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USD Biology Major Presented with Prestigious NSF Award

Photo of Tyler Seidel in research lab with microscope. Graduating biology major Tyler Seidel will pursue a Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota.

VERMILLION, SD – Tyler Seidel, a University of South Dakota biology major and Hunkpapa Lakota (Standing Rock), has been awarded a prestigious National Science Foundation award for graduate study.

“I’m still trying to wrap my head around it,” said Seidel, a graduate of T.F. Riggs High School in Pierre, South Dakota. “It provides a lot of opportunity for graduate school, internships and travel abroad studies.”

The Graduate Research Fellowship Program provides an annual stipend and cost-of-education allowance as fellows work toward a research-based master's or doctoral degree in STEM fields. Seidel will pursue a Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities in ecology, evolution and behavior

Seidel credits his success to some of the early research opportunities he had at USD including the NSF-sponsored Research Experience for Undergraduates program where he studied the interaction between insect and fish species on the Missouri River.

“My first experience was in a research position. It really encouraged me to reach out to other labs and test what I was interested in,” he said.

Seidel has traveled all over the United States presenting his research at different academic conferences and symposiums. He took first place at the annual American Indian Science and Engineering Society conference in Denver, Colorado this Fall, and he recently returned from the Posters on the Hill competition in Washington D.C.

Seidel’s biggest piece of advice is to get involved on campus in groups or research positions.

“If you demonstrate the passion that you want to be of help and do the work required, you will find a lot of people ready to help you succeed,” Seidel said.


USD's College of Arts & Sciences offers students a top-notch undergraduate liberal arts education in the humanities, social sciences and sciences as well as graduate programs that have earned USD distinction as a research university by the Carnegie Foundation. The college's more than 22,000 alumni include famous journalists, Hollywood screenwriters, novelists, a Nobel Prize winner, South Dakota governors, attorneys, physicians, justices of the state Supreme Court, distinguished university faculty and international humanitarians.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News