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Staff & Center News

The Sea Grant Knauss Fellowship and the USGS

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The National Sea Grant Federal Fellows Program/Dean John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship was established in 1979 to provide a unique educational experience to students who have an interest in ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes resources and in the national policy decisions affecting those resources. The program, which is sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Sea Grant College Program, matches highly qualified graduate students with hosts in the legislative branch, the executive branch, or appropriate associations/institutions located in the Washington, DC, area for a one-year paid fellowship. Students who, at the time of application, are in a graduate or professional degree program in a marine or aquatic-related field at a U.S. accredited institution of higher education may apply through their local Sea Grant program.

This is the first year that the USGS in general and the CMGP in particular have hosted a Fellow. Jennifer Rahn is a Sea Grant Knauss Fellow working in Reston with Jeff Williams. She is a Ph.D. candidate from the University of Florida's Geography Department. July marks the halfway point of her one-year fellowship and so far she has visited all three of the field centers to meet the staff and learn about their research. She is working on the Coral Reef Task Force, assisting researchers in CMG, NOAA, and the Navy in putting together a comprehensive working plan for mapping coral reefs in the U.S. Jennifer is also involved in planning and organizing the Geology of Coastal Ecosystems Workshop to be held in Ocean City, MD, September 8-10. Information about the workshop is on the web. If you are planning to attend, please make sure Jennifer has your registration form and fees (do not register on the web; web registration is only for non-federal participants).

Jennifer has had a fascinating and eye-opening experience in the program so far. She feels that the USGS definitely is the best agency in which to be but admits she may be a little biased. Jeff Williams intends to host another Fellow next year, so if you know of any students who might be interested in working in DC or at the headquarters in Reston, please send them to the Web site. Students should be encouraged to think about the wonderful opportunity. Applications are due in September but it is highly recommended to start the process in July or August.

Most Knauss Fellows have biology or ecology backgrounds. Jennifer was very much in demand this year because she was one of the few people who had experience in coastal geomorphology, GIS, and remote sensing. Students with geologic and oceanographic backgrounds rarely apply, but they are in demand when they do. Jennifer welcomes any questions you might have about the program and is very enthusiastic about having more Fellows come to the USGS.

Related Web Sites
Geology of Coastal Ecosystems Workshop
U.S. National Park Service
Sea Grant Knauss Fellowship
sponsored by NOAA

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