Ohio Sea Grant Announces 2019 Knauss Fellowship Finalists

Three of the five Ohio finalists selected to be a part of the 40th class of the John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship are from CFAES.

The Knauss Fellowship is year-long program that places highly qualified graduate students in host offices in the legislative and executive branches of the U.S. government. The group represents the largest number of Ohio finalists selected in one year since the program began in 1979.

“We are proud to send such an accomplished group of Ohio finalists into placement week for their Knauss Fellowships later this year,” said Christopher Winslow, director of Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Laboratory at The Ohio State University, in a press release. “Each of them brings a unique combination of science expertise and passion for policy work to the table, and we believe they will be outstanding assets to the federal government programs they decide to join.”

Anna Apostel is a PhD candidate in agricultural engineering where she focuses on developing computer models that help researchers and agencies study and manage watersheds like the Maumee River. She is currently acting as the liaison between the research team and the stakeholders informing the work, and that experience has encouraged her to look at issues from a number of angles.

“I seek to obtain a position in the environmental policy sector where I will be able to focus on the use of sound science for water policy and citizen outreach,” Apostel wrote in her application. “The Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship provides the ideal opportunity to take the next step towards achieving these career goals. I am excited about the opportunities to work with policymakers and learn more about the processes involved in marine policy development.”

Elizabeth Berg is pursuing a master’s degree in the School of Environment and Natural Resources. In addition to mentoring undergraduate students in laboratory research, she is involved with a number of university governing bodies to develop her skills in governance and networking.

“As a Knauss Fellow and in my future career, I hope to continue working with freshwater resources in the Great Lakes,” Berg said in her application. “Ultimately, I aim to be a representative of the scientific community in the interface of science-policy decisions.”

Amara Huddleston is a master’s student at Ohio State’s Aquatic Ecology Laboratory. Her research focuses on walleye, an important sport fish in the Great Lakes, and how severe winters affect larval walleye prey. Her true passion, though, lies in communicating science to the public and helping ensure that science-based information guides policy decisions.

“Science policy is the intersection between my passions: research, communication, and outreach,” Huddleston wrote in her fellowship application. “The Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship will set me on a trajectory toward expertise in scientific education and outreach. Most importantly, I hope to learn how research, policy, communication, and education intersect to help protect the economic vitality and resources of coastal and Great Lakes communities.”

They join a group of 69 finalists recommended to the National Sea Grant office from 30 Sea Grant programs across the country. Finalists will meet in Washington, D.C., in November 2018 for placement interviews with potential host offices, which can include executive branch appointments in offices like NOAA, the Department of the Interior and the National Science Foundation, as well as legislative placements on Senate and House committees and in legislative offices.