In her time studying at the University of Rhode Island Nicole Marone has been keeping busy with a double major in marine biology and ocean engineering.
Now, thanks to a scholarship from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Marone will be able to take her studies to a new level. The Howell resident was recently named one of three sophomores at the school to be awarded the Ernest F. Hollings Scholarship.
The scholarship has been offered since 2009 and has helped 16 students at the school with their educational pursuits. It provides $16,000 for tuition for the junior and senior years of the students and a paid NOAA internship at any of its labs in the country.
Jaccqueline Webb, a professor of biological sciences and coordinator of the URI Marine Biology Program said the scholarship provides a variety of benefits to the students. "We are so proud of the achievements of all our students," she said. "The Hollings Scholarship will provide them with unique research opportunities and will open so many doors for the future."
Webb said in the past the students have used the scholarships to study in Santa Cruz, Seattle, Hawaii and Puerto Rico among other locations.
During her time in Rhode Island Marone has researched stressors affecting sharks and rays as well as they hypoxia tolerance of marine animals living in "dead zones."
With the scholarship she hopes to head to the NOAA Ocean and Coastal Resource Management lab in Hawaii after her junior year. At the island location Marone said she hopes to study ocean thermal energy conversion. She also hopes to return to the island for grad school after earning her degree. "With an engineering degree, I can hopefully design effective renewable ocean energy systems and use my knowledge of the marine environment to minimize any interferences such a system could have on the surrounding environment."