UCAR names 2018 Next Generation Fellows

In its second year, program strives to increase diversity

Sep 10, 2018 - by Laura Snider

The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) has announced the 2018 winners of its Next Generation Fellowships, a program designed to support graduate students from communities underrepresented in the Earth system sciences.

This year's winners are Paulette Blanchard, in the diversity and inclusion track; Lilly Jones, in the Earth system science track; and Johnny Quispe, in the public policy track.

The fellows, all of whom are first-generation college graduates, will receive financial support for two years of graduate school and two summer internships with UCAR and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), which is managed by UCAR on behalf of the National Science Foundation.

"It is an honor to be able to support these future leaders of our field, whose diverse viewpoints, experiences, and backgrounds help to ensure that society is able to meet the toughest scientific challenges," said UCAR President Antonio Busalacchi. "This new class of fellows brings a passion for rigorous scientific inquiry, including diversity and inclusion in the Earth system sciences."


Paulette Blanchard — Diversity and Inclusion Fellow
University of Kansas

Blanchard is an Absentee Shawnee doctoral student at the University of Kansas in the Department of Geography and Atmospheric Science. As a geographer, she is passionate about fostering more opportunities for Native scientists and about bridging the gap between Native and Western sciences.

Blanchard earned her bachelor's in Indigenous and American Indian studies at Haskell Indian Nations University before being recruited into a master's program at the University of Oklahoma in Geography. While at Oklahoma, Blanchard worked with dozens of tribes and Native and non-native scientists on climate change issues. She has also been an active participant in the NCAR-hosted Rising Voices: Collaborative Sciences with Indigenous Knowledge for Climate Solutions since its inception in 2013.


Lilly Jones — Earth System Science Fellow
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

Jones is a doctoral student at the South Dakota School of Mines in the Department of Geology and Geology Engineering. Her areas of study include the use of machine learning and deep learning tools to address fundamental issues in hydrologic modeling.

Jones earned her bachelor's in environmental science from Oglala Lakota College. She was the first woman from a tribal college to be awarded a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. She is also a Ford Scholar.


Johnny Quispe — Public Policy Fellow
Rutgers University

Quispe is a doctoral student at Rutgers University in ecology and evolution who is planning to pursue a career as a science policy professional. He is especially interested, as a multilingual Latino, in working with disadvantaged coastal communities and inspiring other minorities to pursue a career in the sciences.

Quispe also earned a bachelor's from Rutgers, from the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences. In 2017, he was the recipient of a Coastal Climate Risk and Resilience Fellowship, the Eagleton Institute of Politics Fellowship, as well as the Rising TIDES (Toward and Inclusive, Diverse, and Enriched Society) Award.

Learn more about the fellowships



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