"Become the role model I lacked."

Jackson Powell - Photo 3.jpg

Jackson Powell
McKnight Doctoral Fellowship


I am pursuing a PhD so that I can attain a level of knowledge that I would have great difficulty acquiring otherwise. I wish to learn more of range-limiting factors of coastal organisms and how trends in climate-change and industrialization may affect the influence of such factors on organisms in the future. Though I don’t have a particular research project yet, the general theme that I am focused on is of great importance despite many people being unaware of it. The ocean hosts a number of organisms and processes that service us as humans. In addition to it providing recreation and many sources of food, the ocean helps control climate by being a massive carbon and heat sink. These are just a few of the reasons that most Americans live within 100 miles of the ocean. Due to its importance, as well as the importance of the organisms within it, I find that society is in great need of being properly educated about it.

The McKnight Doctoral Fellowship will allow me to comfortably focus on my research while simultaneously providing me with a network of driven and hard-working graduate students like myself. Of particular note is that this network is predominantly made up of minorities, which is extremely important to me since there are so few at the graduate level across all majors. This network will provide me with an invaluable support group that I can learn from and grow with. My association with such a network will leave me more prepared for my career, in which I not only wish to practice quality science, but address the massive issue of the underrepresentation of minority students in environmental sciences. I plan on not only being a great scientist, but a great role model for those who share my background as well.