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Environmental Science Graduate Awarded Coastal Management Fellowship

Nicole Marks '20 MS was one of nine students nationwide to earn the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration award.

Nicole Marks '20 MS was one of nine students nationwide to be awarded a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Coastal Management Fellowship.

VILLANOVA, Pa. - Recent Environmental Science graduate Nicole Marks '20 MS was one of nine students nationwide to be awarded a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coastal Management Fellowship.

Marks will work with the Delaware Coastal Management Program to develop an outreach and education program for Delaware that details the actions communities, homeowners, business owners and land stewards can undertake to address encroaching coastal waters.

"Nicole’s master's research focused on how development in southeastern Pennsylvania impacts regional water quality, and the effectiveness of forested stream corridors on reducing these effects. This fellowship will allow Nicole to explore how similar strategies can help coastal communities adapt to rising seas," says Marks' thesis advisor Associate Professor Steven Goldsmith, PhD.

At Villanova, Marks worked in Dr. Goldsmith's Environmental Geochemistry Lab. She earned a College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Graduate Studies Summer Research Fellowship, a Geological Society of America Graduate Student Research Grant and a Guardians of the Brandywine scholarship to support a year-long investigation into pollution sources within the East Branch of the Brandywine Creek watershed. In addition, Marks worked as a geographic information system (GIS) analyst with the research group of Assistant Professor Peleg Kremer, PhD, evaluating social/demographic vulnerability to extreme weather events brought on by climate change in Philadelphia.

"This fellowship will utilize Nicole's strengths in environmental problem solving and GIS analysis to address an issue of critical importance for coastal communities," added Dr. Goldsmith. "It has been an absolute pleasure working with Nicole over the past two years, and I couldn't be happier for her!"

The NOAA Coastal Management Fellowship was established in 1996 to provide on-the-job education and training opportunities in coastal resource management and policy for postgraduate students and to provide project assistance to state coastal zone management programs. 

About Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Since its founding in 1842, Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has cultivated knowledge, understanding and intellectual courage for a purposeful life in a challenged and changing world. With 39 majors across the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, it is the oldest and largest of Villanova’s colleges, serving more than 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students each year. The College is committed to a teacher-scholar model, offering outstanding undergraduate and graduate research opportunities and a rigorous core curriculum that prepares students to become critical thinkers, strong communicators and ethical leaders with a truly global perspective.