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Announcing the 2014 class of NOAA Fisheries/Sea Grant Fellows

The NOAA Fisheries/Sea Grant Fellowship Program selected 12 new fellows in 2014 from 8 universities around the country.

The NOAA Fisheries/Sea Grant Fellowship Program selected 12 new fellows in 2014 from 8 universities around the country.  This is the largest combined class of fellows selected since the fellowship program began in 1999 and includes fellows for the first time from University of California Santa Barbara and Princeton.

The NOAA Fisheries/Sea Grant Fellowship Program is one of NOAA’s most prestigious fellowship programs.  The fellowship provides multi-year support to PhD students pursuing studies in two specialized areas: 1) Population and ecosystem dynamics and 2) Marine resource economics. Both disciplines are mission critical for NOAA Fisheries and living marine resource management.  The fellowships are designed to encourage qualified applicants to pursue careers in these core areas, provide real-world experiences to graduate students, and foster closer relationships between academic scientists and NOAA Fisheries. 

The 2014 class of fellows includes:

  • Population and Ecosystem Dynamics Fellows:


    Allison Dedrick (University of California Davis), Katherine Kaplan (Cornell), Peter Kuriyama (University of Washington), Benjamin Marcek (Virginia Institute of Marine Science ), Lisa McManus (Princeton), Matthew Nuttall (University of Miami), Christine Stawitz (University of Washington), Mark Stratton (Virginia Institute of Marine Science),  Laura Urbisci (University of California Santa Barbara), Lauren Yamane (University of California Davis)

  • Marine Resource Economics Fellows:

      Jennifer Meredith (University of Washington), Jeffrey Shrader (University of California San Diego).

For more information about the fellowship program check out the NOAA Fisheries/Sea Grant fellowship page


2014 Annual NOAA Fisheries/Sea Grant Fellowship Symposium

Each year, NOAA Fisheries and Sea Grant host an annual symposium for the fellows to learn about fisheries management and careers, and to share their research with the broader NOAA community.  The 2014 annual NOAA Fisheries/Sea Grant Fellows meeting was held at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center in Seattle, Washington.  Sixteen fellows from 10 universities across the country participated. The fellows presented their research in addition to networking and hearing from other experts in the field.  Two core site visits were built into the meeting – one to Fishermen’s Terminal and the other to the Elwha Dam removal and restoration sites. 

Pete Granger, a seafood industry specialist with Washington Sea Grant led a tour of Fishermen’s Terminal for the fellows. Fishermen’s Terminal in Seattle is home to hundreds of fishing boats that spend their time in the North Pacific and has one of the highest concentrations of fishing vessels in the country.

Led by Ian Miller, a coastal hazards specialist with Washington Sea Grant, a team of specialists from the Natural Resources Department for the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe and the National Park Service conducted a tour of the Elwha Dam removal and restoration sites. The Elwha Dam removal is the largest dam removal in U.S. history. Scientists are actively studying this system post dam removal and the effects the dam removal is having on such factors as anadromous fish populations, sediment transport, river flows, erosions, and habitats.  The purpose of this site visit was to expose the fellows to ecosystem-based management and the importance of partnerships in living marine resource management. Chinook salmon and steelhead have already been returning to the sites. 

In addition to the site visits, the the symposium included two other unique networking sessions.  One was a discussion on career opportunities led by an expert panel composed of Washington Sea Grant Director Penny Dalton, NOAA Fisheries stock assessment scientists and marine resource economists from the Alaska Fisheries Science Center, and faculty in quantitative ecology and marine resource economics from the University of Washington’s School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences.  The second was a special session for the fellows to meet with NOAA Fisheries science leadership including Chief Scientist Dr. Richard Merrick, senior scientists for stock assessment, ecosystem science, and economics, and the directors of six Fisheries Science Centers.


Read about some of the first hand experiences of the fellows below:

What did you learn from the site visits and the overall symposium?

[EasyDNNGallery|807|Width| 200|Height|200 |position|right|resizecrop|False|lightbox|True|title|True|description|True|redirection|False|LinkText||]

“As an economist I really benefit from hearing about the topics population ecologists feel are important.  I’ve also benefited from meeting other economist fellows.  I’ve planned work with two of the economists as a result of meeting at the symposiums and having the opportunity to identify areas for joint research.  I hope down the line this happens with some of the population biology fellows too.”

“The fishermen’s terminal was really interesting.  It was great to have a look at the boats and think about the attributes such as age, hull type, length etc.  Economists think a lot about inputs to fisheries and particularly capital, so this was helpful in visualizing some of these elements.”[EasyDNNGallery|809|Width|200|Height|200 |position|left|resizecrop|False|lightbox|True|title|True|description|True|redirection|False|LinkText||]

“I was completely unaware of what the Elwha was prior to the trip to see it, so every part of that day was new to me. I found the actual history of both the upper and lower dam creation as well as removal to be quite interesting.  I also enjoyed learning about the role of tribal communities in the restoration process and project.  Walking above the lower and upper damn was a really unique experience. Seeing the present state of restoration and hearing what as been implemented as well as the plan for the future was also very interesting.  Since I am at an oceanography school it was very interesting to spend time thinking about freshwater and terrestrial systems.”

“Meeting the other fellows was an amazing experience. Also meeting the various players involved in running the fellowship as well as the NOAA/NOAA Fisheries science board was really great. Updates on projects were excellent. As it was my 3rd and final appearance, I saw how projects had progressed and newer ones in earlier stages. It was good to get my own ideas and progress out there as well. “[EasyDNNGallery|808|Width| 200|Height|200 |position|right|resizecrop|False|lightbox|True|title|True|description|True|redirection|False|LinkText||]

How do you think attending this conference helped your career?

“I really benefit from hearing about current issues in fisheries.  I’m not in a fisheries school so these conferences are great for me in terms of research ideas and connecting with potential collaborators. “

“In addition to the networking opportunities provided by the conference, the exposure to a variety of jobs and also additional fellowship opportunities (e.g., Knauss) and awards was useful. “[EasyDNNGallery|813|Width| 200|Height|200 |position|left|resizecrop|False|lightbox|True|title|True|description|True|redirection|False|LinkText||]

What was the biggest impact of the conference?

“The conference renewed and strengthened my desire to be a quantitative fisheries scientist.  It also made me more determined to continue to strive to combine pure stock assessment work with ecological foundations.”

How has being a NMFS/Sea Grant Fellow helped with your research?

“Greatly. I would not have pursued a PhD if I didn’t get the fellowship. I have sincere thanks for the exposure to the science centers, the staff, and other fellows (who are the next generation). I had a rocky start with some administrative hurdles but realized how special the fellowship opportunity is and the caliber of students it supports. It’s been a great experience.”

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