples from a nearby lake; and helping maintain the preserve's ongoing natural history of the region, including flowering dates for various local species, population counts on invasive species and bird records.  This coming summer, she will be working in Alaska with the Kenai Watershed Forum to do research on salmon and the water in the watershed.

Haserodt is the daughter of Ben and Jody Haserodt of North Olmsted.  She is a 2007 graduate of Lake Ridge Academy.

The Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship Program was established in 2005 to honor retiring Senator Ernest F. Hollings-D of South Carolina.  Hollings scholars are selected from applicants majoring in a broad range of disciplines including biological, physical and social sciences; mathematics; engineering; computer and information sciences; and teacher education.

The program expands and supports NOAA's 35-year commitment to enhance economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and provide environmental stewardship of the nation's coastal and marine resources.  The program is part of a larger effort to enhance NOAA's strategic efforts to promote environmental literacy and ensure a future, world-class workforce to assist the agency in fulfilling its mission.