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Press Release

Barbara Laskin

Macalester Professor Awarded $571K for Prestigious NSF CAREER Grant

Kristi Curry Rogers

May 12, 2010 – St. Paul, Minn. - Dr. Kristi Curry Rogers, assistant professor of Geology and Biology at Macalester College, has been awarded a five-year, $571,209 CAREER Grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Curry Rogers, a paleobiologist, will use the grant to support her work on reconstructing the life histories of backboned animals through detailed analyses of their bones. 

In addition, the project includes more than $100,000 in support of undergraduate student research, as well as the development of K-12 curricula tied to Minnesota Science Standards through collaboration with public school teachers and the Bell Museum of Natural History.

Curry Rogers is the only faculty member in the nation this year to receive an NSF CAREER grant in the program of sedimentary geology and paleobiology and only the second Macalester faculty member to receive this award since 2000. The NSF awards an average of 425 CAREER grants annually.

“This CAREER grant allows me to merge all of my interests seamlessly,” said Curry Rogers. “It integrates my research with teaching and student collaborations, and allows me to work on evolution education projects.”

Students who’ve collaborated with Curry Rogers’ are enthusiastic about the upcoming research.

“This grant will provide Prof. Curry Rogers’ students the unparalleled opportunity to get first hand experience conducting fieldwork across the globe, as well as the opportunity to participate in cutting edge research with one of the top professors in her field, “ said Nora Catolico, a graduating senior from Oak Park, Ill.

Courtney Jones, a graduating senior from Fridley, Minn. added, “Not only has Prof. Curry Rogers’ generosity allowed me to study how the decomposition processes start in different environments, it’s also given me the opportunity to create and use new protocols to do so.”

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 with a mission to support fundamental science.  The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program offers the National Science Foundation's most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education, and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.

“The National Science Foundation CAREER grant is given to exceptional teacher/scholars and at Macalester, we have such a person in Prof. Curry Rogers,” said Provost Kathleen Murray.  “She epitomizes the grant’s ideal recipient.”

As a CAREER recipient, Curry Rogers is also eligible for a Presidential Award from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Macalester College, founded in 1874, is a national liberal arts college with a full-time enrollment of 1,958 students. Macalester is nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to academic excellence, internationalism, multiculturalism and civic engagement.