May 14, 2010
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The NASA-Alabama Space Grant Consortium (ASGC) has granted fellowships to four students at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) for the 2010-2011 academic year.
Graduate fellowships valued at $37,000 were awarded to Laura Gast, a Ph.D. candidate in the UAB School of Public Health, and Sarah Thomas, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Physics in the UAB College of Arts and Sciences.
Gast, a 26-year-old native of Houston, Texas, is entering her third year of doctoral work at UAB with faculty mentor Sarah Parcak, Ph.D., a professor of anthropology. Gast's current research involves the use of NASA satellite data to determine how urbanization patters and other factors impact the spread of dengue fever, the second most common mosquito-borne blood disease in the world
Thomas, a 27-year-old from Trussville and graduate of Shades Valley High School, is completing her first year of doctoral work with faculty mentor Yogesh Vohra, Ph.D., a professor and university scholar of physics. Thomas is testing rare earth metals to determine their electronic structure at high pressures for her doctoral thesis, a project related to NASA interests in materials' response to extreme conditions in space. The high pressure studies are being conducted using designer diamond anvils developed by UAB and scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Undergraduate scholarships valued at $1,000 were granted to Andrew Fox, a student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, and David Cooper, a student seeking a double major through the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Department of Physics.
The Alabama Space Grant Consortium (ASGC) includes seven Ph.D.-granting universities, all with space- related research activities, seven affiliates and the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. Several other small colleges and schools in Alabama are affiliated with Space Grant Activities through the NASA EPSCoR program. NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center is an ex-officio member of the consortium.
Known for its innovative and interdisciplinary approach to education at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) is an internationally renowned research university and academic medical center and the state of Alabama's largest employer. For more information, please visit www.uab.edu.