UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State has nominated two juniors for the 2021 Astronaut Scholarship, which awards $15,000 to undergraduates in science, expertise, engineering and math (STEM) fields who intend to pursue a profession in analysis.

This yr’s nominees are Owen Chase, of Wexford, Pennsylvania, majoring in astronomy and astrophysics and statics; and Katie Kohlman, of Ellwood City, Pennsylvania, a meteorology and atmospheric science main and marine science minor.

The award is sponsored by the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation (ASF), established in 1984 by members of the unique Mercury 7 astronauts: Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Walter Schirra, Alan Shepard and Deke Slayton; in addition to Betty Grissom, widow of Virgil “Gus” Grissom; William Douglas, Project Mercury flight surgeon; and Henri Landwirth, businessman and buddy of the Mercury 7.

Owen Chase

Chase stated he got here faculty “itching” to do analysis, and as soon as at Penn State his undergraduate analysis experiences reaffirmed his educational {and professional} targets.

“I started in sophomore year,” Chase stated. “It makes me feel really empowered to be able to contribute to the larger project that is academia. It has molded my ideas of what I want to study in the future.”

Chase’s undergraduate analysis facilities round an issue in observational cosmology referred to as the Hubble rigidity, he stated. There are at the moment varied strategies of measuring the enlargement price of the universe (often called Hubble’s fixed, or H0, pronounced “H-not”).

“Our work seeks to use a new measurement technique to independently measure H0,” Chase stated.

head-and-shoulders photograph of Owen Chase

Owen Chase is a Penn State junior majoring in astronomy and astrophysics and statistics.

He stated incomes the award would assist validate the laborious work he has executed up to now and provides him confidence as he enters the graduate college utility course of. Though Chase has skilled measurable success, he stated it might nonetheless be simple to self-doubt.

“I think it is easy in academia to get caught up comparing oneself to others and being very harsh on oneself,” he stated. “This award will first and foremost give me something that I can point myself to in times of self-disappointment and tell myself that I’m alright and I am doing good work, and especially enough work.”

Chase’s future plans embrace attending graduate college for astrophysics and increasing his observational coaching to incorporate theoretical analysis stepping into the idea aspect. He stated he additionally needs to include information science strategies into his work. After incomes a doctorate, Chase plans to think about academia and changing into a researcher and probably a professor at a college. However, he stated, there are lots of thrilling alternatives and choices he would contemplate.

Katie Kohlman

Kohlman is at the moment researching marine warmth waves (MHWs) within the northeastern Pacific Ocean, anomalous sea floor temperatures which have profound impacts on marine life and society.

“My research is analyzing these anomalous events and understanding the atmospheric connections,” Kohlman stated. “Currently, my research shows that these MHWs are not new, yet they are increasing due to anthropogenic climate change and connect to tropical climate processes.”

The Penn State junior stated her undergraduate analysis has impacted her in some ways, serving to her discover ways to design and begin her personal analysis mission, establish a dynamically fascinating story and talk the outcomes.

head-and-shoulders photo of Katie Kohlman

Katie Kohlman is a Penn State junior majoring in meteorology and atmospheric science and minoring in marine science.

“During the pandemic, I was lucky enough to have the chance to give oral and poster presentations about my work,” Kohlman stated. “Through these presentations, I made invaluable connections with other scientists and they have helped to push my research in ways I could not have thought of alone.”

She stated it will be an honor to be acknowledged with an award such because the Astronaut Scholarship after numerous hours of bettering her understanding of science and striving to attain her targets.

“It certainly has not been easy in the times that we are in and the Astronaut Scholarship would be an absolutely incredible financial relief and amazing recognition,” Kohlman stated.

Kohlman plans to attend graduate college to extend her understanding of air-sea interactions and local weather dynamics and hopes to develop into an knowledgeable within the discipline. Her objective, she stated, is to have a real understanding of oceanic and atmospheric science and to translate it to the world.

More in regards to the Astronaut Scholarship; the way to apply

The Mercury 7 are America’s first astronauts, picked from the ranks of the top-performing army aviators within the late Fifties, who themselves have educational {and professional} roots within the STEM fields. ASF continued to develop its help over time from astronauts from the Gemini, Apollo, Skylab and Space Shuttle applications, in response to the ASF web site.

The University can nominate as much as two candidates for the award, so college students should first move by an inner Penn State choice course of facilitated by the workplace of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships Mentoring. Students should be U.S. residents, full-time sophomores or juniors with one to 2 years of examine remaining, have accomplished at the very least two years of full-time examine at Penn State, and be majoring in a STEM discipline with the intention of pursuing a profession in analysis. The University picks its nominees primarily based on proof of creativity and innovation, initiative and distinctive efficiency of their respective fields.

Students concerned about making use of to the scholarship ought to contact Undergraduate Research and Fellowships Mentoring to be taught extra in regards to the scholarship program, confirm that they meet the eligibility standards and start the appliance course of. Students can contact the workplace at [email protected]. More info additionally could be discovered at

Undergraduate Research and Fellowships Mentoring is a part of the Penn State Office of Undergraduate Education, the educational administrative unit that gives management and coordination for University-wide applications and initiatives in help of undergraduate instructing and studying at Penn State. Learn extra about Undergraduate Education at

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