University of New Orleans faculty member Madeline Foster-Martinez is one of seven scientists to receive a Gulf Research Program Early-Career Research Fellowship in Environmental Protection and Stewardship.
The Early-Career Research Fellowship helps researchers during the critical pre-tenure phase of their careers. Fellows receive a $76,000 financial award along with mentoring support to provide them with independence, flexibility and a built-in support network as they take risks on untested research ideas, pursue unique collaborations and build a network of colleagues.
Foster-Martinez is the only research fellow in this year’s class from a Louisiana university.
The fellows in this two-year program will undertake research to predict and prepare for ecosystem changes in the Gulf of Mexico region and its coastal zones in the face of climate change and sea-level rise.
“It's an honor to be a part of this cohort,” Foster-Martinez said. “These funds will facilitate more boat time working on our wonderful coast, greater student involvement in projects, data collection for interdisciplinary adventures, and more.”
A New Orleans native, Foster-Martinez is an assistant professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Science and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and is a member of the Pontchartrain Institute for Environmental Sciences at the University of New Orleans. Her research focuses on coastal wetlands and leveraging vegetation for climate change mitigation and adaptation. She uses fieldwork and modeling to address questions that promote the use of vegetation in coastal protection strategies, accelerate land building in deltaic areas, and increase the accuracy of coastal landscape predictions at a variety of scales.
Foster-Martinez’s work also seeks to increase the sustainability of human resource cycles by linking them to natural coastal processes. Current projects include vegetation modeling for the Louisiana Coastal Master Plan and helping lead the University of New Orleans’ Center for Equity and Diversity in Engineering.
The Gulf Research Program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine is an independent, science-based program founded in 2013 as part of legal settlements with the companies involved in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. It seeks to enhance offshore energy system safety and protect human health and the environment by catalyzing advances in science, practice, and capacity to generate long-term benefits for the Gulf of Mexico region and the nation.
The program has $500 million for use over 30 years to fund grants, fellowships, and other activities in the areas of research and development, education and training, and monitoring and synthesis.