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Annika Gustafsson Awarded Amelia Earhart Scholarship

Annika Gustafsson stands in front of the NAU campus observatory

Annika Gustafsson, a graduate research associate working with Lowell Observatory astronomer Nick Moskovitz, has been awarded the Zonta International Amelia Earhart Fellowship for 2020-2021. The $10,000 award is bestowed annually to up to 30 women around the world who are pursuing Ph.D./doctoral degrees in aerospace engineering and space sciences.

A native of Santa Cruz, California, Gustafsson is a fourth-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Northern Arizona University (NAU). Her ties with Lowell Observatory date back to 2014, when as an REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) student she worked with Lowell astronomers Nick Moskovitz and Stephen Levine. In 2017, after entering NAU’s Ph.D. program, she again partnered with Moskovitz as a graduate research associate, a position she still holds. Much of her time at Lowell has been focused on helping develop and commission a spectrograph used on the Lowell Discovery Telescope called NIHTS (Near-Infrared High Throughput Spectrograph).

Zonta International was founded in 1919. It is a service organization dedicated to promoting the standing of women around the world. The organization established the Amelia Earhart Fellowship in 1938, in honor of the celebrated aviator who disappeared the previous year. Since then, Zonta has awarded the fellowship to 1,174 women representing 73 countries, with a total disbursement exceeding $10 million.