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Graduate Student Funding Available Now for Ghost Forest Research

For immediate release

Contact: John Fear, North Carolina Sea Grant,
Jobi Cook, North Carolina Space Grant,

North Carolina Sea Grant and North Carolina Space Grant are offering a special joint funding opportunity for graduate student research on ghost forests. Full-time graduate students at colleges and universities in North Carolina are eligible to apply for the $10,000 award.

Proposals are due August 11, 2023. Information and instructions are available at

John Fear, deputy director of North Carolina Sea Grant, says regional research on ghost forests — including a variety of remote sensing tools and mapping technology — is especially timely because our state is vulnerable to the impacts of sea level rise.

“One of these impacts is conversion of coastal forests to wetlands and eventually open water,” Fear explains. “This process proceeds through a ‘ghost forest’ stage. Tracking the loss of forests and its effects is a sentinel tool in understanding and responding to how our coastal habitats are changing.”

North Carolina Sea Grant and North Carolina Space Grant strongly encourage proposals from graduate students at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and minority serving institutions (MSIs) and/or from traditionally underserved and underrepresented communities, as well as from graduate students who can demonstrate how their work and related outreach will benefit underserved and underrepresented communities.

Jobi Cook, associate director of North Carolina Space Grant, says the programs’ joint funding for ghost forest research not only will highlight tools from NASA and NOAA, but also will provide opportunities for regional collaboration.

“Our programs have partnered with our sister organizations in Louisiana to jointly promote this opportunity,” says Cook. “Louisiana Sea Grant and Space Grant will fund a student to study the ghost forest phenomenon in their state. Their student and ours will collaborate, consider broader implications for their work, and have access to unique professional development opportunities.”

Cook adds that North Carolina’s recipient of the research funding will present at the 2024 NC Space Grant symposium.

For more information, including required proposal elements and the submission process, visit