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Emporia Couple’s Daughter Wins EPA Research Fellowship


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded the daughter of an Emporia, Kan., couple one of its Greater Research Opportunities fellowships. She is Rachael Lane, daughter of David and Maria Lane.

Their daughter is a junior working on her bachelor’s degree in environmental chemistry with a minor in geospatial analysis at Emporia State University. Her fellowship pays tuition and a stipend for the junior and senior years of study. It includes a summer internship at an EPA facility. The fellowship provides up to $17,000 per year of academic support and up to $7,500 of summer internship support.

Lane’s research will involve ways to treat perchlorate contamination of ground water. Perchlorate is a chemical believed to interfere with the thyroid gland’s use of iodine, causing decreased hormone production. Most perchlorate made in the United States is used as the primary ingredient of solid rocket propellant. The chemical waste is increasingly being discovered in soil and water.

EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson said, “Everyone wins with this program. We help educate these fellows who then become new academic researchers, government scientists, and science teachers. They, in turn, are training the next generation of scientists and engineers.”

Lane plans to pursue a doctoral degree in environmental chemistry after graduation, followed by work as an environmental chemist to implement economical solutions to environmental problems.

She said, “Along with the fellowship funding my remaining time at ESU, it allows me to conduct valuable environmental research. Without the fellowship, the research would not be possible, and I’m fortunate to have such a wonderful undergrad opportunity. Overall, the fellowship allows me to develop skills vital to becoming a successful scientist.”

EPA has awarded more than 2,200 fellowships since the program began in 1995.

EPA’s Greater Research Opportunities (GRO) fellowship program helps build capacity in universities with limited money for research and development by awarding fellowships to students in environmental fields. The GRO fellowship program supports some of the nation’s most promising undergraduate and graduate degree candidates in environmental studies. More than 100 applicants competed this year for 29 GRO fellowships.

EPA is now accepting applications from students for the 2008 GRO and STAR (Science to Achieve Results) graduate fellowship programs. Oct. 23, 2007, is the deadline for STAR fellowships for graduate students. The deadline for applications for the GRO fellowships is Dec. 19, 2007.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens or be lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence. Application information can be found on EPA’s Funding Opportunities Web page.

EPA relies on quality science as the basis for sound policy and decision-making. EPA’s laboratories, research centers, and grantees are building the scientific foundation needed to support the Agency’s mission to safeguard human health and the environment.


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