Scripps Oceanography Student Selected as a Canon National Parks Scholar


Scripps Institution of Oceanography / University of California, San Diego

Because of her research in the southern Sierra Nevada mountains, Jessica Lundquist describes herself as a "high-altitude oceanographer." The fourth-year graduate student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, has been selected to receive a scholarship from the Canon National Parks Science Scholars Program for the Americas.

Lundquist is one of eight Ph.D. students selected to receive the prestigious award. Each will receive $78,000. Lundquist's award will be spread over three years.

Working under the direction of Dan Cayan, director of the Scripps Climate Research Division, Lundquist focuses her research on two mountain streams at Yosemite National Park, where she and other hydroclimate team members monitor dozens of instruments tracking streamflow and snowmelt runoff. Lundquist, a native of Sacramento, studies daily streamflow cycles in Yosemite and across the western United States in an effort to understand how daily flow variations can be used to better identify where and when snowmelt occurs. The results will contribute to a better understanding of climate influences on mountain snow accumulation and snow melt, and should help to improve water runoff forecasts.

The prestigious Canon National Parks Ph.D. scholarship program is the first and only of its kind to encourage doctoral students to conduct innovative research on scientific problems critical to national parks.

The program's objective is to develop the next generation of scientists working in the fields of conservation, environmental science, and park management. Students are chosen from the biological, physical, and social/cultural sciences. Since the
Canon National Parks Science Scholars Program began in 1997, its scholars have conducted research in more than 45 national parks and published and presented more than 55 scientific articles and presentations.

Lundquist's research efforts are conducted collaboratively with Yosemite National Park, California Cooperative Snow Surveys, the California Department of Water Resources, and the U.S. Geological Survey. Other programs and supporters include ROADNet (Real-Time Observatories, Applications and Data management Network), the National Science Foundation, the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Cal-(IT)2), and the California Energy Commission.

The Canon National Parks Science Scholars Program is a collaboration among Canon U.S.A., Inc., the National Park Service (NPS), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

This year, the program has expanded to include students and research in national parks throughout the Americas, including the United States, Canada, Mexico, the countries of Central and South America, and the countries of the Caribbean.

Funded solely through a philanthropic commitment by Canon U.S.A., Inc., the expanded program annually awards eight scholarships totaling $624,000 to Ph.D. students to conduct research critical to conserving the national parks of the Americas. Scholar research and findings are applied to the contemporary and vital challenges facing the long-term preservation of national parks throughout the Americas.

Canon U.S.A., Inc.'s commitment to the program totals more than $5 million.

Dr. Gary Machlis, NPS Visiting Senior Scientist and Program Coordinator for the Canon National Parks Science Scholars Program for the Americas said, "Throughout the hemisphere, it's clear that we need science for effective park management, and parks are extraordinary places for research in many scientific disciplines. 'Parks for science,
science for parks' is essential-and the Canon National Parks Science Scholars Program for the Americas does both. These young scientists are extraordinary, and Canon U.S.A., Inc. is to be congratulated for the legacy it is building with their generous support."

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is committed to the Canon National Parks Science Scholars Program for the Americas and to furthering the research efforts of these young scientists. The AAAS is a nonprofit professional society dedicated to fostering scientific freedom and responsibility, improving the effectiveness of science in the promotion of human welfare, advancing education in science, and increasing the public's understanding and appreciation of the promise of scientific methods in human progress.

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