LAHS Senior Lillian Petersen Named Finalist In Science Talent Search

Lillian_Petersen_senior_photo (2)Lillian Petersen/Photo Courtesy LAPS


Lillian Petersen, a senior at Los Alamos High School, has been named one of 40 finalists in the Regeneron Science Talent Search 2020, as well as one of only 15 recipients of the Bryan Cameron Impact Scholarship. 

The Regeneron Science Talent Search is the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors. The 2020 finalists were selected from about 2000 highly qualified entrants, all of whom completed an original research project and extensive application process. The Society for Science & the Public and Regeneron named the top 40 finalists based on their projects’ scientific rigor and their potential to become world-changing scientists and leaders. 

Lillian’s project title is Real-Time Prediction of Crop Yields from MODIS Relative Vegetation Health: A Continent-Wide analysis of Africa.

“I created a system to predict crop yields 3–4 months before the harvest in every African country using satellite imagery,” Lillian explained. “The power of this system is its simplicity and versatility: it can predict crop yields anywhere in the world on any crop type, and it is practically free.”

Finalists will travel to Washington, DC for a week in early March where they will undergo a rigorous judging process. Each finalist will be awarded at least $25,000, with the top 10 awards ranging from $40,000 to $250,000. They will also have an opportunity to interact with leading scientists, meet with members of Congress and display their projects to the public on March 8.

Lillian was also awarded the Cameron Impact Scholarship, a four-year, merit-based full tuition scholarship to the college of her choice. Only fifteen high school seniors are awarded this honor each year for excellence in academics, extracurricular activities, leadership and community service. 

“I am honored to receive these scholarships, and I am excited for the many opportunities they bring,” Lillian said. “I can’t wait to meet the other incredible Regeneron Science Talent Search finalists and Cameron Impact Scholars!”

Lillian was accepted to Harvard University through the early admissions process in December, and plans to major in Computational Molecular Biology next fall.