Skip Navigation
Oklahoma State University

OSU Zoology Department, Comanche Nation College awarded million dollar grant

Tue, August 16, 2011

Oklahoma State University and Comanche Nation College received a $1 million collaborative grant from the National Science Foundation to increase the number of Native Americans who pursue graduate degrees in the biological sciences.

The program will provide year-round financial support for students to participate in research with a faculty mentor. Student research projects will focus on topics in the area of ecology and environmental stress, such as the effects of biological and environmental stressors on organisms, populations, communities and ecosystems.  

“As the world human population continues to grow, ecological and environmental issues will be at the forefront of concerns to society. Therefore, the OSU and CNC team of investigators assembled in this project will provide competitive cutting edge experience to undergraduate students,” said Regents Professor Loren Smith, head of the OSU Department of Zoology.

Students also will take part in activities designed to increase awareness of career options, promote interactions between students and professionals, assist students with the graduate school application process and help students develop strategies for success.

Lead investigators are Kristen Baum, OSU Zoology, and Gene Pekah, Comanche Nation College. Donald French, OSU Zoology, and Consuelo Lopez, president of Comanche Nation College, also will use the grant to promote professional development activities and research experiences for students at both schools.

The NSF is an independent federal agency that promotes science and engineering. The project is funded by the NSF URM (Undergraduate Research and Mentoring in the Biological Sciences) program and will be implemented over the next five years.

To learn more, phone (405) 744-7424 or visit