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- Icons By Maria Maldonado
UM sophomore Rachel Dickson recently earned a prestigious Goldwater Scholarship, the top national award for undergraduate research in science, math, and engineering. Dickson is UM’s sixteenth Goldwater Scholar.
The Barry Goldwater Excellence in Education Foundation trustees awarded 260 scholars this year. As a Junior Scholar, Dickson is entitled to two years of funding, up to $7,500 per year, for tuition, fees, books, and room and board.
Dickson is a sophomore from Missoula majoring in biology and environmental studies. She is the daughter of Mary and David Dickson of Missoula and a graduate of Missoula’s Big Sky High School. She plans a career researching and teaching in sustainable agriculture and biodiversity. Her special research focus is on native pollinators.
“I’m really excited to combine my goal of being an environmentalist with science research,” Dickson says. “I love discovering new things and sharing them with others.”
Dickson began studying honeybees and mapping their pollination patterns during her time at Big Sky High School. Her decision to attend UM was influenced by the opportunity to continue working with the mentors she established while in high school.
Dickson will use the scholarship to investigate which aspects of floral bloom increase incentive for pollination efforts and subsequently increase the strength of pollinators and floral communities.
“This research is exciting because it allows me to approach environmentalism through obtaining concrete scientific data,” Dickson says.