Monday, June 26, 2017

Knauss Alumni: Where Are They Now?


The Sea Grant program has supported over 1,000 Knauss Marine Policy fellows since 1979. As part of Sea Grant's 50th anniversary celebration, we asked them about their experience as a fellow and what they are doing now. Download a summary of the Knauss Marine Policy fellowship here. You can also download a short biography of John A. Knauss. 

Alaska Sea Grant 

Seanbob Kelly (2008 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA fisheries Office of Sustainable Fisheries, Domestic Fisheries Division

Current Position: Fisheries Habitat Specialist, NOAA Fisheries Habitat Conservation Division (AK)

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The fellowship is so worthwhile. It's taken my experience up a notch and definitely enhanced my career enjoyment. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Making connections with the other fellows and folks at NOAA headquarters was my favorite part of the fellowship. I still work with some of them, feel like I can pick up the phone and speak with any of them at any time.  

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Maryann Bozza (2009 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Office of Program, Planning and Integration

Current Position: Program Manager, Hatfield Marine Science Center, Oregon State University (OR)

How did your fellowship help you in your career? For new fellows coming in, it's really a great chance to stretch your neck and try something new. It gave me the opportunity to do something different and follow a particular interest without worrying about where it would take me in the end. Not a lot of people have this kind of opportunity. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? I had the privilege of attending and observing meetings under the framework of the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy's Subcommittee on Integrated Management of Ocean Resources. These were small, high level meetings that only about 30 people attended. 

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California Sea Grant


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Amanda Keledjian (2011 Executive Branch Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Office of Protected Resources, NOAA

Current Position: Research Associate at NWFSC - Seattle

How did your fellowship help you in your career?  I wouldn't be where I am today if I hadn't done the fellowship, and I wouldn't have some of my best friends.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship?  Meeting lifelong friends and participating in interesting events in amazing venues throughout DC.

 

 

Amy Bowman (2015 Executive Branch Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Fisheries Office of Science and Technology

Current Position: NOAA Fisheries Office of Science and Technology

How did your fellowship help you in your career? It provided me with outstanding opportunities for both personal and professional development.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Developing friendships with the other Knauss fellows


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Stuart Levenbach (2007 Legislative Branch Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Senate Commerce Committee, Republican Staff

Current Position: Policy Analyst, White House Office of Management and Budget Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs

How did your fellowship help you in your career?  If it weren't for the Knauss Fellowship, I would still be picking sea urchin spines out of my wetsuit.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Traveling to the Alaskan Native village of Shishmaref with Senator Stevens and staff.


Deborah Ann Fauquier (2012 Executive Branch Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment:  NMFS, OPR, Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program (NOAA)

Current Position: NMFS, OPR, Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program (NOAA)

How did your fellowship help you in your career?  Resulted in my current job at NMFS

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship?  Attending my first briefing on the Hill


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Emily Trentacoste (2014 Executive Branch Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Fisheries Office of Aquaculture

Current Position: Biologist, US EPA

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The Knauss Fellowship gave me insight into the intersection of science and policy and a new set of skills that made me more competitive for science policy jobs.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship?  Traveling to the regions and meeting members of the communities with which I worked.



Alexis Jackson, Ph.D. (2014 Executive Branch Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment:  NOAA, Sustainable Fisheries, Highly Migratory Species Management Division

Current Position: Senior Associate, International Ocean Policy, The Pew Charitable Trusts

How did your fellowship help you in your career?  My Knauss Fellowship provided me with direct experience in day-to-day fisheries management in the United States for highly migratory species, which made it possible to transition to the arena of international fisheries and advocating for conservation of these same species.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship?  I really enjoyed assisting on a two-week leg of NOAA's SEFSC Bottom Longline Shark Survey along the Atlantic coast of the U.S. This provided me with an opportunity to see bottom longline gear in action, to work with scientists to collect data for stock assessments, and to practice my species I.D. for a number of species that we were managing in the office where I was a fellow.



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Alexis Rife (2012 Executive Branch Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment:  NOAA NMFS Office of International Affairs

Current Position:  Manager, Diagnostics and Design, Fishery Solutions Center, Environmental Defense Fund

How did your fellowship help you in your career?  Being a Knauss Fellow increased my understanding of the complex interaction between policy and science and how the environment and people are then impacted by decisions. The Fellowship gave me hands on experience in balancing those interests and analyzing trade-offs, something I continue to do daily in my work. It also opens many doors and opportunities by increasing your network, allowing you to build relationships and connections with people.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? It was such a privilege to be a part of the U.S. Delegation to the FAO's Committee on Fisheries and ICCAT my fellowship year. Being in the meeting room gives perspective on how international negotiations and agreements are reached. There are also many memories of shared experiences with my fellow Knaussers!



Kimberly Puglise (2001 Legislative Branch Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment:  Congressman Bart Stupak (D-MI)

Current Position:  Oceanographer, NOAA/NOS/National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science

How did your fellowship help you in your career?  The Knauss Fellowship introduced me to a myriad of potential career paths that I didn't know existed as a graduate student.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship?  Serving as the scientific adviser on the House Floor during debate on an amendment to end oil drilling in the Great Lakes.



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Ryan Wulff (2007 Executive Branch Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment:  NOAA NMFS Office of International Affairs

Current Position:  Branch Chief, NMFS WCR, Sacramento and US Deputy Commissioner to the International Whaling Commission

How did your fellowship help you in your career? It helped me land my full time position with NOAA and launched my professional career in the Federal Government.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship?  Our class trip to Oregon was definitely a highlight!



Ashley Simons (1999 Executive Branch Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment:  Deptartment of the Interior, US Coral Reef Task Force (Host: Karen Koltes)

Current Position:  Founder and Principal, Simons Strategy & Communications

How did your fellowship help you in your career?  The Knauss Fellowship opened doors for me to work on marine protected areas for the Assistant Secretary of the Interior (Parks and Wildlife) and go on to more than 15 years of helping scientists connect with journalists, policy-makers, and business leaders. The Fellowship provided me with the behind-the-scenes experience needed to understand how ocean policies are developed and implemented within federal, state, and territorial governments -- experience that I continue to value and use in my work today.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship?  Surveying coral reefs in American Samoa; partnering with local leaders in Guam, CNMI, and Palau to protect reefs in the Pacific; and working with my host, Karen Koltes, to lay the groundwork for a new Wildlife Refuge in the waters around Palmyra Atoll.



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Nicole Marie Teutschel (2011 Legislative Branch Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment:  Senator Maria Cantwell

Current Position:  Senior Advisor, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell, Washington D.C.

How did your fellowship help you in your career?   The Knauss Fellowship exposed me to new ideas, issues and people working on critical fisheries, oceans and Coast Guard policy important to the the West Coast, and the nation.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship?  My favorite fellowship memory was working with Senator Cantwell to protect wild salmon and fishermen who depend on those salmon, from the Pebble Mine. More than 5 years later, I still work for Maria, we're still fighting for Bristol Bay.



Jessica Dutton (2009 Executive Branch Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment:  NOAA Fisheries Office of Policy

Current Position:  USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies

How did your fellowship help you in your career?  Where I am today is a direct product of the experiences and networks I built as a Knauss Fellow. It provided the foundation for successive positions and experiences that led to my current career, and gave me a better understanding of how research and policy combine in the application of science for the benefit of society.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship?  The extracurricular opportunities offered to us were such highlights of the year. Outside of our individual positions, the Fellowship provided access to events and people across DC that we wouldn't have had otherwise, and built us into a cohort with connections that will last throughout our careers.



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Sherry Lippiatt (2010 Executive Branch Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment:  NOAA Marine Debris Program

Current Position:  California Regional Coordinator, NOAA Marine Debris Program, Oakland California

How did your fellowship help you in your career?  The fellowship provided a foot in the door to NOAA and the opportunity to do applied work on exciting and relevant issues. It was a great learning experience and broadened my horizons from the purely academic track.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship?  Supporting the National Incident Command for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill response and meeting many great people that I still keep in touch with six years later.

Connecticut Sea Grant 


Lee Crockett (1986 Knauss Legislative Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: House Committee on Merchant Marines and Fisheries

Current Position: Director of U.S. Oceans, The Pew Charitable Trusts

How did your fellowship help you in your career? My fellowship introduced me to the world of environmental policy making. Through it I found that I Liked helping to develop policy and was good at it. So, my fellowship was directly responsible for my career path. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? I was walking near Dupont Circle with my roommate and we were marveling at the selection of international restaurants. As we walked, my roommate remarked, "I bet they even have Afghan restaurants." And halfway up the next block, we encountered the "Khyber Pass."

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James Reinhardt (2011 Knauss Legislative Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Office of Habitat Conservation Restoration Center

Current Position: Marine Habitat Research Specialist, Earth Resources Technology

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The Knauss experience really helped me understand how better science can help shape management decisions. How we prioritize our funding and our research effort has consequences on what ultimately gets managed, conserved, and protected. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? During my second month as a fellow I went to the Gulf of Mexico region to participate in scoping meetings for an environmental impact assessment. Although at face value the trip I took through the Gulf might seem mundane, but I got to spend time with many of my colleagues. 

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Henry DeBey (2011 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Fisheries Office of International Affairs

Current Position: Senior Associate for Global Tuna Conservation, The Pew Charitable Trusts

How did your fellowship help you in your career? My fellowship exposed me to the breadth of marine policy issues, from fisheries to aquaculture to international trade and everything in between.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? My favorite memory was traveling to Morocco and Senegal for bilateral fisheries meetings.

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Erin Schnettler (2015 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Fisheries Office of Sustainable Fisheries

Current Position: Fishery Management Specialist, NOAA Fisheries Office of Sustainable Fisheries

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The Knauss Fellowship was an incredible opportunity to work within the Federal government. After my year as a Knauss Fellow, I was able to confidently say that continuing to work within the government (specifically, NOAA) was my top priority as I moved forward in my career.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? While it is hard to pick one specific memory from my fellowship year, the network of friends and professional contacts you develop as a Knauss Fellow is invaluable. As a current DC resident, it is wonderful being able to connect with current and past Knauss Fellows.

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Delaware Sea Grant 

 

Diana Olinger (1991 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Special Assistant to Dr. John Knauss

Current Position: Coastal Policy and Safety Specialist, NOAA National Ocean Service

How did your fellowship help you in your career? A view from the top was invaluable. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Training in Seattle prior to observer trip aboard a factory trawler in the Bering Sea and off-load into the Pribilof Island of Saint John. Serving as an official U.S. delegate to the International Whaling Convention and sharing a room with Dr. Sylvia Earle. Project partnering with NOAA Chief Scientist Dr. William Hooke.

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Robert Boyles (1993 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Coastal Ocean Program

Current Position: Deputy Director for Natural Resources, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources

How did your fellowship help you in your career? It affirmed many of the things that I was taught growing up. Namely, that much in life is relational, and that professional relationships are key to getting many things done. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? At one time (perhaps you stil can?) members of Congress could take guests on a tour up in the Dome of the US Capitol. Rep. Frank Pallone was giving a talk one day at a luncheon for our class of fellows, and I was "dared" to request a tour of the Capitol Dome. Rep. Pallone obliged, and several fellows were able to get a singular tour of the Capitol Dome (sadly, I had a scheduling conflict and was unable to participate!)

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Maria Honeycutt (1998 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Mitigation Directorate

Current Position: Coastal Hazards Specialist, NOAA Office for Coastal Management

How did your fellowship help you in your career? Thanks to the professional relationships I established across the private and public sectors that year, I've never had to pound the pavement looking for a job - every position I've landed over the last 15 years stemmed from a well-timed conversation with one of those connections.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Flying in a National Guard Black Hawk - doors wide open and just a couple hundred feet above the ground - surveying hurricane damage along the North Carolina coast after Hurricane Bonnie. As a coastal geologist, the flight gave me a totally new perspective on the environmental and societal impacts of coastal storms. But beyond that, really, how cool is it to get to fly in a Black Hawk?!

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Amardeep Dhanju (2010 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Minerals Management Service

Current Position: Senior Policy Analyst (Contractor), Bureau of Ocean Energy Management

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The fellowship kick-started my professional career. I'm still working for the federal agency (as a contractor) which I joined as a fellow. The experience from the fellowship and subsequent professional experience has given me a professional foundation.  

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Providing support in drafting of the National Ocean Policy framework document. 

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Florida Sea Grant 


Martin Main (1985 Knauss Legislative Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: House Subcommittee on Fisheries and Wildlife Conservation and the Environment

Current Position: Associate Director, Florida Sea Grant and Associate Dean, Natural Resources Extension

How did your fellowship help you in your career? It is better to make incremental progress toward goals through compromise than to accomplish nothing by being intransigent.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? There were many, but sitting next to the Chairman of the Subcommittee and assisting with questions during a hearing and joining him on the Floor during a vote were definitely memorable highlights. 

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Heather Halter Coll (2007 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Fisheries Office of Sustainable Fisheries, Highly Migratory Species Management Division

Current Position: NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources, Endangered Species Conservation Division

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The Knauss Fellowship helped me make connections within the federal government and helped me decide what career path I did and did not want to pursue.   

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? The best memory of my fellowship is the other fellows! We did a lot together and supported each other through our fellowship year. We fully took advantage of all that DC had to offer!

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Kari MacLauchlin (2010 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Fisheries Office of Policy

Current Position: Fisheries Social Scientist, South Atlantic Fishery Management Council

How did your fellowship help you in your career? I learned about the regulatory process during the fellowship, and also made many professional contacts for future jobs.  

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? The biggest accomplishment was a successful workshop that I had worked on throughout the year, which was held in the last month of my time there. 

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Julia Galkiewicz (2012 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Research Office of Communication

Current Position: Fellowship Manager, NOAA National Sea Grant Office

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The Knauss Fellowship helped me gain the skills to transition from academia to other science-based fields, in non-profits, contracting, and the federal government. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? One of my proudest moments was helping to start a program called NOAA Science Days, which brought scientists working on cutting-edge research to DC. We put together a half-day symposium so all NOAA staff could learn about that research, briefed the NOAA leadership team, and went to Capitol Hill to share the amazing work these scientists were doing with valuable taxpayer money. The program is still running, and it serves as a great example of the power of communicating scientific progress to a variety of audiences. 

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Rachel Silverstein (2013 Knauss Legislative Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Senate Commerce Committee

Current Position: Executive Director and Waterkeeper, Miami Waterkeeper

How did your fellowship help you in your career? It gave me an invaluable insight into a new field in which I had no previous experience - federal legislation - and allowed me to work at a high level in a place where my knowledge of science was valued. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Getting bills passed through the Senate!

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Erica Ombres (2013 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Ocean Acidification Program

Current Position: Program Manager, NOAA Ocean Acidification Program

How did your fellowship help you in your career? My fellowship gave me a broader exposure to work in the government.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? During my fellowship I went on a research cruise that was supported by my host office off of the West Coast of the US. 

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Georgia Sea Grant 


Ben Carswell (2011 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Marine Debris Program

Current Position: Director of Conservation, Jekyll Island Authority

How did your fellowship help you in your career? [Understanding how complex policy decisions are made.] When we say policy, it’s this catch-all phrase. But a lot of what it boils down to is a group of people who have decision making responsibility and authority getting together in a structured way and making decisions that affect how people behave and impact natural resources.  

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? I ended up helping plan the International Marine Debris conference in Honolulu, and I served as the lead editor on the proceedings that came out of that conference.  

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Katherine Segarra (2012 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Oceanographer of the Navy

Current Position: Biological Oceanographer, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Division of Environmental Studies

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The Knauss Fellowship has definitely helped me further my career in marine policy. I gained the experience and connections I needed to land my first job post-Knauss. I continue to rely on the professional and technical skills I learned during my fellowship year in my current position. I also benefit from the Knauss network. Perhaps one day I'll be able to use that network for a job, to help me hire others, or collaborate with other fellows.   

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? My biggest accomplishment was performing so well that my office wanted to hire me. 

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Carrie Givens (2013 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: US Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Conservation 

Current Position: Microbiologist, USGS Michigan Water Science Center

How did your fellowship help you in your career? It helped me better understand how the Federal government works and interactions between field, regional, and headquarter offices. It definitely improved my writing skills. I am much better informed on how to present my science to HQ and upper management. I think it definitely helped in securing my current position.  

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? I went on a 30 day detail with my office and got to work with regional staff, field scientists, and other federal agenices. When I returned, I presented aspects of my work to not only my office and agency, but also externally to a national task force.

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Natalie McLenaghan (2015 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Fisheries Office of Habitat conservation - Restoration Center

Current Position: Marine Habitat Resource Specialist, NOAA (DC Area)

How did your fellowship help you in your career? I managed to claim the same cubicle upon transitioning to a contracting position in my office!  

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Visiting the Smithsonian Museum Support Center and laying eyes upon an entire drawer-ful of 10-foot narwhal tusks was pretty amazing....

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Hawaii Sea Grant 

Paulo Maurin (2008 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Coral Program - US Coral Reef Task Force, Education and Outreach

Current Position: NOAA Coral Program Hawaii Management Liaison, Honolulu, HI

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The fellowship opened up the hatch to the federal submarine. I had prior experience in academia, but no experience in management. Through the fellowship I got a front-row seat to the federal/state program planning and implementation for marine conservation.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? The class trip to New Orleans. We all went there not long after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and saw first-hand many of the issues it laid bare. We also took part of a restoration effort, and understood the work being done to keep the tragic event from repeating itself.

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Dan Reineman (2009 Knauss Legislative Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Representative Sam Farr

Current Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, The Bill Lane Center for the American West, Stanford University

How did your fellowship help you in your career? My Knauss Fellowship experience completely realigned my understanding of how science and policy fit together and taught me about what it means to be a good citizen.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? The highlight has to be meeting Ashley Erickson, the 2010 Knauss Fellow who replaced me in Sam Farr's office. Ashley and I fell in love, got married, and are currently living happily ever after.

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Ben Laws (2009 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA National Marine Fisheries Office of Habitat Conservation

Current Position: NOAA National Marine Fisheries Office of Protected Resources, Silver Spring MD

How did your fellowship help you in your career? More ways than I can easily describe here but most simply put me in position to get the job I have now

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Camaraderie with fellowship class

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Lisa Adams (2010 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA National Sea Grant Office

Current Position: Instructor of Biological Science, Hawaii Community College, Hilo

How did your fellowship help you in your career? Working at the National Sea Grant Office allowed me to think about our nation's environmental issues in a much broader, big picture sense. I bring this knowledge into the classroom on a regular basis. In addition, exposure to strategic planning and assessment gave me a step up in understanding these processes to be an asset to HawCC in these areas.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Time spent with new friends

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Pamela Michael (2012 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA National Oceanographic Data Center (now National Centers for Environmental Information), Marine Data Stewardship Division

Current Position: PhD candidate, CSIRO-UTas Quantitative Marine Science Program at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, Hobart, Tasmania

How did your fellowship help you in your career? It gave me the opportunity to work with supportive, amazing people on nationally and internationally collaborative projects; this experience helped me to understand the rolls that NOAA plays nationally and internationally and the many different paths which are possible.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? I still keep in touch with co-workers and fellowship mentor from my placement office (as well as other Fellows), keeping track of each other's movements and tossing out perspectives on career trajectories. My favorite memory to date occurred almost three years after the fellowship ended, when I took a former collaborator / mentor and his co-worker on a drive up a local mountain just as a storm was descending. Everyone made it to the opening discussions of the meeting the next day and the Fellowship continues. It was also fun frolicking in gale-force winds and hail while camping on Asseteague Island with other Fellows.

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Mele Coleman (2013 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NEPA Specialist, NOAA Office of Planning, Planning and Integration

Current Position: Department of Justice, Environment & Natural Resources Division, Wildlife & Marine Resources Section

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The fellowship helped me identify the possible career paths that would best suit my skills and interests.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Related to my fellowship duties, I have fond memories of providing basic NEPA training to NOAA staff who were very receptive and appreciative. My favorite memory, however, is probably of the week that I spent at the National Conservation Training Center in West VA because I enjoyed the NEPA training there and loved how the center is in the middle of the forest and near a river (far away from the city!).

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Alexis Rudd (2015 Knauss Legislative Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Senate Commerce Committee

Current Position: Policy Advisor, NOAA Fisheries Office of Policy (ERT Contractor)

How did your fellowship help you in your career? Working as staff on the Senate Commerce Committee gave me the unique opportunity to see how the mission of the Federal Ocean and Science agencies serve the public and fit into the broader priorities of the US Government. Working under amazingly effective, efficient, and productive managers during my fellowship has given me a model work ethic that I can continue to look to for the rest of my career. The professional development training provided by Sea Grant has already been incredibly helpful in everything from job interviews to finding a position. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? I had amazing professional opportunities during my fellowship (working on a bill that was signed into law, attending an international treaty conference, attending bicameral, bipartisan negotiations on legislation), so it is hard to choose just one. I think the best part was the opportunity to learn and interact with such an amazing, smart group of people. 

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Patrick Drupp (2015 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Office of Education

Current Position: Education Program Specialist, NOAA Office of Education

How did your fellowship help you in your career? It gave me a better understanding of how science, education, and public policy are connected, as well as better insight into how the government works between agencies and with the public.  

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Organizing and helping to run the Science on a Sphere Users Network Meeting at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry in Portland. Over 100 educators and scientists met to discuss and learn better ways to effectively communicate science to students and the public in both schools and informal centers around the world using Science on a Sphere. 

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Jennifer Salerno (2011 Knauss Legislative Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: House of Representatives, Office of Congresswoman Lois Capps (CA)

Current Position: Postdoctoral Research Associate, Environmental Science and Policy, George Mason University

How did your fellowship help you in your career? I pursued the fellowship with the goal of obtaining the skills I would need to work at the
intersection of science and policy. I wanted to obtain a position where I could use my
knowledge base as a scientist and marine policy experience to make tangible contributions to
developing sustainable solutions for ocean and coastal ecosystems.
 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? One of my favorite memories is of a group trip that I organized to visit several West Coast National Marine Sanctuaries. I and four other Knauss fellows spent a week driving along the California coast to meet with dedicated staff from the Sanctuaries and to see first hand what is being done to protect and preserve our Nation’s unique marine ecosystems.

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Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant 


Kate Von Holle (2006 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: State Department

Current Position: Director of Federal Research Development, University of Chicago

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The experience I gained as a fellow really helped me obtain my first job after the Fellowship, because I worked on real issues. It also led me to realize that government relations was where I wanted to focus for my career path.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? I loved our field trip to Seattle. It offered an opportunity to not just learn about the marine labs that we toured, but to hang out as a cohort of fellows. I still keep in touch with several fellows from my class to this day.

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Mike Allen (2010 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Research Office of Laboratories and Cooperative Institutes

Current Position: Associate Director, Maryland Sea Grant

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The fellowship showed me that my graduate experience had prepared me well for a rewarding career in science outside of academia. It set me up with a strong network of contacts who I continue to engage on a regular basis.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? One of the coolest parts of the fellowship is the opportunity to attend professional development events outside of your day-to-day job. One such event I attended was a Capitol Hill hearing on the relevance of and current science behind ocean acidification. In addition to the rockstar NOAA and academic scientists testifying, the hearing featured special guest star Sigourney Weaver sharing about ocean protection (shortly after her role in Avatar). Star struck on so many levels!

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Louisiana Sea Grant 

Donna Wieting (1989 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Fisheries

Current Position: Director, NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources (DC Area)

How did your fellowship help you in your career? I not only learned about public policy and what it means to make scientifically based policy decisions, I experienced the thrill and pride of advancing marine resource conservation in service to our nation.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Overall my favorite memories were experienced while enjoying the camaraderie of my fellowship class. One specific memory was attending a Congressional hearing for the first time and experiencing the theater of the event. The theater is not as much fun when you have to testify

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Pablo Granados-Dieseldorff (2007 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: National Science Foundation, Biological Oceanography

Current Position: Director of Marine Science and Implementation for Fish Forever, Rare (Mexico)

How did your fellowship help you in your career? [The Knauss Fellowship] cemented my interest in marine science and policy and opened a myriad of doors to this wonderful realm. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? The Year of the Ocean in Washington, DC!

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Lauren Land (2011 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA National Sea Grant Office

Current Position: PhD Candidate in Department of Geography and Anthropology, Louisiana State University (LA)

How did your fellowship help you in your career? My Knauss Fellowship introduced me to the wonderful world of the National Sea Grant College Program and equipped me to obtain a job as an Extension Specialist at Louisiana Sea Grant. As a Fellow, I learned lessons in the federal budget process; the competitive peer-reviewed research proposal process, how to be resourceful in finding information; and how to view social, environmental, and economic challenges in the coastal environment in a holistic manner. Most importantly, the connections and relationships I established as a Fellow still benefit me in my work today. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? My favorite memory is definitely going through the whole experience with 50 other men and women of similar interests and pursuits. We all were thrown into the high-pace environment of Washington, DC, and we went on the journey together. Notable memories include the countdown to the shutdown that didn't happen, the earthquake, planting seagrasses at Jug Bay Wetlands, and touring the Blue Plains Wastewater Treatment Plant. 

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Ryan Orgera (2013 Knauss Legislative Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Senator Bill Nelson (FL)

Current Position: Senior Associate for Global Shark Conservation, The Pew Charitable Trusts (DC)

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The Knauss fellowship was an invaluable start to my career, offering me unbelievable access to national and global ocean leaders as well as a once-in- a-lifetime opportunity to participate legislative process. The importance of the network the fellowship helps build is hard to overstate.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? I have so many fond memories of my fellowship year, but the context of the fellowship; actually working on legislation, with legislators, about ocean issues is really the highlight. I was part of a team that shepherded through legislation on coral reef conservation and national flood insurance. I loved working for the ocean and for the people of Florida and United States.

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Melissa Carle (2014 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Office of Habitat Conservation, Restoration Center

Current Position: Marine Habitat Resource Specialist (ERT Contractor), NOAA Restoration Center

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The fellowship shifted my perspective of the opportunities available to someone with my background and experience and gave me a much better sense of where I wanted to focus my career in the near term.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? My favorite memory was attending a Senate Commerce Committee hearing on the RESTORE Act. Having worked on Gulf of Mexico restoration for my fellowship year and on research related to restoration in coastal Louisiana for 4 years as a graduate student, it was thrilling to be in the audience for a congressional hearing focused specifically on Gulf Restoration.

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Emily Smith (2015 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA's Climate Observation Division

Current Position: Communication and Outreach Specialist, NOAA's Climate Observation Division (DC Area)

How did your fellowship help you in your career? It helped me build a working relationship with my co-workers that led to a contractor position. I already had the skillset, but being able to work in the federal government environment helped me learn how to navigate that world.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? I was able to travel to Palau and meet with fellow scientists from the neighboring islands to discuss what ocean observations were missing in the Pacific Tropics. They were concerned about having enough information to help their local governments make good decisions concerning the changing climate and conditions of their homes.

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Lake Champlain Sea Grant 


Robyn Smyth (2004 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: National Science Foundation, Environmental Research and Education Program

Current Position: Assistant Professor, Bard College Center for Environmental Policy

How did your fellowship help you in your career? I currently teach science courses to students working on environmental and climate science policy degrees. I draw upon my experience in Washington and the training we received as fellows regularly.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? One of my main responsibilities at NSF was organizing a workshop of experts in all facets of water research to identify key gaps in NSF's funding. It was a formative experience for me to be the only graduate student in attendance as top scientists charted a future course of research for our Nation's freshwaters. 

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Maine Sea Grant 

 

Danielle Chesky (2010 Knauss Legislative Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Senator Maria Cantwell (WA)

Current Position: Environmental Affairs Officer, Embassy of Canada

How did your fellowship help you in your career? Great network and background of experience to build on in future positions with still working on Capitol Hill – it’s been helpful for securing positions post-Knauss up until now and building the knowledge base for the future.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Passage of amendments and out of Committee of language I wrote and shepherded on the oil spill issue. It didn’t pass that Congress but approaches have been further incorporated into agency processes. 

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Erin Wilkinson (2013 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Fisheries Office of Sustainable Fisheries

Current Position: Fishery Management Specialist, NOAA Fisheries Office of Sustainable Fisheries

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The Knauss fellowship gave me an experience I hadn’t had before and I ended my year having learned a great deal about fisheries management, marine policy, and what it is like to work in the government. But, what was really great about the Knauss fellowship, and is something that will help me for a lifetime is that it also opened up an entire network of mentors, colleagues, and peers. I foresee this network continuing to be helpful throughout my career. From my Knauss class alone I have many people I can call up to ask for information on a topic or advice for a situation, thoughts on job prospects, etc. and that feels incredibly valuable.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? I participated on a two week fisheries bottom trawl survey in the Northeast during my fellowship. This was incredibly fun and was a great way to connect with some of the staff at the science centers and learn about how work at NMFS headquarters in Silver Spring fits in with the work taking place at NMFS regions and science centers. It was also really fun to get away from the office and see one of NMFS’ research vessels in action. 

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Andrew Strosahl (2015 Knauss Legislative Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Senator Brian Schatz (HI)

Current Position: Vice President of Government Relations, Transportation Institute

How did your fellowship help you in your career? [The] Knauss Fellowship allowed me to start to build an invaluable professional network!

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Visiting Hawaii...for work!

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Maryland Sea Grant 

Olaf Jensen (2003 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA National Ocean Service Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment - Biogeography Program

Current Position: Assistant Professor, Rutgers University Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences (NJ)

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The Knauss fellowship was a tremendous benefit to my career through development of new scientific skills, expanding my professional network, and experience working in collaborative teams. I greatly expanded my GIS and spatial analysis skill set by working alongside experienced GIS programmers.  I also learned new field research techniques such as underwater fish and coral survey methods.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? On the last dive of a week-long field research trip off of Puerto Rico, we were surveying bottom habitat and fish communities through visual observation while SCUBA diving. Our last site was a low visibility sea grass site. At one point, I saw a large object swimming behind me and to my left, which surprised me as I knew my dive buddy was on my right. I turned my head and was face to face with a manatee. The manatee looked as surprised as I was and it turned around and took off leaving a cloud of sediment. Luckily, when you're diving, no one can hear you scream.  

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Pamela Toschik (2004 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: National Science Foundation Office of Polar Programs

Current Position: Chief, Migratory Birds, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The Knauss fellowship gave me the opportunity to shift my career from research to policy and the skills to successfully compete for federal policy jobs. I was introduced to international conservation treaties, and given opportunities to build my skills in consensus building. These experiences prepared me well for the next decade working in the NOAA Office of International Affairs and now with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? My favorite work as a fellow was with a small international team of avian and fisheries scientists, working to improve rules to prevent bycatch of albatrosses and petrels in Antarctic fisheries. For me, it was the ideal convergence of diplomacy, science, industry, and conservation.   

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Kristin Rusello (2005 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA National Ocean Service Office of Response and Restoration

Current Position: Foreign Affairs Specialist, NOAA Fisheries Office of International Affairs and Seafood Inspection

How did your fellowship help you in your career?  The fellowship opened the door to the federal government for me, specifically NOAA, and allowed me to begin real-world policy work. Although I had taken policy courses in college, my focus had always been on science. The fellowship also showed me how science contributes to policy and management and gave me a better understanding of each discipline. I was also introduced to a number of U.S. agencies and executive branch engagement with the legislative branch. The fellowship allowed me "try out" the federal government in a way to determine if it was a good fit for me, which it was! I've been at NOAA for over 10 years now! 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship?  One very cool thing I was able to work on during my fellowship was the Anacostia River watershed. My M.S. work focused on restoration projects along the Anacostia River, and the NOAA Office of Response and Restoration worked on urban watershed restoration, so I was able to continue work on the river, only from a different perspective.  

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Safra Altman (2009 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Research Office of Policy, Planning and Evaluation

Current Position: Coastal Ecologist, USACE Engineer Research and Development Center - Environmental Lab (MS)

How did your fellowship help you in your career? I'm a research scientist in a lab that I had never heard of before becoming a fellow. Through the fellowship, I learned about the lab and worked with the technical directors. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Kareoke. A lot of it.   

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Rebecca Holyoke (2009 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

Current Position: Program Analyst, NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (DC Area)

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The fellowship provided me the opportunity to transition from academia to science administration, including program planning and marine policy. The network of professionals, and the informal and formal training arranged through the fellowship and my host office, greatly enhanced my skill set and knowledge of the agency — both of which were essential for earning my current position.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? My favorite was participating in the NOAA Fisheries and Office of National Marine Sanctuaries National Summit near Monterey Bay, California. Preparing for and participating in this meeting introduced me to more than 80 amazing and talented staff and reinforced for me personally the need to build durable, positive relationships within and external to your program to further the many needed missions associated with ocean conservation.  

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Carrie Soltanoff (2013 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Fisheries Office of International Affairs

Current Position: Fishery Management Specialist, NOAA Fisheries Office of Sustainable Fisheries Highly Migratory Species Management Division

How did your fellowship help you in your career?  The Knauss Fellowship got me started at NOAA Fisheries and introduced me to a network of people, and different career paths, throughout government and the field of marine policy. Through my fellowship I gained experience with the international side of issues I currently work on- management of Atlantic tunas and sharks- which was key in helping me get to my current position.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship?  Participating in an FAO meeting on sustainable small-scale fisheries in Rome. Attending many oceans events in DC with the other Fellows.   

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Jennifer Bosch (2013 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Research Cooperative Institutes and Science Advisory Board

Current Position: Oceanographer, NOAA IOOS Program Office

How did your fellowship help you in your career? Knauss helped me get my last 2 jobs. It also gave me a great foundation on how NOAA balances science and policy which helps me perform my job better. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Our Knauss tour of the Naval Observatory was just plain awesome!  

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Tammy Newcomer Johnson (2014 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA National Sea Grant Office

Current Position: ORISE Postdoctoral Researcher, EPA National Estuary Program and Climate Ready Estuaries (DC)

How did your fellowship help you in your career? I learned about the Sea Grant Extension and how to serve as an honest-broker of scientific information. I use this skill now in helping with community resilience workshops. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? I loved Sea Grant Week in Florida! Giving 6 presentations in 5 days was intense but doable because of teaming with fellow Fellow, Elizabeth Bevan!  

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Emily Tewes (2014 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Research Climate Program Office

Current Position: Program Analyst, NOAA Research Office of International Affairs (DC Area)

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The Knauss Fellowship provided me with policy and management skills that graduate school could not, and gave me first hand experience in shaping policy decisions at the federal headquarters level. I am grateful the friendships I made and mentoring I received that have undoubtedly helped me in my career as well.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Professional development opportunities were the highlight of my fellowship - it is rare to have a job where you get to sit in on hearings, tour the U.S. Naval Observatory, and participate in international conferences just because they are interesting!  

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Seth Sykora-Bodie (2014 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources

Current Position: Doctoral Student, Duke University (NC)

How did your fellowship help you in your career? It made me realize that I loved what I was doing so much that I needed to leave it for more scientific training and immersion in the field elsewhere before I could return to keep working in marine conservation in Washington.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Probably the day that Shane Hanlon, Leigh Habeggar and another of my friends went out to SCBI for their fall open house. It was just a beautiful, sunny day of talking about conservation at the research institute. 

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Jessica Foley (2015 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Office of the Assistant Administrator, NOAA Oceanic and Atmospheric Research

Current Position: Climate Change and Resilience Coordinator, NOAA National Ocean Service Policy and Constituent Affairs (DC Area)

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The Knauss Fellowship did not just help my career, it made my career and provided a conduit to my current position in marine and coastal policy at NOAA. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? One incredible opportunity I had during my fellowship year was participating as part of the official U.S. Delegation in the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) Assembly meeting at UNESCO's headquarters in Paris, France with the NOAA Assistant Administrator for Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, Craig McLean. Partaking in the UN style meeting with representatives from 147 countries all united under one mission, our Oceans, was quite an honor and an inspiring moment.  

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Brittany Marsden (2015 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Formulation and Congressional Analysis Division, NOAA Oceanic and Atmospheric Research

Current Position: Management Analyst, Formulation and Congressional Analysis Division, NOAA Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (DC Area)

How did your fellowship help you in your career? I developed an incredible network of friends and mentors that continue to be invaluable to my professional development. While working in my host office, I also realized that I enjoy exposure to a wide variety of science topics and that graduate school trained me to be a quick learner and to present high-quality research in an accessible way. Recognizing these skills, and my affinity for them, motivated me to pursue career opportunities in science policy and communications. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? My professional development opportunities ranged from presenting technical scientific research at regional conferences to exploring science policy negotiations at international meetings. One outside-the-box meeting I attended was the World Bank's 2015 annual meeting, where I engaged with members of local tribes, global governments, and international non-profits on topics at the intersection of sustainable development and climate change.  

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Minnesota Sea Grant 

 

David Moe Nelson (1989 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA National Ocean Service, Strategic Assessment Branch

Current Position: Marine Biologist, NOAA National Ocean Service Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment

How did your fellowship help you in your career? I can truly say that the Knauss Fellowship launched my career here at NOAA. The fellowship is only for one year, but after several months I had become intrigued with the work at hand with my team, and was offered an opportunity to stay on when the fellowship ended. Every year-class of fellows forms a tight-knit peer-group, that sticks together through the fellowship year and beyond. Some fellows leave after a year, to pursue opportunities elsewhere, but for those of us that stay in the DC area, we tend to stay in touch and help each other out whenever we can. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? The Knauss Fellowship year is a unique and exciting time. Fellows come from Sea Grant graduate programs all over the USA, and we collectively make Washington, DC our own for a year. For me, this was now 25 years ago, so the entire fellowship year is a favorite memory - exploring a new city and region with a new set of friends. 

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Erik Heinen (2002 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Environmental Protection Agency Office of Water, Oceans, and Coastal Protection Division

Current Position: Environmental Administer, Great River Energy (MN)

How did your fellowship help you in your career? My fellowship gave me fantastic exposure to the EPA as an organization and the regulatory development process which is essential to what I am doing now.  

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? I really enjoyed my time in DC. 

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Barbara Peichel (2003 Knauss Legislative Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Senator Daniel Akaka (HI)

Current Position: Clean Water Council Coordinator, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

How did your fellowship help you in your career? I had the opportunity to travel to Puerto Rico and Hawaii during my fellowship and was exposed to a wide variety of ocean resources - mangroves, fish farming, bioluminescent phytoplankton - and appreciative of how important it is to protect these resources. In my job today I am still using the legislative skills I learned during the fellowship. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Participating in a mock hearing for executive fellows. 

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Julie Palakovich Carr (2008 Knauss Legislative Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Senator Maria Cantwell (WA)

Current Position: Public Policy Manager, American Institute of Biological Sciences

How did your fellowship help you in your career? I learned essential skills during my fellowship that enabled me to transition from a career in research to a career in science policy. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Making many new friends.

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Ann Cooper (2009 Knauss Legislative Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Senate Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard

Current Position: Professional Officer, International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (Denmark)

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The Knauss fellowship was a defining career opportunity for me. It was a crash course in communicating science and its relevance to society. I enjoy working at the interface of science, management and policy, and as a Knauss alumna I am well positioned to support sustainable commercial fisheries, healthy oceans, and vibrant coastal communities the world over.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? I drafted legislation on climate research, and participated with the U.S. delegation at the International Whaling Convention and the International Convention for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas. 

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Kelly Pennington (2010 Knauss Legislative Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Senate Commerce Committee

Current Position: Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Coordinator, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

How did your fellowship help you in your career? I learned a lot about [ocean acidification, Northeast fisheries,] and other issues and also how they fit into policy debates. This is an incredible opportunity that will pay off greatly. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Attending the Maine Fishermen's Forum, traveling to Rhode Island for a law symposium about the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, going to France to attend a meeting of the International Commission for the Conservation of the Atlantic Tunas. 

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Michigan Sea Grant 


Eric MacMillan (2012 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Fisheries Office of Habitat Conservation

Current Position: Fish Biologist, NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources

How did your fellowship help you in your career? [The Knauss Fellowship was a] great foot in the door.  

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? [The] opportunity to attend the World Fisheries Congress meeting in Scotland. 

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Kyle Molton (2012 Knauss Legislative Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Representative Chellie Pingree (ME)

Current Position: Policy Director, Penobscot East Resource Center

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The fellowship was an incredible opportunity to learn the ropes from the inside, I use something I learned almost every day.  

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Late night runs to the floor of the House of Representatives for midnight votes!

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MIT Sea Grant 

 

Michael Nelson (1988 Knauss Legislative Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Senate Subcommittee on Science, Technology, and Space

Current Position: Public Policy for CloudFare (DC)

How did your fellowship help you in your career? My fellowship turned into a permanent position with the Senate Science Subcommittee and, five years later, a job working with Vice President Gore on digital issues in the Clinton White House. Due to good luck and good timing, I was able to help Congress and the Clinton Administration make key decisions that enabled the explosive growth of the commercial Internet during its early years. Being scientifically trained gave me a unique perspective on policy debates and made me an effective "translator" for scientists and engineers when they met with policy makers on the Hill or in the Administration.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? One of the very first hearings I organized for the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation was on global climate change (or "greenhouse warming" as it was called then). It was held on a beastly hot summer day. Several of the top scientists in the field (including a NOAA researcher) shared dire forecasts of the consequences of a much hotter world (which are now coming true - ten to twenty years early). It was a fascinating case study in the challenge of helping policy makers who are not scientists understand complex computer models, research results, and error bars. 

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Eric Dolin (1995 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Office of Policy and Strategic Planning

Current Position: Author of books on American History

How did your fellowship help you in your career? It gave me my first experience working for the federal government, which helped me decide that I would like to continue working for the government on environmental and natural resource issues. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Working with Dr. Jeffrey L. Payne, who was the Deputy Director of the Office of Policy and Strategic Planning, on writing justifications for the NOAA budget to Congress. It was an interesting project, but the best part was working with Dr. Payne, who showed me what it looks like to be a conscientious, knowledgeable, and effective civil servant. 

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Samantha Woods (1996 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Fisheries Office of Science and Technology

Current Position: Executive Director, North and South Rivers Watershed Association (MA)

How did your fellowship help you in your career? It provided me with insight into how decisions were made at the federal level regarding the environment. Familiarity with this level of government as helped me throughout my career to gain funding and understand where to go to influence environmental decision making. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? The other fellows were a large part of my experience. I gained great personal and professional lifelong relationships through this fellowship. My favorite memory was attending a meeting at the National Academy of sciences to make a presentation on the need for funding fisheries research vessels. 

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Abigail Archer (2009 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Fisheries Office of Sustainable Fisheries - Domestic Division

Current Position: Barnstable County Cape Cod Cooperative Extension & Woods Hole Sea Grant - Marine Resource Specialist (MA)

How did your fellowship help you in your career? While at NOAA NMFS I had the opportunity to be involved in several aspects of program planning and evaluation, and to observe communication between the regional and national offices. It is now my habit when I start a new position to immediately find and read the strategic plan, and determine how my work and programs will be evaluated. I believe this has helped me to keep my work in line with both regional and national priorities, to craft my own performance metrics, and has helped me to develop effective projects and programs. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Nothing beats the feeling of moving into a new city with a ready-made group of 20 or so friends, who also happen to be incredibly accomplished and inspiring people. I loved being able to attend Congressional hearings. 

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Caitlin Frame (2011 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Department of Energy, Wind and Water Power Program

Current Position: Research scientist, University of Concepcion and the Center for Climate Science and Resilience (Chile)

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The fellowship gave me experience managing large government-funded projects. I also gained experience working with emerging renewable energy technologies in the U.S. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? A trip to Oregon and Washington State with one other Knauss fellow and two other people from my Department of Energy program stands out in my mind. We visited scientists at the marine renewable energy centers and the national laboratories that were conducting environmental and engineering research on marine renewable energy. Highlights were a tour of a wave tank laboratory and a boat trip to visit moored instruments in Puget Sound.

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Fern Gibbons (2012 Knauss Legislative Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Senate Commerce Committee

Current Position: Policy Advisor, Senate Commerce Committee (DC)

How did your fellowship help you in your career? I've ended up back in the same office I did my fellowship, and I couldn't be happier.  

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? I had the opportunity to work on important issues with wonderful coworkers. Every day was an adventure.  

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Benjamin Carr (2015 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Executive Secretariat to the Council of NOAA Fellows

Current Position: Marine Scientist for Fish, Fisheries, and Protected Species; Oceana (DC)

How did your fellowship help you in your career? I understand, to a small degree, the inner workings of the federal government, or at least NOAA. I saw how policy and research agendas are set, and when to follow the proper chain of command and when it might be best to side step. In addition, they fervently adhere to Robert's Rules of Order, something I had to learn quickly. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? I was able to host an inter-agency one-day workshop in November with about 60 senior scientists from 11 agencies from across the government, including NASA, EPA, DOD, USGS and USDA among others. It was great to hear these super bright, extremely talented scientists talk about science in their agencies and forming stronger cross-discipline standing and ad hoc working groups and think tanks to push science in the Federal government forward.   

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Casey Diederich (2015 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Office of International Affairs

Current Position: Environmental Scientist, Arcadis (NY)

How did your fellowship help you in your career? There are too many new skills to enumerate here. My fellowship experience was a fantastic and welcome transition out of the academic setting. Not only did I gain experience on a host of different topics, especially in the international policy side of science, but I learned how to operate in a fast-paced environment with extremely smart and dedicated co-workers. At times I was asked to represent the agency in various meetings that I had little time to prepare for, so I'd say the ability to think fast on your feet in important situations is one of the most valued skills I left the fellowship with. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? You may have seen in the news that NOAA Administrator Dr. Kathryn Sullivan signed a Memorandum of Understanding, or MOU, on marine protected area cooperation with Cuba. I was one of a small group of people that worked on this MOU from the time it was just a thought, all the way through various meetings with Cubans, drafting and revising the MOU, and getting it signed by our Administrator. Getting exposed to, and being able to contribute to, that sort of high-level, high-impact environmental policy process is something I'll never forget!

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Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant 

Nikola Garber (1999 Knauss Legislative Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Senator Ron Wyden (OR)

Current Position: Deputy Director, NOAA Sea Grant

How did your fellowship help you in your career? Jumping in with both feet as a legislative Knauss fellow, I quickly learned how policy is shaped and that I wanted to be part of this profession. I would never be in the position I am today, had it not been for this experience. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Traveling along the Oregon coast to learn firsthand from the constituents about the problems they encountered daily and working on ways to help them. 

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Julien Lartigue (2003 Knauss Legislative Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Senator Ron Wyden (OR)

Current Position: Director, NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The fellowship showed me outside of an academic setting the many different ways an education in marine science could be put to use. It taught me how to communicate science to a more general audience and how science can inform policy decisions.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Less than one week removed from my graduate studies, I was knocking on the door of senior staff in the U.S. Senate trying to get authorization for an important program for Oregon fisheries included in a must pass piece of legislation. Building of the work of the Knauss fellow before me, we were able to get the program authorized, funded, and implemented during my fellowship year.

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Staci Ann Lewis (2007 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Office of NOAA Administrator

Current Position: PhD Candidate, Stanford University

How did your fellowship help you in your career? My placement inserted me into the highest levels of a federal agency, during a presidential transition year. I learned the inner-workings of a federal agency and how agencies coordinate across the Executive Branch. My experience led to a high level policy position within the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, and led me to an interdisciplinary PhD award to attend Stanford University. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Five months into my fellowship, I staffed RADM Lautenbacher to a ship christening ceremony. It was held an hour away from my family home. My parents were able to attend the event and learn more about my work through the generosity of the NOAA Headquarters staff. 

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Anne Marie Eich (2010 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: US Fish and Wildlife Service Branch of Aquatic Invasive Species

Current Position: Fishery Management Specialist, NOAA Fisheries

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The Knauss Fellowship was a great introduction to all of the intricacies involved in policy decision-making.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? The people I met through the Knauss Fellowship continue to be my favorite part of the experience.

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Andrew Coleman (2011 Knauss Legislative Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Senate Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard

Current Position: Program Director, Birmingham Audubon Society

How did your fellowship help you in your career? It provided exposure to a variety of issues and ideas that I would not have experienced otherwise. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? I made a number of friendships that I am thankful for to this day.  

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Courtney Smith (2013 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: US Department of Energy, Wind and Water Power Technologies Office

Current Position: Marine Mammal Conservation & Recovery Specialist, NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources

How did your fellowship help you in your career? I never had the opportunity to travel  internationally -- something that nowadays is essential for professional development. The Knauss Fellowship gave me the opportunity to travel abroad twice during my Fellowship year (to Hungary and Scotland) for professional conferences I'd otherwise not have been able to attend. Being exposed to international cultures and marine issues were life changing on both a personal and professional level.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? The camaraderie you gain from being an Alumni. What a privilege to be a part of this group.  

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Clifford Hutt (2013 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Fisheries Atlantic Highly Migratory Species Management Division

Current Position: Fisheries Management Specialist, NOAA Fisheries

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The Knauss Fellowship gave me an opportunity to prove myself at NOAA. I would not be where I am today without it. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? My favorite memory of the fellowship was spending two weeks on NOAA vessel in the Gulf of Mexico sampling sharks. One night we caught a 9 foot long great hammerhead, and I'll never forget handling the line while we brought her in for tagging. 

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Elizabeth Bevan (2014 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA National Sea Grant Office

Current Position: PhD Student, University of Alabama at Birmingham

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The Fellowship gave me experience navigating the political aspects of marine conservation and the opportunity to connect with people at the national level in marine policy. These connections are not only a phenomenal asset in the job market, or with scholarship/fellowship hosts, but they have facilitated many
aspects of my own research back in the realm of academia, thus strengthening the bridges of crossover between marine policy and research.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Honestly, it's a tough call between two critical moments. The first was a Alaska Sea Grant Fisheries conference I attended in Achnorage, AK, where I held my first glacier (ok, a small piece of one) and witnessed the mind-exploding beauty of that gigantic wilderness. The other moment I would have to say was one of my favorites, was actually Placement Week. I know, I know...that event has more stories to it than the National Archives. However, towards the end of my interview schedule, when I was so tired I couldn't form coherent sentences to ask for a Ban Mi sandwich from the food truck, I sat down to stare at the Capitol and realized just how much of a challenge I had faced and overcome. That week forced me to realize a lot of things about myself and my capabilities. And it was only just the beginning :)

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Shailesh Sharma (2015 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Aquatic Invasive Species Analyst, NOAA Fisheries Office of Management and Budget

Current Position: Aquatic Invasive Species Analyst, NOAA Fisheries

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The fellowship provided me an opportunity to network with top scientists and policy makers in the field of marine and coastal sciences. It also allowed me to understand how a federal organization works.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? I traveled to different parts of the US and had first hand experience in assessing the threats of invasive species in our pristine systems. I also organized a NOAA all-hands meeting on invasive species in Santa Cruz, CA, which was amazing. It was attended by many scientists and people working directly in the field of invasive species management. 

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Kirsten Larsen (2005 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Fisheries Office of Science and Technology

Current Position: Oceanographer, NOAA National Center for Environmental Information

How did your fellowship help you in your career? Being in the fellowship was a life and career changing experience.  While I had some limited knowledge of NOAA Fisheries prior to the fellowship, I was not aware of all that NOAA did, and the myriad of opportunities there are within the federal government to do marine and coastal science, policy, and management. Without the fellowship I don't know that I would have had the confidence to explore such a wide variety of positions that I have in the last 11 years. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? One of my favorite roles while working as a fellow was staffing a working group made up of both the science leadership positions within NOAA as well as many of the academic and non-profit marine scientists from US and Canada. It was amazing to work with such high caliber and well-known scientists as they developed recommendations about NOAA's ecosystem research portfolio.

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New Hampshire Sea Grant 

Rachel Feeney (2003 Knauss Legislative Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Representative Tom Allen (ME)

Current Position: Social Impact Analyst, New England Fishery Management Council

How did your fellowship help you in your career? It launched it! One week I was a measly grad student begging for my advisor's signature; the next week I was THE expert on anything to do with salt water and people were standing when I entered the room (in my spiffy pants suit)!

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? A fisherman insisted that the Congressman refused to meet with him on his annual trips to DC. He made a bet with his compadres that I could pull it off, and I did (easily). He has been my compadre ever since.

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Erika Washburn (2010 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Office of International Affairs

Current Position: Manager, Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The networking throughout NOAA and across the federal government was really important for me. The Knauss Fellowship gave me a top down look at NOAA, across all line offices which helped me understand agency culture, challenges and opportunities. Working with the other Federal science agencies and departments in Washington was also helpful in terms of learning the ins and outs of policy development and the ways in which the Administration's goals and initiatives affect government functioning. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? I made some very good friends as a Knauss Fellow and some of my favorite memories of our class are the group tours we did of the White House and Library of Congress. I am also pleased to see Knauss classmates succeed professional following their fellowship. 

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Wan-Jean Lee (2012 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA National Sea Grant Office

Current Position: Policy Analyst, National Climate Change Secretariat (Singapore)

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The Knauss year gave me experience in policy, government, bureaucratic work and processes. The experience was very valuable in convincing a future government employer that I am able to make the switch from being a scientist to a policy analyst. The Knauss experience will continue to help me by providing me insights into U.S. environmental and energy policies.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Working with people from multiple states on the appropriate response to debris from the Japanese Tsunami.

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Helen Cheng (2015 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA National Sea Grant Office

Current Position: Coastal Resilience Extension Specialist, New York Sea Grant

How did your fellowship help you in your career? It exposed me to the policy and management world of science research. It also prepared me to communicate with different audiences and make the connection between the research and the communities.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Working at NOAA in the midst of the political realms of Washington D.C. was a highlight for me. Not only was I able to take in the different events and meetings, but I was also able to learn and understand the national priorities and issues and how it is reflected in the states.


Meeting so many different people with interesting experiences and perspectives was inspiring, especially when they had the time to meet with me to have an informational meeting; I had many informational meetings during my Knauss Fellowship and it was really inspiring to learn from them in pursuit of my own professional career.

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New Jersey Sea Grant 


Anna Hermes (2014 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Research Office of Laboratories and Cooperative Institutes and NOAA Science Advisory Board

Current Position: Environmental Analyst, Philadelphia Water Department (PA)

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The Knauss Fellowship completely changed the way I think about setting and realizing goals. I know so much more now about how to think about long term goals and progress and how to strive for a long arc rather than a deadline next week. The fellowship also completely sold me on conducting applied research. In the future I know my research career will always have application, and will involve stakeholders throughout.

The Fellowship also showed me how complex and big the world out there really is. I had had minimal exposure to industry and all the things the government does prior to the fellowship. I feel much more aware of the who, what, when, where, and why behind policies and programs.

The Fellowship most importantly showed me the compassion and enthusiasm of those conducting mission-based work. That all at NOAA work for the understanding and protection of the people and environment of the US and world was continuously inspiring, and I hope to carry that spirit of service and the greater good with me throughout my life. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? I really enjoyed participating in the Science Advisory Board and working group meetings as well as the laboratory reviews. Sitting side-by- side with preeminent researchers, I was at the edge of my seat trying to sponge up as much knowledge as I could! I will never forget listening to Dr. Sullivan talk about the future directions of NOAA, the country, and the world in a lively discussion with some of the most inspirational and motivating people I’ve ever met.

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New York Sea Grant 


Emily Cloyd (2006 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA National Ocean Service Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research

Current Position: Engagement and Outreach Lead, US Global Change Research Program

How did your fellowship help you in your career? It provided me with real-world experience at the science-policy nexus and challenged me to grow my leadership skills. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Meeting and working with a wonderful group of Fellows - some of whom I still work with, more that I keep in touch with, and an even larger network of friends and colleagues wherever I go.

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Jillian Cohen (2012 Knauss Legislative Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: House Committee on Natural Resources

Current Position: Presidential Management Fellow, US Fish and Wildlife Service

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The two main things I gained from my fellowship were professional connections, which helped me land the position I have today and which continue to enrich my professional (and personal life) and mastering the skill of working under tight deadlines. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? I helped author an amendment to a bill that made its way to the floor. The amendment took a stand for using “best available science” when making decisions about using water in the San Joaquin River Valley.

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Zachary Schulman (2013 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Director of Marine Transportation systems, US Coast Guard

Current Position: Coast Guard Liaison, Federal Highway Administration

How did your fellowship help you in your career? My fellowship absolutely helped me by exposing me to so many areas of the agency that I was able to legitimately say I had experience working in a very esoteric field (Coast Guard Bridge Administration), in addition to making innumerable connections and friendships that still help me today.  

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? My favorite memory of my fellowship was walking on sea ice in the Arctic Ocean while on a science cruise on the USCGC Healy. I stood in a place on earth that no one had ever stood before, and very likely no one will ever be again. My fellowship travel stipend enabled me to pay for my transportation up to Barrow, AK, where I joined the crew as part of the NOAA contingent on this particular science mission.

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North Carolina Sea Grant 


Margaret Spring (1991 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA and the Coast Guard

Current Position: Vice President of Conservation and Science, Monterey Bay Aquarium

How did your fellowship help you in your career? I learned about the legislative process in a way that you would never have learned by reading about it. We got a chance to work with the agency very closely but also have a very strong impact on choices that were made to ensure, in the long run, the stability of the federal enterprise. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? I was able to represent the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation at the negotiations on tunas in Madrid, Spain, when bluefin tuna were being proposed for listing on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. I was able to be involved in negotiating major tuna treaty questions and consult with major negotiators. We're still working on it today, even here at the aquarium.

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Matt Kendall (1998 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA National Ocean Service's Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment Biogeography Branch

Current Position: NOAA National Ocean Service's Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment Biogeography Branch

How did your fellowship help you in your career? Same office since the fellowship but a few rungs up the ladder. Either my career has stagnated or I nailed it during placement week! 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Going to the US Caribbean as a fellow to map fish habitat seemed strange at the time. Did I know much about the Caribbean? or fish habitat? I sure do now. What a difference a year makes.

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James "Bo" Dame (2004 Knauss Legislative Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: House Resources Committee, Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife and Oceans

Current Position: Associate Professor of Biology and Physical Sciences, Chowan University

How did your fellowship help you in your career? Besides the general experience you obtain, I believe the most important benefit is the people you meet. As a fellow you are introduced to a vast network of professional - some are former fellows but many are not. I often bump into individuals associated with the "Knauss Network" at professional meetings and workshops, and I'm connected with others that are retired. It is a great community to be associated with. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Out group trip to Alaska. Among the many great memories is our group's participation in a half marathon in Anchorage. Good times with great people. 

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Sarah Carr (2005 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: EPA Coastal Management Branch

Current Position: Coordinator, EBM Tools Network

How did your fellowship help you in your career? While I was a Fellow, I found the job that I have now that I really love!

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Swimming in a remote bioluminescent bay on St John with the whole class was a magical experience!

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Lia Protopapadakis (2007 Knauss Legislative Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Representative Sam Farr (CA)

Current Position: Doctoral Student, Environmental Science and Engineering, UCLA

How did your fellowship help you in your career? Being a legislative fellow taught me the importance of networking and how to get quality work done quickly. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? I was about to leave for the night, when we got word that the congressman had been asked to speak at a dinner later that night on climate change. My legislative director, said she would stay and help me. While I typed, she got on the phone with former staffers and staff in other offices who knew more about the issue than I did. We got the speech done in an hour and I went with the congressman to the dinner. And he even used most of the speech!  

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Ashley Erikson (2010 Knauss Legislative Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Representative Sam Farr (CA)

Current Position: Assistant Director for Law and Policy, Stanford University Center for Ocean Solutions (CA)

How did your fellowship help you in your career? My Knauss Fellowship helped me to develop, broaden, and foster an incredible ocean and coastal research, policy, and advocacy professional network. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? My favorite memory as a fellow was meeting my (now) husband, Dan Reinman (also a former Knauss fellow).  

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Joshua Stoll (2011 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Fisheries Office of Policy

Current Position: PhD candidate, University of Maine; owner, Georgetown Island Oyster Co.; founder, LocalCatch.org

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The Knauss fellowship gave me exposure to the federal fisheries policy making process it a way that would not have been possible otherwise. To learn at such close range has given me a greater understanding of the process and a deeper appreciation of the challenge of this work.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Being invited to Kodiak, Alaska to present information about a Technical Memo on the Design and Use of Fishing Community and Regional Fishery Association Entities in Limited Access Privilege Programs three years after the fellowship was technically finished. 

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Matt Lettrich (2011 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA National Ocean Service Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, Estuarine Reserves Division

Current Position: NOAA Fisheries Office of Science and Technology

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The Knauss fellowship taught me how NOAA operates, in a way that can only be experienced from working there.  

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Seeing the final release of the Fish, Wildlife, and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy. I spent the bulk of my fellowship year working on it and it was an ambitious project involving many partners. 

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Kristen Jabanoski (2012 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Research Congressional Analysis and Relations Division

Current Position: Science Communicator and Data Specialist, NOAA Office of Education (DC Area)

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The Knauss Fellowship catalyzed my career in environmental policy by affording me diverse opportunities to learn and build relationships with leaders in the field. As a Sea Grant Knauss Fellow, I worked on a variety of interesting projects, but was also able to explore what was going on at other agencies, nonprofits, and on Capitol Hill.  

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? My favorite part of the fellowship was working with scientists and lab directors to prepare for Hill briefings. I enjoyed working with them on strategies to communicate the value of their research. I also enjoyed working on testimony, attending hearings and learning about the intricacies of the policymaking process. 

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Emily Vuxton (2012 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Army Corps of Engineers, Civil Works and Navigation

Current Position: Biologist, Army Corps of Engineers Institute for Water Resources

How did your fellowship help you in your career? I got to stay in my agency after the fellowship so that was obviously the best benefit. I also made many great connections that I use to this day. And many great friends that I still keep in touch with.   

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? I planned a number of huge meetings, including a conference that had over 100 people at it. That gave me a number of great organizational skills that I use to this day. 

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Andrea Dell'Apa (2014 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Fisheries Office of Management and Budget

Current Position: Marine Habitat Resource Specialist, NOAA Office of Habitat Conservation - Restoration Center

How did your fellowship help you in your career? It helped me to think outside the box and to expand my expertise and knowledge on different management areas. It also helped me to develop important networking skills that I found really useful for my career.  

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Sharing the same incredible experience with other fellows from different states, knowledge, and expertise, was really amazing. My favorite memory was by far the graduation with Dr. Sullivan's speech. 

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Jessie Ritter (2014 Knauss Legislative Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Senate Commerce Committee

Current Position: Policy Specialist, National Wildlife Federation

How did your fellowship help you in your career? Huge springboard to a job that was much more advanced than my years of experience might have otherwise allowed me to get!

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Living with some truly impressive and wonderful fellows! 

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Emma Htun (2014 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Fisheries Office of International Affairs

Current Position: NOAA Fisheries Office of International Affairs

How did your fellowship help you in your career? Knauss was instumental in allowing me to find a topic I was really fascinated in - I was also lucky that I picked the right office placement at the right time. That has allowed me to take on issues and gain expertise which has been invaluable in getting me my current position. I also got the opportunity to work with many people who I respect and will likely be my mentors and network in the future.   

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? My involvement with the Presidential Task Force on Combating IUU Fishing and Seafood Fraud - getting to work on an extremely high profile topic with very involved leadership and across many federal agencies resulting in huge policy ramifications. I'm extremely thankful for the opportunity and the responsibility I was given.  

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Meagan Dunphy-Daly (2015 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Office of Intergovernmental and Legislative Affairs

Current Position: Presidential Management Fellowship Finalist (NC)

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The Knauss Fellowship gave me a completely new set of policy skills that have rounded out my resume and prepared me for a career that bridges science and policy.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Traveling to Secretary Kerry's GLACIER conference in Alaska with Dr. Sullivan and getting to meet world leaders in the Arctic. 

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Ohio Sea Grant 

Helen Brohl (1983 Knauss Legislative Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: House Oceanography Subcommittee

Current Position: Executive Director, US Committee on the Marine Transportation System

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The Knauss Fellowship jump started my "grownup" career!  

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Facilitating reauthorization of the National Sea Grant College Act!

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Sarah Lowe (2009 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Marine Debris Program

Current Position: Great Lakes Regional Coordinator, NOAA Marine Debris Program

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The Knauss Fellowship was a great working and learning opportunity which helped broaden my experiences and opened doors that would have otherwise been difficult to navigate.  

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? The camaraderie among all of the fellows! Everyone feels like family, even now when we don't see each other often.

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Oregon Sea Grant 

Brady Phillips (1993 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

Current Position: NOAA Office of Communication

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The Knauss Fellowship fast-tracked my ability to move from a graduate student directly into a hands-on career related to my field of study. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Many new friends were made during the fellowship. As "newbies" to federal service, and to the Washington, DC area, we had a great time exploring the the city and its surrounds, sharing experiences on how things work (or not) in the various agencies or on the Hill, and helping each other succeed. We are all there for each other as much as ourselves.

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Jennifer Dresler (2012 Knauss Legislative Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Senator Roger Wicker (MS)

Current Position: Chief Lobbyist, Oregon Farm Bureau

How did your fellowship help you in your career? Knauss was very influential in helping me identify my career path and move forward in the realm of public policy-making. Today, I am the Director of State Public Policy (Chief Lobbyist) for the Oregon Farm Bureau, and that would not be possible without the unique experiences I had working in the U.S. Senate, which eventually led to me being a caucus policy manager for natural resources in Oregon. Knauss gave me the confidence that I needed to move forward in my field. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? My biggest accomplishment was working on the RESTORE Act following the Deepwater Horizon incident. I also wrote numerous speeches on the importance of port infrastructure that the senator gave at different events.

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Zach Penney (2014 Knauss Legislative Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Representative Jared Huffman (CA)

Current Position: Fishery Science Department Manager, Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fisheries Commission

How did your fellowship help you in your career? It exposed me to the numerous federal processes and agencies involved in natural resource decision making. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Helping shepherd the Trinity Land Exchange Act of 2014 with Representative Huffman and getting a personal shout-out.

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Sarah Close (2014 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Climate Program Office, Regional Integrated Science and Assessments Program

Current Position: NOAA Climate Program Office, Climate and Societal Interactions Division

How did your fellowship help you in your career? My year as a Knauss Fellow gave me insight into many levels of science-policy and allowed me to participate in that from national to local scales. I learned so much during my fellowship year about new (to me) ways of conducting science in partnership with stakeholders and decision-makers. This experience helped crystallize my decision to pursue a science-policy career path. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? I loved traveling to regional and national meetings to meet and interact with the scientists that we work with and fund through our program. I also worked with a great group of people and loved the group atmosphere and learning from their combined knowledge and experience.

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Pennsylvania Sea Grant 


Shane Hanlon (2014 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: US Fish and Wildlife Service, Congressional and Legislative Affairs

Current Position: Sharing Science Specialist, American Geophysical Union

How did your fellowship help you in your career? Prior to the fellowship, science policy and communication were abstract concepts to me. Now I'm in a position that allows me to do both every day.  

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Taking the lead to support the director of the agency for hearings in the House and Senate.

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Puerto Rico Sea Grant 


Joselyd Garcia (2008 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: US Marine Mammal Commission

Current Position: Technical Writer and Editor, NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations

How did your fellowship help you in your career?  I used and still use a lot of skills that I gained as a fellow in my career. As a fellow, I got the opportunity to meet with people from different agencies and gained experience in inter-agency collaboration and creating professional relationships. I also learned how the government works in general but specifically the connection between marine science research and policy. I also learned how to write reports for the government, which is a task of its own!

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship?  All of it! I got to travel to many places, meet great people, and gain experience that I would have never received any other way – I went to Hawaii for a Monk Seal Recovery Team meeting and to California to visit a rehabilitation center, just to name a few. I wrote a few sections of the Commission’s Annual Report to Congress and delivered the report personally to Congress. Our class trip to Louisiana was also very enjoyable and informative. We got to visit a lot of different agencies and learn about how they contribute to the vast field of marine science.

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Rhode Island Sea Grant 

Sunshine Menezes (2003 Knauss Legislative Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Representative Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ)

Current Position: Executive Director of Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting, URI Graduate School of Oceanography

How did your fellowship help you in your career? It gave me invaluable insight into the environmental policy process, and showed me how critical it is to clearly communicate the significance of scientific research. Now I apply these lessons daily to my work improving news coverage of environmental issues.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Attending the State of the Union address was pretty amazing, but so was sitting on the dais behind Congressman Pallone during hearings of the Subcommittee he chaired, providing information as he needed it and watching the witnesses from that perspective.

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Michael Conathan (2006 Knauss Legislative Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Senate Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard

Current Position: Director of Ocean Policy, Center for American Progress

How did your fellowship help you in your career? It's probably hyperbole to say my career wouldn't exist without the fellowship, but it feels true. Now a decade in, I have yet to see a better opportunity to launch a career in ocean policy at the highest levels than this. Diving into hands-on involvement in the heart of DC and instantly joining the most in uential network of ocean professionals is the best introduction a budding marine policy wonk could ask for.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? The wonkiest party ever: hosting my class of legislative fellows at our Capitol Hill apartment on a Friday night in December--the last night of the Congressional session--to watch on C-SPAN as the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act passed the House in one of the last votes of 2006 and headed to the President's desk. We popped the champagne as Speaker Hastert pounded his gavel.

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Long Zhou (2010 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Research Office of Policy, Planning and Evaluation

Current Position: Program Manager, MAXIMUS

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The fellowship opened doors to various career opportunities in NOAA - the best destination for anyone dedicated to solving ocean and policy issues. It equipped me with valuable administration and management skills, both proven to be important strengths in addition to my research experiences.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? A fellow has more flexibility in pursuing activities of interest across NOAA. In 2010, I was fortunate to join the US delegation to Buenos Aires, Argentina for a week long international ocean engineering symposium. As part of NOAA's response to Deepwater Horizon oil spills, I managed shipboard data during ocean survey cruises around the well head. It was my first research cruise in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Nicole Rohr (2011 Knauss Legislative Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Senator Roger Wicker (MS)

Current Position: Assistant Director and Assistant Research Professor, Coastal Institute at the University of Rhode Island

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The Knauss Fellowship provided the platform and experience to pivot my career path from academic research to science policy and management.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? I have so many great memories from my Knauss year from getting to know and work with the other Fellows to touring the White House decked out with Christmas decorations. I met amazing people and formed friendships that now span the country.

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Leigh Habegger (2014 Knauss Legislative Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Representative Chellie Pingree (ME)

Current Position: Lobbyist (DC)

How did your fellowship help you in your career? As a staffer on Capitol Hill, the Knauss Fellowship allowed me to gain valuable insights into how Congress really works. My year on the Hill provided me with experiences and relationships I continue to rely on daily in my current position. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Accompanying my boss to the House of Representatives floor late at night to debate a harmful fisheries appropriations amendment, which ultimately failed! A huge win during a time when there were few conservation victories. 

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Kerry Whittaker (2014 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources

Current Position: Biology Lecturer, Bates College (ME)

How did your fellowship help you in your career? Knauss provided me with a great perspective on the ways in which science informs law and policy. That perspective has changed how I approach science, and communicate science!

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? My office allowed me to take on many individuals projects. This isn't true for all positions. I was trusted with writing status reviews and rules related to endangered species listings. For me, it was rewarding to see my work go from months of researching the literature to a rule in the federal register. 

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South Carolina Sea Grant 

Amanda McCarty (2008 Knauss Legislative Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

Current Position: Acting Assistant Director for Network Relations, NOAA National Sea Grant Office (DC Area)

How did your fellowship help you in your career? Through the Fellowship I found a career I love at the intersection of science and policy and built the real-world experience that has allowed me to successfully navigate both worlds. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? I contributed to the passage of six pieces of environmental legislation into law reinforcing and expanding NOAA's mandate.

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Courtney St. John (2009 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Oceanographer of the Navy

Current Position: Director of Energy Transition, Climate Nexus (NY)

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The Knauss Fellowship allowed me to jump-start my career and provided otherwise unattainable opportunities straight out of graduate school to build my network, work at a high level of federal government and apply my knowledge to pressing policy issues. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? My favorite memory is the camaraderie and relationships that I built with my fellow fellows and the people that I worked with in my host office.

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Michelle Johnston (2010 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries

Current Position: Coral Reef Monitoring Project Manager, Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (TX)

How did your fellowship help you in your career? My fellowship opened up so many doors for me, from Aquarius missions in the Florida Keys, to ship wreck mapping in the Great Lakes, and coral reef management in American Samoa. I will bee forever thankful for my experiences and career with NOAA. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Conducting OceansLIVE! programming from the Aquarius Reef Base in Key Largo, Florida.

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Leah Fisher (2013 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA National Ocean Service, Policy and Constituent Affairs

Current Position: Clean Energy Analyst (contractor), Department of Energy

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The Knauss Fellowship helped me realize how much I enjoy translating and communicating technical information for policy-makers and others, setting my career on a different path than I had previously imagined.  

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? A highlight was my fellowship trip to Alaska. Not only did I get to visit that beautiful state, I had the opportunity to travel to remote Dutch Harbor, Unalaska in the Aleutian Islands (where Deadliest Catch is filmed from!), and to speak on behalf of NOAA at a meeting of the U.S. Arctic Research Commission.

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Elizabeth Fly (2013 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Climate Program Office and USGCRP, National Climate Assessment

Current Position: Coastal Climate Extension Specialist, South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The Knauss was a direct link to getting me my current job. The connections I made as a Fellow will help me in any future endeavors I pursue. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Pulling together a large workshop in a two-month time frame at the beginning of my fellowship was my biggest accomplishment. 

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Chelsea Wegner (2014 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Research Office of the Assistant Administrator

Current Position: Science Planner, United States Antarctic Program

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The fellowship exposed me to countless opportunities and connections within the ocean science and policy realm of DC and internationally. These connections continue to facilitate one opportunity after another that build on my previous experience. It also allowed me to stay engaged and informed on the relevant issues that employees are seeking out. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Traveling that world from SE Asia, to the South Pacific and Europe to diving in an undersea habitat in the Keys.  

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Texas Sea Grant 

 

Russell Callender (1992 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Oceanographer of the Navy

Current Position: Assistant Administrator, NOAA National Ocean Service

How did your fellowship help you in your career? It gave me opportunities and experiences that I would otherwise not have had a chance to receive.  

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Being invited to a meeting with the NOAA Administrator in the Indian Treaty Room in [the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.]

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Pamela Plotkin (1994 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources

Current Position: Director, Texas Sea Grant

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The greatest opportunity that came out of the Knauss experience arrived several decades afterwards - I was hired to lead the Texas Sea Grant College Program. It is a privilege and honor to give back to an organization that contributed to my professional development, and to now be in the position to provide opportunities to others who are in early career stages. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship?  My greatest accomplishment was to initiate a technology transfer program between the U.S. and India. I had begun a research project in India prior to beginning my fellowship, and my colleagues there asked me to help them reduce sea turtle mortality in their fisheries. Knowing about the turtle excluder device (TED) technology developed by NOAA, Sea Grant and industry, and having access to NOAA decision-makers through my fellowship, I was able to connect people in two distant countries to help solve a problem that was of concern to both nations. 

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Adrian Dahood (2010 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: National Science Foundation Office of Polar Programs

Current Position: PhD Candidate in Environmental Science and Policy, George Mason University

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The Knauss Fellowship helped me to realize that I can put my science education to best use by working in science policy. As a result I shifted my career path from field ecologist to environmental policy. The fellowship helped me build the network of professionals that I needed to make this transition successfully.   

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? My Knauss fellowship was an amazing experience that continues to shape my career and my life. It is too hard to pick just one highlight! As a fellow I traveled to Antarctica and learned how environmental policy both facilitates science and shapes the way it is conducted on the ground. I spent a day with the Weddell seal research team (and the seals) learning how they shrunk the environmental footprint of the research without sacrificing data. I also got to represent the United States at the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting in Uruguay. I worked with international colleagues to improve environmental protection in Antarctica and help reduce the environmental footprint of all research activities- not just those lead by the United States Antarctic Program- in Antarctica. My supervisor from my fellowship year still actively serves as a mentor and has helped me find many opportunities to grow my career since my fellowship ended.

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Liam Carr (2012 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Office of Communication and External Affairs

Current Position: US Fulbright Scholar, Galway (Ireland)

How did your fellowship help you in your career? Knauss opened up the first of a succession of increasingly exciting doors.  

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Having my future boss James Chang step out of a meeting at the World Bank to sign my papers on a street corner while my cab waited at the end of Placement Week. That's how DC introduced itself to me. And I embraced it.

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April Bagwill (2012 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Fisheries Office of Aquaculture

Current Position: NOAA Fisheries Office of Science and Technology, Fisheries Statistics Division

How did your fellowship help you in your career? Knauss certainly helped me gain and enhance valuable skills for working with the government and other environmental organizations. You get so much exposure to so many different things; you can really start to figure out what you want to do and where you want to go. As I am still relatively early in my career, my time at NOAA will be highly beneficial to any new job; as well as all of the contacts I have made in many different organizations all around the country.   

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? My favorite thing that I did as a fellow was organizing and attending the US-Japan Natural Resources Panel on Aquaculture. It's a scientific conference held annually in either Japan or the US where aquaculture scientists meet and discuss current research and partnerships between the two countries. The accomplishment I'm most proud of is creating the aquaculture species profiles for the NOAA Fisheries FishWatch website. 

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Hank Hodde (2013 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA National Sea Grant Office

Current Position: Coastal Management Specialist, NOAA Office for Coastal Management

How did your fellowship help you in your career? It is really hard to describe the year that I had in Washington, D.C. I do know that it was one of the best years of my life. I grew as a professional, gained a tremendous amount of knowledge, and have a network of colleagues that span across the country.  

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? I participated in numerous inter-agency meetings and even organized a congressional briefing on Hurricane Sandy response and recovery efforts, but my favorite memory was participating in and graduating from the National Sea Grant Academy, which trains the newest generation of extension professionals on effective outreach, stakeholder engagement and collaborative partnerships. I will apply that experience and knowledge through the rest of career. 

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Sepp Haukebo (2013 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Office of Education

Current Position: Environmental Engineer, Corpus Christi, TX

How did your fellowship help you in your career? Knauss prepared me for my current work in two ways. First, it developed key skills in everyday administrative setting, something that graduate work in the scientific research field does not do well. The biggest advantage of this is my ability to facilitate meetings. Second, Knauss connected me with a circle of leaders, at all different ages, in the marine science field. These leaders are driven and though they may be placed in a number of different arenas (research, administration, education, public, private, academic) they all serve as contacts to a new branch of work. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Favorite memory - the Luau in the country. This was when the fellows finally stopped telling each other how smart they were and finally connected on a personal level. Biggest accomplishment - the education bill briefing at the House of Representatives. The briefing provided by several key speakers was the culmination of a coordinated effort across three different executive fellows' offices and four different legislative fellows' offices. 

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University of Southern California Sea Grant 


David Ginsburg (2007 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Office of Education

Current Position: Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, University of Southern California

How did your fellowship help you in your career? My experience as a Knauss fellow helped me to identify and highlight common ground among interdisciplinary research topics that include both environmental science and policy. I likely would not have the academic position that I have today with the Knauss [Fellowship]!

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Meeting the other fellows and working with my host office in learning how to navigate the DC political climate.

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Annie Yau (2012 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Research Office of the Assistant Administrator

Current Position: Supervisory Research Fish Biologist, NOAA Fisheries

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The Knauss Fellowship opened my eyes to a multitude of career paths other than academic ones, taught me how science is (or isn't) used in high-level policy making, and also taught me how the federal government generally operates. The fellowship undoubtedly impacted and advanced my career and helped me obtain the job I have today. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? My favorite memory is visiting Japan with my fellowship mentor. We met with other agency scientists who responded to the 2011 Tohoku tsunami, and visited the Tsukiji fish market in the early morning hours. 

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Kelsey Jacobsen (2013 Knauss Legislative Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Representative Lois Capps (CA)

Current Position: Senior Associate, Blue Earth Consultants, LLC (CA)

How did your fellowship help you in your career? It is one thing to learn about policy in the classroom, and quite another to be in the middle of the policy, politics, and one-of-a-kind energy on Capitol Hill. From participating in the legislative process, like revising and introducing bills, working with other staff members on both sides of the aisle, and writing speeches and letters on behalf of the Congresswoman, I experienced the actual steps and challenges involved in making gaining support for issues in Congress. This background has been useful for understanding policy-related issues that feed into the research and recommendations I make as a consultant for marine and environmental organizations. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? My favorite memories revolve around the unique day-to-day activities that are a part of working on Capitol Hill, like finding my way (or more often becoming lost) in the maze of underground hallways connecting the House, Capitol, and Senate; catching glimpses of myself and other fellows on C-Span sitting behind our bosses during hearings; and attending the free after-hours events where we got to do things like sample sustainable seafood or coffee from around the world, pet a baby armadillo, and meet the Alaskan Cherry Blossom Princess. 

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Emily Smail  (2013 Knauss Legislative Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Senator Roger Wicker (MS)

Current Position: SOCD Support Scientist, NOAA NESDIS

How did your fellowship help you in your career? Having policy experience from my Knauss Fellowship allowed me to be competitive for jobs that I would not have been qualified for with my PhD alone. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? I really enjoyed my time in the Wicker Office, There are so many good memories from my fellowship year, I can't pick a favorite!

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Lisa Fong  (2014 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Office of Program, Planning, and Integration - Regional Collaboration

Current Position: Hydrologist, USDA Forest Service (DC)

How did your fellowship help you in your career? While a Fellow at NOAA, I learned the importance of building team consensus, and how to align my work with the vision, mission, and goals of a large organization. The skills and strategic thinking positively influence my day-to-day collaborative work and effectiveness in a different federal agency. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? NOAA is a very personal agency, and I met many great people. I worked with multiple line offices and programs at headquarters, and traveled morth, south, and west to Regional Collaboration team meetings. I also learned more of the enormous breadth of NOAA's reach across the states and visited some incredible agency resources. 

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Luke Feinberg  (2015 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Department of energy, Wind and Water Power Technologies Office

Current Position: Allegheny Science and Technology

How did your fellowship help you in your career? Without my Knauss Fellowship there is no way that I would have my current job, it provided a wonderful foundation for me to grow and explore while advancing my career.  

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Attending a conference in Copenhagen!

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Virginia Sea Grant 

Doug Lipton (1979 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Fisheries

Current Position: Chief Economist, NOAA Fisheries

How did your fellowship help you in your career? It launched me in a new direction I didn't even imagine I wanted, and I never looked back.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? It was the first year of the program, and no one was really sure how it was going to work. We kind of made it up as we went along.

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Mike De Luca (1981 Knauss Legislative Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: National Advisory Committee on Oceans and Atmopshere

Current Position: Senior Associate Director, Rutgers University Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The Knauss Fellowship provided a wonderful opportunity to integrate science with policy. It helped me build a network of contacts and certainly advanced my career and job opportunities.  

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Having the responsibility for developing several studies on marine science and technology policy. 

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Glenn Delaney (1982 Knauss Legislative Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: House Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee, Subcommittee on Fisheries and Wildlife Conservation & the Environment

Current Position: Glenn Roger Delaney Consulting

How did your fellowship help you in your career? Life changing. The good: I'm in my 34th year of an incredible run here in DC being involved in every imaginable legislative and regulatory issue affecting the ocean and fisheries. I've been very fortunate. The bad: I'm in my 34th year of being marooned in a city with no ocean. Desperate to get back. I blame it all - the good and the bad - on that fellowship. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Met my wonderful wife.

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Jason Goldberg (2000 Knauss Legislative Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Representative Neil Abercrombie (HI)

Current Position: Fish and Wildlife Biologist, US Fish and Wildlife Service Branch of Aquatic Invasive Species

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The Fellowship was critical to helping me obtain my first position at NOAA, which focused on Congressional and constituent affairs. In turn, that experience has led to a rewarding career in several programs with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Congressional experience gave me the building blocks on how to analyze legislation and build effective partnerships with stakeholders. Those skills have been essential in my work over the years to educate the public about ocean-related priorities, build national habitat conservation programs, develop budgets, improve performance metrics that improve public accountability, and research novel approaches to controlling invasive species. It's been 16 years since I was a Fellow, and I still call on my experience from that time daily!

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Where do I start? Which memory do I pick of the fantastic people I worked with in Congress, agencies, industry, and NGOs, who each taught me something different in their own way? Do I recall how friendly and patient Margaret Davidson was with me whenever I had another question? How about witnessing firsthand the birth of what is now the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument? Or convincing my Legislative Director to put his hand up to the elbow into a dolphin's throat as part of a site visit research demonstration? Or finally getting to see endangered birds that I was working to protect thousands of miles away in D.C.? Maybe it was the time where Rep. Abercrombie gave me only a few hours to prepare him for a meeting with several African ambassadors on an issue surrounding environmental trade I knew nothing about, forcing me to successfully challenge my limits?

Those were all extraordinary, but really, my favorite time with the Fellowship has been in the years since. It's been watching the friends I made in 2000 continue to grow in their own careers and make important contributions to conservation. It has also been helping to recruit, mentor, and supervise 10 Fellows to my own program. Those Fellows have all left an enduring legacy on how my office achieves its mission. One of my favorite memories is still evolving, making sure that every new Fellow who comes to my office comes away from their year with the same powerful experiences that I did during mine.

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Sara Mirabilio (2002 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Coastal America Partnership and NOAA's Science Advisory Board

Current Position: Fisheries Extension Agent, North Carolina Sea Grant

How did your fellowship help you in your career? I was fortunate to work on a wide range of marine policy issues, as well as on intra- and inter-agency working groups, which provided me additional perspectives on resource management issues. This experience better enabled me to engage diverse stakeholders, including those with different viewpoints. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? One fellow was placed in the Office of the Oceanographer of the Navy at the US Naval Observatory. She got us an after-hour tour of the facility, complete with views of the Vice Presidents residence and our solar system through the historic 26-inch refractor telescope. 

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Staci Rijal (2011 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Office of International Affairs

Current Position: NOAA Office of International Affairs

How did your fellowship help you in your career? I always wanted to get into international work related to my passions and scientific background. My Knauss placement gave me that opportunity right at the beginning of my career. I love my current job and it is all thanks to the Knauss Fellowship.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Although my fellowship gave me more amazing professional opportunities than I could choose from, my favorite memory of the fellowship was of my fellowship class and the friendships and professional connections we grew over the year. I'm still in touch with several of them today.

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Stacey Baez (2012 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: National Science Foundation, Division of Ocean Sciences

Current Position: Senior Associate for Global Shark Conservation, The Pew Charitable Trusts

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The Knauss network is amazing. I secured my current position through a referral from a former 2010 Knauss fellow. It's nice to know that I will have this support in the future. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? My favorite memory was my last day of the Fellowship. I has a program wide sendoff party and I got an NSF "blue board", which is a framed NSF logo that everyone signed. My blue board now hangs above my desk and is a great reminder of my Knauss experience. 

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Theresa Davenport (2013 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Research Office of Policy Planning and Evaluation

Current Position: Marine Habitat Resource Specialist, NOAA Fisheries Restoration Center

How did your fellowship help you in your career? If I wanted to stay in a policy-based field, this connection would be crystal clear. Since I'm not sure I do, a few things come to mind. The networking skills I learned while in a high-level office were paramount for my professional development. The autonomy I got to work on projects outside the office scope was helpful to my development and confidence to work on, and understand the merit of, projects outside my narrow academic scope.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Picking a favorite is tough, but it was a really rpoud moment when the website I built, on an exceptionally tight timeline and with very minimal guidance, went live just ahead of an important public engagement deadline. 

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Allison Colden (2015 Knauss Legislative Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Representative Mike Thompson (CA)

Current Position: Senior Manager of External Affairs, Restore America's Estuaries

How did your fellowship help you in your career? My fellowship helped me discover and cultivate my interest in public policy. By working directly on legislation in my Fellowship, I was better able to understand the legislative process and the means to ensure sound science is driving public policy, which led to my current position as an advocate for coastal habitat restoration and conservation.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? My favorite memory was seeing a piece of legislation I worked on get introduced. It was a tangible representation of all of the hard work that I and others had put into developing the policy, which is an experience I am very grateful to have had.

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Emily Egginton Skeehan (2015 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Strategic Planning and External Affairs Coordinator, NOAA's Office of the Under Secretary

Current Position: Intern, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (Japan)

How did your fellowship help you in your career? By attending networking events in DC, I was able to meet a Japanese colleague who told me about my current position in Japan. The fellowship helped expand my network and expose me to new opportunities.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Staffing Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, the Under Secretary of Commerce at the Aspen Ideas Festival and being able to meet Sylvia Earle, Jane Lubchenco, and several other career role models. 

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Yvonne Baker (2015 Knauss Legislative Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Senate Commerce Committee

Current Position: Recovery Audit Coordinator, FEMA

How did your fellowship help you in your career? Working on the Hill introduced me to an expansive network of legislative, executive, and non-governmental employees - many of whom directly helped me find employment after the fellowship ended. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Traveling to Malta for the International Convention for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna was an amazing opportunity in an amazing location! 

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Washington Sea Grant 

Erica Goldman (2003 Knauss Legislative Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: House Committee on Resources, Subcommittee on Fisheries Conservation, Oceans, and Wildlife

Current Position: Director of Policy Engagement, COMPASS (DC)

How did your fellowship help you in your career? Participating in a Knauss Fellowship provided tremendous insight into the culture of policymaking, how decisions are made, and the roles that science could play. It has been foundational for my work at COMPASS, where I both teach scientists how to communicate effectively with policymakers and help design convenings and arrange meetings to bring scientists and policymakers together.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Loved working on drafting legislation. I helped draft language for a bill to reauthorize the Marine Mammal Protection Act and one on invasive species. When I first started out, the process seemed impenetrable and opaque. In a short amount of time, I learned a tremendous amount about how to craft legislation and the critical role that stakeholders play. A highlight for me was the chance to see one of the bills that I worked on be introduced. 

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Greg Pendleton (2007 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Office of the Under Secretary

Current Position: Lawyer, Seattle (WA)

How did your fellowship help you in your career? Meeting and making contact with great, interesting people and improving written and oral communication skills.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Spending time with the other fellows on the coast of Oregon on the annual fellowship trip.

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Jennifer Kassakian (2007 Knauss Legislative Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: House Committee on Natural Resources

Current Position: Senior Associate, Industrial Economics, Inc. (WA)

How did your fellowship help you in your career? Provided me with an rock-solid understanding of the legislative process, and an invaluable network of marine and coastal professionals.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Being on the House floor to see the passage of a Bill that I had a substantial role in developing.

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Molly Jacobs (2007 Knauss Legislative Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Representative Tom Allen (ME)

Current Position: Associate Professor of Biology, McDaniel College (MD)

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The skills I gained, experiences I had, lessons I learned, and connections I made as a Knauss fellow have stayed with me and helped me in ways that are obvious and less obvious. It has made me a better scientist, because I am better at communicating my work to a broad audience and more aware of how my work is connected to policy. It has made me a better teacher, because I am able to bring knowledge and experiences from my Knauss year into the classroom. It has also made me a better negotiator and a better colleague. I am much better at handling difficult situations without losing my perspective and at navigating my way through campus politics. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Or trip to Oregon! Relaxing, educational, and a great time to bond with other fellows. 

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Deborah Glickson (2008 Knauss Legislative Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Senator David Vitter (LA)

Current Position: Associate Director, Cooperative Institute for Ocean Exploration, Research, and Technology at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, Florida Atlantic University

How did your fellowship help you in your career? Being a Knauss Fellow focused the whole trajectory of my career thus far. I was able to experience both politics and policy, and learned I definitely preferred policy!

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Our class trip to Louisiana was an amazing experience. I was able to take the lessons learned during my legislative experience and apply it to the real world marine policy of the Louisiana coast. 

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Katrina Lassiter (2008 Knauss Legislative Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Senator Patty Murray (WA)

Current Position: Policy Analyst, Washington State Department of Natural Resources

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The Knauss fellowship provided me with invaluable professional experience that I could not have gotten anywhere else and professional and personal relationships that I still rely on today.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? During graduate school, I worked part time for an organization called the Northwest Straits Commission in Washington State. The Commission was created by federal legislation and relies on a combination of federal and foundation dollars. In my first few months as a fellow in Senator Murray's office, she asked if I would like to write the bill to reauthorize the Commission. It was a small bill that did pass and it allowed me a sense of professional accomplishment as well as a real connection to the people and organizations that matter to Washington state. 

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Rebecca Jablonski-Diehl (2012 Knauss Legislative Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Representative Madeleine Bordallo (GU)

Current Position: Special Assistant, NOAA Office of the Under Secretary (DC)

How did your fellowship help you in your career? My Knauss Fellowship gave me both valuable experience, and connected me with a network of alumnae who proved instrumental in my career post-fellowship. I rarely walk into a meeting where there is not at least one, if not more, former Fellows in the room.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? Being on the floor of the House of Representatives with the Congresswoman while debating the annual Commerce, Justice, and Science annual appropriations bill.

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Wisconsin Sea Grant 

Chelsea Berg (2009 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Ecosystem Research Program

Current Position: Lead Federal Program Officer, NOAA's Cooperative Institute Program

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The SG Knauss Fellowship introduced me to a career track that I would have never considered coming from academia. I'm so thankful for the experiences and opportunities that I've been given because of my fellowship. I wouldn't be this far in my career if it weren't for Knauss!

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? A group of fellows went camping in West Virginia one weekend and we just tubed around this river for the entire day and sat around the campfire all night. I have some forever friends because of the fellowship!

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Joseph Fillingham (2011 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: NOAA Research Labs and Cooperative Institutes

Current Position: Lead Scientist, Wellntel (DC)

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The Knauss Fellowship has provided much more than a bright spot on my resume and an across the country network of scientists, managers, and policy professionals. Most importantly the fellowship allowed me to learn the ins and outs of the federal government marine and science policy process. I learned how to manage and lead long and short term projects. I learned how to work with leadership, communicating complex topics in simple yet effective ways. The fellowship allowed me to break out of the academic mold and gave me the confidence and skills to pursue a career outside of traditional academic research.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? My favorite memory is all the great times spent with other fellows, my office, and other people I got to know and work with. My biggest accomplishment would probably be that I played a part in expanding the role of the fellow’s position in my host office, providing more opportunity for top level experiences and opening the door to integrating efforts across NOAA OAR by working with the Science Advisory Board as well as laboratories and cooperative institutes.

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Caroline Mosley (2015 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Communication, NOAA Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research

Current Position: Digital Content Producer for Energy and Climate Campaign, The Wilderness Society

How did your fellowship help you in your career? I learned how to forge my own path, combining my skills and passion to find a career that suits me best and that I enjoy fully!

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? I enjoyed traveling to the American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco. I organized and staffed the NOAA exhibit booth, giving me the opportunity to talk with other young folks about opportunities at NOAA.

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Catherine Simons (2015 Knauss Executive Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Oceanographer of the Navy

Current Position: Program Area Technical Assistant

How did your fellowship help you in your career? During my fellowship with the Navy, I gained experience and made connections which proved key in my being hired by Noblis to support a Department of Defense resource conservation program.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? I met Vice President Biden!

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Woods Hole Sea Grant 


Hannah Dean (2011 Knauss Legislative Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Representative Chellie Pengree (ME)

Current Position: Regulations Officer/Aquaculture Hearings Officer, Maine Department of Marine Resources

How did your fellowship help you in your career? [The Knauss Fellowship] was my rudder.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? My discussions and meetings with the NOAA Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) Office leadership - they gave me a modicum of hope for an organized approach to ocean planning and conservation.

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Ellen Taylor (2012 Knauss Legislative Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Representative Sam Farr (CA)

Current Position: Grant Advisor, Southcentral Foundation

How did your fellowship help you in your career? This fellowship allowed me to witness and contribute to a complex policy-politics-public relations-prioritization pitching machine on Capitol Hill. What doesn't one learn from that experience? I still use strategies learned during my fellowship in my work today. 

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? [Representative] Don Young's Christmas party. 

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Stephanie Morris (2013 Knauss Legislative Fellow)

Fellowship Assignment: Representative Jared Huffman (CA)

Current Position: Associate Biogeochemistry and Global Changes Scientist, International Atomic Energy Agenyc (Monaco)

How did your fellowship help you in your career? The Knauss Fellowship provided me with opportunities to develop skills that I might not have acquired in an academic setting particularly in terms of thinking about and communicating complex issues on a diverse number of topics in a fast-paced environment. It also opened my eyes to a world of career opportunities that I may not have had the confidence to explore otherwise.

What is your favorite memory of your fellowship? While there were a few "big" moments during my fellowship such as passing a bill in the House of Representatives and meeting important officials, my favorite memories are the day-to-day moments working with my colleagues in Rep. Huffman's office and assisting the Congressman by his answering questions or calculating things on the fly.

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