National Science Foundation Grants Awarded to Faculty Members’ Projects

Several faculty members were awarded National Science Foundation (NSF) grants for projects in recent months.

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Bryan Crable, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology, was awarded a $198,265 NSF grant for a two-year study of the impact of plastic debris on the physiology of freshwater microorganisms in Lake Lacawac. In addition to Crable’s role as principal investigator, the research project will involve and train approximately eight undergraduate students in field, laboratory and computer-simulated investigations. According to Crable, microplastics are plastic particles less than 5 millimeters in size that are a common pollutant that have seen widespread accumulation in the environment since World War II.

Gerard Dumancas, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry at Scranton, received a $1.158 million NSF-funded Noyce Scholars grant that will support future science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) high school teachers in high-need school districts. The grant, which will be allocated over a five-year period beginning (in the 2022-2023 academic year), will provide scholarships and educational training support to 21 STEM students with a major or minor in secondary education.

Michael Fennie, Ph.D., Arthur Catino, Ph.D., and Nicholas Sizemore, Ph.D., all associate professors of chemistry at Scranton, were awarded a $362,773 NSF Major Research Instrumentation grant. The grant will allow the University to purchase a Bruker 400 MHz nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer, which will be used by undergraduates, graduate students and faculty at Scranton in both chemistry courses and research projects.

Nathaniel Frissell, Ph.D., assistant professor of physics and electrical engineering, was awarded an NSF grant of nearly $50,000 to support “The Ham Radio Science Citizen Investigation (HamSCI) 2022 Workshop,” which took place in March at The U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The workshop also served as a team meeting for the HamSCI Personal Space Weather Station project, which is a $1.3 million NSF-funded project previously awarded to Frissell.

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