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Photo by Carolyn Lagattuta for UC Santa Cruz.

The Future Leaders in Coastal Science Award supports graduate and undergraduate student research on the coastal zone (both land and sea), including studies of natural and human-impacted systems. Supervised by a faculty member or researcher, each team will consist of a graduate student mentor and one undergraduate student. The selected team must tackle important problems, and their work must be well planned and integrated across the team members, with a clear explanation of what each member brings to the project.

Amount & use
Award amount: One $10,000 team award will be made this year.

How the funds may be used: Teams may use their award for any purpose associated with conducting or presenting the results of their research, such as travel, supplies, GSR support for the graduate student, or summer stipends that provide living expenses so students can conduct their work. Funds must be used by the end of the winter 2022 quarter.

The graduate and undergraduate students will most likely be earning a degree in the Division of Physical and Biological Sciences, the Division of Social Sciences, or the Baskin School of Engineering. All UC Santa Cruz students proposing to conduct coastal research are eligible to apply, with the exception of those who will graduate before the end of winter 2022 quarter.

Application Window Opens: Monday, December 7, 2020.
Deadline: Sunday, March 28, 2021
Completed applications and faculty reference letter should be uploaded via the form by Friday, March 19, 2021.
Awards announced: Tuesday, April 13, 2021
Selection criteria
Selection criteria: The importance of the problem being addressed and the clarity of the proposal will be the primary criteria for selection. The qualifications of the team members (e.g., prior experience, relevant coursework), the mentoring plan provided by the supervisor and graduate student, and any additional support to amplify the impact of the research will also be considered.

Selection process: The Physical and Biological Sciences Undergraduate Award Committee, composed of faculty in the Sciences at UC Santa Cruz, will review the application materials, rank each proposal, and select the award recipient.

Past recipients


Michael Beck, Lead Mentor
Donald Potts, Mentor
Marilou Sison-Mangus, Mentor
Curt Storlazzi, Mentor

Stephen Bitterwolf (Graduate)
Jami Clayton (Undergraduate, Marine Biology)
Bailey McCormick (Undergraduate, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology)
Katherine Seto, Mentor
Melissa Cronin (Graduate)
Jeannie Johnson (Undergraduate, Marine Biology)
Christina Langford (Undergraduate, Marine Biology)
Erik Palkovas, Mentor
Katie Kobayashi (Graduate)
Ramond Hunter (Undergraduate, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology)
Charles Hendrickson (Undergraduate, Earth Sciences)
Terrence Blackburn, Lead Mentor
Slawek Tulaczyk, Mentor

Gavin Piccione (Graduate)
Sophia Pinter (Undergraduate, Earth Sciences)
Chloe Tinglof (Undergraduate, Earth Sciences)


Kristy Kroeker, Mentor
Lauren Bell (Graduate)
Megan Schouweiler (Undergraduate, Marine Biology)
Gavin Houghton (Undergraduate, Marine Biology)
Margaret Zimmer, Mentor
Andria Green (Graduate)
Maya Montalvo (Undergraduate, Earth Sciences)
Loren Tolley (Undergraduate, Earth Sciences)
Mark Carr, Mentor
Casey Sheridan (Graduate)
Benjamin Nguyen (Undergraduate, Marine Biology)
Hannah Knotter (Undergraduate, Marine Biology)


Ingrid Parker, Mentor
Karen Tanner (Graduate, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology)
Martin Genova (Undergraduate, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology)
Joanna Le Tran (Undergraduate, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology)
Adina Paytan, Mentor
Christina Richardson (Graduate, Earth & Planetary Sciences)
Carolyn Brady (Undergraduate, Earth & Planetary Sciences)
Kaylee Glenney (Undergraduate, Earth & Planetary Sciences)
Matthew McCarthy, Mentor
Natasha Vokhshoori (Graduate, Ocean Sciences)
Alexander Bailes (Undergraduate, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology)
Laurel Teague (Undergraduate, Earth & Planetary Sciences)
How to Apply

How to apply

Completed applications including a faculty endorsment should be completed via the application form by the posted deadline. If you have questions, please contact Peter Phan.

Application instructions & budget forms

Faculty Endorsment