Local student awarded Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship

LORETTO – Abigail Blair, a marine biology major from Picture Rocks, is the first student from Saint Francis University to be selected to participate in the prestigious NOAA Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship Program. She will receive $8,000 in scholarship monies during her junior and senior years at Saint Francis.

In addition to the scholarship, Blair also will receive a 10-week paid internship the summer of 2014 at the NOAA facility in Silver Springs, Md. She will choose a mentor and a research project later this fall in accordance with the program. Orientation for the internship will begin in May, where she will be introduced to her responsibilities, meet other recipients, and meet some of the mentors.

The purpose of the Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship Program is to increase training in oceanic and atmospheric science, research technology and education, increase public understanding and support for supervision of the ocean and atmosphere and improve environmental literacy, prepare students for public service careers with natural resource and science agencies in all levels of government and recruit students for careers as educators in oceanic and atmospheric science and to improve scientific and environmental education in the U.S.

For more information about the biology program at Saint Francis visit

Founded in 1847, Saint Francis University is the oldest Franciscan institution of higher learning in the country, and one of the oldest Catholic colleges in the nation.