UM Graduate Student Earns National Science Foundation Fellowship

June 13, 2018

UM systems ecology graduate student Kaitlin Perkins, a National Science Foundation research fellowship awardee, stands in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in Washington. MISSOULA – The National Science Foundation recently announced that Kaitlin Perkins, a master’s student in systems ecology at the University of Montana, will receive its prestigious Graduate Research Fellowship Program award.

Perkins is a part of UM BRIDGES, a NSF-funded national research traineeship for leaders to tackle research related to the nexus of water-energy-food systems. Perkins works with Assistant Professor Ben Colman in the W.A. Franke College of Forestry & Conservation at UM to investigate the relationship between nutrient and metal contaminant cycling in the Clark Fork River and land use, such as agriculture.

Perkins’ research will inform agricultural operations management under the Clean Water Act to improve water quality locally and globally through watershed science and policy. Her bio is online at

The GRFP recruits high-potential, early-career scientists and engineers and supports their graduate research training in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. The National Science Foundation selects 2,000 awardees from more than 12,000 applicants from across all U.S. states and territories. Launched in 1952, NSF’s GRFP represents the nation’s oldest continuous investment in the U.S. STEM workforce.


Contact: Ben Colman, UM assistant professor of aquatic ecosystem ecology, 406-243-6315,; Alisa Wade, program coordinator, UM BRIDGES, 406-529-9722,