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GLIN==> News Release - Grad Students Critical for Lake Superior Research



                                  MN SEA GRANT
                                  NEWS RELEASE
3/5/01                                            CONTACT: Marie Zhuikov
                                                           (218) 726-7677

                          Graduate Students Critical for 
                          Lake Superior Research Projects

Twelve graduate students at the University of Minnesota will help conduct 
research with $588,000 provided by Minnesota Sea Grant over the next two years. 
The recipients of these graduate research assistantships (GRAs) will study 
issues related to Lake Superior and Minnesota's inland lakes under the 
supervision of University professors.  

The assistantships are awarded to emerging scientists who demonstrate 
outstanding academic achievement and who are involved in research projects 
concerning biotechnology, aquaculture, coastal communities, exotic aquatic 
species, and the Lake Superior ecosystem.  The GRAs were awarded in February to 
eight University departments and are over and above any research monies the 
departments receive from Sea Grant.

Erik Brown, associate professor for the University of Minnesota's Large Lakes 
Observatory, and his collaborators will work with two graduate students as they 
examine the dispersal of sediments from the Nemadji River into Lake Superior.  
"These fellowships help us attract quality graduate students to study Lake 
Superior, " said Brown.  "Graduate students are critical to our research 
accomplishments.  Field and laboratory work are time-consuming and, in many 
cases, time-dependent.  With the other responsibilities associated with academic
appointments, we simply wouldn't be doing as much research without graduate 
students. They, in turn, gain valuable experience." 

Svetlana Kostic is one of the GRAs supported by Brown's collaborative research. 
Kostic is pursuing a Ph.D. through the University of Minnesota's Saint Anthony 
Falls Laboratory, working with Professor Gary Parker.  "Besides being a standard
means of support for graduate students, a research assistantship offers a unique
opportunity to be involved in intellectually-challenging projects of great 
practical value," Kostic said.  "Each research project tests motivation, 
organizational skills, and eagerness to learn.  For all of us who are pursuing 
not only the degree but also our dream of genuine scientific accomplishment, the
research process itself is exciting enough to compensate for many difficulties."

Aside from cutting-edge research, Sea Grant-supported graduates are expected to 
communicate the importance of their work to the public. This unusual twist to a 
traditional GRA emphasizes the importance of making science relevant and 
accessible.  The research assistants will partner with Sea Grant staff in 
activities such as crafting non-academic publications and hosting public 
activities.  

Minnesota Sea Grant is part of a network of 30 Sea Grant College Programs 
spanning coastal states throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.  For more 
information about Sea Grant, dial (218) 726-8106 or visit www.seagrant.umn.edu.

                                    --30--



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