Stephanie Irish Wins Goldwater Scholarship

By Marcia Goodrich | Published

Undergraduate Stephanie Irish has been named a 2007 Goldwater Scholar. The scholarship provides $7,500 for tuition, fees, books and room and board.

Irish is from Rochester, Minn. She is a junior physics major, with minors in mathematical science, remote sensing and astrophysics. She intends to pursue a PhD in planetary atmospheres.

Under the direction of Associate Professor of Physics Will Cantrell, Irish will conduct research on ozonolysis of high molecular weight organic compounds applied to ice nucleation. This research will help climate scientists improve their models by providing a more detailed understanding of the impact of biomass burning on cirrus clouds in the upper troposphere. Irish presented related work in this area at the fall 2006 annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union. She and Cantrell expect a peer-reviewed paper to result from that research.

Irish thoroughly enjoys experimental research in atmospheric science. "I often cannot wait until the next problem arises in the experiment, so that I can challenge my mind with a way to overcome it," she wrote in her Goldwater application.

"My decision to offer Stephanie a summer research position is motivated by the fact that getting someone more qualified and better able to make an immediate contribution would involve hiring a postdoc,” said Cantrell.

"This is the most competitive award an American undergraduate in the bio-physcial sciences, technology, engineering or math can receive. Her achievement brings honor not only to herself, but also to Michigan Tech," said Assistant Provost Mary Durfee. This year 441 colleges and universities nominated 1,110 of their top students for the 317 awards.

The Goldwater Foundation is a federally endowed agency that honors the memory of Senator Barry M. Goldwater.

For further information, contact Durfee, or 906-487-2112.

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 60 countries. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.