Marine science and mathematics student Joseph Langan awarded 2013-14 Goldwater Scholarship

April 11, 2013

University of New England student Joseph Langan '15, a marine science and mathematics double major, is the third current student to be the recipient of the prestigious nationally-awarded Goldwater Scholarship.

Langan is combining his two majors to study population dynamics and ultimately conduct research in fisheries sustainability and management.  His current project deals with the impact the recreational fishery is having on cod populations and how much it will affect fishery management plans.

He has been working with UNE faculty members James Sulikowski, Ph.D., associate professor of marine sciences, Michael Arciero, Ph.D., associate professor of mathematics, and James Quinlan, Ph.D., assistant professor of mathematics.

On March 31st, Mrs. Peggy Goldwater Clay, chair of the Board of Trustees of the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation, announced that the Trustees awarded 271 scholarships for the 2013 - 2014 academic year to undergraduate sophomores and juniors from the United States.

The Goldwater Scholars were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of 1,107 mathematics, science, and engineering students who were nominated by the faculties of colleges and universities nationwide. One hundred seventy-six of the Scholars are men, 95 are women, and virtually all intend to obtain a Ph.D. as their degree objective. 

The one- and two-year scholarships cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.

The two other current UNE Goldwater scholars are Cassidy Peterson '13, a marine sciences and mathematics major, and Lindsay Forrette '13, an animal behavior major.  

In addition, alumnus Nathan Furey '09, a marine biology and environmental studies major, was a recipient of the scholarship for 2009-2010.

Cassidy Peterson, 2012-13 Goldwater Scholar

Since being awarded the Goldwater Scholarship a year ago, Cassidy Peterson has continued to pursue undergraduate research, shifting her focus towards mathematical-oriented population dynamics modeling of the spiny dogfish. She will be finishing her honors thesis project this semester, which includes a written paper along with an oral presentation and defense.

She will present her thesis at the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) Undergraduate Research Symposium this spring. She has also presented her research at the 2012 CAS Undergraduate Research Symposium, the 2012 Summer Undergraduate Research Experience Symposium, and the 2013 Northeast Undergraduate Research and Development Symposium (NURDS), at which she received the award for Third Best Oral Presentation.

Peterson was selected to participate in an all-expense-paid National Marine Fisheries Service Resource, Training, and Research Marine Resource Population Dynamics Workshop hosted by University of Florida, which was an introductory week-long course on population dynamics and stock assessment.

Next fall, Peterson plans to enter the graduate program at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), a branch of the College of William & Mary, where she will work in the Fisheries Department on a population dynamics project researching elasmobranchs.

Lindsay Forrette, 2011-12 Goldwater Scholar

Lindsay Forrette has been conducting research with Teresa Dzieweczynski, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology, since the third week of her freshman year at UNE.

Their work addresses the causes, mechanisms and consequences of individual variation in behavior in male Siamese fighting fish as well as the mate preference of female Betta, and the effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals on aggression and courtship behavior in communication networks.

Forrette has also worked with Noah Perlut, Ph.D., assistant professor of environmental studies, in his study of bobolinks and Savannah sparrows and the consequences of land management on their reproductive success and within-season dispersal patterns.

Forrette's research with Dr. Dzieweczynski has resulted in several co-authored publications and presentations, two of which came after receiving the Goldwater Scholarship and another of which is in the review process. At least one more collaborated work is expected from the research she conducted over the course of this past academic year.

Publications include "Reproductive state but not recent aggressive experience influences behavioral consistency in male Siamese fighting fish" in the journal Acta Ethologica; "Repeated recent experiences do not affect behavioral consistency in male Siamese fighting fish" in the journal Ethology; and "Repeatability of decision-making behaviour in male threespine stickleback, Gasterosteus aculeatus: effects of dummy vs. live stimuli" in Current Zoology.

In 2012 Forrette received a competitive undergraduate travel grant, the Turner Award, from the Animal Behavior Society, which funded her trip to the annual Animal Behavior Society meetings held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at which she presented a poster titled "Channel surfing for mates: an assessment of female mate choice for male personality in Siamese fighting fish," which featured two other UNE student co-authors, Krystal Mannion ’15, a marine sciences 'major and Alyssa Russell 12, an animal behavior major.

Forrette has presented her work at the 2011 and 2012 CAS Undergraduate Research Symposiums, and will also be giving two presentations at this year's symposium,  the first of which will be presented with Mannion on "Acute 17_-ethinylestradiol (EE2) exposure on audience effects during male-female interactions in the Siamese fighting fish, Betta splendens."  She will also be presenting this poster in Newcastle, England in August at the 2013 Behaviour Conference.

The second is an oral presentation on "You Smell! Female detection of male reproductive stimulus via olfactory cues," a pilot study she conducted in one of her capstone animal behavior courses.

This summer Forrette will be returning to Cranberry Lake Biological Station in the Adirondacks for her second year of conducting field research on the White-throated sparrow for Dr. Elaina Tuttle of Indiana State University.  She plans to apply to graduate programs for the fall of 2014.

Nathan Furey, Goldwater Scholar 2008-2009

Nathan Furey graduated from UNE in 2009 and went on to complete a M.S. at Texas A & M University in wildlife and fisheries science. He is currently a Ph.D. student within the Pacific Salmon Ecology and Conservation Lab at the University of British Columbia.

"My interests lie in understanding the ecological significance of animal movements and the varying conditions animals experience during movements," he explains. "These interests have led me to use tools such as telemetry, simulation models, and geographic information systems (GIS). My current research focuses on identifying factors influencing migration behavior and survival in Pacific salmon smolts."

Furey's 2008-2009 Goldwater Scholarship supported his UNE undergraduate thesis, which characterized the macrofaunal fish community of the Saco River estuary, which he conducted under Dr. Sulikowski. During that time, he also assisted Dr. Sulikowski in studies of the spiny dogfish.

His work with Dr. Sulikowski resulted in four co-authored publications and three presentations, including "The fish assemblage structure of the Saco River estuary" in the journal Northeastern Naturalist and  "Use of satellite tags and novel geolocation filtering methods to elucidate the movements of spiny dogfish, Squalus acanthias, in the western North Atlantic Ocean" in the Marine Ecology Progress Series.

Since graduation from UNE, Furey has co-authored more than 15 scholarly articles on his graduate work.

I aim to become a professor in the field of ecology, marine biology, or fisheries," he says. "I am quite eager to continue developing new knowledge that can not only advance science, but also conservation and management. An academic position would also allow me to teach as well as mentor students, both of which are passions of mine."

Goldwater Scholarships

Goldwater Scholars have very impressive academic qualifications that have garnered the attention of prestigious post-graduate fellowship programs. Recent Goldwater Scholars have been awarded 80 Rhodes Scholarships, 118 Marshall Awards, 110 Churchill Scholarships and numerous other distinguished fellowships.

The Goldwater Foundation is a federally endowed agency established by Public Law 99-661 on November 14, 1986. The Scholarship Program honoring Senator Barry Goldwater was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students to pursue careers in the fields of mathematics, the natural sciences, and engineering. The Goldwater Scholarship is the premier undergraduate award of its type in these fields.

Since its first award in 1989, the Foundation has bestowed over 6,550 scholarships worth approximately 40 million dollars. The Trustees plan to award about 300 scholarships for the 2014–2015 academic year.