NAU Graduate College
Grad school, elevated
A better world is waiting. If you’re ready to pursue your next opportunity—whether intellectual, professional, or personal—then Northern Arizona University’s flexible, challenging graduate programs will help you get to your next level. Study in Flagstaff, online or statewide.
Graduate student spotlights
Annika Gustafsson is a fourth year PhD candidate in the Department of Astronomy and Planetary Science. Annika received the Zonta International Amelia Earhart Fellowship for her proposed work investigating the surface properties of near-Earth asteroids. “The Amelia Earhart Fellowship was established in 1938 in honor of famed pilot and Zontian, Amelia Earhart. The US $10,000 Fellowship is awarded annually to up to 30 women pursuing Ph.D./doctoral degrees in aerospace engineering and space sciences.” This is not just 30 women in the US — it’s an international award. Last year only a few of the recipients were US based.
With a combination of advanced instrumentation and multi-disciplinary techniques, she will aim to constrain the relationship between surface properties and asteroid size in the near-Earth asteroid population which will play a key role in influencing our understanding of small bodies in the Solar System. It will also provide key information for the down-select of targets for future planetary exploration missions. The dataset will consist of published asteroid and meteorite data from the literature as well as new data of small near-Earth asteroids she will collect using state-of-the-art instrumentation on the 4.3-m Lowell Discovery Telescope in Happy Jack, AZ and the 3.0-m NASA Infrared Telescope Facility on Mauna Kea, HI.
Kelly Jaenecke is a first year Master’s student in the Department of Biological Sciences. She was recently awarded the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship, a national achievement that provides a three-year stipend to students, as well as funds to the supporting institution for education costs. Applications are due each fall and the NSF awards 2,000 such fellowships every year to students pursuing graduate research in STEM fields. Kelly will use the fellowship award to support her research in Dr. Jeff Foster’s lab at the Pathogen and Microbiome Institute (PMI). At PMI she studies the diets of Hawaiian forest birds using a metabarcoding approach to identify food items from DNA sequences in bird feces. Kelly earned a Bachelor’s degree in Conservation Biology in 2011 at the College of Environmental Sciences and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) in Syracuse, NY. Since then, she has followed her passion in biology across the country. There she worked with diverse ecological communities in the Hudson River Valley in New York, the Columbia River Watershed in Oregon, and in mesic montane forests in Hawaii before starting her graduate career at Northern Arizona University (NAU). Kelly plans to continue her research at NAU where she hopes to pursue the doctoral program in biology.
Graduate degrees and programs with a unique vantage point
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