Anadarko Air Quality Research Fellowship


The Anadarko Air Quality Student Research Fellowship is made possible by a generous endowment from Anadarko Petroleum Corporation. It funds students to conduct air quality research with scientists at the Bingham Research Center in Utah's Uinta Basin, one of only two areas in the world known to experience ozone exceeding U.S. EPA standards during winter. Fellowship recipients may delve into topics as diverse as measuring atmospheric conditions, analyzing the impacts oil and gas industry operations, developing and testing new drone technology, improving computer simulations of the atmosphere, or analyzing samples in the laboratory.

Help us advance science and improve air quality by applying for this unique opportunity.

Application Information

We are not currently accepting applications, but if you are interested in the program, please contact Seth Lyman for more information (

Download the application form

Email the form to when completed, along with a resume and official transcripts.  Undergraduate student applicants also need to apply at the Aggie Handshake website.  Search job number 5952869. 

Student Experiences

Two of our students, Makenzie Holmes and Tyler Elgiar, decided on their own to make a video to share their experience working with our team.  Thanks to both of them for doing this, and especially to Makenzie for leading the effort.

Fellowship Recipients

Makenzie Holmes

Makenzie Holmes

Major: Biology, B.S.

Research focus: Measurement of organic compounds (alcohols, hydrocarbons, carbonyls) in the atmosphere to improve understanding of ozone-forming emissions.  Emphasis on gas chromatography, liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry.

Period of award: May 2018 to November 2021

Tyler Elgair

Tyler Elgair

Major: Wildlife Ecology and Management, B.S.

Research focus: Drone deployments to characterize vertical inversion structure and field measurements of ozone and organic compounds.

Period of award: December 2018 to August 2020

Adam Allen

Adam Allen

Major: Medical Laboratory Certification

Research focus: High-performance liquid chromatographic analysis of aldehydes in exhaust gases and the ambient atmosphere

Period of award: November 2020 to April 2021

Davis Smuin

Davis Smuin

Major: Biology

Research focus: Analysis of long-term trends in meteorology and air chemistry of the Uinta Basin

Period of award: August 2021 to present

Jackson Liesik

Jackson Liesik

Major: Sociology

Research focus: Design, construction, and application of new atmospheric measurement technologies

Period of award: September 2021 to January 2022

Keirra Tolbert

Keirra Tolbert

Major: Biology

Research focus: Air-snow surface exchange, atmospheric chemistry

Period of award: September 2021 to present

Frequently Asked Questions

Who may apply?

When can I apply?

See the Application Information section above to learn about application dates and deadlines.

When will the fellowship be awarded?

Openings for new fellowship recipients occur when funds are available.  See the Application Information section above.

What kind of research will fellowship recipients do?

Fellowship recipients will work on projects to improve understanding of and find solutions for the Uinta Basin’s air quality problems. The nature of the research will depend on the recipient’s interests and our current research interests and needs. If an applicant has an idea we are not currently working on, we will be glad to consider it.

The application includes questions about the applicants’ research interests. We encourage applicants to contact scientists at the Bingham Research Center during the application process to find out more about current areas of research. These include:

If you need a brief overview of the wintertime ozone issue, see this fact sheet.  For detailed and specific information about the nature of the research we conduct, please see our cumulative Uinta Basin air quality research summary or visit our papers and reports page. Also, the final sections of of our most recent annual report provides brief information about many current and upcoming projects.  

Where will the research be carried out?

Our research program is based at USU's Vernal campus. Some work requires fellowship recipients to be on-site in Vernal, while other projects may be appropriate for students at USU's main (Logan) campus or other USU campuses.  Master’s or doctoral students may finish classes in Logan before relocating to Vernal to focus on thesis or dissertation research.  Other arrangements are possible.  

How many fellowships will be awarded?

The fellowship can provide funding for up to about two part-time undergraduates or one master’s or doctoral student at a time.

How long will fellowships last?

The duration will vary depending on the type of student (undergraduate or graduate) and the student’s needs. We expect to fund undergraduates for more than one year (and perhaps for the entire duration of their undergraduate studies) and graduate students through the timely completion of their degree.

Will fellowships be offered every year?

We don't expect to accept applications every year, and the timing and frequency of calls for applications will vary. We prefer to provide fellowship recipients with multi-year research opportunities, allowing them to learn more from the experience and contribute more to understanding air quality problems in the Uinta Basin.  Thus, new fellowships will be offered when previous fellowship recipients have completed their studies.

How will fellowship recipients be selected?

Selection of fellowship recipients will be based on three critieria:

  1. Experience relevant to air quality research. This may include coursework, laboratory work, or occupational experience. We understand that prior air quality research experience is unlikely. However, relevant experience might include science, mathematics, or statistics classes, or coding and industrial experience.  Any kind of work experience, if the applicant demonstrates a strong work ethic and enthusiastic references, is valuable.
  2. Academic promise and commitment. GPA, especially in science or math courses, are important for this criterion, but so are the applicant's interest in excelling in the sciences, pursuing a career that relates to or benefits from the research they carry out, the applicant's demonstration of academic commitment, etc.  We don't expect that fellowship recipients will all pursue careers in atmospheric sciences, but we do expect that applicants will be able to show how they will use the experience gained from the fellowship as a stepping stone on a successful career path.
  3. If two students of equal excellence apply, and one of those two is a current or former resident of the Uinta Basin, we may give preference to the Uinta Basin student. We encourage all students, regardless of origin, to apply. Criteria 1 and 2 will be given more weight than criterion 3.

A selection committee, comprised of Bingham Center scientists and others within USU, will review applications and rank them according to a pre-established rubric. The committee will select two or more finalists for phone interviews and/or may elect to invite finalists for in-person interviews. The fellowship is designed to be flexible and may include different arrangements for different recipients. Prior to making an offer to a finalist, the committee will discuss and decide with the finalist how long the fellowship will last, what it will pay for, how funds will be administered, what kind of research it will entail, and any other matters or relevance.  If the applicant is not a current USU student, this discussion will include establishing a path to become one.

What will the fellowship pay for?

For undergraduate students, the fellowship will pay an hourly wage (the amount will depend on the recipient's qualifications and experience). For graduate students, the fellowship will pay for a research assistantship and can also pay for tuition and fees.

What if I'm not a current USU student?

We encourage all current and potential USU students to apply. Recipients must become USU students in order to receive the fellowship.  It may be possible to begin the fellowship before the recipient's classes begin at USU. The fellowship is flexible and can accommodate students beginning classes at any time.

What if I have more questions?

If you have more questions, contact us! We would be glad to help you.