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Knauss Fellowship Blog

The female mentors who made me
The female mentors who made me

The female mentors who made me

The female mentors who made me

My Fellowship Position

The female mentors who made me

By: Taylor Goelz. In honor of National Mentoring Month, I wanted to add my two cents to the #WomenInSTEM mentorship conversation and use my Knauss Blog to highlight the female mentors that have made a difference in my life and journey. These women, among many others that I’ve interacted with over the years, exemplify the type of mentor that I...
Five things every Knauss fellow needs during a virtual fellowship
Five things every Knauss fellow needs during a virtual fellowship

Five things every Knauss fellow needs during a virtual...

Five things every Knauss fellow needs during a virtual fellowship

Tips and Advice

Five things every Knauss fellow needs during a virtual fellowship

By: Josie Lindsey-Robbins. This fellowship year has been unlike years past, with the majority of fellows in my cohort exclusively teleworking since March 2020. For all future fellows, here are five things I think you need in order to have a successful virtual fellowship.
Learning to tame monkeys
Learning to tame monkeys

Learning to tame monkeys

Learning to tame monkeys

Tips and Advice

Learning to tame monkeys

By: Caroline Wiernicki. Who has the monkey? It’s a question I’ve been asking myself a lot lately. In the words of William Oncken Jr. and Donald L. Wass, the proverbial “monkey” is a concept key to working on a team: an individual’s responsibility or task that contributes towards the team’s broader goals.
A FORCE for Good!
A FORCE for Good!

A FORCE for Good!

A FORCE for Good!

My Fellowship Position

A FORCE for Good!

By: Jessie Straub. By applying my coastal resilience skills and knowledge during my Knauss Fellowship, I knew I could become a “force” for good. As part of an informal working group for 2020 Knauss fellows, FORCE (Fellows for Organized Coastal Efforts), I have the chance to do just that.   
By giving back, I gained more than I could imagine
By giving back, I gained more than I could imagine

By giving back, I gained more than I could imagine

By giving back, I gained more than I could imagine

Outreach

By giving back, I gained more than I could imagine

By: Lauren Bonatakis. When I decided to quit my full-time, benefitted job to move to a new state for a year of service with AmeriCorps on a whim, it was a surprise to those who know me best. It was also one of the best decisions I have made.   
Lessons learned: The difference a mentor makes
Lessons learned: The difference a mentor makes

Lessons learned: The difference a mentor makes

Lessons learned: The difference a mentor makes

Tips and Advice

Lessons learned: The difference a mentor makes

By: Tiffany Atkinson. I can’t emphasize enough how incredibly valuable it can be when someone takes you under their wing as a mentor. The lessons we learn from these relationships can teach us so much about ourselves and the world.
International affairs... from the comfort/confines of home
International affairs... from the comfort/confines of home

International affairs... from the comfort/confines of home

International affairs... from the comfort/confines of home

My Fellowship Position

International affairs... from the comfort/confines of home

By: Victoria Luu. A quick Google search reveals no shortage of articles and blog posts describing 2020 as what, at the end of 2019, many hoped and believed would be a “Super Year” for the ocean. However, with the travel bans and limits on in-person gatherings imposed in the wake of COVID-19, most of the international meetings have...
The Lost Geographer: Following the road signs to Knauss
The Lost Geographer: Following the road signs to Knauss

The Lost Geographer: Following the road signs to Knauss

The Lost Geographer: Following the road signs to Knauss

My Fellowship Position

The Lost Geographer: Following the road signs to Knauss

By: Michelle Harris. There’s a common joke that geographers “know where it’s at” - but for this geographer, a sense of direction is not something I’m inherently adept at. No matter how much I plan, there is always an unexpected turn somewhere along the way to be laughed about later. When comparing this to my life...
“Knauss” is everywhere you go
“Knauss” is everywhere you go

“Knauss” is everywhere you go

“Knauss” is everywhere you go

Policy

“Knauss” is everywhere you go

By: Grace Roskar. From a summer internship in North Carolina to policy work in D.C., graduate school in Florida, and a research cruise in the Southeast, the variety of experiences I had and the people I met over the years are what influenced my journey to the fellowship.
Becoming the type of scientist my childhood self never pictured
Becoming the type of scientist my childhood self never pictured

Becoming the type of scientist my childhood self never...

Becoming the type of scientist my childhood self never pictured

My Fellowship Position

Becoming the type of scientist my childhood self never pictured

By: Naomi Lewandowski. For nearly 10 years, I’ve made career choices based on one very sacred metric: would my eight-year-old self be proud of me? As I navigated college, temporary lab jobs, and graduate school, I held this metric dear. However, after becoming a Knauss fellow, and starting down an unexpected and, potentially, brand new career...
“So, tell me…” How in-depth conversations propelled my work with communities in graduate school and the Knauss fellowship
“So, tell me…” How in-depth conversations propelled my work with communities in graduate school and the Knauss fellowship

“So, tell me…” How in-depth conversations propelled my work...

“So, tell me…” How in-depth conversations propelled my work with communities in graduate school and the Knauss fellowship

Communication

“So, tell me…” How in-depth conversations propelled my work with communities in graduate school and the Knauss fellowship

By: Maggie Chory. When thinking about my experience so far as a Knauss Fellow, I am struck by the fact that many of the skills I learned and practiced as a graduate student play into my day-to-day work now. One skill that I was surprised to discover would have so much importance this year is the ability to conduct a productive and meaningful...
On the rocks? A bartender’s guide to scientific success
On the rocks? A bartender’s guide to scientific success

On the rocks? A bartender’s guide to scientific success

On the rocks? A bartender’s guide to scientific success

Tips and Advice

On the rocks? A bartender’s guide to scientific success

By: Brianna Shaughnessy. While I now live in Washington, D.C., and have committed to a career in science, it was only six months ago that I packed up my favorite corkscrew and bottle opener to begin my adventure as a Knauss fellow. Five of the lessons I learned through my bartending experiences stand out as those that I believe make me successful...
The Power of a Poster
The Power of a Poster

The Power of a Poster

The Power of a Poster

Communication

The Power of a Poster

By: Rachel Hager. I’m a Knauss marine policy fellow at NOAA because of a poster. Seven years ago, I saw one small poster pinned to a brown cork board in the hallway of a research center in Maryland. I decided to apply for the Knauss fellowship as an inland fellow from Utah because I kept thinking about that poster.   
A Tale of Two Offices
A Tale of Two Offices

A Tale of Two Offices

A Tale of Two Offices

My Fellowship Position

A Tale of Two Offices

By: Brittney Parker. I knew the Knauss Fellowship was the perfect way to take on a new challenge while pushing myself out of my comfort zone of scientific research. Little did I know prior to placement week that through my Knauss Fellowship I wouldn’t just be learning the ins-and-outs of a single executive branch office; I also would be...
The Business Case for Knauss Fellows
The Business Case for Knauss Fellows

The Business Case for Knauss Fellows

The Business Case for Knauss Fellows

Tips and Advice

The Business Case for Knauss Fellows

By: Meredith Richardson. Knauss Fellows have the unique opportunity to follow their own interests during their fellowship year, rather than exact roles laid out in a job description. It’s this flexibility that allows fellows to serve as connectors between departments and agencies, identifying areas for improvement and increasing...
One NOAA ‘Ohana
One NOAA ‘Ohana

One NOAA ‘Ohana

One NOAA ‘Ohana

My Fellowship Position

One NOAA ‘Ohana

By: Alexandra Skrivanek. NOAA’s mission of science, service and stewardship is vast in scope, spanning the surface of the sun to the depths of the ocean. I can personally attest to this because, in the first 24 hours of traveling with RDML Gallaudet in Hawaiʻi at the start of my fellowship year, we covered most of this breadth.
You Can’t Plan for a Change of Plans
You Can’t Plan for a Change of Plans

You Can’t Plan for a Change of Plans

You Can’t Plan for a Change of Plans

My Fellowship Position

You Can’t Plan for a Change of Plans

By: Cheyenne Stienbarger. Before we begin, there is something you must know about me. I like organization and need to have a plan, whether it’s a plan for the trip to the grocery store, for the year, or for the next five years. I live to plan. Spoiler alert: you just can’t plan for some things. I discovered the Knauss...
The power of purpose, personal connections and paying attention
The power of purpose, personal connections and paying attention

The power of purpose, personal connections and paying...

The power of purpose, personal connections and paying attention

Alumni Profiles

The power of purpose, personal connections and paying attention

By: Alexandra Skrivanek. Stuart Levenbach began his career in marine policy exploring how anemones, macroalgae, sea urchins and fish interact on rocky reefs off southern California. Less than two decades later, he was appointed as the Chief of Staff of NOAA. Dr. Levenbach always knew he would play a role in advancing natural resource policy in...
How a love of seafood brought me to Capitol Hill
How a love of seafood brought me to Capitol Hill

How a love of seafood brought me to Capitol Hill

How a love of seafood brought me to Capitol Hill

My Fellowship Position

How a love of seafood brought me to Capitol Hill

By: Kat Montgomery. Did you know that most of the salmon you see in grocery stores and restaurants comes from a fish farm? In fact, aquaculture, which is the farming of fish, shellfish and seaweed in fresh or saltwater, produces about half of the world’s seafood supply. I became interested in aquaculture sort of by accident, and that newfound...
Weathering the Storm: Improving Communications About Extreme Weather and Climate
Weathering the Storm: Improving Communications About Extreme Weather and Climate

Weathering the Storm: Improving Communications About Extreme...

Weathering the Storm: Improving Communications About Extreme Weather and Climate

My Fellowship Position

Weathering the Storm: Improving Communications About Extreme Weather and Climate

By: Christine Bassett. Given my experience thinking about past climate and oceans, it might seem peculiar for me, a geoscientist, to spend my Knauss Fellowship year in the National Weather Service’s (NWS) Office of Observations. Read about how my work at the NWS gives me the opportunity to bring my focus on past human-climate interactions...

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

From “No” to “Ph.D”: a journey from “imposter” to scientist

By Zac Cannizzo

“Not for you. You just don’t have the mind for science.” The words of my 8th grade science teacher when I asked to be placed in Biology for my freshman year. It hurt. I always liked science, and I loved biology. Some of my earliest memories are watching Jack Hanna’s Animal Adventures. From a young age, I wanted to be a biologist. But, I guess it wasn’t for me. I guess I’m not smart enough. I guess maybe I need to do something else. I just don’t have the mind for science.

Two years. I believed her for two years.

 

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Monday, July 15, 2019

Look for the Helpers: Conservation-Focused Research amidst Environmental Crises

By: Andie Chan. I pressed my SCUBA mask to my face as I back rolled off a small catamaran into the warm tropical waters of the Florida Keys. It was my first time SCUBA diving for my Ph.D. research, and I was eager to prove myself. I was starting a project on increasing our understanding of the reproduction and population sizes of pillar corals using genetic techniques, so I needed to collect small pieces of tissue from multiple colonies to bring back to the lab at Penn State. Fortunately, pillar corals at this dive site in Key Largo were conspicuous and prevalent. I swam along a 60 meter stretch of upward-reaching colonies that looked almost furry with their tentacles moving in the current. With great care, I took a small amount of tissue from several colonies to minimize wounding these animals – many of which were likely hundreds of years old.

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Friday, July 5, 2019

Switching Up Your Communication Style

In the academic world, communication comes in the form of peer-reviewed papers, theses or dissertations, seminar talks, conference talks, and posters. All long format and so deep into the science that you’re no longer certain what language they’re speaking. So, what do you do when you’ve been trained in those styles of communication for the past five years and you begin a communications position in the federal government as part of the Knauss fellowship program for a climate modeling program?

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