Shane Hogle ’10 earned a prestigious Graduate Research Fellowship from National Science Foundation to support his doctoral work in marine chemistry and geochemistry at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography in San Diego. The award offers $120,000 to pay for living expenses and school tuition for three years.
“It’s great for my career, not only my graduate school career but what I’m going to do afterward,” says Hogle.
Hogle is studying plankton, a classification of undersea life that encompasses jellyfish, phytoplankton, amoebas, and microscopic protists (“anything that can’t move against any current in the water”), and how iron is transferred through their ecosystems.
When humans need iron, we can eat certain foods or swallow a supplement, but the nutrient is harder to procure underwater. “In the ocean there’s not very much of it at all; it sinks very quickly to the bottom. There’s this constant struggle of organisms trying to meet their metabolic demands for iron; what I’m interested in is studying that dynamic,” Hogle says.
Although he works on the microscopic end of things, Hogle cares about the environment in a holistic sense, says that his undergraduate education at Earlham gave him excellent preparation for a career as a scientist.
“Earlham gave me the tools to think about problems in their greater context, and taught me to express myself well through writing,” he says.
Hogle enjoyed taking classes in a variety of subjects at Earlham, and he urges prospective students to do the same.
“Take classes outside of your major, for sure. It made me a more well-rounded and interesting person; I can talk about things other than science,” he notes.