Bragging Rights: Freshman Receives Geospatial Scholarship

Posted: November 2, 2010 at 1:02 am, Last Updated: November 1, 2010 at 2:40 pm

By Robin Herron

Kristin Hopper. Photo courtesy of Kristin Hopper

The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) recently announced the recipients of its 2010 Scholarship Program, which the foundation termed its “most competitive year yet.”

Among the 19 recipients, which included four PhD candidates, six master’s students, six undergraduates and three graduating high school seniors, was Kristin Hopper, a Mason freshman majoring in geography.

Hopper, an Honors College student, will receive a $5,000 scholarship.

According to the foundation, all scholarship recipients were chosen based on their academic and professional excellence in a field related to the geospatial intelligence tradecraft. Qualified candidates were selected by the foundation’s Scholarship Subcommittee.

Hopper attended Potomac Falls High School in Loudoun County, Va., and was a member of its Science/Engineering Club. She became interested in geographic information systems after a club visit to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), where she learned about how satellite images and GIS are used in weather prediction.

She says, “I ended up doing a senior research project where I attempted to find the viscosity of lava flows on Olympus Mons, a volcano on Mars, by comparing satellite images of the volcano on Mars to two volcanoes on Earth where scientists already knew their viscosity. Through this project and the trip to NOAA, I found that I had an interest in using visual images to help solve scientific, historical or social questions.”

Hopper says she is thinking about pursuing a graduate degree in GIS and going to law school — and eventually working for a federal agency like USGIF.

Read more about the scholarship program here.

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