Friday, May 17, 2013

Winners: NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship (NESSF) Program 2013

NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship (NESSF) Program - 2013 winners announced. Congratulations to the following students and advisors for submitting NASA Earth and Space Sciences Fellowship (NESSF) proposals that were selected for funding.

NASA received a total of 587 applications in 2013 to the NASA Earth and Space Science (NESSF) Fellowship Program announced in November 2012 among Earth Science Research, Heliophysics Research, planetary Science Research, and Astrophysics Research - the four research programs of the Science Mission Directorate (SMD) at NASA Headquarters.

These four SMD science divisions make respective selection of applications for award on a competitive basis. Criteria for evaluation included: (a) the scientific merit of the proposed research; (b) the relevance of the proposed research to NASA's objectives in Earth or space science; and (c) academic excellence based upon an applicant's transcripts, the letter of recommendation by the student's academic advisor, and the degree to which it supported the proposed research. Evaluation was conducted via either mail or panel review, or both, and by the relevant expertise in the science divisions of SMD.

The purpose of the NESSF is to ensure continued training of a highly qualified workforce in disciplines required to achieve NASA's scientific goals. Awards resulting from the competitive selection are made in the form of training grants to the respective universities and educational institutions, with the faculty advisor serving as the principal investigator.

NESSF awards are made initially for one year and may be renewed for no more than two additional years, contingent upon satisfactory progress, as reflected in academic performance, research progress, and recommendation by the faculty advisor, and the availability of funds. An award is $30,000 per annum, including $24,000 student stipend and an allowance of up to $6,000, consisting of $3,000 for student expenses and $3,000 for university expenses.

The student allowance may be used for tuition; fees; travel in support of the research investigation to conferences, symposia, or collaborative meetings; books; expendable laboratory supplies; page charges for journal articles; printing of a thesis; health insurance; and other similar expenses related to the proposed research investigation. The university allowance may be used for tuition or research expenses, if agreed upon by the student and faculty advisor; it may also support research-related travel for the advisor (i.e. to accompany the student to a scientific meeting, oversee the student's research, etc.); or by the student. The budget in these two allowance categories may be exchanged, as long as the total sum for the two combined allowance categories does not exceed $6,000.

An individual accepting this award may not concurrently receive other Federal fellowships or traineeships. However, NASA may allow an applicant to receive supplements from other U.S. Federal agencies to cover expenses not covered by NASA's graduate fellowships; for example, the purchase of equipment, which is not permitted through a NASA fellowship.

The names of the students and their faculty advisors, institutions, and proposal titles of the 2013 NESSF selections are listed below by each of the four SMD science divisions.

The announcement for 2014 NESSF is anticipated in November 2013. The release will be posted at, and the deadline for submission of new applications to NASA will be February 3, 2014.

Inquiries about the program may be directed to: Program Manager for NESSF Earth Science Research - Dr. Ming-Ying Wei at (202) 358-0771 or by E-mail at

Program Manager for NESSF Heliophysics Research, Planetary Science Research, and Astrophysics Research - Dolores Holland at (202) 358-0734 or by E-mail at

Earth Science NASA received a total of 330 applications in Earth Science Research and selected 56 for award, pending acceptance by each applicant and their respective institution; they are:

Woubet Alemu (Student); Geoffrey Henebry (Advisor); South Dakota State University
Modeling Land Surface Phenologies and Seasonalities Using Earthlight: A Comparison between Tropical and Temperate Croplands, and Application to Assessment of Agricultural Productivity

Caitlin Andrews (Student); Aaron Weiskittel (Advisor); University of Maine
The Acadian Forest and Climate Change: Analyzing Shifting Species Distributions and Effects to the Carbon Balance

David Austerberry (Student); Chris Ruf (Advisor); University of Michigan
Supporting the Science and Technology Development for the Decadal Survey PATH Mission

Richard Bateman (Student); Weiqing Han (Advisor); University of Colorado
A Study of Climate Change Impacts on Southwest United States Water Resource and Policy Implication: Analyses of Satellite Data in Conjunction with Surface-Based Observations and Climate Model Simulations

Alexandra Bausch (Student); Joaquim Goes (Advisor); Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory
Assessing the Causes for the Rise in Abundance and Seasonal Productivity of the Green Mixotrophic Dinoflagellate Noctiluca in the Arabian Sea Ecosystem

Michael Beland (Student); Trent Biggs (Advisor); San Diego State University
Mapping Oil-Impacted Vegetation in Louisiana Salt Marshes: Investigating the Effects of Endmember Spatial, Temporal and Inter-Specific Variability on Vegetation Cover Estimates

Erin Black (Student); Ken Buesseler (Advisor); Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Integrating Remote Sensing and Field Observations of Controls on the Ocean Carbon Cycle by the Biological Pump

Forest Cannon (Student); Leila Carvalho (Advisor); University of California
Western Himalaya Climate Variability: The Recent Trends In Large-Scale Circulation and Local Precipitation Impacts

David Chen (Student); Chris Ruf (Advisor); University of Michigan
Characterization of the Delay and Decorrelation of Sea State to Local Wind Forcing for L-Band Remote Sensing of Ocean Surface Windspeed

Sungho Choi (Student); Ranga Myneni (Advisor); Boston University
Refinement, Evaluation and Application of Allometric Scaling and Resource Limitations Model of Forest Canopy Height and Biomass Through Synergistic Optimization With Spaceborne and Airborne Lidar Waveform Data

Ryan Davis (Student); Margaret Tolbert (Advisor); University of Colorado
Amorphous Phase States of Atmospheric Particles Studied in an Optical Trap: Implications for Global Climate and Air Quality

Andrew Delman (Student); Janet Sprintall (Advisor); Scripps Institution of Ocenaography
Influence of Kelvin Waves and Salinity on Developing Positive Indian Ocean Dipole Events

Ksenia Dmitrieva (Student); Paul Segall (Advisor); Stanford University
Improved GPS Velocity Uncertainties

Debsunder Dutta (Student); Praveen Kumar (Advisor); University of Illinois
Assessing Disaster Impact From Large Scale Floods Using Hyperspectral Remote Sensing

Nan Feng (Student); Sundar Christopher (Advisor); University of Alabama in Huntsville
Understanding the Climatic Impacts of Land Use Change and Biomass Burning Aerosols over Southeast Asia Using Numerical Models and Satellite Observations

Nandita Gaur (Student); Binayak Mohanty (Advisor); Texas A&M University
A New Heterogeneity Triangle to Characterize Land-urface Heterogeneity for Estimating Near-Surface Soil Moisture Beyond Darcy Scale

Aimee Gibbons (Student); James Famiglietti (Advisor); University of California, Irvine
Estimating Groundwater Quality Variations Using GRACE

Nick Heath (Student); Henry Fuelberg (Advisor); Florida State University
Impacts of Asian Summer Monsoon Convection on the Chemical Composition of the Upper Troposphere and Lower Stratosphere

Kimberly Huppert (Student); Taylor Perron (Advisor); Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Climatic and Geodynamic Influences on Ocean Island Landscape Evolution

Matthew Igel (Student); Susan van den Heever (Advisor); Colorado State University
Observed Environmental Influences on Convective Morphology

Stephen Klosterman (Student); Andrew Richardson (Advisor); Harvard University
Improving Predictions of Terrestrial Carbon, Water, and Energy Cycling Using Novel Plant Phenology Observation and Modeling

Caitlin Kontgis (Student); Annemarie Schneider (Advisor); University of Wisconsin Nelson Institute
Urbanization, Climate Change, and Rice Crop Sustainability

Karl Lapo (Student); Jessica Lundquist (Advisor); University of Washington
Improving Estimates of the Radiation Balance of Snow Covered Complex Terrain Using MODIS and CERES Data

Zuchuan Li (Student); Nicolas Cassar (Advisor); Duke University
Derivation of Global Net Community Production and Assessment of Regulating Factors Using In-Situ Measurements and Remotely Sensed Properties

Dongyue Li (Student); Michael Durand (Advisor); Ohio State University
Improving the Understanding of Snow Water Equivalent and Melt Timing in the Sierra Nevada by Assimilating AMSR-E L2A Brightness Temperature Into a Land Surface Model

Yang Li (Student); Allison Steiner (Advisor); University of Michigan
VOC Oxidation in the Atmospheric Boundary Layer

Pengfei Liu (Student); Scot Martin (Advisor); Harvard University
Wavelength-Dependent Complex Refractive Indices of Light-Absorbing Secondary Organic Material: Updating the Aerosol Optical Database to Improve the Accuracy and Scope of Satellite-Retrieved Information

Xiaojian Liu (Student); Jeremy Bassis (Advisor); University of Michigan
A Numerical Investigation Into the Supra-Glacial Hydrology of the Greenland Ice Sheet

Dylan Lusk (Student); Steven Cavallo (Advisor); University of Oklahoma
Predictability of Midlatitude Cyclones in Relation to Tropopause-Based vortices over the Arctic, and Sensitivity to Reductions in Sea Ice

Selena McKibben (Student); Angelicque White (Advisor); Oregon State University
Merging Satellite and Slocum Glider Data to Optimize chl-a Quantification in Oregon's Coastal Waters

Kevin McLean (Student); Oswald Schmitz (Advisor); Yale University
Use of Airborne LiDAR to Model Three-Dimensional Habitat Use by Neotropical Primates

Katherine Mertes (Student); Walter Jetz (Advisor); Yale University
Using Multi-Platform Remote Sensing Data to Predict Vertebrate Species Distributions Across Spatial Scales

John Mioduszewski (Student); David Robinson (Advisor); Rutgers University
A Multi-Method Approach to Improved Understanding of Terrestrial Snowmelt in a Warming World

Jerome Mitchell (Student); Geoffrey Fox (Advisor); Indiana University
Developing Machine Learning Algorithms to Access Bedrock and Internal Layers in Polar Radar Imagery

Christopher Moran (Student); Mark Cochrane (Advisor); South Dakota State University
Quantifying Fuel Treatment Effectiveness Over Time and in Extreme Weather Conditions

Jamiat Nanteza (Student); James Famiglietti (Advisor); University of California, Irvine
The Changing Water Resources of East Africa: Understanding the Causal Linkage Between Surface Water and Groundwater Variations Over East Africa Using GRACE, Altimetry and LSMs

Adriana Raudzens Bailey (Student); David Noone (Advisor); University of Colorado at Boulder
Constraining Vertical Exchange of Moisture Between the Boundary Layer and Free Troposphere Using Stable Isotopes in Water

Sami Rifai (Student); Stephanie Bohlman (Advisor); University of Florida
Determination of Tropical Forest Blowdown Frequency is Necessary to Understand the Regional Carbon Balance of the Northwestern Amazon

Sarah Ringerud (Student); Christian Kummerow (Advisor); Colorado State University
Building the Foundations for a Physically Based Passive Microwave Precipitation Retrieval Over the Southern Great Plains

Lauren Schaefer (Student); Thomas Oommen (Advisor); Michigan Technological University
Application of Remote Sensing and Numerical Modeling to Volcanic Hazard Monitoring

Danica Schaffer-Smith (Student); Jennifer Swenson (Advisor); Duke University
Spatiotemporal Variability of Inland Waterbodies Along the Pacific Flyway Using 30+ Years of Landsat

Amanda Schwantes (Student); Robert Jackson (Advisor); Duke University
Quantifying Drought-Induced Tree Mortality at Multiple Scales Across Texas: Regional Carbon Cycling, Biophysics, and Regime Shifts

Scott Sellars (Student); Soroosh Sorooshian (Advisor); University of California, Irvine
An Application of Object Based Methods and Machine Learning to NASA's Satellite Precipitation Data for Pattern Detection and Prediction of Regional Climate

Nicholas Smith (Student); Jeffrey Dukes (Advisor); Purdue University
Improving Earth System Models Via Incorporation of Temperature Acclimation of Plant Carbon Exchange

Theresa Stumpf (Student); Sivaprasad Gogineni (Advisor); University of Kansas
Ultra-Wideband, Wide-Swath Radar Imaging of the Ice-Bed Interface for Generating Fine Resolution Bed Topography and Quantifying Basal Conditions

Sylvia Sullivan (Student); Athanasios Nenes (Advisor); Georgia Institute of Technology
Mixed-Phase Cloud Parameterizations Within Global Climate Models

Joseph Tamborski (Student); Deanne Rogers (Advisor); Stony Brook University
Regional Characterization of Spatial Variability in Submarine Groundwater Discharge: Understanding Flux Signatures in Thermal Infrared Data and Geologic Controls

Andrew Thorpe (Student); Dar Roberts (Advisor); University of California, Santa Barbara
Mapping Local Greenhouse Gas Emissions Using Airborne Imaging Spectrometry

Mary Upshur (Student); Franz Geiger (Advisor); Northwestern University
Synthesis and Analysis of Putative Secondary Organic Aerosol Particle Constituents

Chris Waigl (Student); Martin Stuefer (Advisor); University of Alaska, Fairbanks
A Validated Remote Sensing Approach to Support Emissions Forecasting and Management of Alaskan Wildfires

Jennifer Watts (Student); John Kimball (Advisor); University of Montana
Potential Contrasts in CO2 and CH4 Flux Response Under Changing Climate Conditions: Satellite Driven Analysis of the Net Ecosystem Carbon Budget for Arctic and Boreal Regions

Michael Wolovick (Student); Robin Bell (Advisor); Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University
Ice Sheet Sliding Constrained by Assimilation of Stratigraphic Data

Kendra Wright (Student); Claudio Mazzoleni (Advisor); Michigan Technological University
Radiative Properties of Free Tropospheric Aerosols in the North Atlantic at the Pico Mountain Observatory

Wondmagegn Yigzaw (Student); Faisal Hossain (Advisor); Tennessee Technological University
The Future of Our Cities and Ageing Dams: Using NASA Satellites to Understand Changing Patterns of Infrastructure Safety for Resource-Hungry US Cities

Lei Yin (Student); Rong Fu (Advisor); University of Texas at Austin
Rainfall Extremes and Variability Over Amazonia: Understanding the Mechanisms and Consequences Using Satellite Observations and CMIP5 Models

Jie Zhang (Student); Chris Justice (Advisor); University of Maryland
Global Agricultural Drought Monitoring From Satellite Observation


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