Elaine Swanson, post baccalaureate student in the mathematical biology option, was selected for a STudent Academic Research Review award for 2020-2021 by the Oregon NASA Space Grant (OSGC) to work on a project entitled "Creating an aerobic compost tea, fed through a hydroponic system, to sustain plant growth in a small, controlled environmental habitat". Her final presentation of research will be given at the OSGC 2021 Spring Symposium on Friday May 21 (see schedule here). For this and other accomplishments, Elaine was recently recognized as a Finalist for the 2021 National Space Club and Foundation Keynote Scholarship. The award is given to a high school senior, undergraduate or graduate student with definite plans to pursue a career in the Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) fields.
Elaine was a NASA intern with Kennedy Space Center’s crop production team in the summer of 2018. Since then, she has established and led an Astrobotany Research Group (ARG) at OSU and currently works as the principal developer for the Science, Technology, and Astrobotany Research Room (STARR) located at Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum. A NASA funded project, STARR is an interactive exhibit and education center intended to extend the public’s access to science education and environmental advocacy by way of sustainable food production methods. Elaine's future area of research involves modeling bioregenerative life support systems (BLSS) for human habitats and genetic research in photosynthesis. Elaine has ambition to explore and recognize the many aspects of biological and biogeochemical systems on Earth. She intends to take the knowledge gained from studying our planet’s processes and apply it to a dynamic career in the novel field of Astrobotany.