Two University of Connecticut graduate students and a third from Yale University have been chosen for the 2021 NOAA Sea Grant John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship program, which places early career professionals with federal government offices for one year.
Halle Berger and Alec Shub, UConn marine science graduate students, and Emily Tucker, a Yale School of the Environment graduate student, were among 74 finalists selected nationwide for the fellowship. This year Connecticut Sea Grant is among 27 of the 34 Sea Grant programs sponsoring one or more Knauss fellows. Starting in 1974, 1,400 fellows have completed the program, successfully launching careers in science, policy and public administration.
“I became interested in applying science to policy, and how people are using the research scientists were doing to make policy,” said Shub, who expects to complete his master’s degree in paleoclimate oceanology – the study of the effects of climate variability on ancient ocean systems – next month. “The Knauss program seemed like the perfect opportunity to combine my interests.”
Knauss fellows are chosen through a competitive process that includes several rounds of review at both the state Sea Grant program and national levels. To be eligible, students must be enrolled or have recently completed Masters, Juris Doctor (J.D.) or Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs with a focus on coastal science, policy or management and apply to one of the 34 Sea Grant programs. If successful at the state program level, their applications are then reviewed by a national review panel.
This fall, the finalists will participate in a virtual placement week to get to know each other and interview with potential host offices. Executive Agency Appointments for the Knauss fellows include placements throughout the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Department of State, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the Navy, among others. Others receive legislative appointments in the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works, the House Committee on Natural Resources, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and the offices of Congressional and Senate legislators.