When Penny Dalton accepted Sea Grant’s John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship during graduate school, it changed the course of her career. Instead of focusing on fisheries research, she landed on Capitol Hill, in federal agencies and oceanographic associations and, ultimately, at Washington Sea Grant at the University of Washington, where she has served as director for 12 years. Dalton is retiring May 1, 2018.
Dalton brought to Washington Sea Grant years of experience in ocean policy, research and outreach. She served as a staff member on the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation for 13 years before overseeing nationwide management of living marine resources as head of NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service. She also worked as vice president at a consortium of oceanographic institutes and universities across the country to further their scientific and education goals. Over the years, Dalton has mentored dozens of Knauss fellows, in addition to managing four additional fellowship programs at Washington Sea Grant, including three she helped create.
University of Washington News sat down with Dalton during her last week at UW to learn more about her drive to serve the public through Washington Sea Grant and the ways in which she has helped young marine policy experts get started in the field. Read the full Q & A here.