F&ES Students Receive Prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

Note: Yale School of the Environment (YSE) was formerly known as the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES). News articles and events posted prior to July 1, 2020 refer to the School's name at that time.

Two Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES) students — Myles Lennon, a Ph.D. student, and Katherine (Kassie) Urban-Mead, an M.E.Sc.5 student — have received Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) awards from the National Science Foundation. Two others were named honorable mention recipients.
nsf research awards fes Myles Lennon, left, and Katherine (Kassie) Urban-Mead
The program recognizes and supports the work of outstanding graduate students pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines.
Lennon, a second-year Ph.D. student completing a combined program in F&ES and Anthropology, is studying the ways in which differently racialized groups interact with climate change mitigation technologies to generate disparate conceptions of social inequality and environmental change in the U.S.
Urban-Mead, an M.E.Sc5 student in the Schmitz lab, received the award for her doctoral work, which she will begin next year in the Entomology Department at Cornell University. Urban-Mead has been studying landscape scale patterns of wild bee diversity. At Cornell, she plans to use network ecology to identify important alternative floral resources, pathways of pathogen transfer, and drivers of pollinator decline in agroecosystems, particularly orchards.
They were among 2,000 recipients selected from nearly 17,000 applicants, according to NSF.
Each will receive three years of financial support within a five-year fellowship period, including a $34,000 annual stipend. A $12,000 cost-of-education allowance is paid to the School.
Recipients of the honorable mention awards were Katherine Farley ’16 M.E.M. and Lauren Pincus, a Ph.D. student.
Farley is developing a project that seeks to better understand how conflicts develop over proposed oil and gas extraction sites in rural North America by investigating rural residents’ perceptions of the nature and the purpose of agricultural and industrialized landscapes.
Pincus, a first-year Ph.D. student who is studying green chemistry and engineering under F&ES Prof. Julie Zimmerman, is working to develop new, more sustainable technologies to clean up environmental contaminants such as the use of nano-enabled biomaterials for inorganic remediation. 
Past fellows have included U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, Google co-founder Sergey Brin, and numerous Nobel Prize winners.