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UMaine Oceanography Student Awarded NASA Fellowship

May 30, 2008

 

Margaret Estapa, a doctoral student in oceanography at the University of Maine’s School of Marine Sciences, was recently awarded a NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship.

The fellowship, available to to master’s or doctoral students in Earth science, heliophysics, planetary science and astrophysics, is awarded on the merits of research involving data collected by space-based instruments, ground-based data, laboratory experiments and theoretical modeling.

The $30,000 grant, which is renewable for two more years based on academic performance, will be used to support Estapa’s ongoing study of the release of carbon from the mud that is delivered from the Mississippi River to areas along the Gulf Coast.

Upon exposure to intense sunlight, some of this carbon has been found to form carbon dioxide in the months after it is delivered and can drift into the atmosphere to become a heat-trapping greenhouse gas. Estapa will use light-measuring equipment and satellite data to determine how much carbon undergoes this process and how much remains buried in the mud.

Advising Estapa on the project are School of Marine Sciences professors Larry Mayer and Emmanuel Boss.

 
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