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Sea Grant announces the 2018 Knauss Fellowship finalists

Silver Spring, MD — Sea Grant is pleased to announce the 2018 finalists for the John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship program. As with each class of Knauss fellows, the 2018 finalists are an impressive group with diverse backgrounds and interests. Twenty four of the 33 Sea Grant programs are represented in this year’s class, which includes 61 finalists. Meet the 2018 finalists.


“We are excited about the talent and perspectives the 2018 Knauss Fellowship finalists will bring to their executive and legislative appointments next year,” said Jonathan Pennock, Director of the National Sea Grant College Program. “The Knauss Fellowship is a special program for Sea Grant, and we are proud of the professional development and opportunities Sea Grant has provided our alumni, the current class and now these finalists.”



Knauss finalists are chosen through a competitive process that includes several rounds of review. Students finishing Masters, Juris Doctor (J.D.), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs with a focus and/or interest in marine science, policy or management apply to one of the 33 Sea Grant programs. If applicants are successful at the state Sea Grant program level, their applications are then reviewed by a national panel of experts. In November 2017, the 2018 finalists will travel to Washington, D.C. to interview with several executive or legislative offices. Following placement, they will begin their fellowship in February 2018.



Executive appointments for the 2017 Knauss fellows included placements throughout the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as well as with Department of the Interior, National Science Foundation, U.S. Navy, and other agencies. Legislative appointments included the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation; Subcommittee on Ocean, Atmosphere, Fisheries, Coast Guard (majority), House Committee on Natural Resources (minority), and several placements with both majority and minority offices.



Since 1979, Sea Grant has provided over 1,200 early career professionals with first hand experiences transferring science to policy and management through one year appointments with Federal government offices in Washington, D.C. 



Knauss alumni go on to have prospering careers in all sectors of society.



“My fellowship was directly responsible for my career path.”


-Lee Crockett, Director of U.S. Oceans, Pew Charitable Trust and 1986 Knauss Fellow (legislative)



“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.”  

-Donna Wieting, Director, NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources and 1989 Knauss Fellow (executive)



“[The Knauss Fellowship] prepared me to communicate with different audiences and make the connection between the research and the communities.”

–Helen Cheng, Coastal Resilience Specialist with New York Sea Grant and 2015 Knauss Fellow (executive)



Learn more about Knauss alumni by visiting “Where are they now?” on the Sea Grant website.


Placement of 2018 Knauss finalists as fellows is contingent on adequate funding in Fiscal Year 2018.


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