NSF grant will enable researchers to train students in methods of human biology

November 06, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State undergraduate students can have the opportunity to travel to Kenya to develop valuable research skills, thanks to a newly awarded National Science Foundation (NSF) grant.

Asher Rosinger, assistant professor of biobehavioral health and anthropology and Ann Hertzler Early Career Professor in Global Health, is the principle investigator on the human biology component of the project Past and Present Human-Environment Dynamics, which was awarded over $84,000 by the NSF.

This grant award will help a team of researchers train students in methods of human biology.

In total, eight undergraduate students from schools throughout the U.S. will be fully funded to travel to Kenya for each of the next three summers with the Koobi Fora Field School to learn about human evolution, archeology, paleontology, and human biology methods. 

While there, students will learn how to develop research questions, collect the appropriate data, and analyze them under the guidance of the researchers. 

“This opportunity will provide a unique experience and hands-on-training. Our goal is to recruit underrepresented students in STEM fields to give them a pathway into a research experience and the field of human biology to help build a diverse pipeline of students,” said Rosinger.

The project is a collaboration with David Braun of George Washington University, Ashley Hammond of the American Museum of Natural History, and Emmanuel Ndiema of the National Museums of Kenya.

The effort is jointly funded by the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Sites program, which integrates research with education. It seeks to develop a new framework for integrated training and research in anthropology, archaeology, geology, human biology and ethnoarchaeology.

Students interested in applying for this program can find application information on the Koobi Fora Field School website.

For more information on the project, visit the grant page.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated November 06, 2019