Ag student wins NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

Each year, the National Science Foundation accepts students into its Graduate Research Fellowship Program, a program that provides financial support to promising upcoming graduate students for future research. Kalyn Taylor, a senior majoring in soil and crop Sciences with a minor in organic agriculture was one of three Colorado State University students selected for the program.

Passion to study soil science and organic agriculture

Taylor, whose long-term goal is to obtain an MS in agroecology and a Ph.D. in soil science, hopes to utilize her acceptance into the NSF GRFP to pursue research relating to organic agriculture. She credits her faculty mentors, Professor Jessica Davis and Key Advisor Addy Elliott, both in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, with integral roles in establishing her long-term goals. Elliott notes that Taylor is “a sincere, smart, deserving, humorous and outstanding woman” and looks forward to future collaborations together.

Research relating to organic agriculture

Taylor says that her prospective research “involves comparing various soil quality parameters in respect to the amount of time a farm has been under organic production.” She hopes that her research will help farmers and scientists better understand the benefits to soil quality from transitioning to organic agriculture. She adds that her “main goal with this research is to provide a platform in which I can further connect progressive agricultural science with farmers, scientists and the general public.”

She already has significant research experience under her belt from spending a summer in Italy studying forest composition, soil respiration, root density, and pyrogenic carbon, as well as two years assisting with research pertaining to dryland agroecosystems at the USDA-ARS.

Advocate for nationally competitive scholarships

Taylor says that she is an advocate for nationally competitive scholarships, adding that “these types of scholarships force you to grow as a writer and to deeply consider your future aspirations- both of which are great for undergraduate students.” She encourages students to enlist the help of supervisors and mentors to maximize their chances of winning scholarships and contests. Even though the chances of winning may seem slim and the application processes may be overwhelming, Taylor believes anything is possible if you have a passion for what you are pursuing.

More information

For more information on nationally competitive scholarships, contact:

Mary Swanson
Associate Director, Office for Undergraduate Research and Artistry (OURA)
Nationally Competitive Scholarship Advisor The Institute for Learning and Teaching (TILT)
Colorado State University, Johnson Hall 223F